Lisa Davis fully intended on becoming a surgeon when she graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2005 with her bachelor’s degree in biology. She moved to Oregon to attend Oregon Health and Science University but eventually decided that a life in medicine was simply not what she wanted. For the next three years, she worked on a farm in Hawaii as a barista and in an operating room, but it was a job working as a mechanic in a bowling alley that changed her life. There, she realized working with her hands in a different way was her ticket to happiness.
She found Oregon Tradeswomen and completed the organization’s training before she was accepted into the apprenticeship at Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 in Portland. There she completed a building trades apprenticeship and service program.
Passionate about education, recruitment, retention, and diversity, Davis worked her way up to become Local 16’s first and only female instructor. She also helped form a diversity committee and served on the ground floor of the local’s mentoring program, both of which continue at the local today.
In 2019, she joined the International Training Institute, the education arm of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) workers, where she served as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) service and testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) specialist. In January of 2023, she took on the position of Director of Recruitment and Retention for the ITI and was working to expand mentoring programs for apprenticeship programs as well as cultivate relationships between local training centers and Apprenticeship Readiness Programs, or Pre-apprenticeships. It is a passion of hers to create an environment of belonging for anyone who wants to be a SMART member to succeed.
In March of 2023, Lisa joined the National Energy Management Institute as Fund Administrator – helping expand our organizational efforts towards legislation, managing SMART industry certifications through the International Certification Board, and partnering with contractors and members to make buildings healthy while increasing energy efficiency.
On the national level, she also serves on SMART’s International Women’s Committee, where she helped craft resolutions and amendments leading into the union’s 2019 national convention and is now working on mentoring resources and parental support connections for members.