The term “milestone” dates back to the Roman Empire where stones were literally placed by the side of the road and used to measure the distance travelled while on a journey. The term has also become synonymous with marking the passage of time.
While I have only taken my first few steps in my journey as SMACNA’s president, it started at a point in time when the industry was celebrating a major milestone of its own — SMACNA’s 75th anniversary. Austin, Texas was a great venue and the 75th Anniversary Convention was a wonderful time to start my new journey as SMACNA’s president.
The annual convention also marked another milestone of which I am fortunate to play a central role, and that is my honor to serve as the first woman president of SMACNA, and of any signatory trade association for that matter. While I know this is only one step in the right direction of diversity and inclusion in the sheet metal industry, I realize it is a significant one.
I am hopeful that my journey around the country, visiting chapters and talking at length with members presents me with the opportunity to leave lasting impressions on my fellow contractors. And the impressions I want to leave are three-fold.
One, that women — whether they are presidents or apprentices — can do just as good a job as their male counterparts given equal opportunities.
And two, I hope people see me first and foremost as a successful contractor who started as a mechanical engineer, worked hard and was promoted time and time again, and am now leading a $100M full mechanical contracting business — all while raising a family and donating a significant amount of time to support our association in any way possible.
And last but not least, that our industry needs to adapt and react quickly to change. Changes in technology are impacting our industry today and our ability to be competitive; changes in our approach to diversity can add quality and quantity to our workforce, and raising our collective profiles and that of our industry will attract both talent and business opportunities to our trade.
I will log many milestones of my own this year and I look forward to each stop on my journey and sharing them with many of you.