Category: Women in the Mechanical Industry

Find Talent for Your Company’s Future Growth with the MCAA GreatFutures Jobs Board

MCAA members looking for talented young people to ensure their companies’ future competitiveness can get a helping hand from the MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Board. Visit the board and login with your MCAA.org password to post your company’s internship and job opportunities. While you’re there, be sure to browse the student resumes to connect with potential matches. If you have any questions, please reach out to Megan Walsh.

MCAA’s Sponsor Spotlight Episode 11 Welcomes Ashley Martin, Senior Vice President of NIBCO INC.

In the eleventh episode of MCAA’s Sponsor Spotlight series Robert Beck, MCAA Co-Vice President/Assistant Treasurer welcomes Ashley Martin, Senior Vice President of Sales and an officer of the Board of Directors of NIBCO INC. NIBCO is the worldwide leader in the manufacture of plumbing fittings and valves. The company has been headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana since its inception in 1904. The Sponsor Spotlight Series is a new way for MCAA contractor members to learn more about the Manufacturer/Supplier Council (M/SC) Governing Board members, their products, their relationship with MCAA, and what being a member means to them. 

Ashley Martin began her career with NIBCO as a sales trainee in 2012. Her other positions have included director of Distribution and Transportation, general manager of the PEX product line and vice president of Wholesale Sales. In her current role, Martin is responsible for overseeing Wholesale, Retail and Specialty Sales, Business Development, Marketing Communications and Customer Service. Martin co-founded the American Supply Association Women Industry group in 2013. She served a two-year term as chairperson, beginning in 2016. She currently serves on the Boards for the Indiana United Way, the United Way of Elkhart County and the Stanley Clark School in South Bend, Ind. She is also a member of the Notre Dame Business Advisory Council. Martin received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. She holds a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in strategy and operations management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Prior to earning her MBA, Martin studied at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.​ ​

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Taking The First Step Into the Unknown

A Notre Dame graduate in Mechanical Engineering, Anne Finerfrock was unsure which direction she wanted to take her career in. She knew she did not want to sit behind a desk but had no answers to an important question: is that a viable career option? Fortunately, Anne spent time at a career fair and began a conversation with a mechanical contracting company. Investing her time to seek out answers resulted in an internship at this company and her first step into the industry.

Anne speaks highly of the endless opportunities provided to individuals in a similar position, “The advantage of working for a mechanical contractor versus a large GC is that you really get involved in all aspects of the project.” Now a Project Manager at W.E. Bowers, Anne credits the MCAA GreatFutures program for providing opportunities to explore career options and internship possibilities that offer 8 to 10 weeks of first-hand experience.

MCAA’s WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program Introduces Tauhira and Madelyn!

This pair epitomizes an excellent example of a mentor and mentee relationship.  They are the ‘ying to each other’s yang’ and, although complete opposites, they work so well together.

Tauhira Ali, Construction Technology Group Manager for MILWAUKEE TOOL, took on her mentee in January 2020.  Madelyn Conway, Project Engineer for BMWC Constructors, Inc. out of Indiana was hesitant about the program at first, but so thankful she got involved.

After attending the 2019 WiMI Conference, Madelyn thought to herself, “If I don’t do this, then I know I’ll hear about other’s successes and think to myself that I should have done it”. Kori Gormley-Huppert, WiMI committee chair, initially took Madelyn under her wing until she was paired with Tauhira Ali, providing Madelyn with a second go-to person in the industry. Graduating from Purdue University in May 2020, Madelyn is only six months into her job and the industry. This is one reason why Tauhira has played such an important role in Madelyn’s personal and professional development.

Tauhira Ali has been in the industry and with MILWAUKEE TOOL for eight years. Tauhira explains, “Getting into a mentor program will help you grow in your own perspective, relationships and provide so many valuable things that will come out of it, all while sharing the benefit of growth with someone else”. Although COVID-19 happened shortly after they were paired, these two have formed a friendship and a strategy to their communication.

Tauhira and Madelyn have one or two calls per month but text weekly. Whether they are discussing exciting news, updates, assignments or strategizing on how to be better people, Tauhira always leaves Madelyn with setting a goal. “Madelyn has the ability to be more intentional on where she needs to focus her energy, as she is always planning for the next thing, taking too much on at once”, Tauhira explains. Madelyn agrees, saying, “Tauhira has taught me to slow down, reminding me to be proud of where I am now and live for today.” Madelyn added that Tauhira has taught her to take on a project, set the goal and finish it!

It’s advice like this that Madelyn is proud of as she starts off in this industry, as well as being a WiMI mentee. When asked if they would like to continue their initial commitment with one another, they both said “Absolutely, we are friends now and if we stopped, we would have so much untold”. They bring value to one another’s lives and it is a bonus that they can relate from a female perspective.

When asked about a most memorable moment in this industry, Tauhira replied “Oh gosh, there are so many. This is impactful and impactful is watching so many other women join the industry”. She went on explaining “I was the only female in the early development product department when I started.  When I moved roles, there were 15 women in that department.  That is impactful”.

Both Tauhira and Madelyn recommend the WiMI Mentor/Mentee program to females in the industry, even during this pandemic. They can be sounding boards for one another even from afar.  “It’s something that we all need and it’s an easy resource to get in touch with others,” Madelyn commented, “It’s powerful because it’s given us joy to be connected, even in different phases of our lives and from different states”.   

The ladies are both interested in participating in a virtual mentee and mentor roundtable discussion with groups of mentees and groups of mentors. This would provide an opportunity to virtually connect with like people, share questions and benefits they have received from their mentor/mentee, discuss differences they have shared, and be able to connect with more people.

This virtual world for a mentor/mentee program offers a great sense of community and provides a cohort that is greater than one realizes. The idea of not having women in this industry is becoming less common and it’s because of women like Tauhira and Madelyn, that are continuously working toward the next step!

For more information visit the Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative Page.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Following Your Interests to First-Hand Experience

Colten Lovejoy’s interest in the mechanical construction industry may have stemmed from watching his father work in the industry for 25 years, but he was quick to create his own experiences. Colten knew he wanted to immediately start working in the field. As a student, he interned with MMC Contractors in Kansas City, MO for two summers as a pre-apprentice alongside journeymen, laborers, and foremen and really enjoyed seeing and understanding how and why complicated systems work the way they do, first-hand. 

Colten graduated from Pittsburgh State University in May and is now a full-time employee at MMC Contractors. He credits not only his dad, but his Pittsburg State University Faculty Advisor, Shannon Nicklaus for helping him continue his education and career in the industry. Through Colten’s involvement in his MCAA student chapter, he has gained a life-long mentor, as well as a network of industry peers. Even if later in life he has a question or is looking to problem solve, he knows he can call anyone he has met through this program to work through it together.

Don’t Forget to Keep Your Resume Updated on MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Board

Looking for an internship or full time employment opportunity?

Make sure your resume is up to date on MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Board. Hiring MCAA members are able to browse all resumes and contact you directly if they think you’re the perfect candidate! There are currently two internship opportunities available and two full time opportunities available on the job board.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Megan Walsh.

MCAA’s WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program Introduces Jill and Hannah!

Hannah Inman has an infectious energy that she brings to her role as Program Manager with the Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington (MCAMW). Hannah has been with MCAMW for almost 4 years and has been involved with WiMI since the inaugural conference held in Chicago in 2019.

Jill McCall, Executive Vice President of MCA Chicago, has 20 years of association experience and has been in the construction industry for five of those years. Jill was one of the original committee members who kicked off the WiMI initiative back in 2018. She has a strong passion for the program and women’s issues even outside of the construction industry.

The pair bonded instantly, and their communication has only grown throughout the past year. As things slowed down due to the pandemic, they realized how important it was to check in with each other, even just to see how they were doing. With Hannah having a lot on her plate; newly engaged, finishing a degree and establishing new projects at work, the check ins were even more important! They both agree that it is nice to have a person to bounce challenges and new ideas off of, especially during a time where there is so much unknown in the industry as well as the world.

Hannah shared how much she values Jill’s mentorship, especially with not having any prior experience to this industry. “My self-confidence in my role here at MCAMW has improved. I’m learning how to better self-advocate, professionally. Also, my knowledge and communication skills have evolved, creating an advantage in my credibility within my network.”

Hannah recommends this program to all women in the industry – sharing, “as a female, especially a younger female, in a male-dominated industry, there can be challenges that arise which can be hard to navigate or receive appropriate support and/or feedback on. As the industry evolves in today’s world, certain aspects have unfortunately lagged behind others. This program, the support, resources, and its collaborative efforts, have brought aid to its progression, which I have found to be invaluable for both myself and to our association.”

Hannah came into this program with some goals already in place, including enhancing her professional experience and overall development, learning more about the industry, and receiving expert guidance and support. With that, her mentor, Jill, helped her create goals that included checking-in with each other once a month, enhance her efforts with their local WiMI chapter and workforce development, as well as striving to earn her CMP Certification.

Jill signed up for the mentorship role because “mentoring is one of the most powerful ways to help people grow.  It works both ways, too!” She encourages all females in the industry to be role models for new women entering the industry. The frequent check ins have benefited Jill as well, as the two have brainstormed new ideas and ways to improve both their local WiMI chapters and the national chapter.

“It’s the little things,” Jill shares when asked what her most memorable moment of being a woman in the industry has been, “Hearing a speaker adjust the introduction from brothers or gentlemen to brothers and sisters or ladies and gentlemen on the fly.” She has also been excited to see apparel at UA/MCAA events now offered in women’s sizes.  

Despite their busy schedules, the pair plans to continue their relationship beyond the initial six-month commitment and value and appreciate the time they can share and learn from each other.

“Jill is a cornucopia of knowledge and wisdom and I am thankful to have been matched with her, as I know our relationship has brought substantial value in my overall professional development,” Hannah concluded.

For more information visit the Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative Page.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: The Benefit of Connecting with Industry Professionals

University of Missouri-Columbia mechanical engineering major Kylie Nedelka first learned about the MCAA GreatFutures program after hearing the association president speak to her class a few years ago. It was here Kylie realized the many benefits of being involved with the program.

“Networking is by far the best thing you can do in your career,” Kylie said while stressing the importance of building a professional network. Using her networking skills, she has landed two internships with SIEMENS, a member of the MCAA Manufacturer/Supplier Council. Kylie landed her first internship opportunity at the 2018 GreatFutures Forum while riding on a bus to Disneyland, where she shared a seat and struck up a conversation with Kristin Junia, Program Manager at SIEMENS. The following day, Kylie made sure to stop by the SIEMENS booth at the forum’s career fair. This is where she could talk more in-depth with Kristin about her education and internship interests and was offered an internship on the spot.

We hope Kylie’s story inspires other students to put themselves out there and not be afraid to talk to and connect with people within the industry, as you never know where it will lead!

You can read more of Kylie’s story here.

WiMI is Looking for New Mentors

The MCAA Women in the Mechanical Industry’s Mentor/Mentee program is a great opportunity for seasoned professionals in the industry interested in serving as advisors to those new to the industry or be a role model to students looking to join the industry.  The relationships built in this program help to guide our industry into the future with a diverse, exciting group of women who may have never connected otherwise. It also enables women from all spectrums of the mechanical and HVACR service industry to connect, support, guide and counsel each other.

Our recent webinar demonstrated just how beneficial a mentor/mentee partnership can be, watch webinar here.

We are always open for both mentors and mentees. To join our program, please complete the form below and send to bdolim@mcaa.org.

Mentor Form
Mentee Form

Learn more about the program!

WiMI Mentors and Mentees Share Their Experiences and Advice In Encouraging Panel Discussion–Watch Now!

Yesterday, Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Chair, Kori Gormley-Huppert led a lively discussion with mentor and mentees who are currently participating in the initiative’s Mentor/Mentee Program. Pattie Krippendorf, Vice President of the Service Division at Helm Group and a mentor in the program, shared her industry and life experiences, as well as offered her best advice to those newly navigating the industry. Mentees, Ali Brown, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Madelyn Conway, a project engineer at BMWC Constructors, Inc. and Michelle Mays, a Sales Operations Coordinator at Crockett Facilities Services, spoke to the value of being involved in this program, and how invaluable they have found the assistance from their mentors, women with years of experience in the mechanical industry, in career planning, networking and goal setting.

The WiMI initiative was created to enable women in the mechanical industry to further enrich their careers through networking, educational, mentoring and career development opportunities. Interested and want to get involved?

WiMI Mentee Questionnaire

WiMI Mentor Questionnaire

Kori Gormley-Huppert Featured in Maker Month Profile

Kori Gormley-Huppert, president of MCAA member Gormley Plumbing + Mechanical and chair of MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry Steering Committee, is among those profiled as part of Stanley Black & Decker’s Maker Month Campaign. The campaign is designed to empower makers and tradespeople around the world. Stanley Black & Decker is the parent company of DEWALT and LENOX, both MCAA members.

In the interview-style profile, Kori talks about her company, her career and the mechanical industry. She also offers advice to those who are just getting started thanks to perspective gained from her own experience and her work on MCAA’s Career Development Committee.

In addition to profiles spotlighting a diverse range of makers and creators from tradespeople and engineers to philanthropists and innovators throughout the industry, the campaign shines a light on the trade skills gap, which is one of the biggest issues facing the workforce today.

“To help solve for the vast skills gap today, an issue made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to showcase and celebrate the wide variety of opportunities people can pursue across the skilled trades,” said Jim Loree, President & CEO of Stanley Black & Decker. He added “Maker Month is our contribution to this effort, helping to highlight the vast potential these careers offer.”

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: The Power of Networking

In this month’s Beyond the Classroom video, hear about the power of networking from former Wentworth Institute of Technology student, Nolan Rochler. 

Nolan is now a Project Engineer at J.C. Higgins and credits his learning and growth in the industry to those he had met at networking events through his student chapter. Upon graduating, he found this network to be quite useful. “You have people who are there to help you. They help you find endless opportunities. By coming to these events, you are able to build such a strong network and basically go anywhere,” Nolan shared. 

Participating in MCAA’s Annual Student Chapter Competition was also an invaluable experience for Nolan. He says really learning, understanding and dissecting a real-life project, is unlike any other learning process. Nolan reminds current students to take these learning and networking opportunities and “make it whatever you want to make it.” People in this industry welcome you in, respect you, and give you the opportunity to learn and grow. Use them to help set you up for success–Nolan certainly has!

Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will continue to showcase opportunities available to MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike who choose careers in the mechanical industry.

WiMI Mentors and Mentees Share Their Experiences and Advice In Encouraging Panel Discussion–Watch Now!

Yesterday, Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Chair, Kori Gormley-Huppert led a lively discussion with mentor and mentees who are currently participating in the initiative’s Mentor/Mentee Program. Pattie Krippendorf, Vice President of the Service Division at Helm Group and a mentor in the program, shared her industry and life experiences, as well as offered her best advice to those newly navigating the industry. Mentees, Ali Brown, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Madelyn Conway, a project engineer at BMWC Constructors, Inc. and Michelle Mays, a Sales Operations Coordinator at Crockett Facilities Services, spoke to the value of being involved in this program, and how invaluable they have found the assistance from their mentors, women with years of experience in the mechanical industry, in career planning, networking and goal setting.

The WiMI initiative was created to enable women in the mechanical industry to further enrich their careers through networking, educational, mentoring and career development opportunities. Interested and want to get involved?

WiMI Mentee Questionnaire

WiMI Mentor Questionnaire

Week 7 of MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program Will Focus on BIM & Highlight the WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program

The GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program has completed the sixth week with two presentations on safety and project risks. We have also covered a variety of topics including estimating, which highlighted MCAA’s WebLEM+Plus resource; project management, that covered how to properly staff and schedule projects; and fabrication, which emphasized the importance of how and why fabrication is used. All presentations are easily accessible on the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program website for registered students to watch anytime if they are unable to attend the live presentations.

Next week, we will learn about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and why more and more mechanical contractors are utilizing the process. To understand why, we will look at the difference between Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and Virtual Design Construction (VDC). On Thursday, October 29, we have a special panel presentation highlighting MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Mentor/Mentee Program. Join us to hear from current mentors and mentees about why and how they got involved with the program and learn how you can get involved too. Mentees will speak to how valuable they have found the assistance from their mentors, women with years of experience in the mechanical industry, in career planning, networking and goal setting. Our mentors will share their experiences and offer their best advice as you navigate through studying and working in the industry!

Register for access to any of these upcoming sessions or to check out any of the previous presentations in the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program. View the full schedule and register today!

REGISTER NOW

Those who are already registered can visit the GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website to catch up on any programs they may have missed.

Take Advantage of Valuable Resources During the Second Half of MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program is going strong! Students have enjoyed five weeks of presentations so far, all aimed to help them navigate the proposal and bid process for the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition project. Topics covered include estimating, which highlighted MCAA’s WebLEM+Plus resource, project management, that covered how to properly staff and schedule their projects, and fabrication, which emphasized the importance of how and why fabrication is used. All presentations are easily accessible on GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website for students to watch anytime if they are unable to attend the live presentations.

There are five more weeks of presentations to come, including important topics such as safety, BIM, and service. Register for access to any of these live sessions or to check out any of the previous presentations and join us for the last half of the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program. View the full schedule and register today!

REGISTER NOW

The information in these presentations has been developed for you and your future and is not solely for the competition project. The real-world insight and advice from some of the industry’s best is guaranteed to help you succeed. If you haven’t been able to join in live each week, know you have a library full of helpful presentations waiting for you. You may access these presentations at anytime on the GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website under the “Video Library” tab after logging in.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Opportunities in the Mechanical Contracting Industry

Meet Marie. California State University, Chico Faculty Advisor and MCAA Career Development Committee member, Marie Patterson, shares how she got her start in the Mechanical Contracting Industry and what excites her about still working in the industry today, in this month’s Beyond the Classroom video.

Marie emphasizes there are endless opportunities for students who hope to work in the Mechanical Contracting industry, highlighting fun, cool, everyday venues and structures such as wineries and breweries, as mechanical construction. Marie likes to put her efforts to working on a pharmaceutical product, or a mechanical contracting project, that she knows at the end of the day will save or improve people’s lives. 

Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will continue to showcase opportunities available to MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike who choose careers in the mechanical industry.

MCAA’s WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program Introduces Cynthia and Krista!

The ever-enthusiastic Cynthia Djongoue Kamga, has been a Project Manager with The BP Group in New York, NY for the past seven years. Her years in the HVACR industry have created a drive to continually excel and learn  so she can grow beyond her tasks at hand. After learning of the WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program after the WiMI Conference when there was a Mentor/Mentee program created, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have someone guide her when she felt “stuck in a bubble” on the way she viewed her responsibilities and how to grow professionally.

Although active in her own projects, Krista Ebbens, also seven years in the industry, was very happy to connect with Cynthia as her mentor to assist, advise and share best practices. Krista is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel with J. F. Ahern Co. in Milwaukee, WI. She wears many hats but has such a welcoming personality and genuine desire to pause and help when needed.

Cynthia and Krista connect so well that it was easy to understand why they are great role models of the WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program. Although COVID created a set-back in their plans to connect they have already set a future date to meet virtually.

Cynthia entered the program looking for pointers on how to redirect her thoughts and take action steps  regarding her own tasks and career. In helping Cynthia, Krista reminded her that you can’t “settle in a routine in your environment without analyzing situations and thinking outside of the box.”  She also advised Cynthia to put together action steps on   specific goals and to move forward with it. “It’s empowering to get outside of a task or routine to grow, both personally and professionally.  You just have to make sure to schedule the time to do it,” Cynthia reiterated.

They both made a great point in stating that “although we work in the same construction business, there are big regional differences and it’s interesting to hear about the experiences in New York vs. Wisconsin. Construction in New York City is very different and experiences seem to happening there  before it becomes  a thing in the mid-west, so it creates a great learning experience ”. This is especially relevant to the current pandemic.

Krista and Cynthia both encourage folks that haven’t attended a WiMI event to do so.  They mentioned that the educational programs are top notch and relevant while the networking provides a fantastic and unique opportunity. Such events provide the opportunity for mentees to talk with other mentees, for mentors to share ideas and new connections to be made.  They agreed that through sharing best practices, they have found that old dogs can teach new tricks and that there is always something to share between people.

Krista, the first female Management Committee member and female shareholder in the company, leaves us with these powerful words; “Always make sure you take time for personal career development, especially in a deadline driven industry.  It’s important to make sure you carve out time to educate, network, and manage because every investment you make in yourself will pay off with personal development in your professional career.”

For more information visit the Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative Page.

Week 5 of MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program – Fabrication

The GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program has completed the fourth week with two presentations on project management. This past week, we heard from MCAA’s Director of Project Management Education, John Koontz, on project organization charts, and Project Executive for Holmberg Mechanical, Troy Aichele, on scheduling 101.

Next week, we will focus on fabrication, and hear from Jeff Miller, Director of Virtual Construction at Harrell-Fish, Chris Summers, Senior Project Manager at Harrell-Fish and Sean McGuire, MCAA’s Director of Innovative Technologies. Together we will learn about the importance of how and why fabrication is used and understanding the importance of a fabrication plan as a specialty contractor. Our three speakers will give a glimpse of the technology MCAA members are currently using and how it is evolving the use of fabrication.

The information in these presentations is not only for the competition project, but for you and your future. The real-world insight and advice from some of the industry’s best to meant to help you succeed. If you haven’t been able to watch live weekly, know you have helpful presentations waiting for you. You may access these presentations at anytime on the GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website under the “Video Library” tab after logging in.

Here’s a look at the full Fall schedule! 

REGISTER NOW

Confront Your Unconscious Biases to Better Understand Your Decisions and Relationships

November 10, 2020 from 12:00 PM–1:00 PM Eastern

Did you know your brain can process 400 billion bits of information per second? Pretty impressive, right? Our brain’s super-computing powers are essential to making quick decisions for everyday life and general survival, and a majority of that processing happens without us even being aware of it. Welcome to the world of unconscious bias!

On November 10 at 12:00 PM EST MCAA’s WiMI will be sponsoring “Confront Your Unconscious Biases to Better Understand Your Decisions and Relationships.” In this highly engaging workshop, members of MCAA will be challenged to confront their own unconscious biases (don’t worry, we all have them) and understand how those biases impact how humans think, communicate, and act in the workplace. They participate in a series of “Bias Busters” that use multimedia content and experiential exercises to uncover their biases and learn how their brains works. Participants have countless “aha” moments, and they discover how bias impacts all kinds of decisions ranging from who is hired and promoted to who you sit next to in the break room. The program culminates with easy-to-use strategies to mitigate bias and build a positive and inclusive workplace culture.

MCAA MEMBERS LEAVE THIS PROGRAM WITH THE ABILITY TO: 

  • Understand how unconscious bias impacts decision-making and relationship-building          
  • Design decision-making processes that mitigate the impact of unconscious bias
  • Build diverse teams and relationships that reach across lines of difference
Bias busters, unconscious bias hacks, and virtual activities make this an unforgettable and powerful program.