The first annual Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Conference was held on June 24 – 26 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was a huge success with over 160 women leaders from member companies in attendance. Mandi Wilkins, the Executive Vice President of MCA of Las Vegas, exclaimed the conference was “akin to two days of TED talks just for women. A lot of important education and reminders for us busy ladies. I can’t wait until next year’s conference, even though I am not sure how you will top this.”
Attendees were welcomed the first night by WiMI Chair Kori Gormley-Huppert and MCAA President Brian Helm. The opening session featured a captivating presentation by Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.), the first female pilot to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team. She provided a fascinating narrative of exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition. Nicole offered actionable tools and real-world lessons about pursuing her dream and making choices; all while building a family and achieving success in a career where few women had gone before.
Tuesday morning featured Stacey Hanke, author of “Influence Redefined,” who presented a thought-provoking session on her powerful Influence Model, a step-by-step method for improving communication and producing the ideal type of influence—one that moves people to action long after an interaction is over.
Tuesday afternoon, attendees had the choice of various roundtable discussions on topics of particular interest to them. Topics included Work/Life Balance; Working in a Family Owned Business; Technology; Advancing Your Career; Leadership Strategies; Working in a Male Dominated Industry and Benefits of WiMI. The day ended with an enlightening panel discussion on recruiting and retaining women in the mechanical and HVAC industry moderated by Jon Finch, VP of Training at MILWAUKEE TOOL, and a panel of diverse women from the industry.
A special thanks to all our supporters who contributed to the conference, and MCA of Chicago for hosting a special attendee event Tuesday night at Joe’s Live. Attendees took advantage throughout the entire conference networking and making new connections. Marie Patterson, a professor at Chico State University, said WiMI and the conference gives “the opportunity for women to help support each other; and it is important to engage and empower those younger to continue to strive for their goals in the industry.”
Networking expert, J. Kelly Hoey closed out the conference sharing unique opportunities in creating proactive and focused networks, and how to leverage the connections they made during the week after the WiMI Conference.
SAVE THE DATE! The second annual Women in the Mechanical Industry Conference is scheduled for June 15-17, 2020 in Austin, Texas!