ATLANTA - Women in HVACR (WHVACR) held its fifth annual conference in Atlanta. Attendees began conference activities with a networking reception. WHVACR President and Advanced Leadership Institute graduate Karen Riffice of Soderlund Brothers Inc., Oak Lawn, Ill., opened the following day’s events with a report on the association’s activities over the last year. She then introduced Renee Fiorelli, president of Peterson Service Co. Inc. in Medford, N.J., who spoke on “Transitioning from the First Generation.”

The day’s education sessions began with a session led by Kathy McCauley of McCauley Mechanical Construction Inc., Bridgeview, Ill. The session discussed the global, national, and local response to energy and climate issues with a focus on the effect to the building industry, especially the HVAC industry. Nita Brooks, International Service Leadership Inc., offered insights into cross-generational communications during “Overcome the Generational Gaps in Your Workforce.” In addition to pointing out the communication preferences that are typical of each generation, she offered tips for bridging gaps when dealing with those who don’t share your communication preferences.

Nancy Jones of the Associated Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas (APHCC-Texas) shared her journey “From Classroom to Cool” during the luncheon keynote speech. After lunch, during “Lessons in Power Recruiting and Training,” Linda Hannah of New Skill Builders, and Jayne Vellinga of Chicago Women in Trades, showcased their Chicago-based programs that encourage women to explore and ultimately have careers in the trades. Their presentation included a compelling video with interviews with women in a variety of trades.

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Publication date:10/20/2008