More than 10 years ago, Jessica VanHuss was encouraged to apply for a purchasing assistant opening at Century A/C. A decade later, she’s still with the company and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
“Century is an amazing company,” she said. “The leaders at Century have allowed me to grow personally and professionally.”
VanHuss started with the company at 25 as a purchasing manager. Two years later, she was promoted to inventory manager, where she managed purchasing for Century A/C Supply and its sister company, Air Management Supply.
“I enjoy traveling to all of our branches and spending time with the branch personnel,” said VanHuss, 30. “I’m constantly learning and enjoy spending time in the warehouse or training branch personnel on our operating system.”
The people working within distribution make it a valuable industry to be a part of, she said.
“One of the greatest things I get to witness is when customers walk into a branch and our branch teams know them by name,” she said. “We build relationships in this industry.”
VanHuss, who has a bacherlor’s degree in marketing from the University of Houston, aspires to continue to climb the ladder at Century A/C Supply.
“Ultimately, I would like to become the purchasing department vice president and join the executive board team,” she said. “I would like to be able to help steer the company in the future.”
Her advice to those just breaking into the industry: Don’t ever stop learning or improving yourself.
“Take as much training as possible and seek out others in the industry as mentors,” she said. “Stay alert to new industry changes and be prepared to adapt when necessary.”
The HVAC industry isn’t going away anytime soon, and VanHuss said she’s proud to play a part in such a vital industry.
“HVAC is a necessity in today’s world,” she said. “The products are always changing and the technology is getting really advanced, which makes it very interesting.”
VanHuss’s inquisitive attitude has helped her advance in her professional career.
“I worked very hard and let my work speak for itself,” she said. “Also, I’m not afraid to ask for help or advice. I believe I’m thorough and detailed, but if I don’t understand something, I’m not afraid to seek out my peers and ask them for help.”
HVAC is an honorable profession, and this is a message the industry must continue to broadcast.
“There has been a push to show the younger generations that it is respectable to have a technical career and there are many concerns about how to help bring a younger generation into the industry,” she said. “While the law changes in refrigerant and efficiency are difficult to deal with, the shrinking, aging workforce is the biggest struggle we are facing today.”
VanHuss, who boasts an Effective Inventory Management Certificate and is a Blue Hawk Product Committee member, enjoys hunting, fishing, scrapbooking, reading, playing with her kids and dogs, and cooking when she’s not on the clock.
Publication date: 01/23/19