Meet all of the 2022 Top Women in HVAC

Tina Richardson

Title: Service Manager
Company: Gleason Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, Wauconda, IL.
Educational Experience: North Eastern Illinois University
Industry Work Experience: Customer service, dispatch, installation department backup, accounting manager, service manager

What caused you to/when did you to enter the HVACR industry?

I entered the industry in 1988 as a customer service representative. When I started, I thought of it as a stepping stone but found a lot of opportunities and enjoyed the business.


What has been the most rewarding aspect of working in HVACR?

There is always an opportunity to learn and a challenge to overcome.


Describe the proudest moment in your career.

I would have to say it has been a sequence of moments that started two years ago. I have been a part of exciting change as the company grows. The increased training and skill levels as well as a desire to perfect our customer experience has been very rewarding.


What challenges do women face in this profession? Can you give a personal example?

Unfortunately, gender bias is still a challenge. There are men and women who don’t feel as confident with a woman in a technical trade. This can make effectively helping a customer difficult.


How can we increase the number of women in HVACR?

Having programs in high school that allow for exposure to HVACR. HVACR as an industry needs to market the trade to a larger audience with the benefits of the trade. This includes is being one of the trades that is always needed.


What does your day-to-day job entail?

Work with our dispatch team to ensure proper tech skill and revenue opportunities. Discuss any daily goals with our customer service team. Monitor technicians schedule and opportunities. Assist technicians as needed. Daily statistics to keep our goals on track. Answer questions and problem solve.


What remains on your HVACR bucket list — what do you aspire to do that you haven’t accomplished yet?

I’d like to be a part of the company reaching our $20 million/year goal. I also have the goal of training our staff to be self-sufficient enough that the wheel is always turning efficiently.


What advice do you have for females who are considering entering the HVACR field?

The HVACR industry has a lot of opportunities: administrative, sales, engineering, as well as the field positions for equipment installation and service with specialties in residential and commercial applications. Because HVACR is still a male-dominated industry, a strong work ethic is essential, as well as attention to detail, especially when dealing with technicians. If you are interested in a field position, the leads are much more apt to mentor someone who works hard and wants to learn the trade as a career and not just a job. Most important is show up every day, have a smile on your face, and you’ll be part of the team in no time.