Meet all of the 2022 Top Women in HVAC

Breanne Flacks

Title: eCommerce Specialist
Company: Johnstone Supply
Educational Experience: Ithaca College – Roy H Park School of Communications
Industry Work Experience: I’ve worked at Johnstone Supply since 2016, initially in inside sales. I later transitioned to eCommerce & Program Solutions, where I continue to help customers build quotes.

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

I started at Johnstone Supply in 2016, working in inside sales and eventually finding my way to the e-commerce department a year later. Relating and talking with employees and customers is my bread and butter.

My passion stems from helping people understand the tools to be successful in their career and their day-to-day life — whether that’s working in the field or trying to run a successful business.


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

Knowing that I am helping our contractors succeed in their business. Awareness is half the battle, and being a part of that “a-ha” moment makes it all worth it. Over the years, I’ve learned to speak HVAC, and it’s helped me to connect with customers.


Describe the proudest moment in your career.

Business-wise: Seeing our online sales eclipse inside sales was phenomenal. In the five years I’ve worked in e-commerce, our online revenue has grown over 300% and over 140% in tickets written. It’s a collective effort on behalf of the whole company, and it starts with awareness and education.

Personal proudest moment: Being able to change the expectation of what it means to be a woman in HVAC, as well as a woman in technology, and what technology means in HVAC.


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

Luckily, the challenges I face are not from my own team at Johnstone, but more so in my interactions with customers. When I wear my Johnstone shirt out in public, I’ve been asked what my husband does at the supply house. While most of our customers are tremendous, I have been called “darling/babe/honey/that girl in the office.” I see it as a challenge. I am determined the next time that customer calls in, they will know my name.


How can we increase the number of women in HVACR?

HVAC is a multifaceted industry. It’s about bringing recognition to the different roles.

A woman out in the field working in an attic is awesome, but there are many career opportunities: manufacturing, distributing, selling, shipping, billing, driving, procuring, training … it’s incredible.


What does your day-to-day job entail?

When I am not meeting with customers and employees for training and education, I’m working with our marketing and IT departments to continuously improve our online experience.


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

Landing on this list definitely crosses one item off the list. My next goal is to learn more about web development. Being able to translate how our customers shop on our different digital experiences is next. Helping carve out the next step in the evolution of e-commerce is exciting. Our future holds no bounds.


What you are skilled in can be applied to different aspects within the HVAC industry.

HVAC is a mainstay. When the pandemic hit, a lot of industries were decimated. HVAC is in everything we do. From the motor that runs the chiller unit for a hospital to the coolers in supermarkets keeping food cold and fresh, HVAC is everywhere. Especially with the challenges in the labor market, opportunity is greater than ever.