As your brother, former Duro Dyne CEO and Chairman Randy Hinden, readied his path to retirement over the last two years, you took on a more active role in the company. Now as Duro Dyne Corporation’s chairwoman, what priorities are on your agenda to further the company’s development?

For the past 20 years, I have served on Duro Dyne Corporation’s Board. In addition, for nearly a decade, I have been actively involved in the preparation, approval, execution and evaluation of Duro Dyne’s budget. In June 2019, Randy resigned as chairman, and I was elected chairwoman. My priorities are to improve communications and encourage more involvement at all levels, including the Board of Directors, management and all of our employees.

It sounds like an all-hands-on-deck strategy to improve Duro Dyne’s operations from the manufacturing floor to the front office. 

Ultimately, this will facilitate our ability to continue to provide exceptional customer service. In today’s changing world, and, with the increasing dependence on technology, I want to foster the vision that Duro Dyne will stay ahead of the curve and maximize the opportunities available to us for our future growth. We will meet the needs of our customers in the most expedient and efficient manner by purchasing state-of-the-art manufacturing machinery, continuing to improve the industry with the vigilance of our R&D, while expanding and improving our product line. 

Although you weren’t always as heavily involved with the company as you are now, Duro Dyne’s development as a company was a large part of your upbringing. What was it like seeing the family business grow to the corporation that it is today?

Duro Dyne has always been a part of my life. I was born in 1953, one year after my father, Milton, founded Duro Dyne. In the ’60s, I spent my summers working at Duro Dyne taking phone orders, with pen in hand, and working in the “Literature Room.” My daughters carried on this tradition by assisting with taking annual inventory at various times and interning in different departments over the years. Following my father’s passing in 2000, I have been involved in quarterly board meetings with my three siblings. For 37 years, Randy has been actively involved in the business and has served as CEO since 2007. 

Some companies in the HVAC industry are just now adding more women to their rosters. However, women have always played a crucial role in Duro Dyne’s development as a company. Was this by design?

We have been in business for over 68 years. My father felt strongly about involving women in the business and instilled this in Duro Dyne’s culture from the beginning. My father’s first and only administrative assistant was a woman, and she was integrally involved in all facets of the business. Eventually, she was promoted to vice president.

Our current and only woman vice president started working (at the company) on a bench assembling and packaging hardware. She is now involved in corporate wide inventory management and procurement and serves as an advisor to the Board. Currently, each co-president is directly supported by high-level women who are directors, including the national sales support manager and corporate pricing/special project coordinator. The company is also owned by a majority of women and has had many women in leadership roles, both past and present. Duro Dyne will continue to build on its history going forward. 

What do you think makes Duro Dyne a great place for both genders to work?

Duro Dyne prides itself on being inclusive and has always hired the most qualified employees for the job. Applicants are hired based on their credentials using non-discriminatory practices. Both male and female employees thrive at Duro Dyne and I think that you will find that our employees across the board agree that Duro Dyne is a great place to work.  

As you continue to get comfortable in your new role as chairwoman, what advice would you give to women across the country who are doing the same? 

I would empower another woman to recognize that it is her birthright to have personal goals and aspirations. She has the right to pursue those aspirations and do everything in her power to achieve them. I would work to boost her self-esteem, encourage her to keep a positive attitude, recognize her potential and not let any male, be it in business or in her personal life, try to squash her desires.

This story originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of SNIPS magazine.