COMPANY: Forrest Anderson Plumbing and A/C, Glendale, Arizona
How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?
AM: I’ve been in the PHCP-PVF industry my entire life. Forrest Anderson Plumbing and A/C was founded by my grandfather in 1961. It’s been a family-owned company since its start, getting passed down to my father, Don Hensley, and eventually, to me. I grew up in this industry and I was just a little kid when I began helping around the office with small tasks like filing papers and taking out the trash. When I was 16 years old, I got to ride along with our technicians and learn what they do. I’ve been working in this industry ever since.
What drew you into the industry?
AM: Forrest Anderson Plumbing and A/C has been in my family for more than 60 years. I grew up in this industry and have been working for this company for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching my grandfather run and operate this organization then watching my dad do the same. Three generations later, I’m just proud to keep my grandfather’s legacy and core beliefs alive.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?
AM: At Forrest Anderson, we are passionate about bringing comfort to people’s homes and working spaces with exceptional customer service. We have been in business for decades, but we don’t rest on our success. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the way we care for our customers and our employees. Seeing how we can find new ways to take care of our customers and the impact that our services have is most rewarding.
We’re based in Glendale, Arizona, at the heart of the Phoenix Metro area. The weather here is intense and excruciating in the summer. Working in the summer heat, usually in extremely hot areas like an attic or roof, it’s important for our technicians to stay cool and safe. We take pride in the procedures we have in place that keep our technicians safe while working efficiently and providing great service. It’s rewarding to know that our staff is safe while they go out and do their excellent work.
What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?
AM: It’s no secret that this industry attracts mostly male workers, but anyone can be successful in this field. It can be intimating for a young woman who wants to go into our line of work, and I want everyone to understand that this business is great, rewarding and has opportunities for everyone — sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find the right team environment. I spend a lot of time working with my team to break down barriers and create opportunities for young women who are considering career options in this field.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
AM: The proudest moment in my career is just keeping my grandfather’s legacy alive and staying true to the core values he set back in 1961: Treat our customers right, treat our employees right, do our best work every time and always do the right thing.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
AM: Most people probably don’t know that my family and I love the outdoors. An ideal weekend for me and my family would be to go out into the mountains, hunt and camp. I also enjoy going out to the shooting range and having a day out hitting targets. I think it’s the best stress reliever.
Why she was chosen as a Next Gen All Star Top 20 Under 40 winner:
“Audrey has been instrumental in helping her family’s 60-year-old business embrace new ideas and go on to reach record-breaking revenues and improved business performance, all while keeping her grandfather’s values at the core of the company.
“With the additional pressure of upholding a family legacy and leading in a male-dominated industry, Audrey is up for the task! She is continuously breaking down stereotypes and creating opportunities for others to be empowered in their career. When Audrey first took over the business, an employee quit saying he would never work for a woman. Although Audrey was hurt, she used the moment to define a clear goal: Cultivate a welcoming and open work culture at Forrest Anderson for everyone and break glass ceilings within the industry.
“Audrey knows how important it is to open career opportunities for women in industries where they are underrepresented. She currently serves on the board of directors for Metro Phoenix PHCC, dedicated to the advancement and education of the plumbing and HVACR industry for the health, safety and comfort of society and the protection of the environment. Through this role, Audrey implemented the first 'Metro Phoenix PHCC Woman of the Year Award' during their annual banquet. She educates and advises other women on the benefits of a career in the skilled trades. Previously, she organized a team of women volunteers to host an inaugural ‘Women in Industry Workshop’ to encourage young women to consider career options in specialty trades. The workshop promoted discussion about training and career opportunities, overcoming challenges in male-dominated workplaces and hands-on instruction for basic plumbing repairs,” says Tristan Chavez.
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