Women in HVACR, an organization to further the growth of women in the HVACR industry, had its first full meeting Sept. 15 during the 2004 HVAC Comfortech show. The day-long meeting was full of speakers and topics ranging from women in leadership to earning respect in a male-dominated industry.

The group was founded last year, and has grown to more than 130 members from residential and commercial contracting, manufacturing, supply houses, consulting firms, training institutions, associations and publishing.

This year's meeting featured:

  • A presentation from Mary Garvelink, 2005 PHCC-National Association president, and co-founder and comptroller of Commercial Design Engineering of Colorado Springs, Colo.;

  • An in-depth look at the traits and secrets of successful women leaders by Sharon McGee, president and CEO of R.M. Mechanical of Austin, Texas;

  • Bob Cook, owner and president of Preeminent Technologies and Pre_eminent Business Management Solutions, gave attendees tips on knowing the right questions to ask when interviewing prospective employees, including sample questions;

  • Kathy Crosby, vice president and CFO of Harding Mechanical in Salt Lake City, gave a historical view of earning respect in a male-dominated industry, from Cleopatra to her own experiences in the mechanical contracting industry;

  • How choice plays an important role in shaping women's lives, both personal and professional, from Dottie Grandy; author of "Choose! The Role that Choice Plays in Shaping Women's Lives"; and

  • A panel discussion on women in sales and other roles in the HVAC industry, featuring Kathryn Whitecotton, general manager of Air Treatment Co., Vienna, Va.; Beverly Nenninger, general manager of Air Comfort Service, Hazelwood, Mo.; and Lisa Whitson, a service technician at Al-Don Service, St. Louis, Mo.

    Meetings will be held annually in conjunction with HVAC Comfortech. For more information, contact Adrienne Breedlove at abreedlove@mcaa.org.