By Cindy Sheridan
Life throws you curveballs. Six months ago, I was planning my retirement … travel, more time with family, and a chance to explore more of the amazing opportunities near my home in the Washington, D.C. area. It would take something really special to derail those plans … and that’s exactly what happened in late January when I was asked to serve as the chief executive officer of PHCC.
Like a prepared Scout, I knew exactly what to do when the unexpected happened. I knew that I shared the same passion as the people of PHCC – from the staff at our National headquarters, to our volunteer leaders, to our thousands of contractor members – and that is to advance our beloved plumbing and HVAC industry and educate its workers.
From my 22 years of involvement in PHCC – first as vice president of membership and chapter relations and most recently as chief operating officer of PHCC’s Educational Foundation – I knew that I had the experience, familiarity, emotional intelligence, and commitment to make a positive impact on PHCC and help it meet its strategic goals.
I also knew that we had an incredibly solid base of relevant member resources, valuable networking opportunities, and respected relationships with legislators and regulators.
And I knew that I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity to build on that strong foundation … to increase collaboration among all levels of our association and with our industry partners, to improve teamwork among our National staff and chapters, and to grow the association … not just through recruitment and retention numbers but through increased engagement among the members we have now.
Building on Our Foundation
Thankfully, I know that PHCC doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. We have established a reputation for quality, and we are well respected.
Our goal now needs to be to raise awareness of PHCC within the industry and among those making decisions that impact our member contractors. As an example, Chuck White participated in three different panel discussions at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, in February. As a voice for the value that skilled workers bring to the table as the country seeks to increase the energy efficiency of installed HVAC and water heating systems, Chuck continues to be a valuable advocate for our members and an incredible representative for our association.
As many of you know, my personal passion is workforce development, and – again – I look forward to helping PHCC build on our workforce training and resources. I encourage you to get more people involved in some of our specialized opportunities. For example, Quality Service Contractors (QSC) has really ramped up its training and coaching for our service and repair contractors. PHCC’s Construction Contractors’ Alliance (CCA) explored the latest new construction trends during its 25th anniversary meeting in February. And, UAC had a highly successful Collective Bargaining Seminar in January for our union-affiliated contractors. The event was an example of collaboration at its best – with PHCC’s UAC, PHCC of Illinois, and the PCA of Greater Chicago (plus generous sponsors Milwaukee Tool and Bradford White) working together to offer the first UAC in-person meeting since 2019. UAC plans to continue this series of seminars moving forward; I hope you’ll consider joining them!
Of course, we can’t talk about building on our foundation without considering the future. We’ve made great strides both at the state and National level this past year at providing more opportunities for our rising leaders. I encourage you to get the rock stars (or potential rock stars!) in your company more involved in PHCC.
Take them to a chapter meeting so they can hear about the issues facing other contractors and get more involved in promoting the value of p-h-c careers. (Let’s face it, they’re our industry’s best recruiting tool!) Bring them to the PHCC Legislative Conference in May so they can share in the accountability we have for protecting the skilled trades. Sign them up for the Rising Leaders Summit at PHCCCONNECT2023 in Cleveland, Ohio, in October so that they can network with others at their level from around the country, learn best practices, and become inspired to be the next great leader in your community and in the industry!
As you can tell, your passion for the future of this profession has become my passion. That’s why I’m so committed to this association 22 years later … and counting! Together, let’s ensure our beloved industry is in good hands for generations to come.
Cindy Sheridan, CAE is Chief Executive Officer of PHCC—National Association. With decades of association management experience – most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of the PHCC Educational Foundation – Sheridan and her team work to ensure that PHCC contractors are the best choice for professionalism, reliable products, and knowledgeable service.