“Annmarie’s Breaking Ground Podcast” shares interviews with industry leading executives, CEO’s, and product innovators to discuss topics from Engineering to Operations and everything in between. This is your go-to podcast for best practices and industry trends on new products, services and facility operations.
Annmarie Bhola is the owner of Enhanced Building Solutions, a company that's committed to transforming the culture in the building industry through training and development.
018 - How the Global Influenza of 1918 Impacted Heating and Ventilation
This podcast raises an awareness: If new building codes pertaining to HVAC are mandated after COVID-19, there will be a ripple effect in the industry. They will affect HVAC design, equipment installation, energy efficiency, and local laws. Use this down time to recreate yourself and learn something new, use the online resources that didn't exist in 1918.
017 Sista in the Brotherhood
Meet Dawn Jones Redstone. Dawn worked as a union carpenter before teaching at Oregon Tradeswomen, a non-profit that helps women access living wage careers in construction. During the sixteen years she spent in these positions, she was also making films and is now a full-time filmmaker.
Dawn made a short film called Sista in the Brotherhood, which involves a female African American apprentice carpenter who experiences discrimination on the job site and has to choose between making a stand and keeping her job. After winning multiple awards during its festival run, the construction industry began using it as a training tool. Dawn explains why using her film for this purpose is quite different compared to other training methods. I think that the film does a fantastic job at depicting what actually does exist in the construction industry.
Currently doing research in pursuit of making a feature-length film, Dawn had the chance to talk to a woman whose job it is to ensure that her company is meeting its workforce diversity requirements. This particular woman had great success in doing so, and Dawn tells us how she was able to achieve this with a focus on her hiring practices.
When we hear about diversity quotas, men sometimes get upset and think “just because she’s a girl, that’s the only reason she’s getting hired.” It bothers me to hear people say that. When women get into these positions, they do have a level of responsibility. I love when women utilize their opportunities to make a great change, which the woman Dawn talks about is doing.
Dawn tells us about how the process of making her feature-length film is going and provides a timeline for when she hopes to have the final script finished. We learn more about how the film is being used to train people, as Dawn mentions that even the United States Department of Labor has recently picked it up. Dawn and I discuss some more about why conveying this message in a film makes for a more impactful experience.
Be sure to visit her website Sista in the Brotherhood: http://www.sistainthebrotherhood.com/
016 Diversity and Inclusion
Meet Nancy Novak, she is the Senior Vice President of Construction at Compass Datacenters and has been working in construction for many years, you can see her bio here. I first discovered Nancy through a LinkedIn post she shared back in February this year. I checked out her profile, immediately recognized our similar interests, and did what most people on LinkedIn do; I requested to connect and messaged her to be on the show. After many attempts to sync our calendars, we were finally able to connect and on April 22nd, we made it happen. Below is just a glimpse of our insightful conversation.
Nancy cites that there is so much opportunity in the industry, yet few people know about it. She likes teaching children about this from a very young age and emphasized the lack of construction visibility at most school career days and the importance of educating teachers about the industry as well. I briefly shared Mike Rowe’s worse advice he got from his guidance counsellor, when he was in high school, back in 1977.
According to Nancy, there is currently a perfect storm of supply and demand when it comes to construction jobs. She explains why this has caused ideal conditions for driving towards more inclusion in the field. She discusses the fact that construction jobs are never thought of as STEM jobs because people don’t realize how fascinating the industry truly is and how construction allows for learning in so many different areas with the variety of skill levels involved.
After most of Nancy’s speeches given throughout the country she is very optimistic when men come up to her to ask how they can help females. Nancy gives her thoughts on the way that men and women view competition between each other and talks about the reasons that each gender stays in their positions. It’s a systemic problem, it's how we were raised. There’s much training that must be provided to both women and men on diversity and inclusion.
When we modify the testing so it is done in a way that focuses on attributes instead of giving a simple yes-or-no answer, we understand a person’s strength and it’s the only way to foster better leaders. About three quarters of finding success in diversity, stems from just having the desire to be in the field. Nancy says that when top management makes their company policies, they should be created in a neutral way and normalizing new actions will make them actually happen.
015 Can Stakeholder Engagement Enable Cities to Meet their Energy Transformation Goals?
While facing growing, life-threatening risks from climate change, city leaders across the US have pledged to completely transform their cities to meet clean energy goals within 30 years or less. Many believe that turning these promises into a reality will never happen on this aggressive timeline.
H.G Chissell is the Founder and CEO of Advanced Energy Group, a quarterly stakeholder engagement platform focused on collaborative leadership operating in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. In this podcast, I discuss with H.G. Chissell the different approach Advanced Energy Group takes to help cities and their communities achieve the seemingly impossible. You can listen to our interview directly on the web by clicking on the player above or listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play.
To request an invitation to participate in these stakeholder meetings, please visit the calendar section of the Advanced Energy Group website where you can also see the impressive list supporting companies and organizations as well as a wealth of information on what each city is doing quarter after quarter on the road to 2050.
014 SS El Faro A Tribute to the Unsung Heroes
On October 1st 2015 Hurricane Joaquin took down the SS El Faro cargo ship along with the lives of 33 people. This tragic event ranks as one of the worst Maritime disasters in the United States history.
Sophia Meyer, a 16-year-old Thornton Academy student from Maine became interested in the El Faro after reading an article about a year ago. She wanted to learn more and decided to research the El Faro for the 2019 History Day Contest. In her research she found out there was an additional ship the SS Matsonia. Liz Gotthelf wrote an article posted by the Journal Tribune on February 18th 2019 highlighting Sophia’s research. I was impressed by this 16 year Old’s desire to learn about the Maritime industry and I wanted to get an interview with her. Only days after Liz Gotthelf’s article was posted about Sophia’s research, the Matsonia was discovered to have a crack in it’s hull. On February 28th, 2019 I was lucky enough to get Sophia on the phone and had the following interview.
013 How Men Will Stay Significant with Robots and AI
A little bit about Geir Isene, he is a nerd from Norway. Yes I said that! He loves mathematics, astronomy, astrophysics, particle physics, chemistry, hardware and software. He is the most diverse person I’ve had on my podcasts to date.
What’s most awesome is that he helps people, he is a coach and mentor who inspires others to reach their goals and potentials. If you would like to learn more about him, you can visit his website. https://isene.org
Geir held a workshop at the annual WISTA conference (WISTA being the “Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association”) and after leaving Tromsø he launched the podcast: Women will be last to be replaced by robots and AI - that title intrigued me to listen to his episode and after I asked him to be on my show. Since the points he made concentrated on men, I asked, So how will men stay significant? Listen to the episode to hear what was said.
The music on this podcast “Clouds” was produced by Geir Isene.
It's time to start talking about the industry, this is a great start.