ACI Austin: For The Love of an Industry
Posted by Amy Beley on April 14, 2016
"What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what you read, whom you know. What breaks your heart, and amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love. Stay in love. It will decide everything.” Pedro Arupe
Recently, at the ACI national conference, I was reminded of this in so many ways. Along with a dear friend and colleague Bethany Profaizer (Director of Client Solutions at Energy Circle), I arranged for a women’s house. It was quite possibly the most powerful element of my experience at ACI, which is saying a lot given how many amazing things happened this year. I knew some of the women in my house, and others I met for the first time. There was something special about this group of women. We all craved the same thing: community. Over the course of 4 days, we became like family. We listened to each other’s frustrations and accolades, gave hugs when the weight got to be too much to carry alone, barged into each other’s rooms, borrowed items of clothing, shared life stories, looked out for each other, and, most importantly, removed many layers of armor that each of us have put on over the years. I’ve been going to ACI for 7-8 years, and I’ve never had this moment before. It was a moment with conference attendees, where I was allowed—or rather, I allowed myself—to just be. I am on the board of directors of two organizations in our industry, I am viewed as a leader in many respects, and I had a lot of clients and potential clients in Austin. But with these women, in this house, I was just Amy. I got to disrobe all those roles, and strip down to the quintessential Amy. That is both a foreign and wildly familiar experience. Last week, I fell in love all over again with this industry and specifically the women sharing my house, and felt love and respect for each and every person who dedicated their time to furthering the cause.
There were some other amazing elements of ACI Austin. The Women in Home Performance Reception was a huge success, in no small part to the sponsorship of Energy Circle, Ivy Tools, Home Performance Coalition, Renew Financial, and Tierra Resource Consultants. We had well over 100 people attend, and given the competition for Monday night, that was a big success! It was wonderful to have my parents there in support of me and this initiative, and to have so many of you show up in support of diversifying our industry. I also sat through several insightful sessions—a rare thing for me, since I’m so often presenting or preparing to present. There were some great discussions amongst contractors, between contractors and programs, and overall a buzz about what might be with home performance. It feels in some respects that we are finding our stride, and moving forward. The sense of forward movement was so inspiring!
Just as people choose new jobs and leave managers, people stumble into industries and either leave because of the people, or stay because of the relationships and communities they build. The home performance industry is teeming with incredibly passionate, motivated, ridiculously smart people who want to change the world in their own way. How lucky we are! I thank those of you who attended this year, and for those who didn’t, I genuinely hope to see you in Nashville in 2017.
One last note, to the Women of Home Performance: Thank you. You made the week truly transformative, and despite the very few hours of sleep I managed to get, I left each conversation with tremendous energy and drive to help you succeed. I am honored to call you colleagues, and friends. I love you all, and can’t wait to see what’s next.
I am excited for the year ahead for our industry, and can’t wait to see what in store. And, without question, stay tuned for more from Women in Home Performance. It’s here to stay. This industry has my heart.
What inspired you this year at ACI? What are you in love with?
Amy Beley is an independent consultant and yoga teacher based in San Francisco, CA. She sits on the Boards of Efficiency First and the Home Performance Coalition. You can contact her at email@example.com.
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