Celebrating #WomenAtAVDG for Women’s History Month

on 03.10.22

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March is Women’s History Month, and we are honoring the incredible #WomenAtAVDG for all their contributions to AVDG and our industry.

Women have played a vital role in our industry, and our team members at AVDG are no exception. We are incredibly thankful for, and proud of, the achievements, persistence, leadership, and strength of these amazing women, who make history in their own ways every day. Throughout the month of March, we will be highlighting several #WomenAtAVDG who shared with us their aspirations, viewpoints, and advice for other women who are entering the AV industry. Please help us in congratulating and thanking these team members for being an inspiration to all of us!

Christina Menchaca, Project Manager

Christina Menchaca is a talented Project Manager on our Operations team. As Project Manager, Christina works closely with customers to answer their questions about our shading systems, provide expertise, and guide them through the stages of their projects.

In the technology landscape, Christina sees much bigger potential for motorized shades. Because of their simple automation and the constant improvement of features like battery life, she predicts automated window treatments will become more of a norm for everyone in the years ahead.

As for the importance of #WomenInTech, Christina says, “I’ve always been surprised there are not more women in window treatments, but there will be over time. As for AV, there’s plenty more room for growth, training, and upward mobility for women – me included. It’s a bit harder to find women in your exact role or where you want to be, and then of course, everyone comes from a different place with different goals.”

For women who are considering a career in the AV industry, Christina says “Go for it! You will be valued. When I started in window treatments 6 years ago, I thought I would learn more about AV in general. I have learned a good amount, but I have focused on AV mostly as it applies to automated window treatments. There’s much more detail in the variety of integration and AV projects that we do and more women are needed out there.”

AVDG team member Doug Cohn singled out Christina as someone who deserves recognition for her hard work: “Christina is analytical, organized, and has an excellent work ethic,” he said. “She has been in the PM role for less than a year, hit the ground running, and has been exceptional! I believe she deserves recognition for her accomplishments.”

Outside of work, Christina has a desire to travel the world and achieve the perfect work-life balance. She enjoys figuring out what makes people tick and loves spending time with family and friends.

Michelle Flores, Scheduling Manager

Michelle Flores is a skilled Scheduling Manager on our Operations team. As a Scheduling Manager, Michelle plays a critical role in managing timelines and schedules across AVDG, and her work has an impact on nearly all other teams.

Michelle says that technology has played a significant role in her career and home life, especially during the global health crisis. Improved audio-visual technology “has allowed each of us to continue working and stay connected even through a pandemic,” she says.

AVDG team member Frederick Belmore is quick to offer praise for Michelle: “While I respect and applaud all the women in our organization for their hard work, I especially would like to spotlight Michelle Flores,” Frederick said. “She is a dedicated, extremely hardworking, diligent rockstar. Most of us are replaceable. Michelle is not. She’s the rock of our office.”

Michelle believes strongly in the power of respect, honesty, and communication, both at work and at home. And, she says her family is a constant source of inspiration.

Morgan Martins, Finish Technician

Morgan Martins is a talented Finish Technician on our Operations team. As a Finish Technician, Morgan says that technology plays a major role in virtually every aspect of her work: “Every day, I get to see and work on TVs, speakers, keypads, shades … the list almost seems endless!”

Morgan is proud of the success she’s had in the AV industry, “especially in a career that is male dominated,” she says. “Often, when I first started, being the only woman on job sites would make me a bit anxious, but now I’ve learned to adapt and do my job just like anyone else out in the field. I’m proud that I can step into a job site and understand the work that needs to get done and how we need to get there. I enjoy the feeling of watching my hard work and time pay off as time progresses. I work hard so I can set myself up for a good life and career.”

For women entering the tech field, Morgan encourages them to “Keep at it … Always approach work with a good attitude and don’t let others intimidate or try to tell you this isn’t for you.”

Outside of work, Morgan enjoys hiking, reading, and going out with friends.

Eleanor Lawson, Project Engineer

Eleanor Lawson is one of our skilled Project Engineers. Eleanor loves the work she does every day and is passionate about “getting stuff done.” She is a talented problem solver who is well-versed in technology, which she says has an outsized impact on her life. “I’m among the first generation of millennials to grow up a digital native, so tech is everything. “

To other women entering the tech industry and pursuing a career in engineering, Eleanor says the key is to keep growing and learning more: “If you can close projects and always pursue new tech learning opportunities, you’ll do well.”

Kerry Blessing, Purchasing Specialist

As a Purchasing Specialist, Kerry Blessing helps oversee the acquisition of our technology products, working closely with AVDG’s Account Managers, Projects Managers, and Engineers.

Kerry has spent 43 years in the high-end audio, video, and integration business, and she was previously the owner of three retail stores specializing in high-end AV solutions. “I love just about everything about the business and the technology we represent,” she says.

When Kerry first started her AV career, she says there were very few other women in the industry. But she didn’t let this stand in her way toward success. “My coworkers were all men,” she says. “As I advanced to management then ownership, I was still a rare beast. But I met the challenges and held my head high, and earned the respect of my colleagues.”

For other women considering a career in AV or technology, Kerry says “Go for it!”

“My love of music, movies, and technology has made my work life more like play!” she says. “I have had a spectacular career and right now my job is to be of service to my team, and I work on that each day.”

Keji Han, Data Analyst

Keji Han is a skilled Data Analyst on our IT team. As a Data Analyst, Keji creates ad-hoc analyses, reports, and visualizations to support operations across AVDG.

Keji is passionate about learning new things, both for work and leisure. This includes everything from new software to books and even learning new musical instruments. Each new learning opportunity is “like a gift,” she says, “not only growing my knowledge, but helping me meet new people and develop a deeper understanding.”

Keji loves the sense of responsibility in her work, the pride in supporting her team members, and the ambition she has to prove herself. As for other women who are entering the technology industry, Keji’s advice is to keep doing what you love. “Never let your passion go,” she says.

Mary Bujnowski, Administrative Assistant

As Administrative Assistant, Mary Bujnowski is the friendly and knowledgeable point-person who greets visitors at our Nashua office, directs callers to the right teams, and manages a wide range of other tasks to support our operations – all with a smile and a great attitude.

Christin Jenkins Barnett

Christin Jenkins Barnett is a hardworking Accounting Associate on our Finance team. As an Accounting Associate, Christin supports our payables department, making sure invoices are entered and paid in a timely manner.

Christin takes pride in her work, and her dedication to her job is the perfect embodiment of AVDG’s motto “exceptional by design.” “I am self-driven to do the best job possible,” she says. Within the technology industry, she sees endless potential for new products, as well as opportunities for women who are considering a career in the field. “The possibilities are limitless,” she says.

Outside of work, Cristin’s passions are her faith, family, and friends.

Emily Tomlinson, Accounting Manager

Emily Tomlinson is our versatile Accounting Manager on the Finance team. As Accounting Manager, Emily has played an important role in AVDG’s expansion across the U.S., helping to transition new business acquisitions into the AVDG family.

Emily’s contributions are pivotal to helping our regional divisions unite as “one AVDG” with consistent operating standards and processes across the organization. She strongly believes in the importance of sharing “knowledge and expertise that will help us grow.”

Emily also loves to see the success and growth of other women at AVDG. “I’m proud to see the accomplishments that the women at AVDG have made,” she says.

When she’s not at work or mastering an Excel sheet, Emily enjoys spending her time reading, painting, and playing with her son.

Brittney Harding, HR Operations Manager

Brittney Harding is our talented HR Operations Manager. As part of our Human Resources team, Brittney says that one of her favorite parts of her job is welcoming new employees into the AVDG family. “Speaking with them on day one then watching their journey throughout their tenure at AVDG is very rewarding for me,” she says.

Outside of work, Brittney has a passion for dance, which she’s been practicing “since I could walk,” and she even met her husband as dance partners in a show. She also sees a unique parallel between her dancing and her profession. “I attribute much of my work ethic from my passion in dance,” she says. “Through years of being expected to pick up choreography quickly and break down the process of movement through the body, I can apply those skills here at AVDG. I just love process and helping others learn and understand the process flow.”

To other women pursuing a career the AV industry, Brittney says, “You just have to go for it! It’s no secret that the AV industry is a male-dominated one. But gender doesn’t define what you can or should do. If you want it, go get it!”

Above all else, Brittney says, “I am a mother. My son Brayden is my everything and I love watching the world through his eyes.”

Genesis Alegria, Head of Marketing

As our Head of Marketing, Genesis Alegria plays a key role in helping the organization demonstrate how we can empower people across the globe to connect and improve their day-to-day lives through technology. She is passionate about “making an impact, helping people rediscover what is possible, whether that is professionally or personally.” Genesis likes to “challenge the status quo and find new ways to grow the business so that all of AVDG can continue to grow,” she says.

As for the powerful role that technology plays in our lives, Genesis says it is the foundation of our future: “Through technology we allow teams across the globe to connect and families to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.”

At work, Genesis loves being able to bring different perspectives, contributions, and goals that are recognized and respected. “As a minority, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a seat in a male-dominant industry,” she says. “It can be intimidating but when you center your philosophies and solutions from data and facts, you feel more comfortable sharing a different take.”

The opportunities within the AV industry are limitless, Genesis says, and she hopes to see more women join: “The AV industry has so many avenues that you can take to build your career. At AVDG, we are just getting started.”

Frankie Soares, Warehouse Manager

As our West Coast Warehouse Manager, Frankie Soares plays a vital role in managing our inventory and logistics operations. She values her partnerships with her teams, both in the field and across the company, and she lives by the motto “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.”

“Helping others is a big part of why I’m passionate about what I do,” Frankie says. “I’ve always been a go-getter and enjoy collaborating with others to solve problems.”

Frankie strongly believes in the “power of integrated spaces,” and she sees first-hand how technology has made the world more accessible. But she says there is still plenty more potential for the AV industry and for AVDG: “I hope to see this industry move upwards and outwards in the way we serve the teams and customers in our respective regions and internationally.”

Frankie says she understands the challenges of “being a woman in a male-dominated space,” particularly when setting boundaries around processes and holding others accountable to the rules. But, she says, “In spite of that, I have made myself a pillar of knowledge” and she knows the importance of advocating for herself.

To other women considering a career in AV or technology, she says: “Just go for it! The leap can be scary, but if you know what you’re capable of, others will see it too! If you’re looking for stability, growth, and a great industry to be a part of, AV is it!”

Outside of work, Frankie loves reading, writing short stories and poetry, and staying active in the outdoors.

Jennette Kollmann, Lighting Designer

Jennette Kollmann is a talented Lighting Designer on our Engineering team. As Lighting Designer, Jennette has helped to increase the amount of lighting designs that are produced in house at AVDG, while also increasing lighting fixture sales.

Jennette says she loves working with passionate clients and one of her favorite parts of her job is seeing the overall final picture of each project. As technology evolves, she understands the importance of staying on top of the newest trends and advancements in the industry. “Technology plays a large role in how I design,” she says. “I have to always be learning new products and how it will affect my designs moving forward.”

“As a woman in this industry, I strive to be at the forefront of my role,” Jennette says. “I make sure that I can be that subject matter expert and provide excellent client experience.”

Jennette’s advice to other women entering the AV field is to “Strive to take as much information in and always expect to be learning. Lean on other women to ask for help when you can’t find the answer.”

In her free time, Jennette enjoys volunteering her lighting design talents for the theater and serving as Team Manager for her child’s STEM teams.