This year’s Dallas SWE holiday party was hosted by Lennox International at their newly renovated Product Development & Research facility in Carrollton. Guests started out making Christmas ornaments and interacting with each other, enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages. A formal welcome was issued by Manny Molera and Amanda Gibbins, with thanks to Dallas SWE for our successful relationship support5ing Lennox’s diversity initiatives, exciting connections and hires made at the WE16 conference in Philadelphia, and the valuable experiences at 2016 Design Your World STEM conferences. The clear synergy between Dallas SWE and Lennox resulted in much warmth and engagement. The group then toured the HVAC test facility, learning just how extensive the research and development opportunities were. Electronics that were tested to withstand the biting cold of Alaska to the dessert climate of Saudi Arabia, drop tests that planned for accidents during shipping and delivery, tests that accounted for vibration due to the road, heat exchangers that could have multiple circuits to improve efficiency, an actual climate room that exceeded 20 feet length where multiple HVACs could be subjected to actual snow like conditions. The tour was informative and engaging with prizes for attendees who answered trivia questions on what they learned!
After the tour, the Dallas SWE President Shelley Stracener highlighted accomplishments of the year and upcoming events and thanking Manny Molera, Amanda Gibbins, Denise Grode, Jamie Son, Michelle Daluge, and Greta Leza for planning and sponsoring the holiday social. Special recognition went to Lennox’s impactful financial and activity sponsorship of Design Your World and Dallas SWE VP of Outreach Samica Norman’s leadership. A discussion on making your new years resolution was then conducted by Zaineb Ahmed, Nandika D’Souza and Amber Scheurer. Attendees reflected first on their own choices to be with people who they had come together with or known before or reach out and get to know someone new. Armed with this personal choice, attendees then were guided to reflect on their workplace. They reviewed a list of considerations developed for the WE16 talk “Strategies to Build True Inclusion in the Workplace” and evaluated whether their work experiences resulted in their feeling appreciated, included, connected, creative, well-compensated, that the corporate values match their own, and like they were part of something bigger than themselves. Then they meditated on similar parameter for their volunteer choices as well. Finally, the group developed actions and resolutions to improve these factors their work and volunteer circumstances in the new year.