Empowering Valves is happy to see so many industry professionals nominate their fellow peers, to help shine a light on the PEOPLE behind the equipment! Today’s Valve Person of the Week is Diana Lefavi, General Manager with Watts Water Technologies, and this is what she has to share:
Q. How did you get started working in the Industry?
Diana: I was working as a Sales Executive in the promotional products industry when the downturn happened. A recruiter for Kohler called me and asked if I was interested in interviewing. To be honest, I had been reluctant as the plumbing industry wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list to enter, but I gave it a try and accepted the interview. I really liked what I saw, so I took that job and have stayed in the industry for 10 years now.
Q. What is your favorite part of your job? What are you most proud of?
Diana: I just recently accepted the role as General Manager for a new division Watts launched… Syncta software services. I had been at Watts for 4 years when the opportunity came up, and I was so excited about the idea of Watts doing something so different from their core business that I knew I had to be a part of it!
I’m most proud of the team I work with. It was great to see everyone come together to launch Syncta in the short time frame we were given. My favorite part of the job is describing the features and benefits of our software and seeing people’s eyes light up when they realize how truly helpful it can be for multiple players in the Backflow Testing space.
Q. What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Diana: To anyone new to the industry, especially someone younger or even females, I would say it’s the most fun industry you can work in, so give it a try! It’s big enough that the opportunities are seemingly endless, but still small enough that you can develop meaningful relationships and friendships. Make sure to network and develop your brand.
Q. Can you tell us about a cool project you worked on?
Diana: Truthfully, the coolest project I’ve worked on is this new venture, Syncta. As mentioned earlier, it’s brand new and totally different for Watts being a software service, and yet it feels like such a natural fit as the user of this software is an existing Watts customer. It is showing the industry that Watts is serious about differentiating ourselves from the competition while finding ways to make our customers more productive.
Q. You recently joined Empowering Women in Industry as a Steering Committee Member. Why did you join and what do you hope to accomplish?
Diana: I’ve been involved with one other female-focused industry organization within the plumbing channel, but at a much lower level; and even then I found it both exciting and motivating. Working in a male-dominated industry, it’s been an honor to meet so many powerful and successful women, and its personally motivated me to keep growing my career and making my mark. I want to help motivate young women entering the industry in the same way that I was, and encourage them to get more involved. By participating in Empowering Women in Industry, I hope this will continue to drive more women to join the industry and build their careers. There are so many opportunities, but I think women might typically be turned off to the idea of getting into plumbing. This can be especially true when dealing with engineers or contractors, or when taking on more management-type roles. This industry needs women. It’s been run by men for way too long and we need more of a balance.
On behalf of the entire Empowering Valves team, thank you, Diana, for the awesome work you are doing! And a special BIG THANK YOU for being a role model for women everywhere in showing what opportunities might exist for them in the plumbing industry! One last question…what social media channels can we tag you on?
Know an Amazing Person who is making valuable contributions within the Industry? Nominate them to be an “Industry Person of the Week”!