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What Leadership Looks Like…

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Women in Leadership: Jennifer K. Muir and Charli K. Matthews
Women in Leadership: Jennifer K. Muir and Charli K. Matthews

Author: Charli K. Matthews

Last week I had the pleasure of celebrating the 10th anniversary of JKMuir with President Jen Muir. She chose to announce this at the NEWEA Conference & Exhibit as many of her clients and mentors would be attending and would be able to celebrate together. It was also her first opportunity to give her team of young engineers a chance to present in her place.  As a business owner, I understood how important this moment was and I planned to attend immediately. I too started my career in a consultant role, which means you are the brand.  As we grow our business, we build a team to compliment our skills and train them to be there when we are not.  This was a big deal!  This meant she has built a team that she has complete confidence in to deliver a presentation with excellence.  This is just what happened…

For this very special day, I asked Bethany Womack to come with me and capture this special moment for her. Though it wasn’t my day, I was celebrating alongside Jen for many reasons. I am thankful to have Bethany join me to perfectly capture magical moments.  I also have complete confidence in her “capturing the moment” which allows me to be fully present. I have to say that the moment was beautiful to watch.

First… Let’s just appreciate what 10 years in business really is for a startup!  It’s DOUBLE DIGITS! It must be celebrated, and I plan to celebrate this accomplishment with JKMuir all year! When you own a business, it becomes part of you.  The risks you must take demands this from you! You must go all in!  As a wife and mom of two, I am sure Jen also had to have GRIT to get through some of the days where life gets hard. Having said that, Jen doesn’t show any of that.  She is always professional, on point, and respected by many!

I met Jen almost 2 years ago on March 10th.  I first noticed her raise her hand to ask a question at a conference and I was introduced to her later as ‘the person I must meet’!  I was in awe!  First, she was one of about 5 women engineers I knew at the time that was super passionate about pumps and women leadership! We were a great team immediately.  We both respected the other person’s point of view and skills.  We shortly became partners where we talked strategic business and marketing.  I have only seen her a handful of times since, but she inspires me daily (which is funny because I set out to help her!). At a moment when I desperately needed a role model, she was it! I now call this #ladyboss a friend, role model, mentor, and I can’t explain how amazing it is to have someone that gets me as a CEO, mom, wife, daughter, and friend while also understanding my love for the industry!  I am very thankful!

Chelsea Conlon (left) and Alex Rozen (right) present on behalf of JKMuir at the New England Water Environment Association

Ok… now back to business.. Let’s talk about how Jen is mentoring a team of young engineers to become leaders in our industry.  Jen has been hiring engineers straight out of college and training them on what it takes to be in the field performing pump system assessments!  As we watched the young ladies present on “The Largest Cost Savings You Don’t Know About”, I was fascinated with the level of confidence and knowledge her team displayed. I wasn’t the only one.  Many people came up to ladies after and let them know.  They also congratulated Jen and praised her for giving the young engineers the opportunity to shine on this stage. I know with Jen as their leader these ladies will be challenged and understand what it takes to work in this male-dominated industry.  This also showed me that Jen was doing the work!  She was taking on the responsibility to teach and mentor the next generation.  She’s the real deal… not just saying we need to mentor but actually investing in developing leaders in our industry.

(From left to right) Carina Hart, NAME, Jen Muir, NAME, NAME)
(From left to right) Carina Hart, Chelsea Conlon, Jen Muir, Molly Keleher, Alex Rozen

Please join me in celebrating Jen as a leader #EmpoweringWomeninIndustry and JKMuir for 10 years of improving pump system efficiencies!

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