March 22, 2021
Air Force Veteran Takes Career to New Heights
Jo Scandrol served more than 20 years in the United States Air Force, completing three tours of duty in support of Operation Joint Forge and Operation Enduring Freedom. She held several titles throughout her career, attainting the rank of E-8 (Senior Master Sergeant) and serving as the Superintendent of the Inspector General’s Office.
For the last five years of her military career, Jo juggled a balancing act – serving in the Reserves while attending school at the University of Texas at Tyler and doing drill on weekends.
“Technically it took me 15 years to finish my bachelor’s degree because I was only able to take a class or two at a time, then life happened,” she says. “I got married, had two kids, and picked up a few classes whenever I was able to. I started taking classes in 1998 while stationed in Japan and received my degree in Human Resources in 2013.”
A professor suggested she look into Trane once she was ready to officially retire and start her civilian career.
“She said they were a well-known global company with a local manufacturing facility in Tyler,” Jo recalls. “More importantly, they had a strong reputation for supporting military veterans and women. I thought it would be a great cultural fit and would provide an opportunity to utilize my leadership skills.”
The next chapter
That conversion launched the next chapter of Jo’s life, landing her a full-time position with Trane in 2014 followed by increasingly influential roles in both our Residential HVAC and Supply and Commercial HVAC businesses.
As a current operational excellence leader for our Commercial business, Jo is doing what she does best: successfully leading change initiatives and people through a unique perspective and focus on servant leadership.
“Servant leadership was integral to my military career,” she says. “Leading airmen meant I was given the chance to truly understand their needs and eliminate barriers – someone to serve as a confidant and liaison, and ultimately to help better their lives. I still take those same values to heart and implement them in my work at Trane.”
By coaching in manufacturing and distribution environments, and in the engineering, product management and sales spaces, Jo has gained valuable insight into most every facet of our HVAC business. “Interacting with a multitude of diverse groups has given me the best knowledge and tools to approach our unique business challenges with successful solutions.”
No idea is too small
Jo says starting a new career can feel like a daunting task, but focusing on connection and collaboration is the best place to start.
“Trying to understand every single process can be a losing battle,” she says. “But seeking to understand will set you up for success every time. Walking a mile in another teammate’s or customer’s shoes provides the strongest insight about what they’re going through, or what they need to be successful. Truly listening to what people have to say provides the most value to the conversation, and ultimately your relationship with them.”
Narrowing the leadership gender gap is also top of mind for Jo.
“Women sometimes tend to fall back and allow our ideas to simmer until they’re perfect,” she says. “Be comfortable with who you are and the ideas that you have because that can be a catalyst for more significant innovation. No idea is too small, especially if it forms a lasting connection between your teammates, your customers and others in the industry. No idea is a bad idea as long as we’re being collaborative for the greater good.”
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