May 19, 2022
Why We Boldly Go: Opportunity for a Life in Paradise
At Trane Technologies, we all have the opportunity to thrive at work and in life. Supported by comprehensive learning and development solutions, our people enjoy rewarding careers and many avenues to grow while uplifting themselves and each other.
Shawna Huddy is the store manager of our Trane Supply location in Honolulu, Hawaii. She’s responsible for the store’s performance, including growing the business through increased sales, managing inventory, developing her team members and safely running its day-to-day business operations. She leads a team of four customer sales associates and a warehouse technician.
Shawna got her start with our company in 1990 as a secretary in the service department of the Trane Commercial sales office in Honolulu. Since then, she’s advanced her education and her career with the encouragement and guidance of her mentors, achieving her associates and bachelor’s degrees while working at Trane Technologies and moving through roles in accounting and inside sales before becoming the store manager in 2011.
“I feel fortunate that my managers recognized my talent and solicited me to further my education so I could move into more challenging roles and grow my career at Trane Technologies,” Shawna said.
Opportunity means living in paradise
Shawna is the third generation of her family to be born and raised in Hawaii. Her family originally hails from the Philippines and embraced Hawaiian culture. Shawna’s family members have all since moved to the mainland United States due to Hawaii’s high cost of living and lack of job opportunities – but Shawna stayed.
“The opportunity for growth at Trane Technologies has allowed me to stay on the island of Oahu,” Shawna said. “We are blessed to be able to stay here. I love living in Hawaii and have no desire to leave.”
From her living room window, Shawna can watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. It’s what many consider paradise, and where she got married and raised her son, Kaleb.
Growing up in a melting pot
Shawna says Hawaii serves as a melting pot for many people from Asian and island nations – mainly Japanese, Chinese and Filipino – who originally immigrated to Hawaii to work on sugar cane plantations and pineapple fields. Shawna admits that she wasn’t very interested in learning about traditional Filipino culture when she was growing up.
“I remember wanting to fit more into mainstream American culture when I was young and, looking back, I wish I had embraced my culture more,” she said. “My dad was a cowboy for a meat company, and we lived in a Quonset hut on a ranch and raised livestock. I lived a different existence than most of my friends and I yearned to fit in.”
Shawna has since grown to connect with and appreciate the importance of her Filipino heritage and culture. She regularly participates in cultural traditions with family and friends, such as cooking pancit (noodles), lumpia (spring rolls) and cascaron (doughnuts). And she values doing things the traditional ways – and not taking too many shortcuts, even if preparing for meals and gatherings is a lot of hard work.
“If we take too many shortcuts and don’t do things the old school way, these cultural traditions will be lost, and we won’t be able to keep handing them down to the next generation,” she said.
Connecting to purpose, giving back
Back at work, it’s important to Shawna that her team members understand how their work contributes to and aligns with Trane Technologies’ purpose, strategies and leadership principles. In monthly meetings, team members share the ways they’re living out our leadership principles and uplifting one another.
“It is especially important for us to feel connected to the company’s purpose and strategies because we’re literally out here on an island all by ourselves,” she said. “Feeling connected gives us a sense of fulfillment and our greater purpose – and helps us keep customers at the heart of all we do.”
And this year she’s making sure all of her team members take advantage of a new benefit added in 2021 – eight hours of paid time off to volunteer with nonprofit charitable organizations.
“Trane Technologies’ commitment to make the world a better place is just one way we boldly go,” she said. “I admire our bold 2030 Sustainability Commitments, and I’m proud to work for a company willing to invest in sustainability and give back to the communities where we live and work.”