December 15, 2020
Get to Know: Beth Braddy, AHRI’s Richard C. Schulze Award Winner
Beth Braddy is many things.
A fiercely proud Georgia Tech alum. An energy efficiency and
regulatory champion. And most recently, winner of the
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute’s (AHRI)
prestigious Richard C. Schulze award.
An attractive combination
Having worked for Georgia Power during college, Beth was exposed to various types of HVAC work in commercial buildings – and intended to stay in the power industry until a job description from Trane caught her eye.
“A marketing engineer role was posted, which I saw as an opportunity
to support and educate people on HVAC equipment,” she says. “Being
able to combine technical knowledge with people-facing work was very
attractive to me.”
She’s been doing just that ever since.
Bettering customers and the planet
Beth’s held a number of different roles with the company since her first job in Macon, Georgia, but spent over 10 years concentrating on regulatory work for our equipment – something she took great pride in.
“We had to stay on top of constantly churning, new federal and state
requirements for energy efficiency, equipment performance and building
codes,” she says. “Every deadline we met yielded a huge sense of
accomplishment. Completing that work and enhancing our products for
the betterment of our customers, and the environment, was a true
Staying ahead of the pack is something Beth learned early on.
“I was named valedictorian of my high school class, so when I landed
at Georgia Tech, I thought I was pretty smart,” she recalls. “I
quickly learned that I was surrounded by some of the most elite
company and brightest minds out there! The school’s engineering
curriculum is extremely challenging, and I was average at best
compared to my peers.”
Beth says she soon realized the time and discipline it would take to
keep up in her new environment – which set her up for success once
arriving at Trane a few years later.
“While a lot of us are adjusting to working remotely this year, I
actually had to learn how to do that many years ago, as I was assigned
to products and work content that were at manufacturing sites and work
locations all over the country,” she says. “My leadership has also
been at a different location than mine since 2005. Learning to
accomplish my goals without being physically in the same location as
my manager was a necessity.”
Now a product manager focusing on water source heat pumps and
commercial self-contained units, Beth’s goal of improving efficiency
and performance continues – and is boosted by her engagement with
AHRI. She also maintains a laser focus on sustainability.
“There are so many social reasons to embrace energy efficiency and
sustainability,” she says. “Trane Technologies does a fantastic job in
that realm. I’m very proud of our company and our stance on these
The highest of honors
“The synergy of the work I do with AHRI is equally important in my current role as it was in my previous one,” Beth says. “I’m blessed that I get to be a part of something big – something that will help Trane do even more good.”
That work is now being recognized by AHRI, who recently bestowed
Beth with their highest honor for service to the HVAC industry – the
Richard C. Schulze award. The annual award is given in appreciation of
distinguished service and commitment to AHRI and the industry’s goals
“Beth’s many years of strong and selfless service to our industry
have been an inspiration to her colleagues who have benefited
immeasurably from her contributions, which are recognized and
celebrated with this award,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of
Beth says she was excited, honored and surprised to receive the
award – which carried even more weight given it’s an industry-wide
“Even though, technically, these are competitors, in a lot of ways
we all want the same things for the industry, and we’re pushing the
envelope on energy efficiency and performance,” she says. “I’ve worked
side by side my AHRI cohorts, so to be selected out of that group is
an honor. I was blown away.”
With STEM, the possibilities are endless
When asked what advice she’d give for students or young professionals considering a career in engineering, Beth says, at its core, STEM is really about solving problems.
“Those problems can be anything from true applications, to more
abstract or future-facing ones,” she says. “You can solve problems
sitting in a desk on the phone, or physically standing in front of the
problem and using your strengths and interests to understand it and
find a solution.”
“There are a number of ways to take the knowledge harnessed from a
STEM-related degree and apply it to a fulfilling, impactful career,”
Beth continues. “The possibilities are endless”.
Get to know Beth, in her own words:
Where are you from?
I grew up in Eatonton, GA which is a small, rural town about 45 minutes NE of Macon. I now live in Macon, having moved here right after college graduation to work for Trane!
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy running, listening to music, reading and spending time with my family.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
A material for smart phones to be covered with (I’m thinking a liquid that is sprayed on the phone or that the phone is dipped in and hardens), that is impervious to liquid and protects the phone from any trauma (like dropping it) that will protect the complete exterior (including the screen) without having to add a case and that will not harm any of the electronics.
What was the last good book you read?
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
What’s an accomplishment in life you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of my Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech. I worked extremely hard in a challenging academic environment to earn my degree, and at the same time I worked as co-op student with Georgia Power Company to pay for my education.
Describe your perfect day.
I would sleep until daylight and wake up to look outside at a beautiful beachfront view. I would go for a morning run, then hit the beach and enjoy the day with my family and any friends that may have tagged along. We would have a wonderful evening meal (fresh seafood) and relax.
Who would you most like to have dinner with, dead or alive?
Dolly Parton! (WWDD?)
What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the course of
Never stop learning. Push yourself to try new things, study and grow.
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