Look Out Guys – There’s a New Master Heat Pump Technician in Phoenix – Here’s HER Story!
Michele Morgan Earns Master Heat Pump Technician Certification!
The HVAC Industry has long been male dominated, despite many air conditioning and heating companies increased efforts to welcome women to their team. Although, we are seeing more women in ownership and administrative roles, there are very few in technical roles.
All that changed this week, when Michele Morgan, co-owner of Magic Touch Mechanical in Mesa, AZ became one of the few woman to become Master Heat Pump Technician Certified!
Magic Touch Mechanical is celebrating 20-years in business this year, and Michele joined the team six years after it began, in 2003 as CFO. While many woman owners of Air Conditioning & Heating Companies start the business with their husbands, or take over the family business; Michele’s story is anything but ordinary.
The company was founded by Michele’s husband, Rich Morgan in 1997 – years before the two ever met. Michele, who is originally from California, earned her degree in finance in Georgia, before moving to NYC and working for Morgan-Stanley in their Trust Department. The two met on a cruise and began a long-distance relationship. When the opportunity to relocate to Scottsdale, AZ with Morgan-Stanley came up, Michele went for it.
About a year later, while reviewing Magic Touch Mechanical’s financials, Rich and Michele saw an opportunity to team up running the business to “take it to the next level”. “Michele’s deep understanding of business finances brought a much-needed perspective to the business it had been lacking” according to Rich. “This was before we were married, so we consulted with an attorney and setup a contract in which Michele would become an equal-share owner within a few years – it was perhaps the best decision I ever made for the business”, he added.
According to Michele; “One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced over the years is not fully understanding the technical side of the business. I wanted to really understand what our service technicians and installers were talking about when they started getting technical…what better way to do it then to go back to school.”
So, Michele signed up for all the classes the Arizona Electric League and Heat Pump Council had to offer for the MHPT program last year, and just completed the final class and test on September, 28th 2017, successfully completing all the classes needed to earn the Master Heat Pump Technician Certification.
“She took this very seriously”, said Rich who added, “She studied the materials and was even doing research online before each test. I joked that we were getting a service van ready for her and scheduling service calls.”
This isn’t the first-time Michele immersed herself in every aspect of the business either. Over the years, she has ridden along with service technicians and installers – even carrying their tools up ladders to the roof, climbed around in attics with the team, etc. “I know the technicians were impressed with the fact that Michele chose to do this, but were even more impressed that she chose to do it in the middle of summer…so she could experience what we go through when our job is the toughest.”, said Rich. “One of our techs told me, I’ve had apprentice helpers that couldn’t keep up with her.”
According to their website; The AZEL’s Master Heat Pump Technician Certification program is recognized by all Arizona utilities as an outstanding adult education certificate and training program. All course offerings in the program count towards the education requirements for the APS Qualified Contractor and SRP Certified Contractor Programs.
Classes Michele completed included: Refrigeration Theory & Systems Diagnosis, Charging, Piping, & Dehydration, Electrical Fundamentals for Heat Pumps, Control Systems for Heat Pumps, Customer Service & Selling Skills, HVAC Code & Safety, and Air Flow Dynamics.
“It was a little intimidating at first because I was the only woman in classes with 40 – 50 experienced HVAC service technicians in them, but I wound up seeing some familiar faces and they all treated me like I was just one of the guys” said Michele.
“She never ceases to amaze me!” adds Rich. “I often find myself explaining to people that Michele didn’t just become an equal partner in the business because we were dating (now married), in-fact, that was more of a hurdle for both of us than it was a reason. Many couples have a hard time working together so we agreed upfront that if it became a strain on the relationship we wouldn’t do it. Not only do we work well together (because we both stay in our own lane), I credit Michele for being one of the main reasons the company grew so quickly and has been so successful”.
Magic Touch Mechanical is well respected as not only one of the highest rated HVAC Contractors in Arizona, but also has been recognized nationally, including being named the National Air Conditioning Contractor of the Year by the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America), and Best Contractor to Work for in the USA (Western Region) by ACHR News (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration) News.
Michele says not to expect her to show up at your door with tools in hand now that she’s officially recognized as a Master Heat Pump Technician. “I have a deep respect for all the years of field experience our technicians have, and how much they need to know to be great at what they do.” But, now when all the technicians are talking shop, she says she has a much better understanding of what they’re talking about!