Last week began our interview series celebrating our 35th annual home performance conference. This series highlights 35 amazing people that work in our industry by allowing them to tell their stories.
This week, we’ve got two more stories to share: John Johnson, Jr. of Ground Level Solutions, Inc. and Casey Murphy of Pearl Certification.
Q: How did you get into the building and home performance industry?
A: Fresh out of college, my career path did not include work in the building or home performance industry. My original goal was to work in the gerontology field. I took a job at my local community action agency as an advocate for the elderly. My job involved developing and implementing plans to assist seniors with remaining in their homes whenever that option was achievable. I quickly found that a significant barrier to seniors remaining in their homes was the unmanageable expenses associated with their utility bills and home maintenance.
My research led me to a unique service within my own agency, the low-income Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). I was fascinated with the excitement and focus of the staff, and the goals of the program. In short order I was hooked by the many facets of energy efficiency and energy conservation. I soon shifted my work focus and I have been blessed to remain on the home performance path for 40 rewarding years.
Q: What’s the best session you’ve ever attended, or seen virtually, at a national home performance conference? And why?
A: I am a big fan of the national and regional home performance conferences. I have attended hundreds of sessions across the years and found each one to provide me with exceptional information. The benefits I have reaped cannot easily be tagged to an individual session; they have all been the “best.” The best part of the home performance conference, for me, is the conference itself. It is difficult to describe the joy and validation I experienced attending my first conference, and all the events that followed. I found myself surrounded by people from around the country and often from around the world, who unselfishly shared their passion and skills in this work with me. The home performance conference energizes me, it nurtures me, and it connects me to a grand and noble vocation.
Q: Describe the path you took to get into home/building performance.
A: After working in construction as a small business owner and tradesperson for about 15 years, I was searching for a career that might have more meaning and impact. In the mid-2000s, I stumbled across a building science course, became a BPI certified BA and Envelope Specialist, and started assessing and retrofitting homes. The die was cast—I found a career that combined my hands-on experience in the construction industry with an approach to deliver truly meaningful solutions to my customers (individual families) and the ability to play a small role in modernizing our nation’s inefficient housing stock.
Q: Why do you think the Building Performance Association is an important component to move our industry forward?
A: BPA plays a vital role in making our nation’s homes more comfortable, healthier, and efficient. It doesn’t matter if you view “home performance” as a distinct industry or more as an approach that trades (and policy! and programs!) need to incorporate that includes knowledge of building science, a systems and solutions-based approach to addressing a customer’s needs, and the use of performance testing to identify and resolve issues. BPA provides the connective tissue that animates the future of how we all can effectively work together.
We still need a few more stories! If you’re interested in a short interview, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.