I am proud to introduce our first Rising Star Award to Heather Estes.
As a self-proclaimed nerd and life-long learner, her tagline is #Stop and smell the asphalt. She’s a material scientist who loves studying asphalt chemistry and building science. Through her professional career, she has contributed to the development of training and educational resource materials, as well as technical guides. She also implemented a safety program at IBHS and organized a safety committee at PRI. Our Rising Star Recipient earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 2007 from the Florida Institute of Technology and her Master of Science Degree in Chemistry in 2019 from University of North Carolina.
Her leadership is exemplary:
• Florida Institute of Technology Student Activities Coordinator, Aug 2005 – June 2008
• Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority, May 2007 – current
• American Chemical Society Awards Chair, March 2016 – current
• ASTM D08.02 Secretary, May 2012 – current
• ARMA Asphalt Recycling Forum Co-Chair, 2020 – current
• NWIR Education chair, June 2016 – current
Now let me tell you a little about our 2021 Rising Star from the NWIR pillars perspective:
From a Mentoring standpoint – she established and managed the internship program that managers 5-12 interns each year for IBHS, and she maintained those relationships with many of these becoming a mentor to them as they start their careers.
As a Networker: She has had an amazing transformation over the past few years, finding new ways to embrace her introvert tendencies and build her network! She speaks up when there is something to say, and it’s always well thought out. She reaches out and connects in the most unexpected ways. And while she says “I don’t do emotion and I don’t like hugs” – she listens intently and connects with you on an emotional level, building solid relationships to bring people together.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion – This year, she volunteered to be the Liaison to the D&I Committee for the Education Committee, as this is an area in which she personally wants to grow. She brought the United Way 21-day challenge to NWIR and encouraged us as individuals to challenge our own thinking. This has become part of her everyday narrative. And as the Education Committee Chair, she has infused the organization with roofing centric educational content working with the committee to bring in monthly Tech Talks, building out the resource library, and hosting live hands-on workshops to educate and empower women in our industry. What’s truly impressive is her willingness to take on projects that push her outside of her comfort zone and help her develop and tune her professional skills.