Member Spotlight: Diana Brauer
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Diana Brauer, Business Operations Manager/Member for Kansas Spray Foam Insulation, LLC in McLouth, KS. In this feature interview, learn what made her become an ABAA member, what led her on her career path, and get her perspective on the future of the air barrier industry.
Diana founded Kansas Spray Foam Insulation, LLC (KSFI) with her husband, Kevin Brauer, in August 2016 after they had garnered extensive experience in the field of construction, roofing, specialty coatings, and spray foam insulation industries. KSFI is enlivened with biblical principles focused on honesty and integrity. Before opening their company, Diana worked in Business Administration/Accounting in different business ventures; Roofing Inspection & Service Company, Foam IT, Brauer Holdings LLC, Brauer Management LLC and B&B Unlimited, all of which are in Kansas. Diana worked in the US Army active duty for 3 years and the Army Reserves/National Guard for 5 years. She is the majority owner of KSFI and her background makes the business a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and a verified Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB). She has just finished the DBE (Disadvantage Business Enterprise) Certification application with the State of Kansas, pending approval. Diana is committed to completing all certifications/verifications necessary to further the forward growth of KSFI. Volunteerism is an important part of Diana’s life. She is the Pelathe District Scouting for Food Coordinator for the Boy Scouts of America for the past 3 years. Diana devotes many hours as a soldier & volunteer at the Salvation Army of Douglas County in Lawrence Kansas since 2012. She also volunteers as a court appointed conservator for with the Kansas Guardianship Program since 1995 serving individuals that do not have persons in their life to handle their financial affairs. She currently has a purple belt in Okinawan Kenpo.
Name: Diana Brauer
Title: Business Operations Manager/Member
Firm: Kansas Spray Foam Insulation, LLC
City: McLouth, KS
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession as an air barrier contractor?
A: …as a spray foam insulation installer. That is what we were. We are now Spray Foam Insulation professionals that consult with customers about their problems to offer solutions based on building science, codes and purpose of the structures while being mindful their budgets and resources.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Education! Educating consumers while conducting business. Our industry in particular is not very common. There is false information out there. We try very hard to debunk that information with facts and science that everyone can understand.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: The many professionals I have confided in about our business matters have been extremely helpful and understanding. I could not possibly know everything but thanks to these professionals, I am able to move forward with their guidance.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: We noticed that the ABAA membership was mentioned in Federal Contracts. After viewing the website and a few conversations we decided to join the group!
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: No not yet to both questions.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: Over 12 years in the Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation and over 25 years in the construction industry (built a few homes, roof for 15 years and managed real estate.)
What major changes have you seen?
A: There is more awareness and application of spray foam insulation. There have been many more new applications of spray foam insulation over the last few years that have revolutionized several markets. New uses of warehouses is one of those markets.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: A working knowledge of building science and proper application standards.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: Find a mentor in the field. You do not know near what they have learned over the years of their experience.
How much demand do you think there is for people in your profession?
A: More PROFESSIONALS are needed.
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten year’s time?
A: Spray foam insulation will be a standard. There will also be new insulation materials emerging into the market that will try (and could) surpass spray foam insulations benefits.