Member Spotlight: Theresa Thompson
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Theresa Thompson, President of Standard Waterproofing Inc. in Winslow, ME. In this feature interview, learn what made her become an ABAA member, the importance of an airtight building, and what that means to her, and get her perspective on what everyone in this industry should be working towards.
Theresa joined Standard Waterproofing in 2005 as a project manager, by 2007 she became Vice President and in 2016 became sole owner and President. She attended Manhattanville College in Purchase New York and graduated with a degree in International Management.
Name: Theresa Thompson
Company: Standard Waterproofing Inc.
City: Winslow, ME
ABAA member for 17 years
What led you to pursue and obtain ABAA contractor accreditation?
A: Wanting to be the best in our marketplace. We desire to stand out amongst our peers in safety, quality, and professionalism. This certification provides that kind of accreditation.
How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your ABAA contractor accreditation status?
A: First it has assisted us with securing projects by eliminating competition that doesn’t have these qualifications. It has also provided us with knowledge about the “whys” and “hows” of what we are installing that would have been difficult to get otherwise.
What advice would you offer to contractors who are considering pursuing ABAA accreditation?
A: First see if there is a lot of accredited contractors or not in your marketplace. Second, determine if you can live up to the expectations of being a contractor.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in this industry?
A: Being responsive and knowledgeable is very important. A general contractor expects that we will know how to install our system as well as how to troubleshoot details and make good suggestions when change is needed.
What’s the most common problem you see in this industry?
A: Building owners, designers, and builders not valuing the air barrier and thus using alternatives that are not as effective in the long term.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Education is key. To continue to propel our industry forward we need to ensure that designers and builders continue to understand and value the benefits of a properly installed air barrier system. That these systems be considered as essential as the life safety measures that are not able to be removed from projects.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
A: Do your research prior to getting too big to fast. Start with manageable projects before you tackle large and complex installations. I feel that with an air vapor barrier system, the “devil is in the details” so if you don’t know what you need to know you may skip critical steps and inadvertently cause more damage than good.
Building airtight buildings is the focal point of our mission here at the ABAA. What is the importance of an airtight building to you? How has the ABAA helped you in your career and your commitment to the industry?
A: In my opinion, the keywords to describe the importance of an airtight building is- Longevity, Healthy, and comfortable! If we build something we want it to stand the test of time, not harm others and provide them with a great environment to thrive in. If we do our job right that’s what we can deliver. By protecting the structure from deterioration, water damage and heat/cooling loses are the key benefits we provide and, in my opinion, we are the most critical and last line of defense that these buildings and its occupants have.
ABAA has helped me acquire the knowledge and resources to hone my skill as a contractor. It has also elevated this scope of work and its importance in the industry. There is no other accreditation available for this type of work for installers. When I see an architect and/or building owner specify that they want an ABAA accredited contractor to perform the air barrier installation, I see that they value the system and want it done right. They don’t want a fly by night outfit to slap something on the walls-they want the best installers because even if you can’t see our product, in the end, you can feel the difference.