The NeighborWorks of Western Vermont HEAT Squad is now in the Northeast Kingdom. HEAT Squad provides energy audits at a low cost to homeowners, where our BPI-certified energy auditor, will assess your home and let you know how to remedy any problem areas. To celebrate our expansion to the Northeast Kingdom, all energy audits are only $100 through December 31st. Visit www.heatsquad.org or call (802) 438-2303 to schedule your audit appointment.
Meet Sally Ayers.
Sally is the newest addition to the HEAT Squad team, joining as an energy auditor for the Northeast Kingdom.
She began in the liberal arts.
Sally grew up in the Farmington River Valley of Connecticut. She attended the University of Maine, studying liberal arts. Sally says she initially was not sure what she wanted to pursue long term. “I ended up transferring to Central Connecticut State University for a degree in Secondary Education in English,” she explains, “and I minored in Journalism and Philosophy. I really wanted to be a Philosophy major, but my parents were like, ‘Yeah, no…’”
Sally continued to pursue student teaching, until friends of hers convinced her to come and work at their father’s Manhattan textile business. Sally began in a customer service/”jane of all trades” role, as well as handling all the copywriting for product lines.
“I thought of it as temporary until I found the right teaching job, but I never left.”
As her friends grew the business in different directions, Sally moved up to working with research and development. “We were very early innovators of ‘green’ and responsibly-sourced textiles pretty much before anyone knew what that meant.” Eventually, Sally went into Consultative Sales and Marketing, obtaining her USBGC LEED accreditation so that she could market LEED-eligible products to a more environmentally aware audience. This LEED accreditation became useful as she then set out to work as a LEED professional for architectural, engineering, and planning firms.
Becoming an energy auditor.
“Although the projects that I was assigned to were large, complex commercial building projects, my personal interest was always applying what I learned at home and to residential work.”
This, along with being a founding member of the Town of Cohasset Alternative Energy Committee, led her toward her current position as an energy auditor. She describes the role as a “perfect fit,” where she can be hands-on and in the field day to day.
Rugged and wild in the NEK.
Outside of being an energy auditor, Sally enjoys gardening, skiing, biking, hiking—anything outdoorsy. She is a UVM extension Master Gardener, so in her free time, Sally volunteers and shares information regarding plants, soil, and composting. She’s also an avid fisher—and eater—of trout!
This makes the Northeast Kingdom the perfect place for Sally. “I love it for being rugged and wild. I like the sense of community here—people with different belief systems and from different persuasions can still come together as neighbors.” Sally is also a big fan of the Americana music scene that can be found in the Northeast Kingdom.
When Sally first moved north, she worked for another NeighborWorks network organization, which was her first venture into non-profit work. So, when she saw the job posting for NeighborWorks of Western Vermont’s HEAT Squad, she was particularly excited. When asked what excites her about this position, she draws attention to “the rewards that come from working with my neighbors here in the NEK and helping people understand their homes, and how we might make them more comfortable and affordable.”
“I believe that the NEK has more households faced with energy burdened households than any other part of the state. I am really inspired to help change that…There’s a lot of new information and new technologies that allow us to cool and heat our home efficiently and affordably. I am really excited to have the opportunity to share that information and help folks make the right decisions for their homes…”
Are you in the Northeast Kingdom and looking to save on your heating and cooling bills year round? The first step is to get an energy audit with HEAT Squad! Visit www.heatsquad.org or call (802) 438-2303 to schedule your audit appointment.