To some, making the switch from a career in post-secondary education to the energy industry might seem like a drastic leap. But, to Amy Daveler, it’s just another chapter of her career journey.
Despite getting her start in various fields and positions, Amy eventually found a spot that feels like a completely natural fit—working as a Fuel Products Manager for an energy company in her home of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
We talked with Amy about how she discovered the energy industry was the right place for her, as well as how exactly she built up some credibility and authority in a male-dominated industry.
Taking the Leap
Graduating with her degree in Communications from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Amy has worked in sales or sales management for the entirety of her career.
But, 10 years ago, she decided to make the switch to the energy industry. “I decided it was time for a change,” she explains, “I was working in post-secondary education admissions, and I wasn’t having fun anymore. So, I took a little time off to really explore my options.”
In doing that, Amy came across an opportunity for a position with an oil and propane distributor. And, despite having no experience in the industry, she decided to go for it. “I took that and jumped with both feet,” she shares, “I had no education in this sector—no idea about oil heat, other than when I was a kid we had oil heat, and my sister and I used to pretend the oil tank was a spaceship in our basement.”
However, Amy didn’t let the learning curve intimidate her. Instead, she did everything she could to learn the ins and outs of the business right from the get-go.
“I was very eager to learn,” explains Amy, “Being a woman, I knew that I had to be knowledgeable to be credible. I was working in sales of oil and propane to residential, agricultural, and commercial accounts. I rode with fuel drivers and pulled the hose in bad weather, I cleaned furnaces and boilers, I rode along to fill up at the rack—anything I could do to learn the trade, I did.”
Since then, Amy has managed to continue to learn, grow, and excel in the energy industry, leading her to her current position as a Fuel Products Manager. “I handle all of the inventory, the truck fleet, and drivers. I route and dispatch deliveries, plus I handle all new residential, commercial, and agricultural sales for all distillate products. I’m very busy and, again, learning new aspects of the industry.”
Making a Name for Herself
Like so many women, Amy didn’t necessarily have an easy time forging her own path in an industry that’s overrun with males. “When I first started in this industry and I would try to talk with men about their fuel needs, I felt really patronized,” she shares.
But, rather than letting that discourage her, Amy used that as inspiration to become even more informed about her work and her field. “I have found that by being knowledgeable and educated—attending industry meetings, lunch and learns, and staying on top of industry news—that I have now evolved into the role of product expert and industry go-to person,” Amy says.
Finding Pink Petro
While Amy managed to ignore any naysayers and charge ahead to build an awesome career for herself, she knows as well as anybody that it’s still nice to have a way to connect with like-minded professionals—particularly fellow females in the male-dominated energy industry.
“I discovered Pink petro through an industry email that I received,” she shares, “My experience has been excellent. I really enjoy reading the articles and ‘meeting’ new people. We all have a common goal and it’s a great way to stay in the loop without having to go to meetings.”
One other thing that proves Amy is nothing short of amazing? She just celebrated her five-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. The experience only increased her zest for life, and she’s excited to continue moving forward in order to leave her mark on the world.
“My passion is the education and training of customers on the benefits and nuances of their heating products and systems,” says Amy. She plans to continue to use that passion to move forward in her career—ideally to a role as a General Manager, a CEO, or the head of a training department for a large energy company.
With her drive, her willingness to learn, and her infectious can-do attitude, we just know Amy is destined for big things. And, she offers similar advice to other women aiming to make a name for themselves in the industry. “Grow thick skin and soak up all of the information and knowledge that you possibly can,” she adds, “Be a ‘doer’. Stay ahead of the proverbial ball.”
Amy receiving a certificate after her last cancer treatment.
And, most importantly, Amy says you need to find and build a career that you love. “Enjoy what you do. When you stop having fun, it becomes work.”