Sandra Meninno

Executive Vice President

Cambridgeport Air Systems

Leading HVAC Manufacturer Shares Industry Insights and Tips for Women in the Workforce

Sandra Meninno started working in HVAC manufacturing as an accountant in 1989 and immediately “loved the space.” More than three decades later, Meninno is the President of Cambridgeport Air Systems – an industry-leading HVAC manufacturer based in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

Meninno is also Chairperson of BTEA Northeast’s new initiative, BTEA Northeast Women, which recognizes the importance of women in the construction industry with the mission to help them achieve more.

She shared her insights on the future of the industry, how to further elevate women in it and more.

Paving the Pathway for More Women in Construction

In the ’90s, the construction industry “struggled” with retaining and recruiting women in the workforce, Meninno said, especially at the executive level. Although the times have changed, there is still much work to be done, she continued.

Keeping and retaining women starts with the leadership and trickles down, says Meninno, who oversees all aspects of Cambridgeport Air Systems (which is owned by Cox Engineering).

“You must instill a culture of inclusion at all levels and make sure everybody is trained on it,” she said, citing successful examples of leaders who ensure their foremen regularly train everyone on the field on inclusion. 

“Don’t get caught up on being a man versus a woman—try to not even bring that into the equation,” she says. You should focus on being the best in your current position—no matter what rung of the career ladder you’re at.”

When it comes to advancing your career, Meninno reminds women that “you shouldn’t let other peoples’ opinions affect your career in the trades.” Regardless of your gender or background, “Your talents and ability will shine through,” she advises. 

BTEA Northeast Women Leads the Way

Sandra Meninno is Chair of BTEA Northeast Women as part of her effort to help retain and elevate more women in the industry. The growing group had its first meeting in March and most recently at the end of May. The group is attracting more women and plans to hold informational webinars along with in-person events to share advice and best practices. All BTEA women members are highly encouraged to join and can email for more information

Automation and Innovation

Cambridgeport Air Systems has been manufacturing HVAC products and accessories for over 40 years and was one of the industry’s first companies to manufacture curb adapters. Today, they continue to be industry pioneers, with a large focus on automation.

The firm is heavily investing in automated machinery for HVAC manufacturing. This helps them stay ahead of the curve with sustainable growth, meet ever-changing HVAC guidelines and ensures better employee safety.

Meninno emphasizes that automation opens more doors for careers because the machines still require employees, who can get in on the ground floor with less training. For instance, a machine used for metal prep that once required hands-on training from an expert can now be worked on by a more novice employee.

Automation doesn’t mean that more skilled labor isn’t disappearing either, she emphasizes. “It’s an easier way to get into the industry” but also creates a need for highly skilled workers to create, maintain and continue to automate the machines as the industry evolves.