South Florida Trane Names Adrienne Portanova as FSR
Trane has named Adrienne Portanova Field Service Representative (FSR) for the South Florida District. She has the distinction of being the first female in the company to hold that position.
A native of Long Island, New York, Adrienne moved to south Florida in 1992, completed high school and attended college, majoring in Herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.
In 2008, divorced with two young children and a lack of job opportunities as a veterinary technician in north central Florida, she applied for and accepted a position as a receptionist with an air conditioning company. Part of her training was riding on calls with the technicians, learning the industry. As a result of her inquisitiveness, note-taking and attention to detail, the owners felt she would be a great technician.
“I’ve always been fascinated with how things work and took auto repair classes in high school,” Adrienne stated. “I think when the owners saw me change a fuel pump in one of the trucks while they were waiting for a mechanic, that convinced them that I was qualified.”
Adrienne started as a grunt doing installs and quickly advanced to handling routine maintenance calls. A year later, she was running a service truck. She eventually bought the company and, after several years, a longing to return to south Florida resulted in her merging the company with another Alachua business. She found employment with Steve Ruud, Elizabeth George and Dave Henninger at Island Air Conditioning in Delray Beach and made the move in 2014.
“I interviewed with Elizabeth, explaining that my ultimate goal was to work for Trane, a decision I made four years earlier when I fell in love with their equipment,” Adrienne said. “Elizabeth, Steve and David welcomed me with open arms and I will always consider them as part of my family.”
Island AC sponsored Adrienne in the Palm Beach AC Contractors Association/Florida AC Apprenticeship Association program where she tested out of the first year with the highest grade in the program’s history. She completed the program and soon after was approached by Trane.
South Florida Trane lead FSR Anthony Floril explained Adrienne’s hiring. “I first met Adrienne when I was a Trane parts counter employee and she was working at Island AC. We both attended a class here and I saw her enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge. Moving ahead a few years, I transitioned to a FSR position and when my counterpart moved to sales and his spot opened up, we reached out to her and she accepted.”
Adrienne’s biggest challenge in the industry has been being a female and having to constantly prove herself. “I have learned to balance my femininity with the demands of the job,” she explained. “But things are changing and it’s taking less convincing to be accepted. One thing I’ve stressed to my kids is they can do anything they set their minds on without gender roles.”
Along with the challenges of problem-solving in the field, Adrienne enjoys teaching the Trane technical classes. She is also teaching as a substitute at FACAA and hopes to have her own first or second-year class as soon as her schedule allows.
“One of the most important things for me is to provide inspiration to others,” Adrienne concluded. “I’m continuing my education with the ultimate goal of earning a Mechanical Engineering degree. I look forward to a long career with Trane, hopefully applying my degree in a future position with the company.”
Contact Adrienne by calling 954.218.3570 or emailing [email protected]