By Chauntelle Baughman, CFPHS, President and Co-Founder of OneHydraulics, Inc.
I vividly recall those days as a young woman fresh out of college and ready to take on the world, with my head stuck in my books, studying for my Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist (CFPHS) certification. Gaining that certification provided me with knowledge and credibility in the industry and was my first step down the path to becoming one of the only woman-owned fluid power distributorships in the United States.
I believe the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS) which offers the CFPHS and other certifications, played a strong hand in my personal development and guided my education in fluid power, affording me the opportunity to go to places in my career that a decade ago seemed to be only a dream. And in many ways, joining the IFPS Board of Directors has been a part of that dream coming full-circle, allowing me the opportunity to represent a wonderful cross-section of fluid power experts and promote the education of tomorrow’s professionals.
The IFPS was created with the intent to strengthen fluid power professionals through education, training, and certification. The current Board of Directors is comprised of fluid power professionals across a wide spectrum, from distributors and manufacturers, to end users of products and integrated systems. They also represent a wide cross section of industry, with experiences ranging from agriculture to aerospace, and everywhere in between.
This diversity is what makes the IFPS Board of Directors vital to the fluid power community. The IFPS provides a forum of professionals from all industries that touch fluid power, including oil & gas, aerospace, agriculture, and beyond. In these discussions, we join together to share ideas and technologies that push the industry forward.
While the applications across these industries differ, the fundamental principles of fluid power expressed in the certification courses remain the same and serve to unite us in our single purpose of fluid power education. Education and continual improvement are at the heart of the IFPS’ mission, and with goals that align so naturally with my own, joining the IFPS Board of Directors has been a natural fit.
Despite the personal motivations for widening my horizons, my main interest in the IFPS remains the ability to give back. The IFPS shares a mission for education for which I have always had an intense passion. Given the opportunity, I have always lectured at universities, discussing topics of sales, fluid power, and, most especially, women in the workplace. It has been a not-so-secret goal of mine to introduce more women to fluid power, an industry which has been largely dominated by men since its inception. As a new member of the Board of Directors with a strong social media network, I hope to bring a fresh female perspective that will improve our outreach with a younger demographic.
While the fluid power industry has grown and changed over the years, with new technology leading the forefront of innovation, it is imperative to disseminate the information about these developments, and work together to continue to make fluid power a competitive solution for new applications. There remains a definitive need to attract new talent and provide education and certification to qualify these individuals, and I look forward to working with the IFPS to achieve just that.