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Woman-Owned B2B Publisher Addresses Industry Gender Gap

Chicago, IL, June 19, 2019 --( In 2018, PHCPPros, a B2B publishing company serving the community, became a majority-woman company with 54% women and 46% men. While this may not seem like news, serving a traditionally male industry of the trades makes this change announcement-worthy.

In 2013, the company became one of the few woman-owned B2B publishing companies when Tom Brown, founder of PHCPPros (formerly TMB Publishing), turned over the reigns to his daughter, Cate Brown, as the majority shareholder. In addition to Cate Brown, other shareholders in the company include Brad Burnside, Dave Schulte and Laura Schulte.

“I watched my father live out his dream of building a business. I am honored continue to grow his legacy,” Cate Brown said. “Furthermore, brainstorming ways to innovate around plumbing, which has been around for centuries, truly excites me. Incorporating trends, from digital marketing to human interest reporting, in the trades has been a focus for me. In the process, fixing our industry’s gender gap has come naturally.”

For nearly five years, concerted and strategic efforts to recruit and support women in the fields of plumbing, heating, cooling and piping (PHCP) have developed. Through affinity groups, conferences, mentorship, research and reporting, the industry has showcased its commitment to understanding the value that women bring.

Yet, disheartening statistics persist. In 2018, Marketplace reported that women on jobsites are working with oversized gloves, harnesses and hard hats that while ironically are designed for safety are actually introducing more risk for instances of slips with tools. Big Rentz reported that the U.S. construction industry is only benefitting from about 1.25 percent of the total female U.S. workforce.

Though 1.25 percent is a small figure, PHCPPros is contributing to it. Ashlei Williams serves as chief marketing officer and editor of the company’s Plumbing Engineer magazine. Ruth Mitchell serves as editor of the company’s The Wholesaler magazine. Diane Spangler serves as sales manager for the West and Texas. Kelly Falloon serves as managing editor. Nicole Meyer serves as a digital media associate. And, Sadie Smith serves as administrative support.

Support for women extends beyond the PHCPPros’ office. In 2016, the company launched “Women In PHCP,” which includes an annual print listing of women honorees, a monthly e-newsletter, strategic social media promotion, and ongoing sponsorship and participation in industry events for women.

If you are interested in speaking with these history-making women, schedule an interview by emailing

About PHCPPros
PHCPPros, formerly TMB Publishing, is committed to providing the best content and user experience in order to engage professionals in the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping community. Through four print magazines - Plumbing Engineer, The Wholesaler, PHC News and Especificar - and digital marketing and advertising products, the company connects credible and qualified industry brands and engages targeted audiences in informative and inspiring stories. Visit
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Ashlei Williams

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