COMM alumna Brittani Youman uses career to soar to new heights and help others
Communication Studies alumna Brittani Youman's ascent to success began eight years ago when she made an important decision: get off her mother's couch. Since she "got up," Brittani has been a rising star at Lennox International, where she is an award-winning, innovative trailblazer.
Brittany's career journey began in 2010 when she graduated with her B.A. in Communication Studies from UNT. She quickly got discouraged with her job hunt and found herself living on her mother's couch and worried about her future. Despite being a stellar student and star of the UNT volleyball team, Brittani's post-graduate life was floundering. She felt sorry for herself and did not know what direction to take.
Then, she "got up." Despite her confidence being at rock bottom, Brittani attended a career fair, where she interviewed with Lennox, a leading global provider in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) market. The rest, they say, is history.
Brittani has become a "game changer" at Lennox, a company she describes as "a silent hero with customers all over the world." She was initially hired as an area sales representative but has since transitioned from Inside Sales Representative to Territory Manager to Product Marketing Manager, to her current position of Field Sales Training Manager.
Brittani, who is just the third African American territory manager since Lennox was established in 1895, has transformed Lennox in important, meaningful ways.
For example, she founded the "Feel the Love" program, which provides the precious commodity of heat to families in need. It is through this program that Lennox and its dealers donate furnaces to nominated and selected families. According to Brittani, the mission of "Feel the Love" is to "make sure kids are protected" because "it's humbling for parents to ask for help when they've been a hero for their kids." Brittani further describes the program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iSWXyIELiQ
Brittani also founded the "Women in Lennox Leadership" (WILL) program. The WILL program was created as a network of support for professional and personal development of women in the HVAC industry. "The objective and goals of the WILL program is to partner together and learn more from each other, have a support system in place for each other, and impact the industry and community," Brittani said.
More recently, Brittani has put to use more of the skills she learned in the Communication Studies department. She was selected as the first African American spokesperson for Lennox, when she represented the company on 35 media outlets during the 2018 Lennox Summer Energy Savings Media Tour. Check out a sampling of Brittani's work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAU-7vEmmhU
"My Communication Studies degree has helped tremendously with my career. Of course I'm on media, publications, and on camera quite frequently so if it had not been for UNT COMM, there are some things that I would not have been prepared for." She added that her courses in performance studies, rhetoric, and organizational communication all contributed to the success she has had since graduation.
Due to her various initiatives, Brittani has been formally recognized for her efforts. She was featured in the 2016 Lennox International Women's Day celebration, which including recognition from the company's executive team. She was also a part of the team that won the 2017 Gold Dealer Design Award from HVAC News Magazine, and Brittani and her team also received the Lennox Pacesetter Award for Innovation from Lennox CEO Todd Bluedorn.
Brittani discovered UNT's Communication Studies department during her undergraduate days and "found a major where she could help others and develop the communication skills necessary for a career in business." She says she learned a lot of valuable life lessons at UNT and in the department. For current students her words of wisdom are "go see your professors because they want you to succeed, lose the ego and the fear and approach your professors and advisors for questions; an ego is a king with no throne."
Brittani attributes her work ethic to her mother Nikki Youman, an Army Veteran who worked two and three jobs at a time to support her family. "My mom is an incredible writer and actress, and she sacrificed her dreams to support us." More recently, Brittani reunited with her father, former professional football standout Larry Centers, and the two have developed a true bond.
The Communication Studies department is proud of alumna Brittani Youman; she is a great example of using her degree and communication expertise to make an impact, reach others and inspire change. Since she "got up" from her mother's couch, she has not stopped ascending!