ULI WLI & AIA hosted "Built by Women: How would women design cities differently?"
ULI WLI Pittsburgh and AIA hosted an event in the Rivers Club in Pittsburgh on September 29th.
Name: Beth Eckenrode
Company/ Role: Co-founder of the AUROS Group, Carnegie, PA
Place of birth/hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Madison: BS in Industrial Engineering
Northwestern University: MBA from Kellogg School of Management
Beth came to the Pittsburgh region as General Manager of Nova Chemicals’ $1B Styrene Monomer business when NOVA moved its headquarters from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Pittsburgh. While raising a young family, she traveled back and forth from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL to pursue an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. After finishing her MBA, Beth moved to the H.J. Heinz Company as Chief Strategy Officer and filled a variety of positions before leaving the corporate world for entrepreneurial ventures. Beth attributes her corporate success to her willingness to take on new opportunities. Beth said, “when someone sees something in you that you may not see in yourself, have faith, and take the leap. I was fortunate that I had the support of many mentors, including the CEO of Nova Chemicals. He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, but I trusted him and never regretted it.”
How did AUROS Group come to be?
With an interest to take on big issues like sustainability, climate change and decarbonization in a data-driven way, Beth partnered with Craig Stevenson to create the AUROS Group, a WBENC-certified, woman-owned business. AUROS Group is dedicated to helping building owners and developers build, renovate, and operate fully decarbonized and healthy buildings cost effectively. AUROS Group integrates building science with data science to mitigate the financial risk of investing in building performance. Using physics-based modeling and simulation, AUROS Group demonstrates how buildings can be expected to perform before spending construction dollars.
What is the process?
Award-Winning: Beth, Craig Stevenson, and Dr. Robert Sroufe of Duquesne University authored the book The Power of Existing Buildings- Save Money, Improve Health and Reduce Environmental Impacts which was published in 2019 and was recently awarded the Academy of Management ONE’s 2022 Environmental Book of the Year award.
Beth’s Two Projects to Watch:
Where Pittsburgh is Headed: Beth is optimistic about the City of Pittsburgh’s Climate Action Plan and Energy Strategy initiated under Mayor Peduto. Pittsburgh is on the national map in terms of setting a high bar of expectations for the city’s buildings, infrastructure, and transit. She applauds efforts to focus on data-driven initiatives and processes and is confident Pittsburgh possesses the will and the vast professional ecosystem to ensure Pittsburgh stays ahead of peers in driving decarbonization while ensuring everyone has access to low utility costs and healthy indoor air quality.
Family: Beth and her family bleed the Big 10! Her husband, Tim, graduated from Purdue University. They have two sons: Baxter, a Finance and Sustainable Business graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, now working in the Philadelphia area, and Harrison, currently studying Finance at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.
What advice would you give to someone entering the industry today?
Take risks and WHEN you stumble and fall, because you will, get back up with the knowledge that failure is an integral part of success. Beth has a sign in her office that says, “Just take the next step” as her own reminder to move on after falling short.
Why is involvement in ULI (and/or WLI) valuable? How long have you been involved with ULI/WLI?
Beth joined ULI to find the smartest people in real estate! Beth is involved in the Programming Committee and is excited about the upcoming programs in January: The Women’s Leadership Initiative’s (WLI) 10-year anniversary celebration and the 2023 Trends program. Stay tuned for more information on those programs.
Fun Fact: Beth’s brother, Mike Hottinger, is the Owner of The Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli in West Allis, Wisconsin. The PBJ Deli is often frequented by Major League Baseball’s visiting teams, including the Pirates, when they take on the Brewers at Miller Park. If you get to the Milwaukee area, don’t miss the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli. The Crunch & Punch never disappoints.
What Beth is Listening To: “All-In” Podcast – looks at the economy, the country, and companies through the lenses of venture capitalists.