How Diversity Strengthens Our Industry

The demographics of the country have changed (and are changing). People who don’t look alike, think alike, talk alike or haven’t lived alike have opportunities to work together and share communities together like never before.

What do these changes mean for our industry? How do we create work/business environments where ALL workers and contractors feel like they belong? How do we harness the power of diversity to strengthen our industry?

This session will answer these questions. And will also provide an introduction to the Belonging and Excellence for All (BE 4 ALL) project, a joint effort of SMACNA, SMART and iTi.

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Dushaw Hockett
SPACEs, Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity

Dushaw Hockett is the founder and Executive Director of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), a Washington, DC-based leadership development and community building organization dedicated to bridging the gap between what people imagine and what they achieve.

A native New Yorker who now resides in Maryland, Dushaw has over 20 years of experience in community building and organizational development. He is the former Director of Special Initiatives for the Center for Community Change (CCC), a 40-plus year old national social justice organization founded in the memory of the late Robert F. Kennedy. During is 12-year tenure at CCC, Dushaw led projects focused on affordable housing, immigration and race.


Tim Carter
SMART Northwest Regional Council

Timothy G. Carter was appointed President of the Northwest Regional Council of SMART on June 1, 2020, which covers 5 Local unions over 7 states from Nebraska to Alaska. These 5 Local Unions represent nearly 10,000 SMART Sheet Metal Workers. Prior to that he was elected as Business Manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 on March 18th 2015. Prior to that he was elected and served as Business Representative to Local 66 for over 12 years. He started his apprenticeship in 1980 in Seattle Local 99 which has become Local 66, turned out as a Journeyman in 1984, and went on to become a Field Superintendent for local mechanical contractors on several major projects in the Puget Sound area.

He currently serves on the Northwest Sheet Metal Workers Pension, the Northwest Sheet Metal Workers Healthcare Trust, the Sheet Metal Workers LU16 plan, the Oregon Sheet Metal Workers Retirement Trust, President of the Northwest District Council, serves on the National Joint Adjustment Board, and is currently the 7th General Vice President of Smart International Association.

Tim spends his spare time with his wife and family of 5 children and 8 grandchildren. He is active in his local church, and his hobbies include playing Bluegrass music, fishing, and hunting.


Julie Muller, Esq.
SMACNA – Western Washington

Julie Muller is the Executive Vice President and Legal Counsel at SMACNA-Western Washington. Her primary responsibility is labor relations and negotiating the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of member contractors. Julie is also responsible for running the SMACNA Board of Directors and is a Trustee on multiple Taft-Hartley Health and Pension Funds. Additionally, Julie develops educational, sustainability, and DE&I initiatives for the construction industry. Julie is responsible for helping create the SMART Heroes program, the Heavy Metal Summer Experience initiative, and the Western Washington Women in Construction Annual Summit. Julie also serves as Co-Chair on Construction for Change (CFC), a non-profit construction management organization working to provide quality health and educational facilities for underserved communities across the globe. Julie earned her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate from Loyola Marymount and is earning her Executive MBA from Yale University. Julie resides in Kirkland, with her eight-year-old twins and enjoys spending time with them on the lake.