If you ask Darylene Dennon, CEO of Solid Energy Inc. and PDCA National Board Member, what it takes to succeed as a woman in the industry, she will tell you, “Three things: passion, enthusiasm, and vision. You need all three of those or you can’t get where you want to go. If you can’t see yourself somewhere, then how will you ever get there?” Darylene says that these values and her membership in PDCA are what took her from humble roots to where she is today.
Darylene grew up around entrepreneurs – her father and grandfather built houses, her brothers were both in the trades, and she refinished furniture and decks to help pay her way through college. It was in her nature to try new things, especially in the business realm. That was how she and her husband, Sumner Dennon, got started in painting.
In 1988 Darylene was working in the local police department in Seattle, and her husband at the time had had success as a specialty painter. In April of that year, after Sumner experimented with house painting, they opened the doors of Solid Energy Inc. To ensure they were running their business properly, Darylene hired business, financial, and marketing consultants. Through these relationships she was introduced to Lynn Fife.
One of the first questions Lynn asked Darylene was, “Do you belong to any associations?” The answer at the time was no, so he recommended they join PDCA. “Joining PDCA was the Launchpad for Solid Energy’s growth,” says Darylene. “PDCA put professionalism into my business. We would not be where we are today without PDCA.”
Darylene took many of the concepts she learned through PDCA and applied them to different areas of her life. She joined the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and became very involved in women’s programs and Habitat for Humanity Women Builds. The relationships she made with other PDCA members encouraged her to reach for new heights and gave her the support she needed to get there. Solid Energy Inc. is now a very successful company in Seattle, WA, and Darylene is a leader in many different committees across industry organizations. She became the first female president of her local PDCA Chapter and Council, as well as the second woman to be the PDCA National Chair. She was also a co-founder of the PDCA Professional Women in Painting Forum (PWP).
This leadership drive, her connections in the world with women, and growing the groups she is a part of has earned her many plaudits, including the NAHB Woman of the Year. She recalls being amazed by the women on stage, and inspired to do the same things. The inspiration she now wants to pass on to women is “You don’t have to do anything but liberate yourself, and the world gets liberated. Be confident in what you do and you will be able to achieve great success.”