Vice president of environmental, social and governance, Ferguson Enterprises LLC, Newport News
Twelve years ago, Denise Vaughn was struggling to balance work with the demands of raising a family. She felt like she was failing at both, so she resigned to take a less demanding job.
The news reached the CEO of Ferguson, and he called her. She sobbed as she told him why she felt she had to leave.
But he convinced her to stay.
“He set me straight,” Vaughn recounts. “He said, ‘You need to communicate when you’re feeling this kind of pressure, and we’ll support you.’ From that point forward, I made it my mission to help working moms understand that it’s OK to prioritize your family.”
Vaughn has witnessed many historic moments during her 16 years with Ferguson, which she joined after working in university relations at Christopher Newport University. She felt proud to travel to Wall Street in May when Ferguson’s U.K.-based parent company moved its primary stock listing from London to the New York Stock Exchange, reflecting the importance of its North American operations.
Vaughn is dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of her company, which distributes residential and commercial heating, cooling and plumbing products as well as industrial items.
Her role focuses on supporting the well-being of Ferguson associates and the communities the company serves, providing a safe and inclusive work environment and reducing Ferguson’s environmental impact.
“I have been able to create a position that aligns with my personal values,” she says. “I have always been driven to make an impact.”