When Taylor Vaughn, MBA, CHFM, CHC, CLSS-HC, was beginning her health care facility management career about seven years ago, she did not know many people in the field. That changed when she started attending American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) events, including the ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition in Denver in 2016.

“I learned a ton and I’ve been to every conference since then,” says Vaughn, who is a facility manager at Children’s Health in Dallas. “And I made tons of friends and several mentors in the industry. ASHE members are great about connecting with people and going up to somebody who maybe is sitting alone. That happened for me, especially when I was younger and didn’t know many people. The community of ASHE has been so welcoming.”

Vaughn can name several ASHE members she befriended at events who made themselves available to answer questions and provide guidance as she grew in her career. She still counts them as friends, even though she is a more experienced professional now.

Tina Morton, ASHE’s director of member engagement, says Vaughn’s experience is typical. Informal meetings and relationships add depth and value to a person’s ASHE membership.

“At the beginning, what members are typically looking for is networking and training, just like anybody would need these things at the beginning of any career,” Morton says. “How do you get to know the right people who can help you advance and who can help you get started? Whether it’s a straight-up connection for a job or also for mentoring, that’s the kind of thing that ASHE can provide and we’re working on providing more of that.”