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June 30, 2004: Obituary: Frank Coda

June 30, 2004
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ATLANTA - Frank Coda died on June 25 after a lengthy illness. During his more than 20 years of service, Mr. Coda helped the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) evolve into a leading force for technological advancement on a global scale.

Mr. Coda became ASHRAE executive director in 1981, was named chief staff officer in 1984, and became executive vice president emeritus in January. He continued to work for ASHRAE in a consulting capacity until his death.

"Frank Coda's will to survive, his work ethic, and love of his family and ASHRAE characterized the last years of his life," said Richard R. Rooley, FREng, ASHRAE president. "Our international membership mourns his passing while looking back with admiration on his achievements on our behalf."

During his secretary's report at ASHRAE's 2004 Winter Meeting, Mr. Coda noted that "ASHRAE does not suffer from a lack of challenges: Building security, climate change, efficient use of energy resources, and strengthening the food chain and preserving shelf life of medicines in many parts of the world demand we do this. But because of the Society's vitality, a vitality fueled by delivery of value-based services, ASHRAE's future is as bright as its current health is strong and as its history is proud. The broad-based, grass roots organization that attracts and motivates thousands of volunteers, not just in the United States and Canada, but now around the world, is the envy of every technical society. And the staff that sustains the volunteer effort on a day-to-day basis is dedicated and professional. The business of ASHRAE has never been better."

Mr. Coda was born April 8, 1940. A 1961 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering, his first association position was managing director of the Perlite Institute, an international trade association. He joined ASHRAE in 1969 and was a member of the ASHRAE technical committee covering thermal insulation and moisture barriers. In 1973, he was named executive vice president of the Illuminating Engineering Society, now IESNA. He chaired the panel that developed the illumination section of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-75, "Energy Conservation in New Building Design," and represented IES on the Standard 90P Executive Committee.

Along with ASHRAE, he was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, the National Institute of Buildings Sciences, and Construction Specifications Institute.

Under Mr. Coda's leadership, ASHRAE's annual operating budget tripled, allowing the Society to significantly expand membership services. Under his watch, ASHRAE moved into the world of electronic communication, refined its standards writing process to achieve broader acceptance of ASHRAE standards, and launched the ASHRAE Learning Institute.

In March, the ASHRAE Board of Directors thanked him for his service and recognized him with a citation that noted his contributions.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and four children.

Publication date: 06/28/2004

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