ATLANTA - The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) is attempting to shake off what it feels the industry considers a members-only, refrigeration-focused image by promoting itself as "The HVACR Training Authority" and establishing relationships with a wide range of other industry organizations.

"We want to return RSES to a place of prominence and relevance," Executive Vice President Mark Lowry told delegates at the 69th Annual Conference and HVACR Technology Exposition.

In noting that RSES is much more than refrigeration and engineering-oriented, he said the society's logo and Website have recently been redesigned to reflect the diversified offerings of the society.

He said the training and educational offerings that cover the gamut of HVACR are being provided to the entire industry to a greater extent than ever before through relationships with other organizations and associations.

For example, he said RSES has dropped its own National Technician Certification program (NTC) and drawn closer ties with North American Technician Excellence (NATE). The emphasis here, he said, is on RSES' ability to offer classes to prepare technicians to take NATE exams. "Your elected board of directors and I believe every RSES member should be NATE-certified and every RSES chapter should be offering NATE preparatory classes," said Lowry.

He also spoke of RSES working with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC) to develop apprentice-training programs designed to meet Department of Labor nationally recognized standards. He also noted that RSES, ACCA, and PHCC have joined the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) to "offer new and improved workshops for HVACR and plumbing educators." He said that building on 10 years of ARI leadership, the second Joint Instructor Workshop was announced for March 28-30, 2007, at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va. Also announced as sponsors for the March conference were NATE, Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Skills-USA, Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), and Council of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Educators (CARE).

These workshops are being offered to instructors at no cost, although attendees will be responsible for the cost of travel and housing.


Beyond those specific projects with other associations, RSES is looking for even more ways to serve the industry.

This also has resulted in RSES moving beyond just member services and member dues to remain viable, said Harlan ‘Skip' Krepcik, chairman of RSES' short- and long-range planning committee and a territory manager for Trane's Chesapeake sales office.

"How many of you can survive if your company's customer base is just your employees?" he asked his contractor/technician audience.

He also noted the impression in the industry is that RSES is members-only and refrigeration-focused. "We have a perception problem," he said. "We must change this. The industry must perceive us as a provider of more than just refrigeration material."

Krepcik said that providing more offerings to the industry would result in a stronger revenue stream to benefit the viability of the society.

Over the next year, he said, RSES will focus on "developing and marketing training material for the industry"; possibly restructuring to better "meet the needs, wants, and values of the industry," and "advancing common industry objectives.

"Nothing has been finalized," he told delegates. "We are working on ideas and we need input from members."


During the conference, Harry ‘Butch' McGuire of Missoula, Mont., was elected international president and will serve until the association's 70th annual conference Sept. 11-15, 2007, in San Antonio, Texas. He is a facilities engineer at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

Member of the Year honors went to Wes Taylor, training manager for Carlyle Compressor Co. Chuck Otto, product manager, refrigeration products, Johnson Controls Inc., was presented the Herman Goldberg Award for what was described as a "lifetime of outstanding achievement in advancing the HVACR profession."

Publication date: 11/13/2006