Obituary: William Podd, CMS
“He helped so many people across Canada and the United States who needed so badly to elevate their skills to become more knowledgeable technicians,” said Jack Hasick, CM, 2001 RSES international president. “Bill had the patience of Job; he would spend any amount of time helping students, especially those who were not as swift at learning.”
Mr. Podd started working in the refrigeration field for his father, who was in charge of refrigeration equipment for Borden Co. in Ottawa, the society said. After training through an apprenticeship program, Mr. Podd became a refrigeration mechanic and what is said to be the province’s first licensed apprentice. “His license literally had the number one on it,” said Garth Denison, CMS, 1990 RSES international president.
Mr. Podd earned a bachelor’s degree in Trade-Tech Education at Ferris State College, Grand Rapids, Mich. He also served as an assistant professor there, and helped form the school’s refrigeration and air conditioning program. He received his master’s degree from Niagara College in upstate New York. He later established an apprentice program for Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario, and taught in it until 1972, when he became chairman of all apprenticeship programs.
Mr. Podd and his staff at Mohawk developed new courses, updating the program and expanding apprenticeship training. Mr. Podd was director of training for the Joint Training Apprenticeship Committee of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters in Ontario. At that time he also was elected international president of RSES.
Mr. Podd held several RSES offices, including president of the Niagara Peninsula Chapter and educational chairman of RSES Canada. In 1973, he was elected as Region 17’s international director. He also added six new chapters and was named to the executive committee in 1977.
Mr. Podd advanced to RSES posts of sergeant-at-arms, secretary-treasurer, and second and first vice president. He served as chairman of the Educational Subcommittee of the Engineering and Education (E&E) board; was a member of the Budget and Finance and Building Committees while the new RSES headquarters building was under construction, the society reported.
Due to meritorious service to his country, Mr. Podd was honored in 1979 by Queen Elizabeth with the Royal Order of St. John. This earned him the title “Sir” for his work at Mohawk College.
As president, Mr. Podd directed the hiring of the society’s first membership manager. After his presidency, Mr. Podd worked full-time for the RSES Educational Foundation. “Under his leadership, the National Voluntary Technician Certification (NVTC, and later NTC), the industry’s first such program, flourished,” the society said. “Hugely successful with electrical utilities, the program certified over 60,000 technicians in the proper installation and maintenance of HVAC equipment, particularly heat pumps.”
Mr. Podd is survived by his wife, Pat; son, Mike; daughter, Kelley; and three granddaughters.
“I was honored to work with Bill during my first few years at RSES,” reflected Mark Lowry, RSES executive vice president. “He taught me a great deal about RSES and the industry, and about personal humility. Sir William Percival Podd, CMS, would never boast of his own accomplishments. He was always just Bill.”
Publication date: 07/02/2007