ARLINGTON, Va. - At its April 21 meeting, the executive committee of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute’s (ARI’s) board of directors voted to continue exploring a merger with the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA). GAMA’s executive committee recently held a similar vote, also approving continued discussions. The two organizations share 31 common members.

During its discussions, the executive committee noted potential benefits of a merger, including the likelihood of a new association enjoying greater political clout, providing a stronger voice before federal, state, and international government entities; increased influence in standards- and code-setting bodies; and improved industry synergy and sharper messaging on all issues.

The executive committee asked its study group to undertake multiple tasks, to be completed and reported back by July 31.

The committee is to complete a comparison of both the common and distinct government affairs issues; establish three cluster groups of companies to elicit their input on specific concerns they might have and how those concerns might be mitigated; formulate the potential structure of a combined association with some level of detail and prioritization of issues, concerns, and services; and create benchmarks of other association mergers, noting what has been successful and what has been problematic.

“During this evaluation process, ARI staff will continue to remain focused on serving the needs of the membership and the industry,” said Stephen Yurek, ARI president. “I want to assure everyone involved that this process will be undertaken in a methodical, deliberate manner, and that the views of every sector of the association will be carefully considered as we move forward.”

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Publication date:05/21/2007