Training courses to prepare for NATE exams are described by RSES E&E Board Chairman Roger Hensley.

MINNEAPOLIS – The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society has reached what it is calling a ‘tipping point’ in its 76-year history.

Though RSES continues to struggle financially largely due to diminished interest in voluntary technician certification, education and training, the society itself said it “believes (it) will be able to sustain future operations through actions completed and planned.”

“We are at the tipping point of useful effectiveness for our historic models of doing business. By addressing these historic shortcomings of our organization, our demise is not a foregone conclusion,” RSES Executive Vice President Mark Lowry told delegates during a business meeting at the society’s Annual Conference & HVACR Technology Expo here.

Lowry outlined some of the actions being taken to allow the trade association to continue operating successfully in the future. Among those are:

• “Implementing new and innovative marketing strategies to increase membership and training programs.”

• “The development of new revenue sources from an already existing membership base.”

• “Reduction in operating expenses, when appropriate.”

RSES Executive Vice President Mark Lowry outlines future plans of the society to delegates at the annual business meeting.

• “Support of legislation or regulations that would require certification or recertification of HVACR personnel.”

“Management believes that the effect of these and other actions will favorably affect operating results,” Lowry said.

He told delegates that the society is already moving to more conference calling than on-site meetings for its board of directors and reducing the number of directors. He said consideration is being given to reducing the size of its official magazine RSES Journal, not having an international conference every year, and looking at rental space for its headquarters rather than continuing to own its building in Des Plaines, Ill., all as cost-saving measures.

Robert Majerus of Delfield, left, is presented the Manufacturers Service Advisory Council Member of the Year Award from MSAC Chair William Barrenger.

Lowry highlighted pockets of activity with technical schools and community colleges, particularly those where local RSES chapters engage directly with the HVACR programs. Another area of income generation that drew considerable attention earlier in the four-day conference was the continual upgrading of RSES training programs offered to the industry to help prepare persons for taking exams offered through the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program.

As outlined by Roger Hensley, chairman of the RSES Education & Examining Board, the society has completed updates on training for NATE’s Core, Air-to-Air Heat Pumps, and Air Distribution exams and plans to do the same in 2010 for Oil Furnaces, Gas Furnaces, Hydronics, and Commercial Refrigeration.

“This is currently the primary focus of the E&E Board,” Hensley said. Also in the equation are updates of the CD-Rom versions of the material, “so they fall in line with the new (printed) material.”

Chris Van Rite of M&M Manufacturing, left, receives RSES Speaker of the Year honors from Frederick Juste, president of the society’s Garden State Chapter.

In other developments, Hensley said RSES is:

• Planning to take some of its own training programs offered through local chapters and provide them to the entire industry as Webinar events.

• Updating refrigerant usage training programs to more specifically address various HFCs (410A, 404A, 507, etc.) as well as explore the future of refrigerants after HFCs

• Creating online testing of its own training courses and Certificate Member (CM) and Certificate Member Specialist (CMS) exams after previously only offering them in written form at specific times and locations.

Loren Shuck, left, heads to the stage after being named RSES Member of the Year during the society’s annual conference.


During the conference, Bruce Kamperschroer of Minneapolis, a retired facilities manager, was elected International President, a position he will hold until the next annual conference, scheduled for Nov. 9-13, 2010 in Tucson, Ariz.

Newly elected RSES International President Bruce Kamperschroer, right, listens as member Paul Winberry shares a thought.

Member of the Year recognition went to Loren Shuck, who was especially cited for his many years of service on the E&E Board. Speaker of the Year was Chris Van Rite of M&M Manufacturing. The Manufacturers Service Advisory Council (MSAC) of RSES presented its Member of the Year award to Robert Majerus of The Delfield Co.

Publication date:11/30/2009