Peter Schwartz was named NATE president and CEO this year.

Around mid 2010, North American Technician Excellence (NATE) named veteran association executive Peter Schwartz as its new president and CEO. He came to HVACR from associations in the home building and design industries, where he piled up more than 30 years of experience.

Most recently he was president and CEO of the Construction Financial Management Association, an organization of 7,000 members and 90 chapters throughout the United States that serves construction financial professionals. He has also served as CEO of such organizations as the American Supply Association (ASA) and the National Apartment Association.

As a career association executive for construction, housing, and property management organizations, he said his closest link to HVAC was as the executive vice president and CEO of ASA, where he did some work with plumbing-heating-cooling contractors. When he came to NATE, the 2010 NEWSmaker said “it felt like a homecoming; the people I had become closest with are those in HVAC.”


His primary goal, he said, is “to elevate the value quotient of NATE certification, at all levels of the industry, as a requisite rather than an option.” He added that there is the potential for a pull-through demand from consumers. There also are opportunities for distributors to partner with the association.

“Many distributors provide the opportunity for techs who are not certified to get training and testing at their facilities,” he said.

Among consumers, he said there is a need to increase marketing, raise awareness of the certification, and demonstrate to consumers that using certified technicians has a significant impact during service and installations.

“I also want to position NATE as a source of general information,” he said. The organization’s consumer website is continuing to evolve.

As he has done in the past, “I am going to practice management through wandering around, so I can become a translator and facilitator,” Schwartz said. There also are plans to literally translate exams into Spanish, and to provide e-exams. “We are expanding our reach.”

He is visiting jobsites and teaching organizations, and attending industry meetings, to introduce himself and gather input. “We will focus on utilities as well, relative to energy and sustainability.

“We are looking to validate improved performance and installations by NATE-certified techs,” he said. “The low-hanging fruit is the value quotient.” The use of NATE-certified technicians has been shown to positively impact warranty work and callbacks. “We would like for it to be a requisite.

“I want to work with the manufacturers in this industry to see the benefits of NATE certification, and also to get the installers and technicians to realize the economic benefits, of which there are real, tangible advantages.”

“We most genuinely are here to serve the HVACR contractor,” Schwartz said. “We are hoping contractors understand the benefits of tech certification. I think NATE needs to show its support and market its support of these contractors’ elite status.

“We are here to serve the industry.”

Peter Schwartz

Sidebar: 2010 NEWSmakers

Name:Peter Schwartz

Title:President and CEO


Location:Arlington, Va.

Notable Quote: “The low-hanging fruit is the value quotient.”

Publication date: 12/20/2010