BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Record attendance at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), held Nov. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida, may have been helped by the warm weather destination, but was perhaps due more to the growth in membership and the proliferation of legislative activity that concerns the members.

Despite the tempting golf, tennis, and various water distractions, the meeting rooms were generally full of interested parties wanting to learn more about how to protect their collective interests amid the torrent of proposed legislation (18 pending bills) that influence strategic planning.

Ed Purvis, outgoing AHRI chairman and COO of Emerson, used his last few days as AHRI chairman to remind members of the importance of their advocacy. “The people on the Hill; they know who you are. We’ve done a lot of consumer research at AHRI this past year, because that information is also what our constituency wants Capitol Hill to know about industry,” said Purvis.

Encouraging more persistence, Purvis said, “Our strategy has always been to work with government; we will always seek consensus, but, unfortunately, the last two years, it hasn’t worked so well. The bottom line is that we will always protect the interests of our members.”

Cade Clark, vice president of government affairs, AHRI, said: “Your political representatives need to know the effect of their decisions regarding regulations. They want to hear your voice and especially have a story in front of them that will resonate as they consider legislation that affects the HVACR industry.”

Incoming AHRI chairman Doug Young of Lennox Intl. Inc., outlined his vision for the coming year by asking members for even more advocacy involvement.

“Our industry is successful when we make products that are good for customers and end users. As our tagline states, our products ‘make life better,’” said Young during his address to the membership. “We need to be regulated by fair rules, which will not happen unless we are more strategic, engaged, and involved, and that includes everyone in this room.”


During the meeting, AHRI elected its new officers and presented awards to industry leaders.

“We’re honored to recognize very deserving individuals and also to welcome these innovative leaders,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO, AHRI. “We’re very grateful to them for their service to AHRI and the HVACR and water heating industries.”

Along with Young’s appointment as chairman, AHRI’s newly elected officers include vice chairman, Chris Drew, who serves as vice president of Burnham Holdings, Inc.; treasurer, Ron Duncan, president of Magic Aire; and immediate past chairman, Purvis.

The executive committee now includes Dennis Appel, executive vice president of heat transfer solutions, Luvata; John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America; Nicholas Giuffre, president and CEO of Bradford White; Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Dover Refrigeration & Food Equipment; Chris Nelson, president, North America HVAC, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, senior vice president and COO, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Earle Pfefferkorn, president, Cleaver-Brooks; Dave Regnery, president of HVAC North America, Ingersoll Rand; Rod Rushing, vice president and general manager of global products, Johnson Controls Inc.; Mike Schwartz, CEO, Daikin Applied; Bill Steel, president and CEO, Bard Mfg. Co. Inc.; and Kevin Wheeler, president, North America, Europe, and India, A.O. Smith Corp.


The Richard C. Schulze Award is given for distinguished service and commitment to AHRI and the industry’s goals and objectives. AHRI recently honored Negrey; Harry Milliken, Desert Aire; Jerry Sipes, Price Industries; Warren Lupson, AHRI; and Brian Reynolds, Trane, with the award.

The AHRI Public Service Award recognizes deserving individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the HVACR industry and worked to further AHRI’s goals. AHRI congratulated Gerry Kennedy, executive vice president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC), with the honor.

In 2015, AHRI gave two Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize individuals who are leaders in the industry and who have made significant contributions throughout their careers. The honor is AHRI’s highest award. This year, AHRI posthumously recognized Joseph Fristik of Rheem. Fristik passed away in March 2015. His wife and daughter accepted the award on his behalf. Harry Holmes, president and CEO of Morrison Products, also was recognized as a Distinguished Service Award winner. Holmes is active on several AHRI committees and served as chairman in 2013.

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Publication date: 1/25/2016

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