COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) named Palmer Schoening vice president of government affairs and Alex Ayers director of government affairs.

Schoening is CEO and Ayers is director of government for Schoening Strategies LLC, a federal lobbying firm devoted to eliminating the federal estate tax and protecting the tax rights of family businesses.

Schoening and Ayers will replace Jon Melchi, who is stepping away from the HVACR distribution industry after seven years of service to serve as executive director of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio, effective Dec. 15.

"Serving this industry has been an honor and a privilege," said Melchi. "Together, we've built up HARDI Advocacy into a force to be reckoned with in D.C. that passionately represents the HVACR industry and wholesale distribution. That mantle is being picked up by the best of hands in Palmer and Alex. Thank you to the fantastic HARDI membership for being the paragon of trade association communities."

Talbot Gee, CEO, HARDI, said the organization intends to continue to be a leader on the policy side.

“We’re in a really strong place and I feel like we aren’t going to lose any momentum when it comes to government affairs. Jon Melchi hired Schoening Strategies in 2014 to help strengthen our presence in D.C. They’ve represented us well on regulatory and legislative issues, so it’s not just legislative. They’re anxious to build a stronger case load on the regulatory side as well. Palmer, Alex, and their firm have exceeded expectations.”

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Publication Date: 12/09/17