SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The EGIA Foundation announced its fifth annual class of HVAC HERO Scholarship recipients — a group of dedicated students pursuing education to prepare themselves for career paths in HVAC. Each one exemplifies the mission of the EGIA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building a bigger, brighter future workforce for the home services trades.

Nineteen students are receiving $2,500 apiece toward tuition as they pursue technical HVAC degrees or certificates from a variety of trade schools, colleges, and other technical training programs as part of the EGIA Foundation’s HVAC HERO Scholarship Program. Over the last five years, the HERO Program has distributed over $225,000 to 91 HVAC students, helping to increase the pipeline of talented workers between post-high school training programs and contractors actively seeking new hires.

“We’re extremely proud of this latest group of HERO Scholarship recipients, each of whom was selected based on their clear academic and community qualifications, as well as the compelling reasons they shared with us as to why they’re passionate about this industry and these careers,” said Bruce Matulich, chairman of the EGIA Foundation. “We feel certain each will make a tremendous impact both among the contractors who hire them and the communities they serve.”

This year’s recipients also include two honorary awards: the Women in HVACR HERO scholarship, awarded to Diana Montiel Silva in collaboration between the EGIA Foundation and Women in HVACR, a likeminded nonprofit organization working to uplift the industry and broaden diversity within it; and the Rob Falke HERO scholarship, awarded to Zachary Sale and named in honor of the trailblazing father of modern air-balancing and diagnostic testing. Rob “Doc” Falke, who passed away in May, was co-founder and president of National Comfort Institute (NCI).

“Increasing diversity within our industry isn’t about optics — it’s one of the most impactful things we can do to improve and expand the HVAC workforce, which is one of the top priorities among contractors right now,” said Colleen Keyworth, president of Women in HVACR. “Diana is rife with potential, and emblematic of an increasing number of young women with the skills, passion, and motivation to excel in HVAC and help move the industry forward — exactly what Women in HVACR was founded to do and what we’re working hand-in-hand with the EGIA Foundation to accomplish.”

The HERO scholarship in Rob Falke’s name, likewise, was established to celebrate the memory of someone who thought outside the box to help advance the industry.

“NCI was co-founded by ‘Doc’ Falke with an eye toward helping foster a new generation of contractors with better training, tools, and processes to better serve their communities,” recalled David Holt, director of national accounts for NCI. “Based on Zachary’s background and application, he’s perfectly suited to develop into just the kind of contractor that Doc envisioned and that the EGIA Foundation helps to create. We at NCI are confident his future in the industry will honor Doc’s memory.”

The EGIA Foundation’s next HVAC HERO Scholarship cycle will begin accepting applications in October 2022 from interested students pursuing studies in HVAC during the 2023-24 academic year. Students wishing to learn more about the benefits of a career in the trades, or to apply for the scholarship when it opens up, can visit

Contractors, businesses, or other organizations interested in working with the EGIA Foundation to expand the benefits it provides contractors and students, can visit to learn more about the Foundation’s mission and how they can collaborate, contribute, or coordinate to amplify current initiatives.