HARDI is establishing a Mexico division.

The association announced that it has hired management consultant Guitze Messina to head the new operation, and he has the experience and contacts necessary to make the foray a success, officials with the Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International said. The move was more than two years in the making.

“This is such a meaningful step for HARDI,” said association CEO Talbot Gee. “As HARDI grows, it is important that we take advantage of opportunities like this that help further HARDI’s core mission of keeping wholesale distribution the channel of choice for the industry. This new division will help accomplish that in the rapidly growing market of Mexico.”

Messina said he was excited to be working for HARDI.

“I have worked with the HVACR industry in Mexico, and from what I have seen I can tell you there is a substantial need for an organization like HARDI in that market and for the services it can provide,” he said. “I am proud to join the HARDI team and I am confident that we will be able to navigate the market successfully as HARDI embarks on this new venture.”

At HARDI’s Dec. 2-5 annual conference in Las Vegas, the will hold its first Mexico market summit.

Tom Roberts of CFM Distributors, HARDI’s 2016-17 president, has long been an advocate for the association branching out beyond its U.S. and Canadian base. He said establishing relationships with Mexican HVAC distributors will benefit everyone.

“HARDI has grown leaps and bounds in terms of quality and quantity of resources and services it provides to its members in the United States and Canada over the last decade,” Roberts said. “With the progress the organization has seen in that timeframe, expanding with a focus on the Mexican HVACR distribution market is the next logical step. With Gui on the front lines supported by the current association, this is an exciting new development that will grow to further improve resources and services provided to all HARDI members.”