Wholesaler group HARDI has two new lobbyists and promoted a longtime staffer.

Officials with the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International announced the Columbus, Ohio-based organization has hired Palmer Schoening as the group’s new vice president of government affairs and Alex Ayers as government affairs director. The two were previously Washington, D.C.-based consultants to the association.

They replace longtime HARDI lobbyist Jon Melchi, who is taking a new position with the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio.

“Serving this industry has been an honor and a privilege,” Melchi said. “Together we’ve built up HARDI advocacy into a force to be reckoned with in D.C., passionately representing 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.”

The association also promoted Emily Saving to executive vice president. She was previously vice president of services and operations.

“I am honored to expand upon my service to HARDI membership in this new capacity,” Saving said. “And continue to advance the industry in a meaningful way, and to make the value of HARDI membership invaluable.”

HARDI CEO Talbot Gee thanked Melchi for his work.     

 “We have an incredibly talented team here at HARDI,” said Gee. “Although Jon will be truly missed, I am confident in our ability to adapt and continue with the growth trajectory the association is seeing with Emily, Palmer and Alex. I look forward to more great developments for our members and the HVACR industry as we head into 2018.”