New IIAR Chairman Gets Busy
He is president of Ron Vallort and Associates, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based engineering and building consulting firm that is involved in site planning, facility design, construction management, operational analysis, and building analysis in refrigeration-related areas such as process cooling, freezers, and storage/distribution.
This summer, if tradition follows, he will become president-elect of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, a move that will lead him to the ASHRAE presidency in the summer of 2004.
He will already have experience as the elected head of a major trade association. Vallort became chairman of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) during its annual conference here.
Vallort is heading up IIAR through March 2004, and more than likely serving as president-elect of ASHRAE through June 2004. That overlap of high offices is rare in the HVACR industry, but it reflects what Vallort calls his “passion for the industry.”
Engineering PassionHis passion began at the University of Illinois where he earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering. That led to 19 years in Swift & Co. (which later became Globe Engineering); then nine years with A. Epstein & Sons International Inc., an engineering and architect firm in Chicago; then nine years with Haskall Co. of Jacksonville, Fla., a design-build company, before forming his own consulting firm.
“I’ve always enjoyed being able to see things materialize and grow. And I’ve always been hands-on.”
Vallort’s ASHRAE involvement began in 1964, and he was part of IIAR since its inception some 30 years ago. He also has been involved at the chapter level with the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA).
Vallort noted that there is a lot of interaction between associations in the industry. He noted, for example, that IIAR had its meetings at the conclusion of ASHRAE’s annual summer and winter meetings for many years.
Regarding his IIAR and ASHRAE leadership positions, he said, “I approach my responsibilities for each one on an individual basis.” As chairman of IIAR, Vallort lists his top priority as “completing the training guidelines for engine room operators.” He said the inventory lists different skills operators should have at various levels. Owners can use the inventory to assess their operators’ skills and learn how to bring them up to the next level.
A second priority is to develop a database of training provided throughout the country and determine ways to close geographical gaps. Also on the list is “to continue to educate the end user as well as engineers and contractors” on the safe and efficient use of ammonia, and “continue to educate the public on the friendliness and safety of ammonia.”
Publication date: 06/23/2003