Thomas F. Huntington
The 70th meeting of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) opened with poignant comments from Ian Stewart Farwell of Rheem. The 2004-2005 chairman of GAMA recapped some accomplishments of the past year and gave the incoming board members some advice at the meeting, held last May in Orlando, Fla.

"If we do our jobs correctly, we will go mostly unnoticed," said Farwell. "We are working to open new markets for our members. GAMA is hosting and co-hosting meetings with members of the Chinese government regarding matters of importance, such as standardization of products and protection of intellectual property rights. These are not random successes; these are the results of the guidance of the board of directors."

GAMA's board of directors share a responsibility to lead the organization as it advances the interests of its members beyond the reach of individual companies. Farwell provided the new leadership with some observations and challenges, too.

"Our organization must be inclusive to all; expanded memberships should be a priority. The leadership of companies must be involved to be a testament to the value of our organization," he said. "There is a need for better linkage of GAMA activities to educational efforts, such as the globalization of marketing efforts, and distribution."

Farewell concluded with a surprise for the incoming board members.

"About the time that your watch is over is when you begin to become the most effective," he said. "I believe that the chairmanship post might be extended to a two-year term in the future to best take advantage of the efforts of leadership."

As Farwell stepped down, incoming GAMA chairman Thomas F. Huntington of York International discussed his thoughts on the coming year.

"The actions we are taking in China are very important. International business is becoming such a large focus for all GAMA member companies that we must continue to enhance the capabilities of our office in Beijing," said Huntington.

Leveraging the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of GAMA members is a priority of the new chairman.

"GAMA companies have again experienced a good year with solid performances," he said. "However, we must strive to never become complacent in our leadership of innovation in the global market."

Publication date: 07/25/2005