RSES Executive Vice President Mark Lowry
DES PLAINES, Ill. - The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) has once again reached within its ranks to choose its chief paid executive.

Mark Lowry - who has been on staff since 1993, most recently in the No. 2 position of director of operations - has been named executive vice president (EVP).

The RSES board of directors made the appointment official during a meeting at the international headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., on Feb. 18.

Lowry replaces Robb Isaacs, who had served as EVP for six years, and had announced in mid-2005 his desire to retire upon the naming of his successor. Isaacs had been named EVP after having been an elected officer for 35 years, and having completed his tenure as international president, the top elected position.

At age 38, Lowry is believed to be one of the youngest chief executives of an industry association.

He was born in Illinois and raised in Michigan. He began college studies at the University of Michigan and completed his undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Science degree in business and marketing from the University of Phoenix.

He was working in the Chicago area for Telemedia, a private organization that developed technical training materials, when he struck up an acquaintance with Ralph Jansen, who was also involved in technical publications and was a member of RSES.

From there Lowry sought out a staff position at RSES headquarters and came aboard as director of logistics.

Lowry described his seeking the EVP position as "the next logical step in my career and a time to put my training to the test." His long tenure with RSES was seen by a number of persons within the trade association as a demonstration of his commitment to the society, which stresses technical training for service technicians in the HVACR industry.

In that aspect, Lowry said he hopes to continue RSES' efforts to encourage more young people to seek out careers in HVACR. "We need to steer the best and brightest toward the trades," he said.

RSES was formed in 1933 when a number of persons in the industry including Herbert Herkimer, who operated a training school in New York City called the Herkimer Institute, saw the need "for training personnel on a national scale and in addition to those being trained by manufacturers," according to a history of RSES written in 1983 by Willis Stafford on the occasion of the society's 50th anniversary.

"This kind of training had been done through trade guilds for centuries and was still somewhat prevalent in the 1930s. It was on this premise that Herkimer conceived the idea of a national organization with the sole purpose of education," Stafford wrote.

Today, RSES educational materials, training, and testing encompass a wide range of HVACR technologies and are available online, via CD-rom, in print form, and through seminars offered on a regular basis at monthly chapter meetings, state and regional association conferences, the annual International Conference, and at training programs sponsored during the year by RSES International at various locations.

Publication date: 02/27/2006