ARF Chairman’s Message

During a recent high school fundraising dinner in my small town of Azle, Texas, I looked around in amazement at the nearly 200 people who came out to support this event.

As we sat and visited with people around the tables, I noted how the variety of business backgrounds, ages and experiences created interesting topics of conversation. And I began to wonder just what it was that “glued” such different people (including myself) together that night.

Then I realized that, in fact, what I was witnessing and experiencing was a “mosaic.” With a mosaic, it can be difficult to make much sense of what you are seeing unless you have a perspective view of the whole.

It became clear that what brought all of us together that night was a common spirit of selflessness, cooperation and contribution to the cause; in this case, giving for the benefit of the high school we had all attended.

On a personal level, each of us gives to what we believe holds a better future for the organization, for the community and/or for all of our society. It may be mostly intangible at a specific moment or event; but just like a mosaic, it holds its true significance and strength when seen from a distance, or with the perspective of time. And in this future, the ones who have benefitted from this philanthropy will be giving back to the organizations that they believe will do the same for future generations.

Within the IIAR and at the Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF), these same principles apply. We all have different roles in our industry, we are associated with different companies, and we often have different daily priorities; but we are bound together by our common desire to grow and protect this industry for the benefit of future generations.

With that in mind, I am very excited to use the space in this column to draw your attention to the next ARF fundraising event, the 2016 William E. Kahlert Memorial Golf Tournament which is being held in Orlando, FL on Friday, March 18 at 1 pm; where our collective spirit and passion for our industry will be present in full force.

Your personal contributions to IIAR and the ARF, whether at our annual golf tournament or through a financial donation, are some of the most important steps that can be taken towards our collective future.

The volunteers on the ARF Board of Directors as well as those in the IIAR Research and Education Committees are working hard to turn your ARF contributions into lasting benefits for our industry.

Two important ARF-funded research projects will be completed later this year, and work statements for three more are in full development as we speak. The outcomes of these projects are enhancing the safety and efficiency of ammonia refrigeration systems.

The Research Panel Discussion on Wednesday, March 23 at the IIAR annual conference is a great place to get fully up to speed on the work being done. We have also significantly expanded the scope of the ARF-funded scholarship program to bring a selection of award recipients in-house to the Education Committee, to increase the number of annual scholarship awards, and to increase the size and duration of the scholarships. These activities are further enhancing our efforts to attract the brightest young talent to our industry.

At the same time that we are expanding the reach of IIAR and ARF’s through research and educational initiatives, we are also devoting significant resources toward building the structure within ARF to meet the needs of our industry well into the future.

We are most proud to announce that ARF recently hired a full-time Executive Director with direct experience in fundraising and non-profit organization leadership. This investment in our future will enable ARF to grow its funding of initiatives which will benefit the industrial refrigeration industry for generations to come.

Like the mosaic, each and every one of you, of us collectively, has the power to make this canvas hold a meaningful vision for our industry that will be clearly visible in both the short and long term future of our organization.