Chairman’s Message by Trevor Hegg

I’m always impressed by the incredible progress IIAR makes on our industry’s goals every day and every week. It may be more exciting to write or hear about the big news – an updated standard, or a new member service – but just as important are the little things. Those things we don’t see but are always going on in the background. They represent the steady work we do as an organization every day.

In this issue, you’ll read about many of these things. In one case, after months of background work by IIAR staff and members, in a dispute over whether or not an ammonia release at a power facility should be considered uncontrolled, an OSHA appeal was overturned.

While the case in question concerned TECO, a power company, IIAR believed the case’s outcome would be crucial to the food industry and many other industries that use ammonia in their processes. IIAR teamed with the National Manufacturers Association and Edison Electric in filing an amicus brief to inform the court of the ramifications of an unfavorable decision and weigh these against the alternative.

As another example, our cover story about the adoption of IIAR’s education program in Costa Rica – is just the first step in a much bigger effort – Costa Rica’s plans to make those IIAR standards mandatory.

IIAR has steadily worked to build an international presence over years, looking for new opportunities to grow on the global stage and continuing to foster communication with all our international partners. That effort is paying off with well-developed educational programs that do more than just inform, they’re helping new users of natural refrigerants grow faster and safer than ever before. IIAR leadership is taking an ever-active role in that effort – traveling to many industry events to represent IIAR, both here and around the world.

At headquarters, your staff is working hard to implement our new membership structure, also a process that is paying off. From its inception, the new membership program took months of dedicated time, devoted by our leadership and members, to craft something valuable that will carry IIAR into the future.

Our new membership structure took effect on July 1, and the changes are already increasing the value of IIAR membership, promoting recruitment and retention of members, and creating financial balance and sustainability for IIAR.

The IIAR board came to its decision to change the membership structure after convening a group of 23 IIAR members, and later, an executive committee task force who came together to discuss the issue and delve into ways membership could add value. Ultimately, a simpler IIAR rate structure was developed encompassing many new member benefits.

As part of the change, members receive access to one free IIAR training video (Series I, II, and III) annually, one free ANR course annually, and free access to digital versions of the ANSI/IIAR standards accessible both online and offline via an eReader application called eVantage, and free access to virtual conference content.

These advocacy efforts, membership changes, and educational programs, including our annual conference, represent the future of our industry, and your support of them is essential. Every IIAR program and initiative is made possible by your membership, and additionally, by your leadership and contributions as a volunteer.

I encourage everyone to get involved in your organization, whether it’s volunteering on a committee or giving your input on an important issue – this is the background work that keeps us moving. The ongoing support and participation of our membership make all of these projects and opportunities possible. Thank you for continuing to enrich our industry with your collaboration, input, and knowledge. I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on the progress of these projects and initiatives, and the many others we have slated for the rest of the year.