Chairman’s Message by Walter Teeter

The Annual Conference and Heavy Equipment Show was a great success this year, and now that the flurry of committee meetings, networking events and technical discussions has ended and we’re all back at work, it’s time to set some new goals and carry the momentum of our recent meeting into the rest of the year.

For the executive committee and your staff at headquarters, that means everyone is working hard to make sure our recent initiatives – from the new IIAR education program to the many new projects our committees have started – are continuing to develop and reach new milestones. As your new chairman, my first priority this year is to carry those initiatives forward and make sure the growth of the industry is well supported by our organization’s leadership. I’d also like to pause here and add a big thank you to the staff for all of their efforts in creating a successful conference.

As Mark Stencel hands over the reins as IIAR Chairman, he’s leaving big shoes for all of us to fill. Under his leadership, our committees have seen one of their most productive years yet. In the international arena, IIAR has established close ties with regions where ammonia refrigeration and the global cold chain is growing. We’ll continue to foster communication with all our international partners while at the same time looking for new opportunities to grow as a presence on the global stage.

Key to that effort is our newly formed education program, the Academy of Natural Refrigerants, which – in addition to serving as a vital educational resource within our industry – is also laying the groundwork for powerful advocacy in the regulatory world.

As Mark mentioned in his last column, the expansion and codification of IIAR2, our industry’s Safe Design Standard for Closed-Circuit Ammonia Refrigeration Systems, has enabled its recognition by both EPA and OSHA as RAGAGEP (Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices) for our industrial refrigeration applications. Both agencies have welcomed IIAR’s educational initiative and the development of our IIAR-2 Certificate Program, which enables consistent documented evidence of attainment of knowledge of the safe practices detailed in the Standard.

Meanwhile, through the efforts of the IIAR Government Relations Committee, as well as our industry colleagues with the IRC, GCCA and ASTI, we have supported and embarked on several educational initiatives for the field personnel of EPA and OSHA. This reflects our belief, and theirs, that knowledge of safe ammonia practices and ammonia system design benefits inspectors, emergency response providers, ammonia refrigeration practitioners and the communities we serve.

My priority this year will be to make sure that this program continues to make gains in delivering the best collective knowledge and resources our industry has to offer, both internally, to our members, and externally, to any regulators, support personnel or industries that touch industrial refrigeration.

I view these projects, and my tenure as your Chairman as a continuation of a new phase of IIAR leadership. As we begin this new membership year together, I hope you feel free to contribute with the new ideas and level of participation that has become the hallmark of this group.

Speaking of participation, no postconference Chairman’s column would be complete without giving recognition to the outpouring of support and recordbreaking attendance of IIAR members.

This year was one of our best conferences yet. The packed technical paper sessions, workshops and technomercials were the usual highlights of our annual meeting, as well as the exhibit hall, which was crowded this year with a record-breaking number of exhibitors and sponsors, representing manufacturers, service providers and our industry’s sister organizations.

While it’s hard to turn our attention away from all the excitement of our most recent conference, it’s time to start thinking about how to use that renewed enthusiasm in the coming year to strengthen IIAR’s member presence and plan for our next event.

The 2018 IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition, will be held March 18 – 21 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

If you have a Technical Paper or a workshop that you would like to present in Colorado, please contact Eric Smith at IIAR headquarters to submit your abstract as soon as possible. Technical Paper and session topics are the fabric of IIAR meetings, and will be selected quickly to allow presenters plenty of time to prepare their presentation.

I’m looking forward to accomplishing several goals as your Chairman this year. As members, your ongoing work and participation make all of our activities possible. Thank you for continuing to enrich our industry with your support.