Chairman’s Message Dave Schaefer

It is with great regret that we have to cancel the face-to-face 2021 IIAR conference in Palm Springs, CA. However, we look forward to an exciting second virtual conference that will be as informative and widely watched as the fantastic first-ever 2020 All-Natural Refrigerant Virtual Conference.

Instead of dwelling on what could have been with the canceled face to face conference, I would like to focus on something that has been extremely positive and what makes our organization great. We are very fortunate to have a very hard working staff, generous contributors to the Ammonia Research Foundation, and many volunteers that have been bringing us educational materials and programs like the virtual conference, the Academy of Natural Refrigerants, safety videos and of course our standards that make our industry safer.

With this letter I would like to point out the contributions that our Standards Committee Chairman Mr. Robert Czarnecki has made to our industry as he steps away from the chairmanship, a position he has held for over nine years.

We would like to recognize Mr. Robert Czarnecki, Chairman of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR), Standards Committee, for his long-standing and tireless efforts in leading the committee for so many years. During his nine-year tenure as chair, and for many years prior, Bob has been a selfless contributor to the Institute. His leadership has enabled IIAR to develop a full suite of standards for the ammonia refrigeration industry. These standards are cited by numerous United States government agencies and several international governments as recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. Several of them are also normative references in national building codes. Mr. Czarnecki has devoted countless uncompensated hours to the development of IIAR standards and has provided unwavering leadership, a fair and open forum for discussion and opinions, initiatives for research, and a great deal of engineering expertise in the field of industrial refrigeration engineering.

As we know, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulate the use of hazardous chemicals. In their process safety management and risk management enforcement programs, these agencies rely on industry-developed “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices” (RAGAGEP), for practitioners to follow. IIAR standards are used as RAGEGEP for ammonia refrigeration and have been cited by OSHA in their definition of RAGAGEP in general – a testament to the quality and importance of the standards.

It can be observed that Mr. Czarnecki’s contributions are not only important to the IIAR, but also the nation’s and the world’s safe supply of food and beverages. Mr. Czarnecki has been the chair of the committee during its most productive period in IIAR’s 50- year history. During this time, of the nine published IIAR standards, six ANSI standards have been developed, three have undergone extensive revision, and several have been re-affirmed, all according to the ANSI Essential Requirements. The standards committee itself has also grown significantly, and Mr. Czarnecki has been instrumental in the management of over 40 particularly active members, and over 100 corresponding members. He has been recognized as IIAR Member of the Year, IIAR Life Member, and has represented the industry and the committee in numerous public forums.

Bob Czarnecki is truly deserving of recognition beyond his esteemed status with the industrial refrigeration community. His work has affected the public in general and the safety and health of thousands of practitioners who are made safer by the IIAR standards. We also sincerely appreciate that Bob plans to stay on as a corresponding member of the Standards Committee.