Foundation Readies for IIAR Conference

In its continuing effort to support the military and introduce skilled workers to the ammonia refrigeration industry, the Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration are inviting transitioning military personnel, National Guard and reservists stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado to attend IIAR’s annual conference March 18-21 at the Broadmoor Hotel & Resort in nearby Colorado Springs.

The IIAR conference, the largest exposition dedicated to the ammonia and natural refrigeration industry, will provide military personnel with the opportunity to network with leading manufacturers, contractors, trainers and other service providers, and in some cases, interview for positions within the industry.

“We want to introduce them to key personnel and help them understand how their current skills can translate into this industry,” said Lois O’Connor, the Foundation’s executive director. “There are over 40,000 jobs open in our industry, and these are people who already have transferable skills from their time in the military. Their skill set and core values match those of our industry. So, this is a commitment to hiring qualified people into a growth industry and a sustainable industry.”

Military attendees from Fort Carson will be met by a host committee of military veterans that are currently employed in the ammonia refrigeration industry, from technical and safety management areas to sales, engineering and logistics. They will be divided into groups and assigned specific hosts who will act as mentors, help them navigate the trade floor and make introductions.

“We’re excited about the opportunity for our transitioning service members to learn more about the ammonia refrigeration industry,” said Sherry Jenkins, career skills program coordinator at Fort Carson. “If there’s enough interest, it would be great to explore how we can address the gap in the skills that our transitioning service members have and what’s required for entry into the industry. We work hard to develop these types of partnerships with industry that can lead to careers after transition that offer livable wages and opportunities for advancement.”

The service members will be invited to a panel discussion regarding the new national standard for apprenticeships, in which Dave Harrison from FASTPORT, along with representatives from food processing, warehousing, manufacturing and contractors, will participate. This will help the IIAR membership and our military guests better understand the opportunities and training available.

Finally, there will be an interview room where companies can meet privately with job candidates.

In keeping with its mission to help transitioning military personnel, the Foundation and the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association announced a partnership earlier this year in a scholarship fund to benefit veterans, National Guard and reservists who wish to study in RETA-certified refrigeration-technician training programs across the country.

“We want to reach out to our veterans because, first of all, it’s the right thing to do,” O’Connor said. “Our industry has numerous members who are veterans. To reach out to this sector gives us an immediate and logical progression toward developing industry talent.”

Founders Scholarship Applications

A reminder to our membership to encourage interns, family and friends to prepare applications for the Founders Scholarship, which is awarded each year to students who exhibit exceptional character and interest in pursuing an engineering or related technical degree leading to a career in the refrigeration field. Junior recipients will be invited to IIAR’s 2018 conference. This year, the Foundation increased the dollar amount given to scholarship recipients, as well the actual number of recipients. The Foundation also tripled the application pool by outreach with ASHRAE and the Veteran Student Association to make them aware of our programs and initiatives.The Founders Scholarship honors the legacy and significant contributions to the ammonia refrigeration industry of George Briley, Chuck Hansen, Don Niederer and Bill Richards as the primary founders of IIAR.Deadline for applications is Memorial Day, Monday May 28, 2018


The third annual William E. Kahlert Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for March 17 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. Last year’s tournament grossed more than $80,000, with 77 golfers teeing it up, and the EVAPCO team taking home first place.

This tournament is a great way to spend quality time with colleagues, as well as current and future customers. All proceeds from this event support the mission of the Foundation.

We encourage companies to sign up as sponsors and players to register for what will be a great day on a championship golf course. Please visit our website for sponsorship opportunities and to register teams.


Finally, please remember that as a 501(c)(3) educational and research organization, the Foundation depends upon the tax-deductible financial support of individuals, corporations and foundations. Donors who reach an annual cumulative donation level of $150 or more during the fiscal year are recognized through the year in a variety of ways for their commitment to the advancement of The Foundation and its mission. We thank everyone for their support and remind you that the foundation depends on your generosity.