President’s Message by Dave Rule

It’s that time of year again, and I’m happy to welcome all IIAR members back to our most important event – the IIAR annual conference and exhibition. Before I get into the exciting things we’ve got in store for you as an organization this year, I’d like to take a minute to recognize all our sponsors and exhibitors. It is their support that provides the backbone for this annual event, sponsoring food and coffee breaks, not to mention our exhibit hall – and everything else that makes this one of the premier events in our industry.

And I’d also like to thank you, as an IIAR member or attendee. Our technical program is the most central element of our work as an industry, and your participation is crucial. Special thanks go out to all our tech paper authors, workshop and panel contributors. Your leadership and enthusiasm has made the IIAR annual conference the top notch technical event it is today.

I’d also like to encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities to participate in IIAR’s continuing education here in Colorado Springs this year. It’s a great chance to expand your technical knowledge and grow your professional credentials while making our industry a safer place to work. And finally, don’t forget to attend the Monday night event and other social gatherings to network and catch up with old friends!

Now that I’ve given a proper welcome, I’d like to highlight a few initiatives and projects that IIAR is moving forward over the next year – through the strength of its membership, committee volunteer program and sound direction from the executive committee and board of directors.

First, IIAR’s new and updated major publications will be made available over the next six months, so stay tuned for news of their release. Next, IIAR has implemented new technology through the IIAR learning management system to make education and training more accessible.

We’ve got a new focus on electronic access for IIAR members with multiple facilities. And to that end, we’ll be announcing some exciting opportunities coming soon through the Academy of Natural Refrigerants, where we’ll provide a more comprehensive program to expand continuing education and professional credentials for all membership sectors of our industry.

Meanwhile, IIAR will be stepping up a focus on regulatory initiatives in recognition that it’s time for our organization to take a leadership role in addressing several specific regulations this year.

IIAR has determined that these regulations are overly burdensome and reduce safety both in our facilities and for the public. Our focus will be on the definition associated with IDLH for ammonia required reporting levels and the limited time allowed in executing a release report to EPA.

Our goal will be to define these regulations on sound information and modify existing regulations to provide guidance that is fair to our members and offers greater safety for our industry.

In closing, this advocacy and these programs that I’ve mentioned here in my column this month 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 as a volunteer.

I’d like to encourage everyone to use this conference to get involved in the work of your organization. Or if you couldn’t join us this year, be sure to renew your membership. It’s the best way to make sure you connect with this ever-growing community of friends and colleagues who are passionate about natural refrigerants.