David Underwood, Stephanie Sears & Kent Rawhouser – ASHRAE President, IAQA Exec. Director and IAQA President – ASHRAE & IAQA Conference Review and Update

Air Date: 1-29-2016| Episode: 399

The ASHRAE and IAQA Conferences and the AHR Expo were this week in Orlando, FL. Due to technical issues and weather related travel problems the live show from the IAQA Conference had to be cancelled, BUT that gives us the opportunity to welcome ASHRAE President David Underwood, IAQA President Kent Rawhouser and IAQA Executive Director Stephanie Sears to discuss the conference…

Full Description:

The ASHRAE and IAQA Conferences and the AHR Expo were this week in Orlando, FL. Due to technical issues and weather related travel problems the live show from the IAQA Conference had to be cancelled, BUT that gives us the opportunity to welcome ASHRAE President David Underwood, IAQA President Kent Rawhouser and IAQA Executive Director Stephanie Sears to discuss the conference, the consolidation and the future of the organizations today on IAQ Radio. We never could have gotten all three of these leaders on one show at the conference, so maybe we got lucky with the weather! Join us live on today at noon or download the show later but LEARN MORE on IAQ Radio!

Z-Man’s Blog:

Working together

On this week’s episode of IAQradio, RadioJoe and I recapped the ASHRAE Winter Conference, the IAQA’s 19th Annual Meeting and the AHR expo. Our guests for the show were: ASHRAE’s President David Underwood, IAQA Executive Director, Stephanie Sears and IAQA President Kent Rawhouser.

Nuggets mined from this week’s episode:

David Underwood

“Making Connections goes well beyond membership. It means connecting with industry, communities, governments and the public. Our mission is to advance the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. For us to succeed, we have to build connections.”

ASHRAE is the “consulting engineers’ fraternity” with 55,000 members, with 178 chapters in 130 countries. ASHRAE’s largest membership constituency is consulting engineers at 20%, manufacturers’ reps makeup 13%, the balance is academics, contractors and building owners.

ASHRAE is committed to evidentiary based research. ASHRAE’s research budget is $4.5 million with $10.5 million in research underway. Academics compete for ASHRAE research projects. ASHRAE technical committees prepare and submit reports on potential research projects to the group’s Research Administration Committee (RAC). ASHRAE’s research plan covers 11 subjects. ASHRAE has completed 750 research projects.

60,000 people attended the AHR show. AHR show had 2200 vendors (30 from China). Only 6 cities in the US can handle a show of this magnitude (500,000 square feet)

During association events, the association’s officers are tied up in the minutia of running an organization.

Highlights from the event: meeting with other likeminded mechanical groups from around the world. Learning about new refrigerants for the Middle East climate.

300 papers were presented on several tracks. Meeting of technical and standing committees. Reciprocal presentations at IAQA event.

ASHRAE has a leadership succession plan. During a much smaller general meeting (with 1500-1700 attendees) each summer, meetings are conducted and officers turn over.

For continuity and generational memory purposes, the current ASHRAE president meets with Presidential members at the Annual and Winter conferences.

IAQA is a wholly independent organization under the ASHRAE umbrella. ASHRAE and IAQA run separate financial statements.

IAQA reports to the ASHRAE board.

ASHRAE values IAQA as a valuable connection to both the residential market and contractors. IAQA is an important and valuable brand. IAQA is another set of eyes with a different outlook.

Stephanie Sears

Enthusiastic about her position with IAQA and the potential of the organization. If the plan was for ASHRAE to consume IAQA, Stephanie would have never accepted the position. There are synergies that exist between IAQA and ASHRAE, which was the justification for pursuing the relationship. IAQA is now and always will be an independent entity within ASHRAE’s organizational structure with its own Board of Directors, Executive Director, Strategic Plan and Mission.

The IAQA Annual Meeting is a forum for networking and advancing the industry. Attendees from 37 states and 13 countries attended, seeking educational and technical information.

What she learned at the Annual Meeting is the value that IAQA brings to the industry by providing the forum for different disciplines to get together, learn from one another and network. Providing this forum is crucial to achieving IAQA’s Mission and advancing the IAQ industry.

Highlights: roll-out of new chapter policies and procedures. There is both domestic and international interest in formation of new IAQA chapters. Members rely on their chapters throughout the year to provide a local avenue of engagement with the association.

There were an overwhelming number of people interested in IAQA at the AHR Expo. Exhibitors in the IAQA pavilion at AHR were very happy, they generated more valuable leads than in the previous format of the tradeshow.

IAQA will be distributing a call for Board of Directors members in February. All interested in serving on the Board and advancing the mission of the organization are welcome to apply.

Kent Rawhouser

IAQA’s membership is composed of 33% consultants, 33% contractors and 33% others.

Highlights: opportunities for new IAQA chapters in Hong Kong, Spain and India.

Opportunity to do “people watching”, to gauge attendee satisfaction with event.

Opportunity to “learn in the lobby” about member concerns.

The elephant in the room. Some members are concerned about IAQA being gobbled up and being relegated to mere committee status at ASHRAE.

The future is great. IAQA is now connected to a prestigious and well run organization with important resources. IAQA is learning from ASHRAE. IAQA is instituting a leadership succession plan for leadership stability purposes and to better prepare officers for leadership.

Past and present ASHRAE presidents have been supportive.

ASHRAE and IAQA will collocate their next event at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The next event will feature a joint registration where attendees can mingle.

IAQA has a voting seat on the Research Administration. Optimistic that some research funding will find its way into IAQA projects.

IESO’s ANSI PINS for standards have been transferred to ASHRAE. Currently, there is a Mold Standard in 2nd peer review and a joint Fire Standard with RIA.

Round Up-


IAQA is in charge of its own destiny. IAQA is important to human health. ASHRAE is ready to help.



IAQA is here for the industry, IAQA is committed to working with the industry. She seeks comments and suggestions on how IAQA can better serve its members. Stephanie can be reached at ssears@iaqa.org.



Highlight was giving the Z-Man the award.

Met with the ASHRAE board and asked for two things:  1) help reaching out to the ASHRAE members and 2) request for a committee to study joint registration for future conferences.


Pete Consigli

Inducted into to IAQA Hall of Fame last year, Pete congratulated Z-Man and RadioJoe on their induction.

Complimented Kent on his leadership during the transition and, willingness to confront head on and discuss what’s on member’s minds and member concerns publicly.

It takes courage and foresight to lead change.

“If everyone isn’t happy, you’re probably doing the right thing.”

Dues paying members and volunteers are the foundation of nonprofit associations.

Politics, self-interests and conflicts of interest (COI) are part of the not-for-profit sector. Well run associations that have engaged members embrace policy governance, fair and balanced committees and boards and manage COI’s in a forthright and consistent manner!



The coming together of ASHRAE and IAQA shows people that it can be done.

Staying in your silo is a huge mistake.

Let’s unite rather than divide.


My highlight was being inducted into the IAQA Hall of Fame along with RadioJoe.

Today’s Music:

Together Wherever We Go (Gypsy Revival)  YouTube

Z-Man signing off