Alittle less than a year ago I became
your chairman, and I cannot believe
how fast the year has gone by. I
thank all of you, our membership and our
board of directors, for your support. Your
volunteer efforts make our organization
what it is today, and we can all be proud
A year ago I set my theme “Setting
the Pace, Leading the Way,” and I believe
our organization is doing just that. This
year we took one of our largest steps ever
by starting a new Middle East Chapter. In
January, IDEA held its first international
cooling conference in Abu Dhabi.
Hosted by the new chapter, the conference was an international gathering for
knowledge exchange, attracting almost 350
people from more than 20 countries. I sincerely thank Dany Safi of Tabreed for his
dedication to its success. As for IDEA, we
can now live up to the organization’s name!
The campus conference this year highlighted emergency preparedness. I extend
my thanks to Technical Chair Lynn Crawford
from Carter & Burgess for a strong and
highly appropriate technical program. I also
thank hosts Thermal Energy Corp. and Rice
University for making us feel welcome in
Houston and opening up their facilities for
This year’s annual conference June 17-20
is in Scottsdale, Ariz., hosted by one of our
leading district cooling utilities, Northwind
Phoenix. The conference will be at The Hyatt
at Gainey Ranch, a world-class resort not far
from the district cooling facilities in downtown Phoenix. It will be an ideal opportunity
to bring the whole family and enjoy the
Arizona sunshine. Remember, it’s a dry heat!
Finally, in keeping with our theme, the
past year’s energy and global climate change
events have made IDEA more relevant than
ever. Our organization stands for energy
efficiency, reliability, sustainability, distribution and generation, and we are now being
recognized for it in Washington, D.C., Paris
and other parts of the world. We are committed to having a greater voice in future
energy policy and making sure your efficiency
efforts are recognized and, where appropriate, rewarded with investment incentives.
I mentioned in my first chairman’s
message that we would maintain the focus
on our strategic plan started under Anders
Rydaker. I can report that progress continues
in four focus areas: Grow Membership, Be
the Go-To Resource, Increase IDEA Influence
and Strengthen Operations.
First, since August we have grown our
membership by 101, including our new
Middle East members. Second, we continue
to grow our reputation as a global resource
by archiving technical solutions and drafting
our District Cooling Best Practice Guide.
Third, we continue growing our influence
by actively participating and sharing knowledge on energy efficiency and climate
change with key participants worldwide.
Fourth, we continue to strengthen our
operations as our conferences, the financial
lifeblood of our organization, continue to
set attendance records.
These accomplishments would not be
possible without our members’ volunteer
efforts and the dedication of our board of
directors and IDEA staff. Thank you to all of
our members who have volunteered their
time to ensure our organization’s success.
And thank you to our board that has so
ably guided IDEA’s direction this past year.
Finally, thank you to Rob, Dina, Tanya and
Laxmi who actually run the organization’s
day-to-day operations smoothly so many
of us can focus on the organization’s
It also is time to offer a very special
thanks to outgoing board members. It has
been a pleasure working with them. To
Gordon Apperley, University of British
Columbia, who constantly offers a common
sense approach to our many issues we face
in guiding the organization. To Lynn Crawford,
Carter & Burgess, who has consistently volunteered for committees, speaking engagements, and most recently, campus technical
chair. In addition, I thank Lynn and his
company for their generous sponsorships
of our board meetings and our conferences.
To Jim Lodge, Northwind Phoenix, whose
understated leadership is always respected
by all and who is the general chair and host
of this year’s annual conference. To Ferman
Milster, University of Iowa, for his dedicated
service in leading our industry and association forward. To David Leach, Thermal
Science Technologies, whose strong business partner and international leadership
support I have greatly appreciated. And to
Rick Pucak, Akron Thermal, who so graciously agreed to stay on another year to
provide the necessary leadership continuity
to the board.
There is one last person leaving our
board and the executive committee: Cheryl
Gomez, University of Virginia, who has
tirelessly devoted herself to IDEA’s success.
She has continuously led with skill and an
open mind as our organization has evolved,
providing the proper leadership for each
new opportunity. I thank her for her support
this past year as I have encouraged and
pursued our international growth efforts.
She has been a constant source of ideas
and energy and will be sorely missed. Cheryl,
I wish you well as you start your new personal educational endeavors and as you
continue your career at UVA.
Finally, I want to introduce Bob Smith
of RMF Engineering, who succeeds me as
chairman of this great organization. Bob
has already volunteered much of his time
by spearheading the compilation of IDEA’s
archives and twice serving as technical chair.
He is a solid leader, and I offer whatever
support he may need in the coming year.
As I close, it has truly been a pleasure
serving all of you. I leave feeling we are well
on our way to “Setting the Pace, Leading
the Way.” I look forward to seeing you in
Scottsdale. Please travel safely.
Director, Global Thermal Storage &
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