The association has wrapped up a busy Spring with the International Tour in March and the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Conference in Rochester, New York, a few weeks ago. A huge thanks to the Schelkun family for their hard work and hospitality on the first day of the conference which was hosted at their facility, Empire Radiator. Arranging an event of any kind requires a lot of preparation and these preparations wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and expertise of NARSA/IDEA’s host company, staff and board. I want to especially thank Mary Margaret Miller for her hard work in making the arrangements with the hotel, food, audio visual and cocktail vendors which led to this successful event. 

Along with the incredible job the staff does with planning and organizing events, none of the events would be possible without the generosity of our sponsors. Our sponsors deserve thanks and recognition that my words are not capable of expressing. NARSA/IDEA cannot exist on membership dues alone. It is only because of our manufacturer/distributor members who sponsor that allow the association to stay relevant in an ever-changing business environment. Our sponsors stay dedicated to the mission and values of NARSA/IDEA. A huge thank you to the following companies who sponsored the 2023 Spring Conference; Damon Industries (Gold sponsor), Northern Radiator, Johnson Mfg, Arzon, L&M Radiator, Radiator Supply House, Diesel USA (Silver sponsors), TSM, TitanX, 1-800 Radiator, DRC Heat Transfer, Redline, Canfield, CG&J, Skyline Emissions, Enviromotive, and SKL Aluminum (Bronze Sponsors).

Another important piece to the conference puzzle is the presentations. A well-deserving thank you goes out to our Spring Conference presenters: Joel Block with Bullseye Capital, Randy Gardener with Western Maryland Safety Consulting, Austin Ormond with Diesel Laptops, Steve Smith with L&M Radiator, Lisa Schaffer with North American Trade Schools, Will Garrett with Radiator Supply House, and lastly, Empire Radiator. We are so happy and proud of the presentations you provided for our conference. Thank you again.

Before our conference started, the NARSA/IDEA Board of Directors met for our once a year, in-person board meeting. The board is composed of business owners and managers of companies who represent each facet of the cooling system and emissions’ industries. Whether it is service, distribution, or manufacturing, the board has representatives from each sector. By having this type of representation, the board endeavors to have each group’s interests voiced at the board meetings of the directors. One of the most important decisions made at this board meeting was the unanimous approval of a dues increase. In our daily lives, whether it is personal or business, we see the effects of inflation. The directors feel a moderate increase in dues is necessary to be able to ensure the association’s welfare. This increase is modest and will take effect on June 1st of this year when membership renewals are sent out. (Please read the dues increase notice in the magazine on a previous page). 

NARSA/IDEA has been blessed with volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the association and our industry. Many years ago, long before my time in NARSA, the Cooling Systems Hall of Fame was created. The Cooling Systems Hall of Fame is the highest honor NARSA can bestow on an individual. The association has made three inductions into the Hall of fame over the last few years. Each inductee had made an impact either on our industry or our association. 

At this year’s spring conference we inducted Pat O’Connor into the Hall of Fame. Besides Pat’s stellar reputation as a businessman and man of his word in our industry, Pat’s greatest contribution was to NARSA. There are several people who have devoted a lot of time to NARSA, but time alone doesn’t qualify a person for the Hall of Fame. Pat, not only served NARSA for almost four decades, he contributed to the association in unique ways which would shape the future of the association. The next time you find yourself at the Member Appreciation Reception in Las Vegas on the first Tuesday of AAPEX, you can thank Pat O’Connor. Many years ago, he started a hospitality night at our national conventions which would be known as Buffalo night, and over the years, it was transformed into what we now know as the Member Appreciation Reception. There are members from close to 20 countries who are present at this event every year. Parties weren’t Pat’s only specialty, but it is surely one of his most recognizable accomplishments.

To Pat: Congratulations on your well-deserved induction into the Cooling Systems Hall of Fame!

One last item is AAPEX. The exhibition will be here before you know it. This year’s event in Las Vegas is scheduled for October 31st through November 2nd. It will be the largest AAPEX we will have seen in many years. NARSA/IDEA’s Mobile Heat Transfer and Diesel Emissions section is bigger than ever and is almost entirely sold out. Our Member Appreciation Reception will be back at our usual spot Harrah’s. So, pencil AAPEX into your schedule and register for this outstanding event!

The membership dynamics of our association has evolved over the years as the amount of companies has shrunk. The association exists for the businesses who have survived and want to continue to grow, prosper and increase their profits. There are still ideas and products which need to be discovered and for those who are passionate about growing their businesses NARSA/IDEA is a tool people use to accomplish this. 

Have a great start to your summer season!

Mark Taylor
NARSA/IDEA Executive Director
(410) 320-5119

This editorial was originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of The Cooling Journal.