As part of an effort that began last January to examine a potential merger of ARI and GAMA, the two associations held four regional briefings in July to give members the opportunity to provide input regarding a possible merger between ARI and GAMA.
The briefings were held in Baltimore, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta.
At the briefings, ARI Chairman Robert Wilkins and immediate-past GAMA Chairman Bill Rafferty, along with ARI President Stephen Yurek and GAMA President Jack Klimp, discussed ramifications of a potential merger, including possible changes in the dues structure, implications for smaller members, and potential changes to the leadership structure of a combined association. About 25 ARI and GAMA members (including representatives from many companies that are members of both associations) attended each of the briefings, which included lively discussions of the potential impact, both pro and con, of a merger. The PowerPoint presentation from the briefings is available for further information. At the Baltimore focus group meeting, several members suggested that if a merger were to take place, there would have to be a compelling reason for it to occur. Those who would support a merger claim that it would provide the following:
- a single organization representing the HVACR manufacturers, with one voice and one message
- stronger advocacy to address increasing regulatory and legislative initiatives (federal, state and international), including a stronger presence in more congressional districts - an enhanced ability to attract, develop and retain quality staff - a potential reduction in administrative and operational costs from duplicative senior management, information technology (IT), finance, membership, and office space. Savings could be used to increase services to members in the areas of advocacy, standards, and certification. A copy of the merger presentation can be viewed and downloaded by visiting www.ari.org.