The executive committees of the Air-conditioning Refrigeration Institute's (ARI) board of directors and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) have voted to continue discussions related to a possible merger of the two organizations, which share 31 common members.
During recent discussions, the ARI executive committee noted that potential benefits would include the likelihood of a new association, with greater political influence.
Additional potential benefits include a stronger voice before federal, state, and international governments, increased influence in standard and code-setting bodies such as The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and Construction System Associates (CSA).
Potential obstacles to be overcome during the exploratory process include how to successfully pair two different corporate cultures and governance systems.
In addition, the dues structures of the two associations are different and would have to be consolidated.
The executive committee asked the Study Group to undertake the following tasks, to be completed and reported back by July 31, 2007:
— A comparison of both the common and distinct government affairs issues.
— Establishment of three cluster groups of companies to elicit their input on specific concerns they might have, and how those concerns might be mitigated.
— Formulation of the potential structure of a combined association, with some level of detail, prioritization of issues, concerns, and services.
— Benchmarking of other association mergers, noting what has been successful and what has been problematic.
“During this evaluation process, ARI staff will continue to remain focused on serving the needs of the membership and the industry, says ARI President Stephen Yurek.
“I want to assure everyone involved that this process will be undertaken in a methodical, deliberate manner, and that the views of every sector of the association will be carefully considered as we move forward."
Members who wish to provide input to the merger process should contact ARI President Stephen Yurek, at 703-600-0314 or via email at [email protected]