The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced today that their members have voted to approve the merger of the two trade associations to represent the interests of cooling, heating and commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers. The merger was approved by the members of GAMA and ARI on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, respectively.

The merged association will become the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on Jan. 1, 2008. It will be headquartered in Arlington, Va.

The merger will directly benefit the 370 AHRI members by creating a single, influential entity to more effectively represent their interests, while continuing the work of both associations in establishing industry standards and certifying the performance of heating, cooling and commercial refrigeration equipment.

The AHRI Board of Directors has appointed Johnson Controls vice president C. David Myers as chairman of the combined organization. The AHRI Board consists of the current directors of the two constituent associations and is representative of the membership and its different product areas.

"The merger will create a more efficient and influential organization to serve the needs of cooling, heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers and their customers," says Myers. "The interests of the memberships of the two associations are so closely aligned that we expect a seamless integration."

AHRI has established an Integration Committee to work out the details of the structure and the governance of the new association. Decisions have already been made to maintain a product section structure that equally represents all AHRI members' interests and to merge the standing committees of the two associations.

"By coming together in one organization, the manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment will increase their collective power and significantly increase the effectiveness of our advocacy domestically and abroad," says AHRI Immediate Past Chairman Robert Wilkins. "We are convinced that one association can accomplish even more than two working separately."

AHRI will have the financial and organizational resources commensurate with the size and scope of an organization representing a global industry. It will be uniquely equipped to represent the industry's interests when addressing the challenges and opportunities in a fast-moving, expanding market for these products, Wilkins adds.

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