My LeaDRS Experience

Yes, the title is spelled how it should be.

This summer, I had the pleasure of attending the ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Atlanta as a LeaDRS participant. LeaDRS (Leadership Development through Regional Support) is a program that encourages the development of future regional and Society leaders. Because of this program, I was able to shadow the Director and Regional Chair (DRC) for Region VI, Mark Miller, at the conference and get a behind-the-scenes look at an ASHRAE conference.

This was my first time attending a conference, and all the LeaDRS shadow activities, technical sessions, and technical committee meetings kept me very busy! It was a little stressful at times, but a lot of fun. I was able to meet a lot of interesting new faces and make connections that I wouldn’t have otherwise without the LeaDRS program.

I learned a lot, namely that there is a lot of hard work that goes into making ASHRAE such a great organization. There are so many standing committees, technical committees, and board members that do work outside of what a normal conference-goer sees. There are people that have been involved in ASHRAE for decades and have spent a lot of their personal time and effort making the organization and our industry better for it. The whole experience really opened my eyes to how ASHRAE is truly a global organization.

I would highly recommend any ASHRAE member looking to further their involvement, potentially at the regional or Society level, to apply for the LeaDRS program. This is a great program and it would be awesome if another St. Louis chapter member represented our region!

Also, watch the Ross & Baruzzini blog  for a more in-depth look at my experience!

Cheers, Annie

Annie Smith is a Mechanical Engineer at Ross & Baruzzini and provides energy modeling, mechanical systems design, and energy auditing. She serves as Chapter Historian and Newsletter Editor.