ASHRAE 2016 Summer Meeting – Summary Report

By: Vinny Stanec, AC Systems
Vinny Stanec
Vinny Stanec

As Summer starts to wind down we can now look back at the success of the ASHRAE Summer Conference held in St. Louis and Hosted by our Chapter.  As General Chair of the Host Committee I cannot tell how proud I am of our Committee’s accomplishments.  If I had to use one phrase to describe this Summer’s Conference it would be “A Conference of Firsts”

Our Sessions Committee Chairs (Stephen Duda) and Vice Chair ( Chris Pelton)  did an outstanding job recruiting and managing over 100 volunteers.  The vast majority of Volunteers came from our Chapter with almost no “no show’s”  We did have one group of session volunteers who got stuck behind the “Gay Pride Parade” but at worst that made them 15 minutes late.

Our Entertainment Chair (Scott Blackmore) and Vice Chair (Greg Hoekstra) did a fantastic job pulling together the Welcome Party and the Entertainment for the Members Night Out party. The Welcome Party was held at the  Missouri History Museum and had over 500 attendees.  Guests enjoyed food,  drink  and were allowed to explore a variety of exhibits, including “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis” and “The Little Black Dress, From Mourning to Night.”    Multiple senior ASHRAE Members came up to me later reminiscing their days traveling Route 66 and how much they enjoyed the venue.  

The last Social Function of the Conference was Members’ Night Out.  Again our Entertainment Chairs did a bang up job selecting the Band for the evening’s entertainment called “Push the Limit”  This Cover-Band brought the members to the dance floor where we soon realized how much the floor would deflect when everyone jumped in unison!!!

Our Tours Chair (Chuck Dale-Derks) lined up both Technical and Non-technical tours as well as vetted the transportation company. All of our tours had over-soled ASHRAE’s expectations and the spouse’s particularly enjoyed the “Taste of St.Louis Tour.”  Watching spouses return with Gus’ Pretzels and listening to them discuss which flavor of “Ted Drewes” frozen custard they enjoyed was music to my ears.

Jessica Mangler (Last Year’s Chapter RP Chair) & Annie Smith (Chapter Historian) created the First After Party ever held during a Summer Conference.   We named this function the  “Chardonnay Bill After Party” in honor of deceased member Bill Coad and charged thirty dollars per person for attendance.  Over 275 people attended and through admissions and sponsorships this event raised 17.5K towards ASHRAE Research.   The event included an Improv Troup on the top level through dance floor and DJ in the basement.  Trust me the best place to put dancing Engineers is in the basement where it was difficult to see!!! I think the highlight of the event was the local attendance of Bill Coad’s friends.  These folks past up on coming to the Welcome Party so they had the energy to attended Bill’s Party.   What a great event with truly awesome people.

Our Sustainability project was another “First” for the St. Louis Chapter.   The ASHRAE Sustainability Project is ASHRAE’s way of showing how they want to positively impact the local community.  When presented with this opportunity we reached out to the ASHRAE Student Chapter at SIUE to take the lead for this project and after some deliberation they agreed.  We paired them with a local Consulting Engineer, Pat O’Brien,  to act as a Mentor and help guide them along the way.  This would be the First Student Lead Sustainability project in ASHRAE’s history.  Our Student Team with Pat’s help managed to

  1.   Find a building in need, Chappee House, at a Non-Profit Facility, Beverly Farm (Residential Facility for the Mentally Disabled)
  2.   Evaluated systems and prepared renovation plans.
  3.   SIUE Students  solicited and secured vendor donations from
  4.   Blackmore & Glunt (Raypack High Efficiency Boilers & B&G Pumps)
  5.   Trane (High Efficiency Residential Split Systems)
  6.   AAON & AC Systems (Dedicated Outdoor Air System)
  7.   GRP Mechanical agreed to perform necessary renovations below actual installation costs.
  8.   ASHRAE Society & St. Louis ASHRAE Chapter both Contributed 20K towards the Project
  9.   The project was finished in June just in time for the ASHRAE Conference.
  10.   Students prepared a three minute video that included interview with the Owner, Pat O’Brien and showcased before and after photos of their accomplishment’s.
  11.   Total donations exceeded $ 127,000.00
  12.   I presented this project during the President’s Luncheon to a rousing applause.

Words cannot convey my appreciation to my Host Committee Members, John Schnieder, Pat O’Brien, Paul Cefaratti, Chuck Dale-Derks, Jessica Mangler, Annie Smith, Stephen Duda, Chris Pelton, Scott Blackmore, Greg Hoekstra , Brian Ingenthron, John Schneider and those members who didn’t quite make it to the finish line, Kirk Mescher and Bill Coad.  I cannot tell you how many members pulled me aside to tell me what a great job our committee and chapter did.  In fact they mention how we should be on the regular conference circuit to which I responded “That’s Great….. We will look forward to seeing you in another 25 years!!!!

– Vinny Stanec, Host Committee Chair