All posts by Annie Smith

Board Member Highlight: Gwenn Ivester

Gwenn serves as our Attendance & Reception Chair. Read more about her here!

Gwenn Ivester
  1. Name: Gwenn Ivester
  2. Company and Position: Cushman & Wakefield, Engineering Project Manager
  3. What does your company do/provide? Real Estate & Property Management
  4. How long have you worked for them? 11 years
  5. How did you come to work in your field? Got my undergraduate degree in physics and applied engineering then was recruited to work at the St. Louis Edward Jones data center right after college.
  6. What is your main job function? What are you responsible for? I manage electrical infrastructure upgrades, data center, energy management, and business continuity projects for Edward Jones’s Facilities department
  7. What is the biggest challenge you face in your job? Wearing a lot of hats and the limited number of hours in the day.
  8. What’s your favorite thing about working in this industry? The diversity of the work and its criticality to the client’s business.  
  9. What’s your involvement in ASHRAE? I have been a member for many years but only got involved with the chapter more recently.  This led to being wrangled into the chapter RP committee with Jessica last year and a position on the BOG this year.  Attending the annual conference in our hometown this year was a great experience as well.
  10. What is your responsibility on the Board?  I am director of Attendance and Reception.
  11. What advice would you give someone just graduating college and starting in the HVAC world? Keep your options open.  If I had not been recruited into the data center industry I probably never would have ended up in the building industry.  I probably would have progressed into electronics research and hated it.  Good engineers and project managers are needed everywhere in the industry.
  12. What’s something you’ve learned through your involvement in ASHRAE? Their members are crazy devoted, I even met a guy at the annual conference that had an ASHRAE tattoo!  I also think ASHRAE is top notch at promoting issues and developing solutions that are at the forefront of the built environment.
  13. What made you want to be involved in ASHRAE? (Either on the board or as a regular member.) My father was an HVAC engineer among many other things which made me have an interest in the complexity of mechanical systems from an early age.  Also as HVAC is a major source of building energy consumption and being highly critical in data centers, it is a job requirement to stay current in the industry.  ASHRAE is the organization in which to do that.
  14. Name one person who has been a mentor or an inspiration to you in your life (does not have to be in ASHRAE or in your professional career). Tell me about how they influenced you. As mentioned above, my father has always been a big part of my interest and determination in what has become my chosen field.  There are several others along the way that have inspired me with their knowledge and execution of that knowledge.  I am also re-energized by being around others in ASHARE that have the same geeky interests and drive to succeed.
  15. Do you have a favorite sport or team? St. Louis Cardinals of course! Seriously it’s the only professional team I care about.
  16. What’s your favorite type of music or favorite band? My taste are rather eclectic and range from classic rock to classic/alternative country to hip hop.  Just no new country!
  17. What’s your favorite thing to do for fun? Light hiking and equestrian activities
  18. Where is the coolest place you have traveled? Or what was the best vacation you’ve ever had?  Visiting my grandmother in Northern Ireland.  It was an awesome 3 weeks of exploring and getting immersed in another country’s culture and history.
  19. When you retire and have a lot more time on your hands, what will you do? Hopefully travel and experience as many of the world’s natural wonders and historical points of interest as possible.  

2016 ASHRAE Scholarship Golf Outing

By: Brian Ingenthron, Chairman Special Events

Once again the Spring outing was a tremendous success. As usual, we dodged the weather bullet and while it did rain most of the afternoon, it was so light that umbrellas were not required. Over $9500.00 was raised for the St. Louis Chapter Scholarship fund, which was over $1400 more than last year.  34 paying teams vied for the spoils of victory, and 21 individual companies sponsored holes. This year’s winners were as follows:

  • A Flight—1st Place–CW Boiler Supply Greg Slack Captain-$300
  • A Flight—2nd Place Langendorf Aaron Schweiss Captain – $200
  • B Flight—1st Place—McClure Eng. Randy Hassler Captain-$200
  • B Flight—2nd Place–Johnson Controls Chad Adler  Captain- $160

Winners for the longest drive and closest to the pin contests were as follows:

  • Longest Drive—Hole 15—Gary Nerig- $50
  • Closest to Pin—Hole 5—Jim Hall-$50
  • Closest to Pin—Hole 8—Gary Tidwell- $50
  • Closest to Pin—-Hole 12—Ron Reimer– $50
  • Closest to Pin—Hole 16—Mike Rich–$50

For the first time ever, we had a Hole-In-One for the tournament! Gary Tidwell put it in the cup on the 8th hole, making it just about impossible for anyone to get any closer to the pin!

In addition to the participants, I’d like to thank all of the hole sponsors. Comfort Sales, A C Systems, Alkemeyer & Assoc.,  Victaulic,  RJI, Langendorf Supply,  Commair Inc., McClure Engineering, Koch Air, HC Sharp Co., Midwest Machinery, Johnson Controls, Dynamic Controls, Blackmore and Glunt, HVAC Solutions, Thermal Mechanics,  Behrmann Co., CW Boiler Supply, Trane, Cambridge Engineering, York, St. Louis Boiler Supply and Renewaire.

I’d like also to send out a special thank you to those who donated their prize money back to the scholarship fund. Midwest Machinery, Behrmann Co., Dynamic Controls, and Victaulic all donated back their Skins Contest winnings. And both Randy Hassler’s McClure Engineering and Chad Adler’s Johnson Controls teams donated their winnings back. Ron Reimer also donated his Closest to the Pin winnings back. Thanks to all!

Respectfully Submitted by
Brian Ingenthron
Chairman Special Events


New ASHRAE Fellow: Robert L. Towell

Bob Towell
Bob Towell, PE, ASHRAE Fellow

Congratulations to Robert L. Towell, PE!  Bob has been named an ASHRAE Fellow by the Board of Directors, in recognition of distinction in the arts and sciences of heating, refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation, who by reason of design, original work, and as an engineering executive on projects of unusual or important scope, has made substantial contribution to the HVAC profession.  Three projects were highlighted by the nominating committee to illustrate Bob’s distinction and substantial contribution to HVAC&R and the built environment.

  1. Lead mechanical engineer for the Dome at America’s Center (formerly the Edward Jones Dome); First Place ASHRAE Society Technology award.
  2. Lead mechanical engineer for The Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse, a $200 million, 29 story, 920,000 square foot federal judicial facility and one of the largest facilities of its type in the country.
  3. Lead mechanical engineer for Metropolitan Square Office Building, a 1.5 million square feet, 42-story office tower featured as a Technical Tour during the 1990 ASHRAE Annual Conference.

Bob is Vice President of CxE Group LLC in Edwardsville, IL.  Please join us in offering our heartiest congratulations to Bob for this honor.

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

My Experience at RP Centralized Training

By: Jeff Henderson, RP Chair

Jeff Henderson
Jeff Henderson

On July 22th and 23rd I attended a Regional Training Workshop in Chicago held for Research Promotion Chairs throughout the Midwest. We spent two days brainstorming and discussing ideas, as well as talking about what has and hasn’t worked in the past.

As we move forward this year, one thing we want to stress is doing a better job of advertising where the money actually goes.  So I will be working with the national office to get details on the various research projects that are being funded, and provide the local chapter this information.  We will also put links to these projects on our local site so that anyone can access them.

On top of this, we will also be hosting another AFTER PARTY next summer for the Regional ASHRAE CRC Meeting, which is being held in STL.  More details on this will be announced later this fall.  Also…do NOT miss the November Chapter meeting where we will be recognizing our major donors from last year! Please feel free to contact me with any ideas or if you would like to get involved….always looking for Committee Members.

Thanks –Jeff