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ASHRAE introduces new strategic plan at 2014 conference

ASHRAE says it took major actions during its 2014 Annual Conference including introduction of its strategic plan, creation of a new indoor air quality alliance, and announcement of a milestone related to its research program and foundation.

Some 1,700 people attended the conference, June 28-July 2, in Seattle.

During the Conference, ASHRAE introduced its newly adopted strategic plan. Association officials said the plan’s four strategic goals — connect, educate, extend, and adapt — serve as broad statements of what ASHRAE most wants and expects to accomplish over the next several years. The goals are supported, in each case, by a handful of objectives that further define specific accomplishments to pursue within the plan horizon.

President Bill Bahnfleth noted that the society has had many significant accomplishments this year, but he views the most important one to be the new plan. The plan can be viewed at

“Planning provides our map from the present to the future,” Bahnfleth said. “In laying the ground-work for the new plan that can guide us over the next three to five years, we asked key questions of ourselves and others. Who are our members and what are their needs? How do we structure our society to be truly global and financially sound? ASHRAE is a conservative organization and has a strong reputation and good financial health to show for it. However, there are times when we have to venture beyond certainties to meet new challenges and take advantage of critical opportunities. I believe we have been in such a period for nearly a decade. This plan allows us to be more proactive in shaping our future.”

Coincidentally, Bahnfleth’s father, Presidential Member Don Bahnfleth, oversaw creation of the society’s first strategic plan adopted in 1985. 

“We could not fully capitalize on the strength of our members’ volunteer commitment if we did not provide a stable platform on which progress toward a collective goal could be built on from year to year,” Don Bahnfleth said back in 1985 about the importance of planning.

The adoption of the new plan also shows how times have changed: the society used ASHRAExCHANGE, its member-based social media platform, to engage the membership in discussion about the plan and how ASHRAE should evolve to meet industry and professional needs. ASHRAExCHANGE completed its first year of operation June 22, 2013, attracting 15,120 users who generated a total of 80,082 page views, during that period. The society also used its Association App to make attendees aware of the new plan.

In other news, it was announced that ASHRAE’s 2013-14 RP campaign reached a new high of $2.35 million donated by members, chapters, and companies. ASHRAE RP Campaign funds are used to support ongoing research projects, ASHRAE Learning Institute, YEA Leadership activities, and scholarships. In addition, the ASHRAE Foundation also surpassed a significant milestone with more than $10 million in funds and endowments. These funds are used to support the society’s scholarships and educational programs.

Also, a memorandum of understanding creating the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance was signed. Other groups joining the Alliance are the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA).The newly formed alliance will seek to serve as a global source for information, guidance, and knowledge on indoor environmental quality. More information can be found at

The new president for 2014-2015 is Thomas H. Phoenix, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment, and Building Energy Modeling Professional, principal and vice president of Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates in Greensboro, NC. His presidential theme is “People, Passion, Performance.” His speech is available at

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