About five years ago, I was handed the keys to this media machine we call Engineered Systems.
At that point, I’d accrued more than seven years of industry experience, serving as managing editor and senior editor for the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration NEWS (ACHR NEWS), a weekly (at the time) B2B publication focused on the HVAC contracting trade. Through these adventures, combined with five years served as a community reporter, my confidence as a journalist soared fairly high. Though, I must admit, as editor-in-chief of Engineered Systems, I was a little scared. I’d never facilitated a publication by myself. And, perhaps even more frightening, never had I worked directly with mechanical engineers.
The contractors and distributors I’d interviewed through the ACHR NEWS were easygoing and down to Earth. However, engineers seemed to be of a different breed; they were studious, smart, and quiet. They did the dirty work behind the scenes, designing the puzzles contractors were tasked to complete. Could I swim in a sea full of such industrious academics?
Well, without a life preserver, I dove in.
Today, with more than 60 issues published, I'm proudly still afloat. Looking back over these last five years, my assumptions were largely confirmed — engineers are smart, studious, and quiet, yet they're so much more. They’re thoughtful, friendly, personable, and easy to work with. They're dedicated and focused on improving not only the built environment but the global environment. They’re sticklers for detail, meticulously creating, editing, and updating standards designed to guide the industry's prosperity. In all, the engineering community is a wonderful place — one I’m proud to be a part of.
Over the last five years, we've achieved a great deal through the pages of this publication. We survived the COVID-19 pandemic! Through this, society (finally) started to prioritize indoor air and, almost instantly, IAQ rose to the top of the charts. This sudden desirability and profitability brought out the best (and worst) of the HVAC industry. It’s been fun documenting this journey.
In 2019, we introduced the 20 to Watch: Women in HVAC contest. This year, the contest celebrated its 100th honoree. Showcasing the accomplishments of these individuals has been the most enjoyable part of the job, by far.
From the advent of electrification and decarbonization to the rise of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and heat pump technologies, the creation of our Commercial Comfort Products of the Year and Ambassadors of Efficiency - Top 25 Manufacturers’ Reps. contests, and much more, Engineered Systems has left its mark on the industry since I became its quarterback. The industry (and this publication) has never been more relevant.
Time to Pass the Baton
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Effective March 1, I’ll be shifting my talents back to the ACHR NEWS, where I’ll resume my role as senior editor. I’ll be passing the responsibilities of editor-in-chief to Ted Craig, who has more than 20 years of B2B media experience, most recently serving as editor-in-chief of Restoration and Remediation magazine. Prior to that, he was the business management editor for the ACHR NEWS. Before joining BNP Media, he spent several years covering the automotive industry, focusing on sales and finance.
I first met Mr. Craig in 2019, when he joined BNP Media and The NEWS. He is a hard worker who is committed to the trade. I’m confident he’ll continue to guide ES in the right direction.
Through this transition, I’ll still be around. In addition to serving as senior editor of the ACHR NEWS, I’ll hold the title of senior editor with Engineered Systems for a bit as well. Please continue to send your pitches, articles, and grievances to me, and I’ll make sure they land in the right spot.
Before I wrap this up, I'd like to devote a few drops of ink (pixels) to Dr. Stephanie Taylor and Howard McKew — thank you for welcoming this young(ish) wordsmith to the club. I can’t thank you enough for your patience as I learned the nuances of the engineering industry. Your steady commitment continues to breathe life into this publication. To the members of our advisory board — Ionel Petrus, Steve Liescheidt, Vince Sakraida, Gary Hamilton, Chuck Dale-Derks, John Varley, et al — thank you for continuing to serve as the publication’s conscience. To the BNP Media staff working diligently behind the scenes to help deliver this publication: Your hard work, each and every day, is rarely recognized but thoroughly appreciated. We would not be what we are without you. To the PR firms and marketing reps who ensure my inbox is never a lonely place, I hope we’ve made your clients proud. To ES's previous editor, Robert Beverly, thank you for paving the path. You built this city and, for that, I'm appreciative.
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space to recognize everyone. So, lastly, for those of you who helped keep me on the straight and narrow, thank you. I tip my cap.
So, for now, this isn’t exactly a goodbye but perhaps a see you later.
To the talented, devoted engineers out there: Keep up the good work. The planet's future lies squarely on your shoulders. Please, for the sake of my children (and their children), don’t mess it up.Mahalo.
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