ARI and GAMA continue to review and discuss a proposed merger. While there are several issues to consider, members of ARI’s executive committee on November 2 agreed that the main compelling reason to merge is: A stronger and broader voice for air-conditioning, heating, and refrigeration manufacturers to respond to increasing and more complex energy and environmental issues through greater standards, certification, and advocacy activities.
The committee reviewed several terms of the proposed merger and made recommendations for inclusion in the final agreement. Some of the recommended terms were:
- All of ARI’s standing committees would remain in the new association (membership on the committees would grow to include both ARI and GAMA members).
- All current ARI and GAMA board members would belong to the new board, but through attrition, membership would be eventually reduced to about 67 (42 product section chairs and 25 directors-at-large).
- All product sections and divisions would remain the same, except ARI’s Fan and Blowers and GAMA’s Motors and Blowers sections would be combined.
- The 2008 dues for both organizations would continue to be collected separately, for the time being. (ARI will send 2008 dues invoices by December 1 after the Board approves the 2008 budget). For 2009 and beyond, dues would be established by the Board of Directors. Both organizations would gradually align dues structures, with the goal of avoiding major changes. Overall dues would not increase because of the merger.
The associations were set to send members the merger materials and proxies for their review on November 15.
On December 15, Pro-forma ARI and GAMA membership meetings are scheduled in order to count member proxies, and on either February 1, 2008 or March 1, 2008 the new combined association is expected to be incorporated under Virginia law.
New ARI chairman C. David Myers, president and CEO of York, A Johnson Controls Company, will be chairman of the merged associations, and Robert Wilkins, ARI president will hold the same position in it as well. A committee is currently working to come up with a name for the merged associations. The first combined meeting of the new association is expected to occur sometime in 2008.
Stay tuned to www.esmagazine.com for the latest information on this merger.