Members of the ARWI and NHRAW are currently voting on the long-discussed merger of the two trade groups.

Members of the Airconditioning & Refrigeration Wholesalers International and Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration and Airconditioning Wholesalers Association are currently voting on the long-discussed merger of the two trade groups.

Ballots and a copy of the proposal were mailed Aug. 26 to ARWI and NHRAW members. The results are to be announced later this month, according to an ARWI spokeswoman.

The proposal calls for the disbanding of the NHRAW and ARWI to create the Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International. If approved, the new association will replace the existing groups by January 2003.

Among the proposal's highlights:

  • Existing NHRAW and ARWI officers will serve as initial officers in the new organization, assuming the HARDI presidency on an alternating basis. NHRAW President James Truesdell and ARWI President Johnnie Drury will serve as co-presidents during the transition period.

  • The HARDI board of directors will include 11 members and five officers. Eight board members will be voting wholesalers, each representing one of HARDI's eight geographic regions. The initial board will be made up of four ARWI and four NHRAW members. Two non-voting suppliers and one non-voting manufacturer's representative will make up the rest of the board.

  • The tentative schedule for HARDI conferences for 2003 include a gathering to coincide with the winter meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in January, summer business conferences and HARDI's annual conference in December.

HARDI's headquarters will be in Columbus, Ohio at the current NHRAW headquarters, with NHRAW's current executive vice president serving as staff director.

NHRAW President Jim Truesdell and ARWI President Johnnie Drury, in a joint statement, said they were confident the joint consolidation task force had created a proposal that retains the best features of both associations and is valuable to the respective memberships. They said they anticipated a favorable reception from members.

Members of the task force included: (ARWI) - Paul Goulet, Jay Glass, Frank Meier, Jim Luce, Al Butler, Dave Kellough and Drury. (NHRAW) - Scott Nicholson, Bill Shaw, Randy Tice, Doug Young, Dick Foster, Don Frendberg and Truesdell. Advisory members included Mike Burke, Steve Hassebrock, Larry Rector, Dan Hinchman, Jim McNeil, Scott Weaver, Randy Boyd, Frank DiStefano, Jess Hill, David McIlwaine, Jeff New, Mark Faessler, Dave Gleason, Tom Jones, Bud Healy and Jalane Kellough.