Arkansas ASHRAE Newsletter: The Razorback Report

Newsletter Archive

President's Report

The President’s Message
By: Ron McCarty

As the seasons changes from summer to fall, it is time for us to start a new year for the Arkansas ASHRAE chapter.  The start of this year was a little different than starts in years past with the addition of a new chapter for the State of Arkansas.  Our Northwest Arkansas group was sworn in as a full ASHRAE Chapter on September 7th with presentation honors being performed by Charles E. Gulledge, ASHRAE Society Treasurer and Jon Symko, Region VIII Regional Director and Chair.  The Chapter dinner event was great and attended by over 60 people including numerous supporting representatives from the Little Rock Chapter.  We congratulate the NWA chapter in the accomplishment and wish them the best for the upcoming and future years. 

As we start our new year, we need to recognize the accomplishments and awards that were received at the spring CRC in San Antonio, Texas.  Starting off was the vote to move forward with the Northwest Arkansas group to be chartered as a Chapter.  It continued from there with Arkansas winning the Chaparral Award, and Mark Eley received Special Citation with high Honor award for PAOE points.  The Arkansas chapter received Regional awards:  Certificate, Full Circle Chevron, Gold Treasury Ribbon, Endowment Chevron and Runner up total PAOE points, $/member, total $ raised.  Overall CRC was a great event and I thank everyone truly for the hospitality.  I am looking forward to next years CRC in Cancun, Mexico – Let’s plan to have a great showing for Arkansas in Mexico.

This summer the Board of Governors and Committee Chairs have been working hard to get ready for the new year.   Our Chapter Technology Transfer Committee (CTTC) chairperson, Steve McConnell, started off with a great first meeting event with over 60 participated and a great speaker.  He has put together a strong list of programs and events that should bring a great deal of value to our Membership.  The next upcoming event after the October meeting on October 3rd is our fall golf event on October 5th .   Josh Robinson has been working very hard to make this event a success and fun for all – Please sign-up, support, and attend.  The fall golf event is the kick off our fund raising achieves for the Chapter. There is more information about the Golf Tournament in the Newsletter Events section below. 

Two of the primary goals for the Arkansas Chapter this year revolve around Research Promotion (RP) donation and my primary focus for the year – Membership growth.  The outstanding events that are being planned and implemented by the Board of Governors and Committee Chairs will have a very positive effect on us as a Chapter to help us achieve our goals.  

I am looking forward to this year for our chapter.  In addition, I feel honored and privileged to serve you as the incoming Chapter President for the 2018-2019 year.  Hopefully I can help maintain the high standards that have be a long-standing tradition for the Arkansas Chapter.  Please join us at all the events and contact anyone of the Board of Governors or Committee Chairs if you have ideas or want to become more involved with the Chapter.

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Chapter Meeting Announcement

Central Arkansas ASHRAE
Chapter Meeting & Seminar

 Hosted By: Arkansas ASHRAE Board of Governors

Agenda for (Date):
10:30 - 11:30    Board of Governors meeting
11:30 - 12:00    Lunch and Announcements
12:00 - 1:00     "The Building Will See You Now" - The Healing Power of Indoor Air by Stephanie Taylor, MD

Our health is our number one resource, and most of us spend the majority of our time indoors. And yet, current building codes focus on regulating energy consumption and averting catastrophic building events such as fires. Dr. Taylor will present new studies showing the relationship between indoor air quality and occupant health, not just occupant comfort. These studies provide sound evidence for design and maintenance standards medical and surgical care facilities, as well as for residential nursing and assisted living facilities. Perhaps not surprisingly, these findings apply to all people in all buildings – not just to patients in medical facilities. Come to this presentation to learn how your building can take care of occupant health and productivity, and thereby alleviate the financial and human burden of chronic illness and acute infectious disease.

Attendees will leave with new understanding about the value of building design and maintenance in preserving health, and will have clear take-away strategies to manage their own surroundings to improve their health and productivity.

1:00 - 3:00     Humidification for Engineers 2-hr Seminar by John Kimmes and Ron Will

Overview of humidification fundamentals, system design, and application best practices.

Topics include:

  • Why humidification is important
  • Design principles and load determinations
  • Humidification system overview
  • Location considerations
  • Importance of water quality with humidification
  • Choosing the right humidifier for any application


Speaker Spotlights:


Dr. Stephanie Taylor received her MD from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts in 1984. For the next several decades, she practiced clinical medicine and did academic research in cellular growth mechanisms. 

During this time, she became increasingly concerned about the patients who were harmed by medical errors and new infections during their in-patient treatment. Determined to gain a better understanding of the impact of the built environment on patient wellbeing, she returned to school and obtained her Master's Degree in Architecture and Engineering from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. 

After working for several years in an architecture firm which focused on hospital design, she founded Taylor Healthcare Commissioning, Inc., a consulting company that specializes in designing, building and maintaining hospitals and other commercial buildings for optimal occupant safety. 

She finds that her physician insights help beyond understanding how spaces are used in healthcare facilities. Her knowledge of the human body helps her envision the ideal building infrastructure. For example, ventilation is needed for the respiratory system while information technology is a kind of neural network that provides sensory data about the hospital’s internal environment, with all systems working together to support patient healing. Dr. Taylor is currently working on projects that overlay engineering schematics on data about patient outcomes to identify building characteristics —especially management of indoor air quality associated with changes in the rates of healthcare-associated infections or other adverse outcomes. 

She has recently expanded her focus to include occupant wellbeing in all commercial and residential buildings. Dr. Taylor is passionate about the construction industry understanding the tremendous impact of the built environment on occupant health. To communicate the importance of buildings on health, she writes a monthly column and bi-annual feature articles for Engineered Systems Magazine and other healthcare-related blogs. 

Dr. Taylor has designed hospitals globally, from the United States to Papua New Guinea to Vietnam. In addition to her Taylor Healthcare Commissioning work, she is a member of the Harvard Medical School Incite Health Fellowship, a program that brings together multidisciplinary teams from across the US, trains them in design thinking and entrepreneurship, and gives them the tools and resources to invent the future of primary care. 


John Kimmes - Technical Support Supervisor driSteem

John has spent the last 31 years in a variety of Facilities Operations and Management roles. He has experience in Life- Safety systems, Building Automation, Vertical transportation, HVAC operations, Troubleshooting, Design, and Retrofit from hands-on to managing teams and multi-million dollar projects. John calls on this diverse experience to solve problems as the Technical Support Supervisor at Dristeem

Ron Will - DriSteem Central Regional Sales Manager

Ron was educated in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University and Iowa State University. He has spent the majority of his 37 year career in the HVAC industry focused on humidity control systems and equipment. Ron is very knowledgeable about all types of isothermal and adiabatic humidification equipment, and solid and liquid desiccant dehumidification equipment, including load calculations, systems design and controls.

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Calendar of Events

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Arkansas ASHRAE History

Russell Black – Historian


Leadership Recall Interview: Rick Sellers

Interview Date:  April 1, 2016


Continuing with our publication of leadership recall interviews, here is an interview with Rick Sellers, Arkansas ASHRAE Chapter President 2003-2004.  Among his many ASHRAE achievements, Rick was a Golden Gavel President and received the William J. Collins Research Promotion Award (as RP Chair).  Rick has also received the Chapter Service Award and the Region VIII Service Award.


1.    Provide a brief biographical sketch of your life (Place of birth, early schooling, higher education, and employment background).

I was born in Wichita, KS.  My parents were from Arkansas and had moved to Kansas temporarily for my father’s job.  They moved back to Arkansas when I was very young.  I went to White Co. Central (a small, rural school) where I graduated Salutatorian.  I lived at home and attended ASU-Beebe for one year and then transferred to ASU-Jonesboro where I graduated with a BSE.  My first job was at River City Mechanical (now Comfort Systems USA – Arkansas) as a project manager/estimator.  I worked there for 11 ½ years before moving to Pettit & Pettit Consulting Engineers.  To date, I have been at Pettit for 14 years.

2.    Please describe what attracted you to the engineering industry, as well as your first job in it.

I was the kid always taking things apart to see how they worked.  I also enjoyed my high school math and science classes.  Mechanical engineering seemed a natural fit.  It wasn’t until my college HVAC class that I became interested in the industry.

3.    How and when did you become involved in ASHRAE?

I’ve been fortunate to work at two organizations that believe in, and whole heartedly support ASHRAE.  I began regularly attending Chapter meetings soon after I started to work at River City Mechanical.  I became a member soon after that and served on a committee a short time after that.

4.    Please describe the chapter, regional, and Society positions that you have held.

I have served as the Arkansas Chapter committee chair of Student Activities, Honors and Awards, Chapter Programs, and Research Promotion.  I also served as the CRC General Chair when Arkansas hosted in 2014.

5.    As a past Arkansas ASHRAE officer, what were some of the major issues facing the HVAC industry at the time?

From the technical side, refrigerant phase outs forced major equipment changes.  From the practical side, finding and retaining skilled labor (plumbers, pipe fitters, electricians, etc.) greatly influenced the construction industry.

6.    What was the single greatest challenge that you faced during the years that you served as an officer in the Arkansas chapter?

As in any volunteer organization, finding and retaining motivated volunteers is always a challenge.  While ASHRAE is such a great organization that offers volunteers tremendous professional and personal growth opportunities, people also have personal and professional obligations that can sometimes get in the way. 

7.    What people stand out as influences on you?

I have been blessed to come from a terrific family.  My father, grandfathers, and uncles were tremendous influences.  I have also been fortunate to work for individuals who insisted that the “right” way was the only way – no matter the cost.

8.    What advice would you give a young individual starting out in the HVAC industry today?

Obviously every young person working in the HVAC industry should be involved in ASHRAE.  ASHRAE has so much to offer from technical guidance and education to social networking.  And we have a lot of fun along the way.

9.    What advice would you give an individual that is just starting out as an ASHRAE officer?

Remember that it’s a volunteer organization but expect the volunteers to do what they committed to do.  Also, PAOE is a great system but don’t chase points – do what’s best for the Chapter and the points will take care of themselves.

10. What are your future ASHRAE plans?

Continue to help the Chapter in whatever capacity I can be of benefit.

11. Please describe any humorous and/or significant historical events that you recall from your ASHRAE experiences.

Two individuals from the Arkansas Chapter have now served as Society President.  Also, the Chapter has instituted the Chapter Hall of Fame to recognize individuals for their contributions to ASHRAE and the Arkansas Chapter.

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ASHRAE Events & Sponsorships

It’s that time of the year again! The 2018 ASHRAE Fall Golf Tournament will be held on October 5th at the Country Club of Arkansas. Below is a flyer and a sign-up sheet. If possible, please have this back to me no later than September 28th so I can get all the info to the golf course.

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Student Activities

Student Activities has kicked off for the year! We have began making visits to the university student chapters. The purpose of these initial visits is to recruit new student members and introduce Freshman to ASHRAE. It is vital to show the students how exciting and important our industry is. K-12 student activities will begin in the next month. If you are interested in speaking to a K-12 class about STEM please reach out to myself ( or Josh Faulkner ( so that we can help you!

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