ASHRAE Recaps Successful 2018 Winter Conference, AHR Expo
The 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference took place Jan. 20-24 at the Palmer House Hilton with the ASHRAE co-sponsored AHR Expo held Jan. 22-24 at McCormick Place. With more than 3,200 registrants, this year's Winter Conference was one of the largest in ASHRAE's history. The AHR Expo attracted more than 70,000 visitors, a six percent increase over last year's record-breaking event held in Las Vegas.
"The Winter Conference and AHR Expo are prime opportunities for attendees to stay on top of the latest information and technology needed to work toward a more sustainable world," said 2017-2018 ASHRAE President Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D.
The plenary session, drawing more than 1,000 people, provided a forum for the presentation of awards. Keynote speaker Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, closed the session with an empowering presentation on closing the gender gap in STEM fields.
During the Conference, Illniois Chapter members joined members of Region V and Region VI chapters at a special dinner at Maggiano's Italian Restaurant. The Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago hosted a breakfast for Illinois ASHRAE members at the Palmer House where a $1,000 check for ASHRAE Research was presented by MCA.
The 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference will take place June 23-27 in Houston, with the 2019 Winter Conference Jan. 12-16, and the AHR Expo, Jan. 14-16, in Atlanta.
ILLINOIS CHAPTER HOST COMMITTEE DELIVERS AGAIN
While a lot of people deserve credit for the outstanding attendance and itinerary at the 2018 ASHRAE Winter Meeting let's not forget the hard work of the Host Committee, staffed by volunteers from the Illinois Chapter. Led by Chair Will Mak and Vice Chair Chad Powell, their job began with the first planning meeting in December 2016.
The Host Committee is counted on for help in several areas. For starters, they organized key social events like the Welcome Party at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Members Night Out that drew large numbers of Conference attendees. The Saturday night Welcome Party was followed by the Chapter's After-Party (pictured), which drew over 150 for some live music and refreshments at the nearby Emerald Loop Irish Bar. The Host Committee also provided the usual number of technical tours to interesting venues around the Chicago area. Their Hospitality Members Lounge was open to everyone each day where visitors could go to find out a little information or simply sit down and relax a bit with a cup of coffee or other beverage. During the Conference, each of the numerous Technical Sessions was staffed with volunteer monitors recruited and assigned by the Host Committee. For this task alone, more than 100 volunteers were needed.
"We couldn't have done this without everyone's help," said Will Mak. Success resulted from a winning combination of familiarity, determination, teamwork and trust. Other Host Committee members included:
Entertainment: John Song, Kevin Summers, Mark Hegberg & Shona O'Dea
Sessions: Cory Abramowicz, Jason Greenberg
Hospitality: David Lippe, Liz Zakelj
Tours: Maggie Moninski, Drew DePriest, Mike Kuk
Sponsors: Brian Medina, Allen Merk
Every three years when the Winter Meeting is held in Chicago, the Society turns to Illinois Chapter members for significant help in providing ASHRAE visitors with a productive and memorable experience. We never let them down. "It's a unique chance to help showcase our city every three years to people from all over the world," Will said. "I would encourage anyone wanting to gain more leadership experience to get involved."
The Committee's activities were supported financially by a number of sponsors. They included:
SPX COOLING TECHNOLOGIES
WINDY CITY SPONSORS
Air Products Equipment
AMS Mechanical Systems
Cyclone Energy Group
Hatchell & Associates
Midwest Applied Solutions
Windy City Representatives