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Director and Regional Chair's 2023-2024 Message

Welcome to the 2023-2024 ASHRAE year! I am honored to begin serving my first year as Region VIII’s Director and Regional Chair and look forward to the next three years. I want to thank our outgoing DRC, Randy Schrecengost, for leading the region for the last three years. Randy inherited the region as we were first starting to navigate through the pandemic, but he left us in great shape as evidenced by our highly successful Chapters Regional Conference (CRC) in Monterrey, Mexico this past spring.

It is an exciting and critical time for our industry. We are faced with many challenges including the call for decarbonization, artificial intelligence, and providing greater guidance in pathogen control. ASHRAE is heeding the call.

Society President, Ginger Scoggins, is leading our members in addressing decarbonization and climate change with this year’s theme “Challenge Accepted: Tackling the Climate Crisis.” Additionally, ASHRAE’s Task Force for Building Decarbonization is providing critical resources for our members to become better prepared to face this challenge. And, as President Scoggins states in her Presidential Message “ASHRAE’s focus on building energy efficiency is as important today as ever, because the cleanest energy is energy not used!”

Artificial intelligence will certainly be part of our more energy efficient future as our equipment and integrated building controls employ it to operate more effectively. More AI is on the horizon and ASHRAE is prepared to be a part of it. Several articles and seminars have already been offered by ASHRAE. As AI continues to grow into more areas of our professions, our members can count on more learning opportunities and ethical guidance from their fellow volunteers.

The power of our volunteers working together was apparent in ASHRAE’s latest standard. ASHRAE Standard 241, Control of Infectious Aerosols was created, vetted, and approved in record time, approximately six months. The tireless efforts of our members have resulted in establishing minimum requirements for reducing the risk of disease transmission in most types of buildings. The pandemic taught us that our communities needed our guidance and ASHRAE has responded.

ASHRAE has offered me an opportunity to grow professionally and personally, the friends and contacts I have made through volunteering are too numerous to list. I urge each of our Region VIII members to consider volunteering, no matter where your interest lies, there is an opportunity for your expertise to be shared, your opinion heard, and your vote counted. I hope each of you find a way to maximize your membership and be active be it through your local chapter, regional, or society activities. All our chapters are searching for future leaders, reach out to your chapter president and get involved. Our TC’s are always looking for new members to lend their expertise, join one, it is as simple as going to

The HVAC&R industry is heading into new territory, don’t sit back and watch, don’t get left behind, accept the challenge and get involved!

Joseph Sanders, DRC 2023-2026


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