Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

The 2023 ASHRAE Annual Conference, held in Tampa, Florida, concluded on June 28.

The event brought together industry leaders, researchers and professionals in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry to exchange knowledge, explore advancements, and foster collaboration. More than 2,050 HVACR industry professionals attended the five-day conference and committee meetings.

Ginger Scoggins, P.E., fellow ASHRAE, took office as the 2023-24 ASHRAE President. During her inaugural address as president, Scoggins introduced ASHRAE’s new Society Year theme, “Challenge Accepted: Tackling the Climate Crisis.” She highlighted the climate change migration that has taken place globally in the past 50 years and spoke about ASHRAE’s commitment to providing resources and thought leadership in global building decarbonization.

“We have worked to integrate a carbon-reduction focus throughout our ASHRAE committees, councils, and leadership and provide our industry with a clear indication of our commitment to this issue,” says Scoggins. “We have several other initiatives underway, with a plan for their completion during this society year. ASHRAE has accepted the challenge of our time…and we need you to join us.”

During the President’s Luncheon, ASHRAE presented a special Presidential Certificate of Honor to former White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha for his advocacy during the pandemic that led to greater White House indoor air quality investments including the release of a National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Jha praised ASHRAE’s leadership through the development of Standard 241 to improve indoor air quality as a critical public health intervention in controlling the spread of infectious disease.

“This effort to try to improve indoor air quality and reduce the burden of respiratory pathogens is something we have talked about at the White House – a lot of experts have been talking about it,” says Jha. “Talking is important, but what ASHRAE did over the last six months in building out Standard 241, that just got approved, fundamentally changes the game. It is one of the most important public health interventions I have seen in years, if not decades. It is really heartening to see this organization take a central role in tackling the biggest challenges facing human health in the U.S. and around the world."

During the plenary session, Jeff Littleton, ASHRAE Executive Vice President and Secretary, reported on the Society’s current initiatives and in his farewell address, outgoing 2022-23 ASHRAE President Farooq Mehboob reflected on his presidential year and the accomplishments realized through the 2022-23 Society theme, “Securing Our Future.”

“In my inaugural presidential address, I spoke about the era of unpredictability that we are facing,” says Mehboob. “I reminded you that the future does not belong to those who sit and watch, but instead we must seek it create it and secure it. I have been amazed by the dedication of our volunteers and staff who have tirelessly worked to move our society forward and secure its future.”