The Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration and Airconditioning Wholesalers Association announced that it has established the James D. Wilder Educational Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to provide grant funds for educational, scientific and research programs in the field of distribution science related to the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

The foundation underwrites direct costs of short-term projects conducted by undergraduate or graduate students relating to the marketing, movement, storage and sale of HVACR products under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Grant funds are available up to a maximum of $3,000 per year. A grant application must be submitted by a faculty member with overall responsibility of the project by Dec. 1 for consideration of fund distribution in the next calendar year. Schools must be accredited institutions with existing teaching and research activities in distribution/logistics programs preferred.

According to Don Frendberg, executive vice president and COO of NHRAW, anyone who is interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the foundation can send a check payable to the NHRAW Wilder Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 16790, Columbus, OH 43216-6790.

Wilder, the former NHRAW executive vice president, died in July 2000 of complications from aplastic anemia. He began at NHRAW in 1970 and organized the development of one of the first association management software programs still in use today by NHRAW and several other associations. He also served on the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors Association Executives Council. In 1997, NAW's Distribution Research and Education Foundation awarded him a special distinguished service award for his guidance as both a director and vice-chair.