A recent letter from Robert Wilkins, chairman of ARI, and William S. Rafferty, chairman of GAMA, considered the possibility of a combined trade association, given that both associations combined represent more than 90% of North American HVACR manufacturers.

A “Study Group” meeting with current and past chairmen, as well as outside legal counsel from ARI and GAMA, was held during the AHR Expo in Dallas. The discussion included whether a combined organization would:

  • Have sufficient alignment of positions on the issues confronting the members of both organizations, such as environmental issues, issues involving federal preemption, and ongoing efforts to increase efficiency standards.


  • Be more effective and able to accomplish more as a combined unit rather than by each association operating independently.


  • Be able to provide improved and/or increased services to its members, as well as greater opportunities for professional development and career growth for their staffs.

    Subcommittees were recommended to examine potential benefits or pitfalls in three specific areas: government affairs, certification, and staff and administration. Progress reports will be passed to the Study Group, who will then provide possible next steps to the executive committees of both associations. All members of ARI and GAMA are encouraged to express their views about the possible combination.