IAPMO close to deal to take over RPA

Special to CONTRACTOR

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. — Radiant Professionals Alliance President Dorothy Biggs sent an open letter to RPA members in mid-October stating that RPA is being taken over by the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials. The association had been foundering and previously had been in talks to be taken over by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

“In an attempt to meet our members’ needs, the RPA board has been grappling with difficult decisions,” Biggs wrote. “Our desire to support our membership, and promote our segment of the indoor environmental industry, has been hampered by the need for more sophistication in our professional management.

“Our current structure,” she continued, “is not suited to supporting the better communications tools, expanded outreach efforts and professional staffing levels that you deserve.

“Our current structure is not suited to supporting the better communications tools, expanded outreach efforts, and professional staffing levels that you deserve. In short, a change must be made.”

Ted Lowe, who is still at least nominally the RPA executive director, is reportedly working for a Baldwinsville, N.Y., wholesaler.

“Since our association's founding in 1993, RPA has been committed toward the expansion and promotion of radiant technologies and the success of those who design, install, manufacture and service them,” Biggs’ letter states. “It is a commitment we still hold dear, even as rapid changes in HVAC technology, the growth of alternative energy sources, and the demand for greater system integration has put RPA at a crossroads for the last couple of years.”

IAPMO is the sponsor of the ANSI-designated Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code. In addition to product testing and listing services, IAPMO also develops standards, presents educational seminars and certifies journeymen and inspectors.

In her letter, Biggs said that RPA sees IAPMO as the perfect place to provide a future home for RPA members. She said that IAPMO's desire to advance the mission of the RPA and to provide an enhanced level of professional services and support would be a win-win for the membership of both associations.

"IAPMO is honored to be working with the RPA to explore options on how our two venerable organizations can work together to continue providing RPA's excellent services to members and our industry," said GP “Russ” Chaney, IAPMO CEO.

“It will most likely take 45-60 days before everything is finalized,” Biggs’ letter to members reads. “You will be receiving regular status reports as the process moves forward, and we will be sharing all the exciting developments as they occur.”

Former RPA Executive Director Larry Drake commented in an online posting, “On the surface it seems like an odd alliance. It will be interesting to see were this goes.”

Additional information about IAPMO is available at iapmo.org.

ACCA, left at the altar, announced the launch of a new Radiant & Hydronics Council (RHC) within ACCA to provide services to this segment of the industry. ACCA thought it had finalized a deal to acquire RPA before IAPMO stepped in.

An advisory committee of hydronics contractors will guide the RHC. The first chairman of the RHC Advisory Council will be Dan Foley, president of Foley Mechanical in Lorton, Va.

ACCA will offer a variety of educational tracks, events and online offerings for hydronic contractors. Membership in the RHC is an additional $95 on top of ACCA membership.

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