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Welcome to the inner workings of the RPA

March 6, 2013
As I begin my new life as technical director of the Radiant Professionals Alliance, hereafter referred to as the RPA, I find myself surrounded by some very professional people who all have one goal in mind. That goal, if you will, is to “Grow Radiant.”

As I begin my new life as technical director of the Radiant Professionals Alliance, hereafter referred to as the RPA, I find myself surrounded by some very professional people who all have one goal in mind. That goal, if you will, is to “Grow Radiant.” That has always been the goal of the RPA since its inception back in 1994. And although the original concepts of delivering radiant comfort were essentially hydronic based, today it includes electric panel radiation, hydronic powered radiation, and even direct and indirect gas fired radiation. Our industry has grown and diversified though the years.

Many of these components has always been here in one form or another, but there was never a lot of direction to gather all sources of delivering this wonderful means of comfort under one roof. Larry Drake was charged with that responsibility back in 1994, and did a wonderful job of concentrating the efforts to promote this wonderful means of comfort delivery. Thank you for your early efforts Larry. I hope to continue moving this organization forward into the future.

As the new technical director of this excellent organization, I (we) get our marching orders from a board of directors. Our current board of directors are all directly involved in this industry in one form or another. They are charged with giving us direction and order and with checking the results of our work, and making certain that the goal of Growing Radiant is properly maintained and progressing in a controlled growth manner. They have the interest of our general members in mind at all times.

Based on their direction, we have been tasked with putting together numerous committees, which will consist of members of the RPA. These groups will consist of Education, Codes and Standards, Technical, Nominating, Government Liaison, Hydronics Industry Alliance and Membership committees.

At present, I am responsible for the Education Committee, Technical Committee and Codes and Standards Committee. I have completed my initial task of assembling these groups, assigning a chairman (pending board approval) and am now in the process of giving them their initial tasks. I must thank all of the members of my committees of charge. In my opinion, these groups of people represent some of the finest radiant minds available in the industry, and collectively, they total hundreds of years of radiant experience. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, by all means, contact me at [email protected]. I will find you a seat at one of the tables.

I want to let our members know where we are at and what is going on within all of these committees. I will start with the Education Committee, which I use to sit on as the chairman. Now that I have become a full-time employee of the organization, I have had to give up my seat as chairman, and have asked Max Rohr to take over my position as chair to serve out the remainder of my time (two year appointment) with the possibility of being reappointed as chairman for a second term. There is a two term limit to any position within this organization. This keeps these committees’ chairperson from getting burnout, which is critical to getting and maintaining forward momentum.

The Education Committee currently consists of Max Rohr as chairman, John Barba, Lance MacNevin, Jason McKinnon, Dave Yates, John Siegenthaler and Wes Sisco.I will be thefacilitator and liaison between thier individual group and the RPA and board of directors. I will also be the facilitator for all of my other groups.According to the RPA bylaws (1.1.1), this committe is charged with many responsibilites including, but not limited to,developing ideas or strategies for activities or initiatives that will facilitate member’s professional development, consumer awareness and general industry awareness.

Committee members will be expected to provide insight and recommendations about which seminars, online courses and educational materials the RPA and the Education Committee should develop.

To date, we have reviewed the existing RPA educational offerings, and are considering minor changes and upgrades to those items to enhance and upgrade those educational documents, adding for example, DC-ECM circulators and their applications. We’ve also established six months worth of webinars to be presented with additional curricula being added all the time. If you have a suggestion for a webinar, or are interested in presenting one, let me know.

The group has also identified the need for an additional basic hydronics course. Based on real world experience of the committee members, it has come to our attention that there is a big disconnect in the ability of some new and incoming installers to understand the most basic portions of installing a hydronic heat source and its associated components. The work of this committee is ongoing and ever changing. With it having been the first established standing committee, it has also been tasked with some other minor tasks that would and will be handled by some of the other committees of my charge. For example, I have asked the education group to give me advice and guidance on the currently available categories for the annual Systems Showcase Awards.

I want to publicly thank this excellent think tank for its work to date, and to let them know that I look forward to working with them in the future.

Quickly, before I close out this month’s article, I want to remind everyone that this is an organization of the members, by the members and for the members. Without you, the members, we are just a great bunch of people with a bunch of good ideas. We need you to become a member of this organization, so that we can all benefit from the works of this group of talented people and Grow Radiant!

If you’ve not yet joined, or re-joined, get back in here, won’t you!  Visit and become a member today. Tune in next month as we continue our discussion of what makes this organization so great.

All Mark Eatherton material on this website is protected by Copyright 2013. Any reuse of this material (print or electronic) must first have the expressed written permission of Mark Eatherton and CONTRACTOR Magazine. Please contact via email at: [email protected]

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