I’d like to thank the IDEA board and all of the members for electing me as IDEA’s chair and for demonstrating your confidence and trust in me to represent you and the district energy industry. I am honored and excited to get started in my new role. I take the responsibility of serving as chair very seriously, and I am committed to advancing IDEA and the industry as we continue to grow our value and success. With almost 20 years of industry experience and as a member of IDEA throughout this period, I hope to be a resource to President and CEO Rob Thornton and his staff and to provide leadership to the board in supporting our members’ interests.
We should all recognize and extend our appreciation to Chris Lyons, last year’s chair, for his commitment and dedication to IDEA. And those of us who recently attended the 109th Annual Conference and Trade Show in beautiful Vancouver owe our thanks to the IDEA staff for putting on another great event and to the University of British Columbia for hosting us. With nearly 800 attendees from 22 countries and a comprehensive conference program, we should all be proud to be part of an industry that provides such an important and critical service worldwide.
As I look to the upcoming year, there are many opportunities and challenges facing us due to the continual acceleration of change in our industry – similar to what other industries are experiencing. With this in mind I have chosen the theme, “The Global Renaissance of District Energy.” As we think of the definition of “renaissance,” renewal, revitalization, resurgence, awakening and invigoration come to mind. These words apply to so many aspects of our industry and are important to our ongoing success. There are four critical areas that support the “The Global Renaissance of District Energy” that I refer to by using the acronym “MIST”:
- International information exchange
- Technology transfer
MIST is not new to IDEA or our industry, but the way we execute strategies in these areas must continue to be evaluated to be successful. Remember, our industry success is dependent on many stakeholders – utilities, universities, government, service providers, equipment suppliers, regulators, and on and on – so MIST will be applied differently based on the audience. With this in mind, my goals for the coming year are twofold: 1. develop an approach within IDEA to regularly assess our strategies for adjusting to the changes that impact our industry; and 2. evaluate, develop and implement the highest-priority MIST strategies to support “The Global Renaissance of District Energy.” I realize my term as chair is only one year, but with the leadership of Rob Thornton and his team, and the plans they already have in place for the upcoming year, I am confident our goals are achievable.
Again, I want to thank all IDEA members and the board for your trust and confidence in allowing me the opportunity to represent you. It is an honor personally for me, and I am committed to contributing to achieving a positive impact for the district energy industry. I look forward to working for you in the coming year.