1981-1982 – Mark W. Allen

Mark graduated West Des Moines Valley High School in 1969, and Iowa State University in 1973 with a BS in the Industrial Relations Program out of the Economics Department. He served as the president of ATO Fraternity at ISU and received the Gamma Gamma award for being in the top 1% of ISU Greek system, “because I was involved in many activities, but in reality just getting a grasp on leadership and learning how to learn.”

After graduating ISU, Mark worked for B.F Goodrich as an Industrial Relations Associate, which moved him to Akron, OH, then to Cleveland, Port Neches, TX, and Phoenixville, PA – “each on 3-7 month assignments settling union strikes, assisting in safety programs and newsletters, administrating health and retirement benefits, and managing union contracts. After two years of that I unexpectedly got asked to join A. J. Allen Mechanical Contractors, Inc.”

So Mark returned to Des Moines in March 1975, got married in April and joined ASHRAE in 1976. “Ralph Schilling (Chapter President 1974-1975) made me Attendance Committee Chairman, which helped me get to know the names and faces of the members.”

Mark went on to serve ASHRAE in numerous positions at the Chapter, Regional, and Society level.

Following are some of Mark’s memories of his time in ASHRAE:

“Iowa Chapter meetings were a whole lot of older men when I joined…Ralph Schilling, Curt Hammer, LaVerne Stewart, Dick South, Bob Flanagan, etc. were mentors of mine. We had Fall Frolics and Spring Flings every year that were couples events with dancing – no golf outings back then.  Cedar Valley Chapter didn’t exist back then and the Iowa Chapter included Iowa City and Cedar Rapids members…Region VI had 13 chapters.  The Iowa Chapter got serious about winning Regional awards under Curt Klaassen’s presidency when I was VP.  Curt also started the Iowa Chapter ASHRAE Product Directory.  I started the December luncheon meeting!

“Board meetings were aimed at getting good speakers for every month.  We met at Urbandale Golf & Country Club for the first 3-4 years I was a member and then moved to Echo Valley Country Club for many years in the 80’s.  As a Board of Directors (BOD) we also focused on PAOE points (Presidential Awards of Excellence) that was used by Society Presidents to motivate ASHRAE Chapters to focus on certain areas of involvement, and the Iowa Chapter jumped on the bandwagon to get the coveted PAOE patch for our banner every year.  The Iowa Chapter was known for having the highest attendance at CRC’s for many years – which bestowed the Horn Blower Award at Chapter Regional Conferences to the Iowa Chapter.  BOD meetings also strived to help subsidize our membership for attendance at CRC’s.

“Emerging technologies/focus during my tenure on Iowa Chapter was energy loss from building envelopes, and how the engineering community could help drive new codes to ensure better building construction and design more efficient HVAC systems for both human comfort and lower utility costs.  Some of the cutting edge technology under investigation was solar panels and heat pumps, but even geothermal systems were only talked about as possible future things that might be utilized in colder climates.  Indoor air quality discussions were just in their infant stage that would later sky rocket to ASHRAE Standards adopted by Code bodies.  TEGA was “Technical, Energy & Government Affairs” committee that gained emphasis in the late 70’s and on into the 80’s.

“Camaraderie was high between contractors, engineers and sales engineering ASHRAE members as the baby boomer generation slowly took over the predominance of members in the Iowa ASHRAE Chapter, but the “old” guys in their late 60’s (and older) still remained members and seemed to never retire from work until their 80’s.”