Would you like to become an ambassador for our ACR Industry? There are now more ways than ever before for you to represent your industry.
In the discussion-thread to my last blog, the topic of ACR Industry Ambassadors appeared with several eminent industry names being offered as excellent examples of people whom are considered as fulfilling this role. There were less than a handful of names proposed but in reality there are many more. A lot more in fact with the vast majority and perhaps the best examples quietly going about their business almost unnoticed.
An ACR Ambassador is a person who acts as a representative or promoter of this industry. Thirty years ago that person would probably have been a senior business person or leading academic nearing the end of their career and 'now finding the time to put something back' into the industry. Fifteen years ago, in a more image-conscious era, that role tended to be filled by younger and more dynamic types pushed by their organisation's wider responsibility to the industry. Today, while both of these may still be true, the scope has widened considerably and we need to look outside the boardrooms and universities to find many more real ambassadors.
The ACR industry's greatest asset has always been the people that work within it. In today's social-media landscape every one of these has a voice and many are using it to great effect. Visit any of the web's many online industry related forums and groups and you will find people sharing information and best practice, answering questions, and offering guidance. It has always been ingrained in ACR industry people to want to solve problems and help others. Social media now gives them the ability - and sometimes the credibility - to be industry ambassadors on a much wider stage. We can find ACR industry evangelists generating a buzz all over the web. Take a closer look you and will find in abundance, the passion, energy, knowledge and experience that are traditionally attributed to an ambassador. There is no longer one face and voice representing and promoting the industry, nor even a handful, there are hundreds, maybe thousands.
This doesn't mean that the only ones representing and promoting our industry are tweeters, bloggers, Facebookers, or LinkedIners, etc. By its very nature, the ACR industry has its foundation in engineering and whilst many aspects of the industry have changed, mechanical products and systems are still at the heart of everything we do. As technology has changed over the years and mechanical reliability improved, it is also true that customer expectations have risen. Demand for product knowledge and excellence in customer care is greater than ever before.
To users of ACR systems the people who really represent our industry and promote its activities are our front-line staff. The engineers and technicians who get their hands dirty and actually make or fix plants. There is no getting away from the fact that the standing of this industry often lies firmly in their hands. One careless act by those at the sharp-end can tarnish the industry's reputation. To our customers, these are our true representatives; these are the human face of the industry and although these are not as high-profile as the names mentioned in the previous blog-thread, they are the 'stars' because actions speak louder than words. Best practise and industry standards mean nothing if they fail to be followed and implemented. These targets are there to be bettered not merely achieved with today's 'stars' championing the reduction of our industry's environmental impact.
Longevity of service and age are no longer considered a pre-requisite to being considered an ambassador but nor do they exclude them. An ambassador can be the person speaking to the United Nations, they can be the person speaking at their local school, they can be the person that proudly displays their institute or association letters after their name, they can be the person answering questions in a LinkedIn group, they can be the person that comes to fix or service your plant, they are lecturers and trainers; they potentially all of these and more, they are you and me.
All of us are ambassadors for the ACR industry. Please take this responsibility seriously.
Become an ambassador for the ACR industry today; one the industry can be proud of.
I can relate to what you are saying. I can think of two great examples of modern ambassadors for this industry that totally break the mould of the traditional ambassador that I have in my head. They are Ian Fisher of Air Master, and Jacinta Caden of Integral. Nothing old and fusty about either of these two. Both are working engineers and have the passion, knowledge and energy that is attractive to young and old alike. Nothing dull about them. So different to the traditional industry all men that used to come around giving our career advice. Good post Steve.
Very good post from arguably one of the best ambassadors this industry has, but having read through the comments I am very disappointed to see so few women mentioned. It is true that there are fewer women working in this industry than men in leadership roles but those that do deserve more credit and recognition. Mr Gill, how about writing an update praising the great ambassadors that are young people and/or female?
Steve Gill is flying! Just goes to show that great refrigeration engineers can make incredible ambassadors for the industry. There are others of course and rising stars too such as Chris Baillie. In Britain, we have been blessed with a long history of prominent industry figures who rise to shine on the world stage. Steve is right, the Internet has opened up the opportunity to a great many more who would not normally be considered as leaders. But it today's world they are. Great read Steve. Keep flying!
Hi, great to see so many comments here, and read the many nominations of ACR industry Ambassadors. There are some truly great individuals named here in the comments all of which are acting as ambassadors for our industry. There are also a great many more our there that are not. So many are representing our industry everyday by their actions, shared thoughts and deeds.
This industry is facing so many challenges in a changing world that those individuals that help present this industry in a positive light and also face the challenges of skills shortages, training, recruitment and retention of talent, technical and business innovation, environmental, workplace diversity, and more, all are wonderful examples of modern ambassadors.
We may know who these individuals are, we may even be one of these people, but more importantly, we can all be one of these people. We all have a part to play, and we can all play it.
So, don't feel restricted by role, title or position; we all make a difference, it is up to us just how significant a difference that is.
I do read all the comments here but I don't check in regularly. I would just like to say thank you to those that have left comments, and also a thank you to those who are acting as ambassadors for this great industry. Without you all, we would not be the industry we are today. Keep up the good work
I think this post is excellent. It is a similar theme to another of Steve's posts proposing a 'Fred' Award for frontline staff. These are the really ambassadors for the industry because their actions can make or break the reputation more easily than anyone else. If they get it right, we all do. But if they get it wrong, the reputation of the industry suffers.
These man and women on the frontline out number the rest of the industry many times over, but they are rarely considered as holding an important role.
Well said, Steve.
Fabulous post. I don't think some people realise how important their online presence is. Have you seen some of the profile photos on Linkedin? Some look so unprofessional. They don't do themselves or their employers any favours. Social media can be used for personal stuff, and should be, but when using business or professional networking sites I think it is important to at least look at act professional. I wouldn't describe many as good ambassadors at all, in fact they lower the standard the professional image of the HVACR industry by stupid online comments and photos.
I agree that we need more women role models. I don't know Jane Gartshore although she was over here recently. I would say that Ania Hampton, the first women to be elected at President of AIRAH is a wonderful role mode and industry ambassador, and it seems others would agree as she has this month won the inaugural CCN 201 6 Women In HVACR Award. There were three other finalists - Kim Limburg, Lisa Dainty, and Louise McCann, all of them great role models and worthy winners.
As for male ambassadors, I would add Stefan Jensen, and Stuart Saville.
Also agree with one of the previous comments regarding Steve Gill's poster campaign that proved to be very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Steve, of course, is one of the few what I would call global ambassadors for this industry. I've never met him but heard nice things about him. And yes, he writes an inspirational blog post too! :-)
I think that the ACR industry like most of engineering has been short of female role models. I have quickly scanned through the comments here and couldn't find mention of one woman - apologies if I missed it. We do need people to step up and accept that they are or can be ambassadors for whatever they choose to be, and the as we work in the ACR industry we are by default representing it at all times, like it or not.
Jane Gartshore is possibly the most senior and visible woman in the refrigeration industry today. She has been acknowledged as one of the top 50 women engineers in the UK.
There is a drive to attract more women into engineering and into the ACR industry. I heard that the IOR have launched a new group to do this. The IOR President - the same Steve Gill that wrote this post - said that we must do more to attract talent into our amazing industry. So, can we please suggest more here? What about Sam Parris, or LInda McVittie?
There are many men leading by example and being industry ambassadors, well there are also many women too. Give them the same credit.
Thank you Steve, another good article from you. Keep up the good work
I think one of the finest examples of being an ambassador for the HVACR industry has been the refrigeration poster campaign that Steve Gill produced. It was a global success and rightly won awards around the world. I have read that AIRAH are now following up and building upon this. It is great to see international bodies working together. The posters were a huge success in Aus and NZ. I also saw them in Dubai translated into Arabic.
I think the success story of the poster demonstrates that with social media, one can be an ambassador for the HVACR industry in so many new ways than previously possible.
I would like to add another name to the list of people mentioned. Klaus Visser here in Aus as been a great ambassador for the industry both at home and abroad. Klaus is a fine example that age doesn't dampen a person influence or passion or ability to be an ambassador. As Steve says, age is not a barrier, but nor is it the sole qualification. It is passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the industry.
Great post Steve. I couldn't agree more
We all know what an ambassador is, but do we? I thought I did until I read this and then I realized that they are all around me . So many people influence how I feel about something. In a way, a direct way, they represent some thing more than themselves. Yes, we all do represent the HVACR industry to outsiders.
What a responsibility! Yes Steve, I must take it more seriously. Thank you for making me aware
Inspiring post. Just the sort of positive outlook this industry needs at the moment
The negative comments left by some about older people acting as ambassadors really misses the point of this post as Steve says that EVERYONE CAN be an ambassador. No one is excluded. So old, or young, male or female, working in whatever capacity, senior or junior for any organisation. So spread an inclusive message, we are all potentially ambassadors.
Thank you Steve
This helped me get rid of my stereotypes. The blog name is 'Fresh Talking', I would change it to 'Fresh Thinking'. In so many ways, the ACR industry is stuck in a rut. So are many people in it. Fresh thinking like this blog helps us see that we can change. In fact that we are changing, as is the world outside the ACR industry.
I can't say that it will help me with my job, but I will be more aware of what is happening around me, and that will influence what I do and how I act
Steve, you have just found another another modern ACR Industry Ambassador.
I guess I am old school. My grandchildren laugh at men when it comes to even using my smart phone. But I am an apprenticeship trained ammonia refrigeration engineer from back in the 'good old days'.
I recall as an apprentice having a old guy who had all but retired from the company come around and give us a talk about the possibilities that a career in refrigeration would give us. 'What does this old man know?' was my thought at the time. Looking back, the truth is that what he told us was both right and wrong. The importance of refrigeration to the world and how useful having skills in this field would prove to be for us, was correct. He said that I would have a job for life, and yes, I did have.
But the business world and working practises he described had changed, even back then, we knew that he was 'thinking and talking' like an old person. It is a shame, and very shallow, but I have to say that his appearance put me off, I didn't want to be like him. I associated the industry with this old man. Clever, indeed, very clever and respected as he was, I didn't like to think that the fridge industry was full of old men like him.
But now I am like him, in fact I am at least 10 years older than he was when he spoke to us. And human nature tells me that if I went to speak to young people today that I would more than likely have the same disconnection with them as he had with us. We respected his knowledge, but truth is, we didn't want to be like him.
Then along came the internet, which I can and do use. In fact, it is my window to the world. I spend several hours a day on it reading industry news and technical articles. The world is changing so fast. I recall having to almost steal the catalogues from competitors to try and find out what they are up to. Now I can download almost all the information including prices from most of them online. It is all available. Remarkable.
The Internet has also opened up the potential for me to engage with others from around the world about the industry that I love. I have online chats with fellow fridge engineers from all over. I can help them, and I can offer advice. What is more, the basics of the systems are not changed, so my knowledge is valued.
I never ever wanted to end up like the 'ambassador' who came to talk to us apprentices all those years ago, and I haven't, but that doesn't mean that like him, I am not feeling the sense of 'putting something back' into the industry, by sharing my passion and knowledge.
Steve, you are 100% correct. We are all ambassadors for the industry, and what is more, there are endless opportunities for us to keep involved.
Keep up the good work Steve. I intend to, and feel that I can wear the ambassador badge with pride, along with many many others that choose to do so.
This is very very true. People in the ACR industry are generally ones that enjoy helping others, so it makes perfect sense that it should breed an thriving online community of sharing ideas, and yes problems, because we are also a problem solving industry.
I would have laughed if anyone else described me as an ambassador for the ACR industry but you have put it so well Steve that you I am sure you are right
We are a conservative industry, and in many ways, we are behind current business trends but I think that once again, you have opened my eyes to seeing this industry in a different light. Great post.
I don't think that anyone can deny that when they think of an ambassador, they immediately think of a person holding face to face meetings, or carrying out official visits. But Steve is right, because I thought deeply about it, I realised that all the ambassadors that I thought of I have actually only ever come into contact with digitally. I have seen them on news reports or on TV, or youtube, or even just read about them.
But then I thought about other ambassadors for companies, and these are not the sales people, these are the ones that I come into contact with through our daily working. They are ambassadors for their organisations, not the CEOs. In fact, I don't even know who most of the heads of the companies that i deal with are.
So then I thought about the ACR industry, and again, Steve was right. The people that I naturally think of as the great ambassadors for the industry are either ones that I read about, but more than that, they are also the ones, who are also in other ways quite ordinary, but who face the industry in a positive way. We have so many when I think about it. The top students and trainees, the service engineers who go out of their way to help their customer, there are so many examples, and yes, none fit the old world vision of the retired guy visiting schools. This is not meant to be ageist because it is more a mental picture than an actual one. Because being past retirement age doesn't stop one being an ambassador.
We do need more women flying the flag for this industry and it is good to hear that Steve has launched the Women in RACHP network.
This is a very good post, and inspires me to step up and do more, or perhaps just do what I am doing but be aware that in my own way, I am also an ambassador for the ACR industry, and that these words here do matter. We all have a voice now.
Really good post Steve. Made me rethink the industry and my role within it. Lots to think about after reading this - am I really an ambassador for the ACR industry?
Very smart and intelligent read. So many out there blame others for not doing enough to support our industry, yet at the same time, do nothing themselves. It is true that with the power of the internet we are all ambassadors for the industry as our words travel far and wide in a split second. Equally important is that our actions do too. There have been many names mentioned here as being great industry ambassadors and I would like to add Mark Forsyth from Skillfridge. He has been working hard ro raise standards in this industry through the Skillfridge competition. I think Steve Gill is also involved in that too. Thank heavens that we have guys like this out there. The ACR Industry may always need more of us to be active in a positive way, but we have also been fortunate to have the ones that we have. Very good article.
Interesting post with so many thought provoking comments.
I was totally unaware that the IOR has produced some training material and a website for schools, but I had heard of CoolScience.
It was good to read Steve Wright's comments based upon his actual experience of being a STEM Ambassador. Why aren't STEM activities more coordinated by our industry? Many years ago I think I recall Guy Hundy, or someone like him, leading the ambassdor visiting to schools and colleges. I think Graeme Maidment also did the same but before he was IOR President. Has all this ended?
I think Steve Gill's message is that we can all get involved and shouldn't leave this to others, but it would be nice to have some coordination and leadership in this area because quite frankly, I see the approach as very patchy and disjointed at the moment inspite of the sinsere efforts of people like Steve Wright
Hi Glenn, Frankly the IoR stuff is very dated. As a STEM ambassador I'm looking to engage students up to the age of 18 including relatively young children. What I think is needed is either games or toys that focus on our industry. You have to engage the student very quickly and their attention span is usually no more than 10 minutes. I take a hand held Sterling engine around the careers shows that I attend and both the kids and the adults love it. What we use must first be safe, very safe, have no batteries and be fun. It must be very portable and robust. It must engage the students in the core of our business, in other words basic temperature and pressure demonstrations. To give you an example here is link to a web site in India, this is how one teacher does it. http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/fun-with-pressure.php
I was rereading Steve Gill blogs. All of them very good and never seem dated.
I saw the comment from Stephen Wright, the STEM Ambassador. I saw that brighton had already replied but I wonder what Stephen Wright thought about the Fantastic Fridges material that the IOR have produced, and also the Cool Science initiative from the IOR last year?
Does that satisfy the requirement for materials for schools?
Thank you Roger for reminding me that this post existed. There are some really big names leaving comments here. I agree with you, this was a fine post from Steve.
I read this again after reading the Fred Award blog. That post is quite rightly receiving a lot of applause at the moment. It is has been phenomenally popular and of course actually led to the Customer Service Award. But after reading this one again, and the comments here, I think this one is even better.
There are a very small number of people who are high profile but who actually do so much more than we ever see. I would include the same names as others have mentioned here; Steve Gill, Graeme Fox, and Graeme Maidment. All high profile but all doing so much more than we ever see. Great ambassadors
I must give a nod to Chris Vallis who has risen recently. He has shown himself worthy of inclusion into such a list
This is a truly great blog
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