Articles

It Pays To Attend Your Monthly ASHRAE Meeting

It Pays To Attend Your Monthly ASHRAE Meeting  

By Dennis Altstaetter


I joined ASHRAE in May of 1999 and was active in the National Capital Chapter of ASHRAE until my family and I moved to Wilmington, NC in June of 2005. In November of 2007, when my employer transferred me to the Raleigh area, I started attending the monthly meetings of the Triangle ASHRAE chapter held on the campus of NCSU. At this time I felt very secure in my job and planned on one day retiring from the company I had been with for over 10 years. After all, I was working for a very large manufacturer of HVAC equipment. After going through a difficult winter and experiencing a slow economy, my former employer went through a major work force reduction and I was laid off on March 23, 2009.

 I started sending out resumes right away and did not receive any real leads. I had decided that since things were so slow it might take several months to find a new job. The next ASHRAE meeting came around and was to be held on Wednesday, April 8th. I was trying to reduce our nonessential expenses so that we could conserve our money and had talked myself out of going to the April meeting. My wife had other ideas and she urged me to attend the upcoming meeting. I printed several copies of my resume and got into my car. The current chapter president was Mr. Kent Woodard and the topic that night was absorption chillers. There was a small crowd there that night so after going through the food line I sat down at a table with someone that I had never seen before at one of our meetings. We started talking and he asked who I worked for so I pulled out a resume and told him that I had just been laid off. This person was Darren Shipman, Vice President of Adams Companies, Inc. His boss, Mr. Chris Adams, had told him to attend this meeting and find someone to hire for the Raleigh area. They had just acquired North Carolina for several of their commercial heating and cooling products and they needed someone to call on mechanical design engineers. I told him that was exactly what I had been doing with my former employer and we continued to talk during dinner.

After the meeting was over, we went out in the vestibule and I had my first real job interview since I had been laid off. Things went well and we talked for about one hour. The next day, Thursday, Darren checked with several of my references and received good reports from everyone. That afternoon I received a call from Darren Shipman and Chris Adams. After speaking with them for awhile, they made me an offer to work with them. On the following day, Friday I called them and accepted their offer. I was unemployed for less than 3 weeks and now had a new career with a growing company. My future is now brighter than ever and I am still working with design engineers, assisting them with my products. I know that I have heard through the years that it pays to belong to ASHRAE. I would like to take it one step further. It pays to regularly attend your local ASHRAE meetings. No one knows what their future holds and there is no place like your local chapter meetings and events to network and meet people.

Thanks Triangle ASHRAE Chapter and all its officers for having regular monthly meetings.

Pictured above (L-R): Kent Woodard (2008 - 2009 Triangle Chapter President), Dennis Altstaetter.

2014 Cornhole Tournament

2014 ASHRAE Cornholers

Despite the 40 deg. temperatures, our first semi-annual corn hole tournament for YEA and Research Promotion was a great success!  If you couldn’t make it, you missed a great time.  We had approximately 25 people show up and had enough people to set up 10 teams for some fierce corn hole competition.  We had a good mix of engineers, manufacturer’s representatives and contractors.  The 2nd place prize went to “Pump, You Up!”, which included Jimmy Leonida of James M. Pleasants Co. and Scott Brown of Lighthouse Engineering.  They won free tickets to the NCSU vs. Wake Forest Football game.  The 1st place price went to the undefeated team of “TJ and Eric.”  TJ and Eric were not associated with ASHRAE, but wanted to join in on the fun.  Coincidentally, Eric turned out to be Eric Hossenlopp, formally of Thermal Resource Sales.  The first place price was center ice tickets for the Carolina Hurricanes.

 We wanted to thank Umbrella Café for the food and Raleigh Brewing Co. for hosting our event.  Thanks again to our competitors and their contribution to ASHRAE Research.  All proceeds from the event were sent directly to ASHRAE Society for the Research fund.  We especially want to give a special thanks to our corporate sponsors James M. Pleasants Co. and Brady Trane for sponsoring the food and “refreshments” for our competitors and guests.  We hope to do this event again in the Spring, so be on the lookout in the upcoming newsletters