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The President's Corner

Pete Rasche 

Thanks to everyone who attended our last meeting on Wednesday, December 12th, to hear Paul Daugherty share his thoughts on the current Cincinnati sports scene.  He was entertaining and informative as always.  It was also great to have many of our former Presidents join us and be honored in our annual Past Presidents Luncheon.

Unfortunately, this month's letter is not as cheery as I typically try to be.  In fact, I have to pass along some news that is tough to share. 

First and foremost, there will not be a January meeting.  This is largely because the ASHRAE Winter meeting moved up and is only a few days after our meeting, making speakers hard to find.  But it's also for the reasons below… 

The truth is, for many years, our Cincinnati chapter has been losing money every time we meet.  This is purely a function of our attendance dropping significantly over the years (with our current attendance numbers, raising the luncheon cost enough to break even would not be reasonable).  We have now run up against our minimum chapter bank account balance and further meetings in our current situation will cause us to incur charges.  Continuing on blindly as we are right now would eventually bankrupt our chapter and cause it to shut down. 

Those of you who have attended luncheons are aware that attendance is continually dwindling. What was once 60 to 70+ became 50, became 45, and is now, on average, around 35 people per meeting.  This is only about 10% of our chapter membership!  Many reasons are cited why folks do not attend, which I won't list here. People say "do a poll"; yet past polls to see "what our chapter wants" have been largely inconclusive, if not met with virtual apathy. 

This issue is not being ignored. The board has discussed the situation and various potential resolutions for some time.  We've sought advice from other chapters, and we believe we have some solutions. 

In case folks are wondering, the current venue is not (specifically) the reason.  Their lunch deal is as reasonable as anywhere we've found, (short of doing box lunches, which is being considered).  One thing we are looking at is cutting the rental fees of the AV equipment by purchasing it ourselves.  This means more work for the board, but removing those monthly fees would pay off the equipment fairly quickly.  We feel this is a prudent move at this point, despite the inherent risk of presentations having glitches or such. 

We are also considering moving the monthly meetings, or at least some of them, to various firms around town.  This would remove the cost of space rental, and many of these spaces already have AV equipment in their conference spaces.  Some of these meetings may move to be dinner rather than lunch.  Many of the more-successful chapters in our region hold every single meeting at a different place and time, so this model can work. 

To this end, you will notice in the calendar tab we are now indicating all future meeting times and places as "TBA". 

The Cincinnati Chapter of ASHVE was founded in 1932.  After merging with ASRE, it became the Cincinnati ASHRAE Chapter in 1959.  This year, 2019, is our 60th anniversary.  This is something we should be celebrating, rather than having to worry about the future of the chapter altogether. 

So what I need to ask from all of you is to help us.  More than anything, come to meetings.  Tell colleagues.  Better yet, bring them along.  Spread the word.  Our remaining three educational meetings of the year are two Distinguished Lecturers and the worldwide Society President, so that should be reason enough!  If you can't come to meetings, please consider donating to help the chapter, or asking your company to donate.  We are a non-profit organization of volunteers, and our success is dependent on every one of you. 

One other new thing you'll notice, on the next page, is a listing of our donors.  We have seen that other chapters recognize their donors in this way and we feel it's a great way to recognize those who help.  We'd love to add your name to the list. 

As always, I am open to your comments, suggestions, and thoughts.  Let me know what you think.  We, the board, are here to serve you. 

Thanks, and Happy New Year! 

Pete Rasche - prasche@pedcoea.com - (513) 919-8796