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ASHRAE membership is open to any person associated with heating, ventilation, air conditioning or refrigeration. ASHRAE is unique because its membership is drawn from a wide range of disciplines relating to the HVAC&R field. Approximately 51,000 individuals from more than 100 nations belong to the Society.

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Presidential Member David Butler Dies  

Presidential Member David Butler Sr., P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Life Member, died July 31.

Butler, 73, 1845 Saint Ann St., Jackson, Miss., 39202, served as the Society’s president in 1989-90, emphasizing volunteers advancing environmental technology. “We have covered the what and the how, and now the question is who,” he said during his presidential theme. “Who is going to venture past the possible into the impossible? The answer….is simple. The very same committed, dedicated member volunteers and professional staff members of ASHRAE who have selfishly and untiringly led the way in HVAC&R technology the past 95 years!”

Butler represented ASHRAE as the lead Society of National Engineers Week in 1990, helping to launch an engineering outreach program to students, Discover“E.” As part of those efforts, Butler met with U.S. President George H.W. Bush to talk about the need to improve science and math skills of students, and then visited local high schools as an Engineering All Star to demonstrate the problem-solving skills that characterize engineering.  Butler also helped garner national media attention for ASHRAE by taking part in a press conference regarding findings of a student survey regarding life in the 22nd century.

During his presidency, the Society also published the 1989 versions of its flagship standards on energy (90.1) and indoor air quality (62), as well as a guideline for reducing emission of fully halogenated CFC refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and applications.

He served as chair of numerous councils and committees and as a trustee for the ASHRAE Foundation. He served as vice chair of SSPC 62.1P, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Commercial, Institutional, and High-Rise Residential Buildings, and on the Technical Activities Committee and the ASHRAE Ad Hoc Committee, Building Energy and the Environment. He also served on the board as a director-at-large and Region VII Director and Regional chair.

He held all positions of leadership in the Mississippi Chapter.

Butler received an Exceptional Service Award in 2001, the Andrew T. Boggs Service Award in 2000 and a Distinguished Service Award in 1987.

OPEN LETTER: Butler Propelled Success of Region VII

As Jill and I were driving back to Memphis from David Butler’s funeral last Friday, I had the opportunity to reflect on the legacy he left to Region VII and the Society.  His bio will list many accomplishments.  I suspect that it will not list one that was very meaningful.

When David became our director and regional chair, he was very dissatisfied with our contribution to the Society.  He conceived and began a Region VII annual planning meeting.  We first met in the summer in a cabin he borrowed on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee.  The regional vice chairs were there as well as some chapter officers and past regional officers.  There was no budget, the cabin was free and we personally covered the other expenses.

We spelled out our objectives for everyone to hear and comment on.  More importantly, we went through chapter rosters and identified people we felt could contribute to our efforts.

Our Chapter Regional Conference meetings quickly became more productive.  Region VII moved from the bottom of the pack to just about the top.

We continued these meetings at our own expense for many years.  Our success was soon obvious to other regions and the Society.  All regions now hold these meetings with the expenses covered by the Society.  The comradery was as important as the work.  They were also fun.

It has been several years now since I have attended, but I am proud to have been there at the beginning when David started it all.

— Roger Buckmaster,
ASHRAE Region VII director and regional chair, 1996–99