The Ozarks chapter of ASHRAE was chartered October 21, 1985 with the chartering ceremony presided over by 1985-86 ASHRAE president Donald Bahnfleth. In a November 18, 1986 meeting at the Wooden Nickel Restaurant, Kansas City chapter president Jerry Downey installed the first Springfield officers.

Also at the first meeting, special certificates were presented to Bob Bernard and Dick Peterson, steering committee chairman and member respectively, in appreciation of their work in forming the local ASHRAE chapter.

The first officers included Will Nopper, president; Bob Snell, first vice-president; Dave Edie, second vice-president; Jack Climer, secretary and Max Porter, treasurer. The first meeting also featured a seminar on primary and secondary pumping, presented by Gilbert F. Carlson from Blackmore and Glunt.

1985-1995: the first ten years

The young chapter began holding monthly meetings in 1985 at the Wooden Nickel Restaurant and also social events for its members, including a boat cruise on Lake Taneycomo. The next year monthly meetings were moved to the 89er Restaurant, famous for its great steaks and shoe-sized baked potatoes.

The 1989-90 year Chapter monthly meetings included speakers covering topics on CFC refrigerants and ice storage systems, with a site visit to Drury College Communication Building to view its ice harvesting system. The Chapter held its Installation Banquet at Riverside Inn.

The 1990-91 year Chapter monthly program highlight was a tour of Cox South hospital, where the Chapter recognized Cox South with an award for energy conservation in HVAC design. Other monthly meetings included speakers addressing topics covering heat recovery, solid waste management, and a second plant tour was taken at Loren Cook. Research Promotion goal was exceeded and increased from the previous year. The year’s average monthly meeting attendance remained constant at 25 from previous year. Events included a fall golf fundraising event at Green Hills Country Club and first-ever Las Vegas night for scholarships to local high school students. The monthly meeting site was moved from the 89er Restaurant to Legends Restaurant and the Christmas party was held at Riverside Inn.

In the 1991-92 Chapter year, monthly programs covered a variety of topics including supermarket refrigeration and variable frequency drives. Monthly meetings were moved to J Parrino’s at Heers. The Installation Banquet was held at Highland Springs Country Club. The spring golf fund-raising tournament was held at Hidden Valley Golf Links.

The 1992-93 Chapter year monthly meeting highlights include meetings included acoustics in HVAC systems, kitchen exhaust systems, gas-fired chillers and domestic water variable speed pressure booster systems. Average monthly meeting attendance for the year was 20. The annual golf tournament was again held at Hidden Valley Golf Club and Casino Night installation banquet was held at Highland Springs Country Club.

The 1993-94 Chapter year Average monthly meeting attendance for the year was 20

The 1994-95 Chapter year monthly meeting topics included ASHRAE 62, law issues in our industry, with trips to the 3M factory and the Copeland compressor plant in Lebanon, with an interesting presentation of the Chunnel air conditioning system, Average monthly meeting attendance for the year was 23. Casino Night fundraiser Monthly meetings were held at a variety of local establishments, including Steak-n-Ale, Patrick’s Restaurant, Clary’s, and Hickory Hills Country Club.

1995-2005: the second ten years

By 1995, the chapter had 66 members, including professional engineers, contractors, equipment suppliers and other individuals associated with the HVAC industry. The 1995-96 Chapter year monthly meeting topics covered HVAC controls, custom air handling equipment, electric power generation, cooling tower sizing, with two tours including Paul Mueller company for thermal storage/ice harvesters and the Springfield Southwest Power Plant, Average monthly meeting attendance was 24. The year’s Christmas party was held aboard the Branson Belle river boat cruise. The regular monthly meeting location was moved to Burr’s Restaurant.

The Ozarks chapter hosted its first Chapters Regional Committee (CRC) Conference in August of 1996 for Region IX, which includes thirteen chapters representing the Midwestern United States. The 1996-97 Chapter year activities added a fishing outing on Table Rock Lake, as well as the yearly golf tournament. Monthly meeting topics for the year included Legionnaire’s disease, Average monthly meeting attendance for the year was 23. Monthly meetings were held at Cartoon’s and Burr’s. The Christmas party was held in Branson at Lodge of the Ozarks with entertainment at the Van Burch Theater.

The 1997-98 Chapter year monthly meetings were held at Burr’s Restaurant with a barbeque at Cooper Estates to lead off the year, with presentations covering ASHRAE 90.1, refrigerant controls, desiccant dehumidification, steam systems, IAQ, and International Building Codes. Plant tours of General Electric small electric motors factory, and Springfield Micro Brewery rounded out the monthly meeting. Average monthly meeting attendance for the year was 17. Golf tournaments were held in the fall and also in the spring to raise funds for ASHRAE Research and Promotion, held at Hidden Valley Golf Links. Two $500 scholarships were awarded to local Ozark Technical College students.

2005-present

More than twenty years after its chartering, the Ozarks chapter is still going strong.  Monthly chapter meetings are held throughout the year and an annual golf tournament held at Hidden Valley Golf Links in the fall is the highlight of the year for many members.