AHRI Leadership Forum

The AHRI Board of Directors and staff look forward to welcoming you to the second Virtual Leadership Forum on November 16 and 17, 2021! We are pleased to present the exciting program of events, distinguished keynote speakers, and panel sessions on pertinent industry topics that you have come to expect. This year’s Forum will place a particular focus on the next steps in the globalization of AHRI’s certification and standards programs, federal affairs, and decarbonization. See registration information and major highlights below and view the schedule at-a-glance.


Registration for the AHRI Leadership Forum is open only to employees of member companies, qualified sponsoring company representatives, and members of the trade press. The $150 registration fee covers attendance at all sessions. The first 250 registrants will receive a curated surprise package, mailed prior to the meeting. Online registration for the Leadership Forum will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10. 

Pathable, the user friendly, interactive virtual platform for this event provides single login access to all sessions. View the meeting agenda, manage your own calendar, access speaker and sponsor information, and more! Learn about Pathable and preview your Leadership Forum experience here.


Key events are outlined below. View the schedule at-a-glance for more detail.

Opening Session

The opening session of AHRI’s Virtual Leadership Forum will feature a fireside chat-style interview with 2021 Chairman Mike Schwartz and incoming Chairman Ron Duncan, who will also answer questions from the membership. The outstanding efforts of several members will be recognized in a video presentation of the AHRI Richard C. Schulze, Public Service, and Distinguished Service Awards, all of which will be followed by the traditional Need-to-Know video. 

General Session: The Next Steps in the Globalization of AHRI Certification and Standards Programs

With the successful opening of AHRI’s China and MENA offices, AHRI’s Chairman has challenged the association to identify the next steps in the globalization of AHRI’s certification and standards programs. This session will review some of the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in AHRI’s global operations. Join AHRI’s Vice President of International Affairs, Jim Walters as he moderates a conversation with senior AHRI staff and AHRI members on their experiences, insights, and the opportunity for AHRI to support our industry in the global market. The panel will conclude with an interactive audience Q&A session.

Keynote Presentation: Federal Affairs – From the New Administration to the Midterm Elections

The afternoon session kicks off with featured speaker Ashley Armstrong, Senior Advisor on Energy Efficiency, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy who will address AHRI members, and take questions about the Department’s plans to address efficiency rulemakings as well as its plans for the future of the Process Rule, the ASRAC process, and stakeholder engagement and interaction on these and other important issues.

Ashley Armstrong
Senior Advisor on Energy Efficiency 
Department of Energy

The afternoon session continues with a keynote address by AHRI favorite Charlie Cook. Charlie is the founding publisher of The Cook Political Report, an independent, non-partisan political newsletter that analyzes U.S. elections and domestic political trends. Cook started The Cook Political Report in 1984, and for more than 36 years has written a twice-weekly column on politics – published in the National Journal for the past 23 years. Don’t miss Charlie’s analysis of the recently held elections and his forecast as we look ahead to the 2022 mid-term elections and beyond. After his presentation, Charlie will engage in an interactive Q&A session with AHRI Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Samantha Slater

Charlie Cook
Founding Publisher
The Cook Political Report

Keynote Presentation: Investing in the Journey, Not the Destination
Ben Saunders
Record-Breaking Polar Explorer
TED ‘Master Storyteller’
Advocate for Future Pioneers

In this not-to-be-missed session, record-breaking polar explorer, TED master storyteller and advocate for future pioneers, Ben Saunders, delves into the challenges of leading and performing in isolation -- something people all over the world have recently experienced, but which are familiar terrain for Saunders. Navigating and overcoming self-doubt, loneliness, uncertainty, and adversity in pursuit of a goal is what makes Saunders a record-breaking polar explorer and an invaluable speaker in uncertain times. While the achievements of this world-leading adventurer are deeply inspiring, it is the hard-won life lessons etched within each voyage – totaling 4,400 miles and more than a year spent in complete isolation in the harshest environments on the planet – which prove most valuable and applicable to his audiences. Faced with some of the world’s most unforgiving conditions, Saunders has learned the necessity of growing through failure, and how to control the uncontrollable in fast-changing and unpredictable environments, and that courage in the face of fear is what strengthens your self-belief. You will not want to miss this exciting session!

General Session: Decarbonization: Multiple Paths, Multiple Perspectives

This dynamic panel session will feature knowledgeable, active panelists with differing perspectives on the current state and local trend toward decarbonization – a trend with significant implications for our member companies and their customers. Guests will include former Carrier executive John Mandyck, who currently heads the New York City-based Urban Green Council; and representatives from the American Public Gas Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Consumer Energy Alliance. Ample time will be set aside for audience Q&A on this timely and important topic.


AHRI thanks each of our sponsors for their continued support of our association and the Virtual Leadership Forum.


Platinum Sponsors

        UL LLC

        Virtual Leadership Forum Session Sponsor

        Tuesday, November 16


        Virtual Leadership Forum Session Sponsor

        Wednesday, November 17

Gold Sponsor

       CSA Group

       Send-Ahead Experience Box

Silver Sponsors

        ASHRAE Journal

        Virtual Coffee Break

        Tuesday, November 16


        The ACHR News & Engineered Systems

        Virtual Coffee Break

        Wednesday, November 17

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