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Home News Jim Barron, Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) Executive Director Appointed as Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) Interim Executive Vice President

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Jim Barron, Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) Executive Director Appointed as Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) Interim Executive Vice President

August 5th, 2022

Arlington Heights, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2022) – After nearly a year of discussion and planning, the RETA and RSES Boards of Directors have approved the appointment of Jim Barron as RSES Interim Executive Vice President. This decision was made in an effort to help strengthen two long-standing non-profit sister associations within the HVACR industry under one management model.

    Former RSES Executive Vice President Lori Schiavo will be moving into the Senior Director of Operations role with RSES where she will work directly with Jim to reinvigorate the association’s 89-year history providing quality training and certification with new and updated products and services, a more streamlined membership model, stronger Chapter operations and greater visibility in the marketplace.

    When asked about preparation for this role, Barron said, “As Teddy Roosevelt quoted, ‘In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.’ In this role, I plan on working to help refocus the staff, the Board and the RSES Members on doing the right things for the right reasons while following both the mission statement and the bylaws that are the core values of the organization. The staff at Headquarters and the RSES Board have made great strides in keeping the organization moving ahead, but together, we can make this better,” says Barron. “Our members and the industry deserve no less than the best training and certification opportunities, and one of my plans is to help foster that development. With the right mindset and the right motivation, we can accomplish anything.”

    Barron has more than 40 years of industrial and commercial refrigeration and mechanical hands-on experience. He began working with RETA in 2001 as a volunteer on the RETA Certification Committee, and in 2002 became the certification Chairman of said committee. As Chairman, he began working toward RETA’s ANSI accrediting which they received in 2008. In 2003, he became a RETA National Board Member where he served for three years and then became an Executive Board Member. In 2009, Barron served as the President of the RETA National Board. Shortly after, in 2013, Jim was hired by the RETA Board of Directors as the Executive Director of the Association. During the last couple of years, much of RSES’s work and resources has been hindered by the pandemic. In addition, a retiring and aging membership has created a decline in the growth of our Chapters. Now that the world is opening back up, the staff is even more determined to meet the needs of a robust membership drive.

    “Jim will lend RSES, its Members and the HVACR industry at large a special skillset that crosses multiple areas, including technician, Board member, association leader and beyond,” says RSES International President Ray Clary, CMS. “We welcome his experience and guidance to help RSES position itself as the HVACR Training Authority. I’ve had multiple conversations with Jim, and have an extremely good feeling about what he will do for strengthening and revitalizing RSES, as well as the direction in which he’s leading us. If you run or belong to an RSES Chapter that is considering disbanding due to lack of participation, please hold off, as the BOD, Barron and HQ Staff are working on ways to revitalize the Society.”

    The RSES staff has already started internal reconstruction with the initial goal being updates and then growth. In the coming months, the staff plans to reach out to all members both active and inactive, current and future members in an effort to assist them in finding local Chapters who can assist them with their training, certification and networking needs nearest to them.

    “Sometimes in order to grow, we need to pause to evaluate both our strengths and struggles as organizations and as leaders. This has been an extremely tough couple of years to navigate. I am looking forward to leaning on Jim, an association veteran, for guidance and support to help achieve the Society’s goals for all of our members and affiliates,” says Schiavo. “This decision is one that will not only strengthen both of our organizations, but the industry as a whole. I am looking forward to all the good that will come as a result of this momentous decision, including better training and certifications for HVACR professionals.”

    RSES and RETA are excited about these developments and the prospect of working closer over the coming months. Both organizations are looking forward to growth and prosperity under the new leadership model.

    Additional updates and announcements are forthcoming. For more information about RSES, email, call 800-297-5660 or visit For more information about RETA, email, call 844-801-3711
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) is the world's leading education, training and certification association for HVACR professionals. RSES credentials include its Active Specialized Member, Certificate Member and Certificate Member Specialist categories, as well as the EPA Section 608 certification program. Founded in 1933, RSES is a non-profit organization with chapters in the U.S. and Canada, as well as affiliate organizations worldwide. For more information on RSES or to become a member, call 800-297-5660 or 847-297-6464; email; or visit RSES, PO Box 248, Arlington Heights, IL 60006-0248.

The Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) is the most recognized organization in the country dedicated to the professional development of industrial refrigeration operators and technicians. Founded in 1909, RETA is a non-profit membership and certification organization based in Albany, OR. RETA is the sole provider of ANAB-accredited certification in industrial refrigeration in the world. RETA certification requires meeting eligibility criteria and demonstrating knowledge of industrial refrigeration concepts, principles and practices, and the RETA training materials provide the fundamental knowledge needed to understand these concepts and operating principles. For more information about RETA or to become a member, call 844-801-3711 or 541-497-2955; email; or visit RETA, 1 725 Ferry St SW, Albany, OR 97322.

RSES is the leading education, training and certification preparation organization for HVACR professionals. RSES publishes various comprehensive industry training and reference materials in addition to delivering superior educational programs designed to benefit HVACR professionals at every stage of their careers through instructor-led training courses, online training for HVAC, educational seminars, interactive CD and DVD products, industry-related reference manuals, and helpful technical content through Service Application Manual chapters, the RSES Journal, the RSES Journal archives and feature articles, as well as web-exclusive features.

Beginning with basic theory and extending to complex troubleshooting, training courses covering refrigeration and air conditioning, heating, electricity, controls, heat pumps and safety may be conducted in a classroom environment or though self study. RSES publications may be purchased by schools, contractors, manufacturers or any other industry group wanting to conduct comprehensive training programs. Seminars covering air conditioning troubleshooting, electrical troubleshooting, compressor training, condenser training, refrigerant piping practices, DDC controls, and more are held in various cities across North America.

Select training programs offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and NATE Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

In addition, RSES offers industry certification preparation materials for refrigerant handling (EPA Section 608), R-410A and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) examinations.

RSES’ monthly magazine, RSES Journal, serves HVAC contractors, service technicians, students, operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians who work in the residential, light commercial, commercial and institutional markets on air conditioning, warm-air heating, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical, ice machines, chillers, hydronic heating, piping, refrigeration control and energy management, building automation, indoor air quality and duct cleaning, and sheet metal fabrication equipment and/or systems.
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