Learn how this moniker from 2024 RSES International President Jerry Clark, CM sums up so much of his outlook on life, HVACR, and in RSES and what his plans will be over the next year to continue driving this philosophy home.
A 26-year Member of RSES, 2024 RSES International President Jerry Clark, CM is no stranger to the changes our Association and entire industry have seen over the years. From a kid working in his family’s HVAC supply company, to a stint working for a distributor to owning his own company, Clark has seen and done it all in HVACR,
all the while working his way up the chairs on both the RSES Southwest Regional Association and the International Boards. His experience will lend well to leading RSES through the merge process with RETA, the motion of which passed both
memberships in November 2023. Clark, who was a member of the merge exploratory committee for RETA and RSES, has a busy road ahead of him now that the motion to merge has passed. This year, RSES’s 90th Anniversary, Clark will lead this great Association into the future with RETA, his term of which will appropriately conclude in his home state of Texas during the
RETA Annual Conference, which is being held at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, TX, Oct. 22–25, 2024. But before we jump into the future, let’s go back to where this all began for Clark.
When asked how Clark first became involved with RSES, he says “I cannot remember a time when RSES was not a part of my life.” This response is an understatement considering his first expo- sure was at the 1977 RSES International Conference in Las Vegas. At just six years old, Clark tagged along to the show with fellow RSES Member parents Wade Clark, CM and Linda Clark, who were both avid supporters and active at every level of the organiza- tion—Chapter, Regional and International.
“I have attended regional meetings since I was a young child, with an exception between my teens and twenties because I was in school or working and those were my priorities,” says Clark. “I stayed behind so my parents could be involved. As a child my
Dad was always active and involved serving on the SWRA Board and when I started going to regional meetings again as an adult, I was quickly recruited to serve on the Regional Board and various committees.
“A few years after I completed the Regional Chairs I was blessed to encourage my Mother to join the Regional Board while my Dad served the Auxiliary on its Board. Both my parents and I have been blessed to serve as Officers of both the SWRA and SWRA Auxiliary.”
Now in the International President’s seat, RSES Journal took some time to get to know more about Clark to discuss his vision for the year.
RSES Journal (RJ): For starters, please tell me how you got involved in the HVACR industry?
Jerry Clark (JC): The short answer would be I am second genera- tion HVACR; my father started in the industry before I was born. Following college, my parents began a wholesale HVACR supply company. As the business grew, I took a leading role in it. After working for another distributor for a few years, I ended up starting my own wholesale HVACR Company and ran it for eight years. I then sold it out to my current employer.
RJ: How has your family and your career prepared you for being RSES President?
JC: My family is RSES. My career has been the embodiment of “better service through learning.” In order to better serve my contractor customers, I’ve continued my HVACR education through seminars, classes and RSES.
RJ: RSES has experienced a momentous amount of change over the past year: Bylaws revisions, E&E Board dissolution, new Committee development, HQ relocation, RETA-RSES Merge, etc. How do you see these changes positioning RSES for the future?
JC: All of the changes have been purposefully implemented to ensure that RSES could continue as a viable entity. Not-for-profit organizations like RSES must have a balanced or positive budget— it’s part of being a viable entity. Each change the Board and staff have committed us to this year has been to improve our viability and serve our mission of educating technicians.
The changes and the merger with RETA have all positioned RSES to increase our capacity and ability to fulfill our mission. I’m so excited for the future impact RSES will have in HVACR!
RJ: What would you like some of your key Presidential projects be in the coming year? What would you like to see done before you complete your term?
JC: The merger approved by both memberships has made it a primary focus during my presidency. How the merger will affect leadership down to individual Members. The RSES Board will be working closely with the RETA Board and Executive Director Jim Barron for the betterment of our combined membership.
The fact that the RETA Annual Conference had been predeter- mined to be held in my home Region feels like providence. I am so excited to work with our staff and combined Boards on a blended HVACR education track for RSES Members. I was blessed to attend the latest RETA Conference held in Jacksonville, FL, and I was extremely impressed with the educational sessions, trade show and the community events. I look forward to integrating RSES tracks in with the educational sessions to offer a more diverse curriculum for HVACR technicians.
RJ: Looking forward, what do you think RSES’s role will be in the future of the HVACR industry? Where will RSES be in 10 years? What will be its function?
JC: The industry is changing rapidly. First, government agencies are increas- ingly using their power to increase efficiency, quality of installation and reduce emissions. RSES has already been working on developing educational programs to fill the needs created by these initiatives.
Second, RSES as a non-traditional educational program for HVACR has always been successful in developing quality materials. RSES has partnered with several other organizations and companies to develop literature and programs in the past. New educational RSES materials being developed for HVACR technicians from apprentice to master will continue to improve the quality of technicians in the industry.
Lastly, changes to RSES testing and certification will help improve the quality of our examinations. RSES is looking to become the preferred provider for the industry for independent certification of technicians.
RJ: If you had to pick a motto for your Presidency, what would it be and why? JC: “A better tomorrow starts today.” My philosophy is simple: With each new day comes new challenges and an opportunity for improvement. I don’t dwell on the past successes or failures. I learn from them and how to make things better. The RSES Board has been building on the successes of the past. The past three years we focused on successes and the failures of our past and present to learn how to improve our future. RSES has a better tomorrow and it starts today!
First published by RSES Journal Winter 2023/2024 Issue.