Eurovent elects new President and sets path for future development

Alex Rasmussen takes over association leadership, General Assembly redefines the organisation’s scope and welcomes new members

New President to continue and reinforce redevelopment process of predecessor

As this year’s host association, Svensk Ventilation, the Swedish branch organisation of the ventilation industry, welcomed participants from more than 20 countries to the 2015 Eurovent Annual Meeting in Stockholm. With Alex Rasmussen, a well-experienced manager has been elected President during the General Assembly. Rasmussen (born 1948) is of Danish nationality and has held various positions in the refrigeration and ventilation arena. Since 1998, he has been CEO of Systemair Denmark until becoming Senior Vice-President of the Systemair Group at the beginning of this year.

Alex Rasmussen follows Christian Herten from the GEA Group, who had been President since 2013 and whose term formally ended. Upon taking over, Rasmussen stated that he would continue the redevelopment process initiated by his predecessor, highlighting that ‘Christian [Herten] has done a tremendous job in bringing the association forward while laying a solid foundation for Eurovent’s sustainable development and growth’. In his introductory speech, the Dane announced that he aims to ‘strengthen the cooperation with other European associations in the ventilation area, bringing them as close as possible together in order to avoid double costs and efforts for manufacturers’. Rasmussen furthermore wants to reinforce the association’s good relations with the European Commission and its international strategy, with Eurovent ‘globally promoting European energy efficient solutions, sustainable refrigeration technologies and air quality ideals’.

Eurovent Board sees new and familiar faces, introduction of a new ‘supervisory body’

While ‘Past President’ Christian Herten will continue to play an active role at Eurovent as member of the Supervisory Board of the independent Eurovent Certification activities, the Eurovent Board sees new and familiar faces. Stefaan Sonjeau, Director of Marketing and Business Development EMEA at Baltimore Aircoil International (Belgium), was elected First Vice-President responsible for Finances. Naci Şahin, Managing Director at Friterm (Turkey), becomes Vice-President for External Relations, taking on a leading role in shaping Eurovent’s international profile – making use of experiences made in his globally emerging home market. With Karsten Fuchs, Director Sales Europe at ebm-papst (Germany), and Robin Vollert, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Swegon (Sweden), two new and experienced faces complement Eurovent’s multinational Board. They will be supported by the continuing Board members Luca Binaghi, Sales Director at Sabiana (Italy), Frédéric Bruyère, Strategy Director at CIAT (France), as well as Henk Kranenberg, Senior Manager at Daikin Europe (Netherlands) and José Palomero, Commercial Director at Lennox (Spain).

Following Eurovent’s structure as a European ‘umbrella association’, Board members are being nominated and elected by Eurovent’s national member associations from throughout the European Union, CIS countries, and Turkey. These members also find themselves in the ‘Eurovent Commission’, which is going to be redeveloped into a ‘supervisory body’. Together with the Chairmen of Eurovent’s Product Groups, the new Commission does not only define the general political guidelines of the association, but also monitors and mediates the activities of its subordinated Product Groups (which bring together manufacturers that manufacture the respective product), as well as Issue Groups (which are horizontal groups set up ad-hoc around regulatory topics). The new ‘Eurovent Commission’ allows for a truly democratic decision-making, with positions reflecting wider European interests across all sizes of enterprises, especially those of SMEs.  

Eurovent General Assembly adopts new Statutes and redefines association scope

This goes hand in hand with fully redeveloped association Statutes. They now more clearly define decision-making rules and allow for a significantly faster reaction time based on thorough democratic principles. While manufacturers can issue positions directly out of Eurovent’s Product Groups, they can request the Commission to ‘approve’ their positions, in which case it becomes a fully representative association position. Conflicting positions between Product Groups are being minimised through the introduction of Issue Groups, which take on topics that can affect various Product Groups (e.g. the ‘EU Fans Regulation’), and the mediation through the ‘Eurovent Commission’.   

Following a long-term analysis initiated at the Eurovent Summit 2014 in Berlin, Eurovent members have also decided to evolve the ‘HVAC&R’ terminology. In a wider approach to make the industry more attractive for younger generations, Eurovent members had requested a terminology that reflects the actual structure, development and ideals of the European industry. With the upcoming launch of its new online portal, Eurovent is going to represent manufacturers of indoor climate, industrial process cooling, and food technology.

European indoor climate, industrial process cooling, and food technology manufacturers

The new pillar ‘Indoor Climate Technologies’ covers manufacturers of heating and cooling (e.g. air conditioners, chillers, heat pumps) as well as ventilation equipment (e.g. residential and industrial air handling units, air filters/cleaners/humidifiers, fans, energy recovery components). The second pillar covers ‘Industrial Cooling Processes’, which covers multiple industrial sectors (e.g. oil and gas, metallurgy and chemicals). The third pillar, 'Food Technologies' involves cold chain applications, products such as refrigerated display cabinets, bulk milk coolers, ice-cream freezers as well as bottle coolers, and food processing equipment manufacturers.

In the refrigeration area, Eurovent will reinforce its approach of preparing European manufacturers for upcoming realities related to the global phase out of refrigerants with a high global warming potential. It is going to further integrate this approach in its relationship with the European Commission in Brussels and has signed a cooperation and mutual-membership agreement with eurammon (the leading European initiative of companies, institutions and individuals who advocate an increased use of natural refrigerants). The terminology ‘food technology’ was added as it reflects a field with an ever-increasing importance in which European manufacturers are offering leading, state-of-the-art equipment. Not without reason, the 2015 world exhibition in Milan is titled ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. With Assofoodtec from Italy, Eurovent already has one of Europe’s major associations in this area as a member.

Association to further strengthen international activities, General Assembly welcomes new members

Throughout the past 1,5 years, Eurovent has introduced new core activities that aim to globally promote energy efficient solutions and sustainable refrigeration technologies while positioning the importance of indoor air quality as a core issue next to efficiency aspects. Members have decided to further advance ‘Eurovent Delegation’ activities, which bring European industry leaders together with their counterparts in emerging regions worldwide. Furthermore, Eurovent has entered a long-term partnership with Climate World, Russia’s leading climate technology exhibition. A further intensified partnership is envisaged with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the China Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (CRAA) as well as key partners in the Middle East that have recently joined the Eurovent network.

Last but not least, the new Eurovent President Alex Rasmussen was happy to welcome ten new members to the Eurovent family. These include, amongst others, two new association members from Russia, leading to Eurovent covering all of Russia’s sector associations, five new company members from the Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, as well as associated members from the Middle East. In order to being able to maintain the association services vis-à-vis the increased scope and amount of members, the Eurovent Team will be enlarged in 2015. Throughout the year, together with Eurovent’s national member associations, regional offices will be opened in Milan (Italy) as well as Prague (Czech Republic). Together with the head office in Brussels, these regional offices aim to bring European legislation closer to the manufacturers, allowing for a more direct communication. Also, they further strengthen Eurovent’s close relation with national public decision-makers, who are the ones that eventually vote on European law.


Publication Date: 
Friday, 29 May 2015
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