North American Technician Excellence (NATE) has recruited former Trane Residential Systems President David R. Pannier to serve as interim president.

Pannier has experience serving in leadership roles on numerous industry boards, including NATE's, before retiring as president of Trane Residential Systems in 2009. Pannier replaces Rex Boynton, who left NATE in mid-January to pursue other opportunities.

“We appreciate and recognize Rex's accomplishments and look forward to Dave's leadership during this interim period as we search for NATE's next President,” says NATE Chairman Ray Isaac.

“Dave's knowledge and respect within the HVACR industry, his commitment to the education and training of HVACR technicians, and his knowledge and support of NATE since its creation, will provide the leadership needed to move NATE forward in fulfilling its mission of recognizing the professionalism of HVACR technicians. As the industry's primary technician certification program, NATE serves a very important role. Under Dave's leadership, NATE will re-commit to expanding its reach and its value to the industry,” Isaac says.

In other news, NATE — in cooperation with AHRI — has developed four new certification exams. Two of those exams will certify technicians in the installation and service of light commercial refrigeration systems. Two others will certify them in the installation and service of commercial refrigeration systems.

According to Pat Murphy, NATE vice president of certification, the 2 ½-hour, 100-question exams test the technician's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance and repair of commercial refrigeration systems.

“The exams cover light commercial equipment with fractional horsepower to 7.5 hp, which encompasses convenience stores, fast-food chains, and similar types of businesses. Larger equipment that is 7.5 to 80 horsepower is covered in the commercial refrigeration exams,” Murphy says.

NATE certification can be a valuable addition to a technician's educational regimen.

“Airside tests conducted over the last 10 years show a 25% reduction in warranty claims. Evidence also shows that a certified technician can add as much as $10,000 in value to a company.”

NATE recommends that technicians who take the installation exams possess at least one year of field experience working on refrigeration systems. Technicians planning to take the service exam should have two years of experience in the field.

“Each exam is difficult and provides a good measure of a technician's knowledge,” Murphy explains. “We're not testing mediocrity. We're testing excellence.”
http://bit.ly/newnatecerts; natex.org