Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced today the Board’s unanimous vote of the first members in the recently developed Affiliate Partner and Energy Efficiency Partner membership categories.

William Blair & Company, an independent, employee-owned global investment firm, is HARDI’s first Affiliate Partner member. Recently ranked #2 in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” Analyst Survey, William Blair & Company provides services in investment banking, asset management, equity research, institutional and private brokerage and private capital. The firm, based in Chicago, also has office locations in Boston, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Zurich.

“HARDI believes it is vital that trends, opportunities, challenges and expectations for our industry are accurate and reasonable, so I couldn’t be happier to welcome our first Affiliate Member, William Blair & Company, who is the first to recognize the role HARDI can play in giving them a deeper understanding of what’s really happening in residential and commercial HVACR,” says Talbot Gee, HARDI Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer.

Resource Solutions Group (RSG), the first member as a HARDI Energy Efficiency Partner, was founded in 2006 as a consulting firm specializing in the design, development, strategic marketing and delivery of resource efficiency programs for a wide variety of market sectors and clients. The new membership category, developed to facilitate and encourage collaboration between distributor members and those who run and implement energy efficiency incentive programs, will provide California based RSG with a platform to communicate with HARDI manufacturer and distributor members who have played an integral role in the success of many past energy efficiency rebate programs.

In response to RSG becoming the first member in the Energy Efficiency Partner category Gee adds, “The pressure on utilities and HVACR companies to grow the market for high-efficiency HVACR systems is as intense today as it has ever been, so Resources Solutions Group deserves credit and praise for being HARDI’s first Energy Efficiency Partner member because it shows their recognition and commitment to HVACR wholesale distributors as a vital key to advancing energy efficiency in residential and commercial heating, cooling, and refrigeration.”