Honors & Awards

2008 was another banner year for Fort Wayne ASHRAE. We were again ranked "Top Chapter in the World," and were additionally honored with the following awards:Special Citation for the Presidential Award of Excellence
Certificate for Sustainability
Most Points for Chapter Operations
Chapter Technology Committee & History
Red Ribbon for Membership Promotion
Achievement Award for Research Promotion: Full Circle & Goal

In 2007, Fort Wayne ASHRAE made history by sweeping the Region V Regional Conference Honors & Awards Ceremony. This chapter went from being ranked 143rd in 2005-2006 to being named the "top chapter" in the Presidential Award of Excellence Program for ranking first in 2006-2007!

Other awards won were:

Chapter Service Award
Presidential Award of Excellence (Special Citation & Star) Highest Points in Entire Society
Membership Promotion
High 5 Award
Challenge Award
Top 5 Award
Region V Technology Award (Honorable Mention)

Chapter Makes ASHRAE History

ASHRAE Insights
FT. WAYNE, Ind.—The Ft. Wayne Chapter was named the “top chapter” in the Presidential Award of Excellence Program for 2006–2007. It improved from being ranked number 143 in 2005–2006 to first place in 2006–2007.

Young Engineers

The Ft. Wayne Chapter is 33 years old but seven of its board members are not that old.


Tom Kuhn, 2005–2006 chapter president, was able to get nine chapter members to attend an out-of-state CRC in 2005. Kuhn sold the idea that it was the necessary first step to chapter success for 2007–08. Every committee chairman attended the CRC and benefited from the training classes.
The chapter earned over 550 PAOE points for its CRC involvement.

First Board Meeting of the Year

Mike Lubbehusen, 2006–2007 chapter vice-president, returned from the 2005–06 CRC committed to “The Quest to be the Best,” which is what the board of governors named their campaign to top the PAOE rankings. DRC Jim Willson invigorated the board by visiting the first board meeting of the year and encouraging “aggressive enthusiasm.”

Research Promotion

Region Chair Deanna Suskovich visited Ft. Wayne before the season began in 2006 and hosted a lunch for local industry and requested their support and donations. Chapter president Drew Emsweller led the board of governors, who each donated $100 to set the stage for the Ft. Wayne Chapter to obtain more than 17,000 PAOE points, the most for any chapter.


Tom Ferdelman, Regional historian, helped motivate the chapter to embrace its history. Binders were made by the history committee for each year of the Chapter’s history and separate bios were published on the “Top 15 Influential Members” and the “History’s 10 Men of Ft. Wayne ASHRAE.” The chapter obtained more PAOE points than any other chapter for history.

Meeting Attendance

Ft. Wayne is a small chapter of only 84 national members but it boasts the largest percentage of continual turnout of any chapter in the Society. Chapter secretary Matt Hartenstein attributes the strong attendance to high quality speakers, steak lunches, an effective telephone committee and the use of every type of communication. The chapter averaged more than 110 attendees at its monthly meetings.


Ft. Wayne Chapter reached out to local government and education to spread ASHRAE’s message. Vice president Mike Lubbehusen was invited to attend the Ft. Wayne Mayor’s Grassroots Green lunch meeting with several local leaders to discuss how energy reductions could take place in government, business, and residences. Chapter President Drew Emsweller spoke at the largest Rotary meeting in Ft. Wayne promoting a sustainability seminar.

Keys To Ft. Wayne’s Success

• Create a self image. When the Ft. Wayne Chapter “re-formed” in 2001, it chose the moniker “Society’s Most Enjoyable Chapter.”
• Focus on the real “acid test.” The Ft. Wayne Chapter board voted to “focus on what is good for the local members” and they believed that the growth of the chapter and national membership would follow.
• Leadership. Drew Emsweller, chapter president and recipient of “Chapter Man of the Year in 2007” is a leader by example and a builder of consensus.