The HVACR Leader of the Year Award is an opportunity to recognise industry veterans that have made a significant contribution to the industry.
This year there are five finalists for Leader of the Year, including Teco Australia's service operations manager, Ken Ball.
Since commencing his apprenticeship as a fitter and machinist with Unilever Australia at the tender age of 15, Ball has enjoyed a RAC career spanning half a century.
He has worked at Kelvinator, Carrier, Haden engineering, Sigma Industries, Fujitsu General, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries before joining Teco.
Ball has also been an active member of industry associations such as AREMA and CESA and contributed to the development of industry standards.
Another finalist is New Insights project manager, Manfred Jarchow, who has worked for Baltimore Aircoil, the Güntner Group, Danfoss Australia and Ingersoll-Rand. He is passionate about adiabatic cooling and public health issues such as Legionnaires' Disease.
In fact, Jarchow sold the very first Powerpax/adiabatic package in Australia.
Another impressive finalist is Optergy managing director, Marc Abdelahad, a firm believer in achieving 'optimal sustainability' incorporating environmentally friendly technologies, sustainable processes and product improvements.
Abdelahad is best known as the driving force leading the team towards Optergy Enterprise software development to help building managers better monitor and manage their building, mechanical and electrical systems.
He has also worked on Proton, a smaller building solution that is affordable and key to the delivery of big energy savings.
Next up is Airepair Air Conditioning Services managing director, Brad Wiseman, who is able to demonstrate his leadership everyday with his air conditioning business, training apprentices, and actively supporting the industry through his work with AMCA.
Wiseman is a board member of the Victorian AMCA and chair of the AMCA OH&S Committee. He was actually awarded Apprentice of the Year way back in 1985.
Last but certainly not least is finalist Gary Rogers, director of TriTech Commercial Refrigeration. Rogers is also well known to industry and has an extensive and impressive career in refrigeration.
He began at York Refrigeration in New Zealand and also spent five years at Johnson Controls in Christchurch. In 2011, Rogers joined Cold Logic as supervisor for Victoria before becoming director at TriTech Refrigeration Mildura in 2014.