Creative solutions out of necessity

I am always impressed with creative people. Their ability to see new things, create new things, solve problems in new ways.

One of the outcomes from the pandemic is new creative ways to capture and kill germs. Portable fans with HEPA filters, Big Ass Fans with UV-C lighting, and diffusers with new filters never applied before.

HVAC is a science, but with create people behind the science, great things can happen.

Essential business – it’s about Healthcare

Since the stay-in-place order from Washington’s Governor Inslee we have been working hard as a team on healthcare facilities. Many consulting engineers have designs now in place for emergency healthcare facilities. Labs like the photo shown below are included.

It has been great to see the ACI team rally (mostly from home offices) to help designs for complex systems.  UV, Humidification, and complex filtration systems are among the tools we are using.

I am looking forward to seeing the actual building serving others!

scientist standing in laboratory
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

COVID-19 and our Pacific Northwest business

I have been doing this for a while now: leading teams who sell HVAC products to all types of customers–retailers, hospitals, education facilities, and government projects, to name a few vertical markets.  Business in the fall, into the winter, was good. Our customers were busy. During a meeting in December one customer said, “I don’t know how I am going to get all the work done!”

I have never seen an economy change so quickly as it has in the wake of this pandemic event.

9-11 was bad.  The Financial Crisis of 2008 was worse.  The part about the one in which we find ourselves today is the impact of the unknown.

For now, we are helping contractors get what they need, helping engineers (who might be working from the dining room table) get answers on product applications, and rescheduling all kinds of meetings to a date called “TBD.”

I hope I write the next blog about the US coming through this OK.  Time will tell.

cooking hands handwashing health
Photo by Burst on

Hands on training is the best! Loren Cook Fan Co story

I spent two days in Springfield, MO at Rep Training. The facility, staff, and products are the simply premium!

Hearing different fan types, seeing static pressure impact, and watching system effect in action is far better than reading about it!

Check out Vic with the beautiful fan displays in primary colors (it’s a fully active real-time calculating display). See John describe new fan design using CFD. Listen to Jeff and his enthusiasm for acoustics. Hear Chris describe Vari-Flow controls and their simplicity!

I love it all, and love being true partners with Loren Cook Fan Co. They rock!

Vic describes four fan selections in action
John describes CFD design for a mixed flow fan
Jeff talks acoustics outside the sound room
Chris explains Vari-Flow controls – very good!


My first trip to AHR Expo was in Chicago in 1989 as a young sales engineer working for Johnson Controls. I was 25 and absolutely the youngest of all the JCI show floor presenters.

The JCI booth training was top notch. How to wear your badge, how to address guests, how to listen. Learning how to sell actuators, dampers, controls and more was so fun! I will use these tools this week in Orlando as an attendee 31 years later, but now on the other side of the event; attendee not exhibitor.

So many great lines on the ACI HVAC line card are exhibiting the newest products. Our meetings are set with Price, Ruskin, Cook and more.

Good things ahead!

The value of Partnership

I got to spend time with our business partners Loren Cook Fan Co during the Kansas City Chiefs AFC win. Jeff and Chris, shown on my left and right, exemplify the skill and dedication at their company.

Both have been working at Loren Cook Fan Co for decades, and their experience in Logistics (Jeff in the black hat) and Engineering (Chris) is superb! I love working with real pros.

Thank you Ruskin Co for hosting us.

Working with a Legend

Jim Sinclair, aka Jimmy Diffuser, is a legend in HVAC. These are not just my words, I hear it everywhere I go with Jim.

He started in 1975 and carved a niche in HVAC with expertise in thermal comfort and treating people right.

I have been learning from Jim from afar for 9 years and recently in person as we transition the company he founded in 1985.

Our factory trips this week confirmed his legend status as many people went out of their way to say “thanks”!

We continue to work together as he remains Chairman of the Board, giving guidance on thermal comfort and more.


Moving from Manufacturing to Representing the Manufacturer

I made the biggest move of my career this month. Moving from Ruskin President, a corporate employee, leading 8 factories and over $1M of production a day to being an owner at a successful rep firm ACI in Seattle, Portland, and Spokane.

The logistics and time it takes to make this happen are complex. I learned more about business law and finance in six months than all the years before. This sounds difficult. But here is why it’s easier than you’d think:

ACI founded in 1985 is a rock solid rep firm with over 40 employees, great engineering, sales, and support staff. We represent great product lines. I did not join a start-up.

The first week of a job tells it all in my opinion. You like it and people like you… or not. My first week was welcoming, happy, engaging, satisfying, and fun.

The future looks bright!