Congratulations to our Award Recipients at this year’s HRAI Annual Conference

HRAI had the honour of recognizing the following people for their dedication and commitment to the HVACR Industry and HRAI.

Merit Award

Bruce Passmore

Bruce has worked in this industry for the past 30+ years, holding various roles at various contractor, manufacturer, and wholesaler organizations.

Joanna Woo of EMCO and Chair of the CMPX Committee, had the pleasure of presenting Bruce with the HRAI Merit Award.

She noted his eagerness to help and make positive impacts, regardless of who he’s representing, as a member of HRAI or a teammate at work, is admirable. Joanna went on to say that most people in the room would agree and probably have stories of their own of how Bruce took the extra mile to lend a hand.

Congratulations Bruce!

Warren Heeley Environmental Award

Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger a veteran of the HVACR industry, and one of the many leaders in the Canadian Geothermal Industry, was recognize for his work with HRAI and the HVACR Industry at this year’s Annual Conference in Ottawa.  At the HRAI Day on the Hill, MP Julie Dabrusin noted that the industry should clone Jim Bolger’s energy and passion to climate change action in Canada.  MP Julie Dabrusin was available to help recognize Jim, along with HRAI’s VP of Government and Stakeholder Relations.



President’s Award

Francis Belle

Francis Belle was awarded the HRAI President’s recognition award.

Francis has 40 years of experience within the residential housing sector, including a background in new home construction, building science and energy efficiency. He successfully operated his own residential design and consulting firm with his wife, Maureen, since 1982. 

He has been an HRAI instructor off and on since 2007 until this spring.  Besides teaching HRIA courses, he was an active participant in the development of course curriculum.

Congratulations Francis!





City of Vancouver

Chris Higgins accepting on behalf of the City of Vancouver

Change is hard and while conversations with various municipalities don’t always go as expected the HRAI Board of Directors wanted to be sure that one of our award winners aligned with the Climate Action Statement released earlier this year by HRAI.

The City of Vancouver has been instrumental in working with the HVAC industry and while implementing their Zero Emissions Building initiative.   Their plan is to transition to zero emissions buildings in all new construction by 2030. To achieve this, the city is setting limits on emissions and energy use in new buildings, and will reduce these limits over time.  Their plan is bold and we want to recognize their efforts.

We were fortunate to have Chris Higgins, of the City of Vancouver with us at our event to accept the award on behalf of the City.

Life Member Award
Peter Steffes

HRAI’s life award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to HRAI and the industry for over 20 years.

This year, it is our pleasure to award the Life Member Award to Peter Steffes.

Before selling his company to Vollmer a number of years ago, Peter with his wife Brenda was the owner of Ideal Heating and Cooling for 37 years, and a member of HRAI for 25 years starting in 1993.  

Peter’s initial involvement with HRAI was as President of the Essex-Kent-Lambton Chapter, where he served on and off for more than a dozen years.  He served on the HRAI Contractors Division Board from 2004 to 2018, becoming Chair in 2013. Peter also served on the HRAI Board from 2012 to 2018, and as Chair in 2015-16.

Peter also served on the HRAI Marketing Committee, the Emerging Technologies Committee and the Ontario Regional Council.  He is a previous winner of the Gearld Inch Award for Chapter Leadership, the Craig McCarty Award for Leadership with the Contractors Division, and the HRAI Merit Award for service to HRAI and the industry.

Over the years, HRAI benefited enormously from the plainspoken wisdom of a man who knows intimately the ups and downs of the trade and of managing a family business.

Congratulations Peter!


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