PM Profile: ABMA President and CEO Scott Lynch
Inside an industry institution
For nearly 130 years, the American Boiler Manufacturers Association has promoted boiler industry safety, helping to save many lives while maximizing productivity. Now, President and CEO Scott Lynch is working to expand the organization’s focus.
PM recently interviewed Lynch about the market trends he’s seeing as well as his strategic view for ABMA in 2018 and beyond. This is what he had to say.
PM: When and how did you enter this industry, and how did you become involved with ABMA?
SL: I became president and CEO of the ABMA in June 2014 with a 20-year career in association management, most of those years leading manufacturing trade associations.
PM: When was ABMA founded, and what is its history?
SL: ABMA is the longest continuous trade association in the U.S. It was founded 1888 to address safety concerns related to boilers.
PM: What are ABMA’s primary functions?
SL: ABMA's mission is to lead and unite the boiler industry through advocacy, education, awareness and our commitment to providing solutions to our members. Since our founding in 1888, ABMA has advocated for the safe production and operation of boilers, facilitated advances in energy efficiency and provided solutions for our member companies.
Throughout our history, the boiler industry and our member base have relied on the ABMA to lead the industry as it tackles challenges and embraces opportunities in our constantly evolving sector. Through participation with ABMA, our members are better informed, connected and positioned to thrive in today’s global boiler industry. ABMA has been critical to the evolution of the boiler industry and a partner in continued progress of this important sector.
PM: What pressing legislative/regulatory issues are you following that affect the boiler market?
SL: We are tracking the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reauthorization efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives, the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and the Commercial Packaged Boiler Standards.
PM: How do you work with manufacturers to advocate for the industry?
SL: ABMA has relationships with the DOE and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with appointments to ASME CSD-1 committee and National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) committee.
PM: What are some of the latest boiler product trends shaping the industry?
SL: Manufacturers are focusing on more packaged solutions that include water treatment and blow-down systems, large institutions are looking for hybrid systems and moving from steam to high-temperature hot water for central systems, and there is a growing demand for smaller footprints and a more compact system.
PM: How does ABMA support the next generation of industry workers?
SL: ABMA has prioritized the development of our workforce and recruiting the next generation. We recently partnered with the American Welding Society (AWS) to create an endowed scholarship for welding students and exploring the creation of skill set profiles to align education curriculums with our workforce needs.
PM: What are ABMA’s goals for the next few years?
SL: We plan to grow the pipeline of engineers and welders for the boiler industry and close the skills gap for welding students, and we plan to raise the level of awareness of ABMA and our member companies with the end-user community. We also want to ensure our member benefits are adding significant value, and we plan to offer new products and services that address their needs.
PM: What is one thing you want people to know about ABMA?
SL: Our members are the leaders in the industry. They are ready to solve end-user challenges which, in many cases, saves on energy use and bottom-line expenses.
PM: What’s the one biggest thing you hope to accomplish in your time as ABMA’s president and CEO?
SL: Raising the level of awareness of ABMA and our member companies with the end-user community where they look at us a resource and prefer working with our members.
PM: What future trends do you predict in the boiler market?
SL: We will see increased modularization, minimizing site work; growth in connectivity demands; and comfort heating moving to hot water.
PM: What do contractors need to know or do to stay on top of these trends?
SL: It is important to bring in the OEM during the development phase of the opportunity. Contractors also need to stay abreast of changes in control systems, which are continuing to evolve — especially in hybrid systems.