August 3rd has been set as the date that a Study Group looking into the possibility of a merger between the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Associationand theAir-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute will make its recommendation to each trade association's general membership. Thus far three subcommittees, looking at administrative issues and obstacles, government affairs, and each group's certification programs, have met and discussed the viability of moving forward with the consolidation effort.
Next, a series of focus groups (in Fort Worth, Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta and Phoenix) will be held where members of both organizations will hear the benefits of a merger and be able to express any concerns. Should the Study Group recommend a merger, member companies of each organization would then have to vote.
According to each group's bylaws, a simple majority would be required by ARI members, while GAMA would require a two-thirds majority. There are 212 member firms of GAMA and 370 member firms of ARI, with about a 30% overlap.