Hall of Fame Purpose
Associations succeed by having a shared mission, but there is always a smaller number of members who go above and beyond, giving back through volunteer service year after year. AABC has had many such individuals spread across its remarkable 55+ year history.
Established in 2021 and intended as the highest honor that the association can bestow, the AABC Hall of Fame is reserved for AABC members, past or present, who over the course of their careers have provided extraordinary service and contributions to the association, or more generally to the field of testing and balancing. They should also fully embody AABC’s founding principles of quality, integrity, and independence.
Explore this section of the website, updated annually, to learn more about Inductees and Nominees—from original founders to still-active members and others in between.
AABC Board Member, 1998-2012
AABC President, 2008-2010
TAB Journal Technical Editor, 1991-Present
Joe Baumgartner became a certified test and balance engineer in 1990. Within a year, he had volunteered to serve as one of the technical reviewers for TAB Journal, a brand-new quarterly technical magazine that AABC launched in the summer of 1991.
In the early years, the peer review of the articles was done by a committee (including Joe) but by the early 2000s Joe was the primary and soon the only technical peer reviewer. Issue after issue, year after year, Joe has received batches of potential articles written by AABC members and others in the industry, thoroughly vetting them for conformance to AABC standards, industry best practices, relevance and clarity.
Most issues of TAB Journal have roughly 5,000 words of technical content, spread across anywhere from 5 to 10 articles. But not all articles are ultimately deemed worthy of publication, so Joe reviews more than that for many issues.
A conservative estimate would be that over 30 years and more than 120 issues of TAB Journal, Joe has reviewed and helped edit more than 1,000 technical papers across every conceivable topic related to testing & balancing. The value to AABC of that volunteer service—ensuring the technical accuracy and relevance of one of its primary educational and marketing publications for nearly half of the association’s existence—is simply immeasurable.
While that alone would merit nomination, Joe also served on the AABC Board of Directors for 14 years, including as President from 2008-2010. In that role he took on a variety of additional assignments, and served always as a quiet but insistent voice of professionalism, clear thinking and integrity.
Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc.
AABC Standards Committee Chairman, 6th & 7th Edition
AABC Board Member, 2014-Present
The most important thing that AABC’s founders did, with the possible exception of the concept of independence, was establishing standards for how testing, adjusting and balancing should be properly and professionally accomplished. In its modern era, AABC has had no greater champion for advancing TAB standards than Gaylon Richardson.
His most obvious contribution was serving as the chairman and driving force behind both the 6th and 7th edition of AABC’s National Standards for Total System Balance, the most highly regarded standard in the industry. Each publication was the culmination of years of work representing extensive revisions necessitated by evolving measurement practices and significant shifts in the kinds of equipment and systems encountered in the field. Simultaneously, he worked tirelessly on ASHRAE technical committees to advance the interests of AABC and the test and balance industry—work that earned him both ASHRAE’s Distinguished Service Award and recognition as a Fellow.
But Gaylon’s contributions to AABC go well beyond standards. He has long been a one-man rolodex when ideas for technical presentations run short—and if he couldn’t find one, he’d often do it himself. Technical questions directed to AABC inevitably end up in his inbox. Despite his many other responsibilities he joined the AABC Board in 2014. The state-of-the-art, AABC-endorsed training center at his company office in Houston was based on his original vision, and he created much of the training content. Recently, the ongoing technician exam revision had stalled somewhat until he rolled up his sleeves and spent many hours attacking the problem from a completely different angle.
A tough and uncompromising Texan when it comes to business and principles, with a genial side and a belly laugh that defies you not to join in, Gaylon has long been a force to be reckoned with and an immense asset to AABC.
Fluid Dynamics, Inc.
TBE Exam Developer, Grader & Custodian, 1983-2018
Chairman, TBE Exam Revision Committee, 2017-Present
Stewardship of the exam had changed hands several times by the mid-1980s, when George Ebert became involved as part of a committee charged with rewriting the test. George eventually took on the task himself, developing and maintaining the challenging, highly technical, critically important examination. He also devised a consistent and fair scoring system, including rules for awarding partial credit, to apply to the pencil and paper exam with many complex, multi-step calculation questions.
George also scored each and every exam by hand, by himself, in his free time. Regardless of the number of exams, or a high priority rush job that would decide whether or not a new company could join AABC or an existing company could remain a member, he always made the time despite his own business and family commitments.
Over his more than 30 years managing the TBE exam, AABC certified more than 400 TBEs. Add in those who didn’t pass and conservatively, George graded more than 600 exams. And, a teacher at heart, for those who did not pass, he always made himself available—insisting that staff communicate this to failed candidates—to discuss which concepts or areas of test and balance they had struggled with. When AABC decided in 2017 that it was finally time to create an electronic TBE exam with automatic scoring, George naturally agreed to chair the committee and helped ensure that the exam remained as comprehensive, as challenging, and as fair as it always had been. George’s technical acumen, ever-present smile and truly tireless dedication represent a legacy to be proud of.
Hall of Fame Selection Process
Each year, the AABC Board of Directors will select one or more candidates from AABC’s history to honor with induction (“historical inductees”). They also nominate “modern” candidates who they believe are worthy of induction, which are then voted on by the AABC membership.
Induction takes place at the AABC Annual Meeting in the fall.
Information about both historical inductees and current modern nominees can be found using the tabs above. Please note that building the Hall of Fame is an ongoing endeavor: the current honorees are by no means the only people (from AABC’s past and present) who are worthy of this honor. Others will be selected in the coming years to make this a yearly event celebrating service to the Associated Air Balance Council—the original testing, adjusting and balancing organization that is still thriving and influencing the HVAC industry more than 55 years after its founding.
2023 Historical Inductee
Theodore “Ted” Cohen, PE, TBE Air Conditioning Test & Balance Co.
2022 Historical Inductees
After the induction of three of the principal founders of AABC — Arnold Pearl, Walt Lipski and Taylor Kahoe — in 2021, the Board chose two to add additional seminal figures from AABC’s early years to induct this year:
George Young, of Test and Balance Corporation
George Coultas, of Kahoe Air Balance Company