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People: December 2019

Dec. 4, 2019
New hires, promotions, management moves at AMCA, Superior Boiler, Greenheck, Danfoss, Trystar, NAVAC...

Smith Named CEO of Trystar 

Portable and industrial power products manufacturer Trystar has appointed Andrew J. (AJ) Smith as its chief executive officer. He brings more than 15 years of entrepreneurial and senior management experience to the position, including the building of successful businesses for Honeywell and Eaton.

“It’s time to transition to a new management team to guide the next phase of our development,” said founder Rick Dahl. ”That team, led by AJ, has the experience and vision to take on the challenge of turning the successful company we have built into a truly great enterprise.”


Smith’s experience includes participation in Eaton Corp.’s Global Leadership Development Program and two years as the strategic marketing manager of the company’s hydraulics operations. During that assignment, he grew a new start-up technology into a multi-million-dollar business in less than two years.

Upon leaving Eaton, Smith joined Honeywell to manage its pressure and airflow products. He subsequently became the product line director for the Control Solutions and Pressure & Thermal businesses, both of which experienced significant growth in revenue and profitability. In his most recent assignment, Smith served as vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s Home and Building HVAC business with responsibility for more than a billion dollars of global sales.

“Trystar is a solid company,” Smith said, “and I am honored to be chosen to lead it as we move forward from really good to genuinely great over the coming years. My leadership philosophy has consistently achieved fast revenue growth, expanded margins and long-term sustainable improvement.”

Superior Boiler Announces Management Position Changes

Superior Boiler has named Nick LeJeune as vice president of sales and marketing for Superior Holding, and Don Whitman as vice president/general manager of the company’s Richmond VA-based industrial watertube division.


In his new role, LeJeune will lead the sales and marketing initiatives for all Superior Holding businesses, which manufacture products in both Hutchinson KS and Richmond. He joined the manufacturer in mid-2018 as president and general manager of the watertube boiler division. LeJeune has extensive experience working for both manufacturers and sales representative firms since becoming involved in the boiler industry many years ago. He will relocate from Richmond to Hutchinson.


Whitman, who also has an extensive background in the boiler industry, has worked for the past 28 years helping lead another industry company in a capacity similar to his new role with Superior. He will be responsible for the Richmond facility’s day-to-day operations, including complete profit-and-loss management oversight.

“Superior is thrilled to see Nick step into an expanded role and to have an industry professional of Don’s caliber join our team,” said Superior Boiler President and CEO Doug Wright. “Nick did an excellent job of managing our Richmond operations since joining our team and we’re excited about his ability to now develop the best possible sales channels for Superior Boiler. Don is a great addition, and we anticipate he will provide leadership that helps us continue to execute on our strategic plans.”

Danfoss Drives Appoints New Head of Sales for Americas

Danfoss Drives has named Ian Barrie as its new head of sales for the Americas. In this position, Barrie will continue to build and develop strong regional sales channels and verticals for Danfoss Drives’ business within North America and Latin America. 


Barrie succeeds Santiago Martin, who has held the position since 2016. Martin plans to relocate to Europe, where he will assume a new position in Danfoss Cooling.

Previously, Barrie was head of global key accounts for Danfoss Drives. He has an extensive 25-year history with the manufacturer, wherein he has held several regional and global positions in sales, marketing and business development. He will be based out of the Danfoss Drives’ Loves Park IL facility. 

NAVAC Hires Keller as Southern Regional Sales Manager

HVAC vacuum pump manufacturer NAVAC has hired Keith Keller for the role of southern regional sales manager. He will spearhead sales efforts and play a fundamental role in expanding the company’s brand and sales network in a geographic area ripe for further growth. 


Keller has more than 15 years of experience in the HVAC service industry. Prior to joining NAVAC, he spent nearly a decade at Gemaire Distributors, including the last three as a product manager. Before that, he held sales roles with Aloha Air Conditioning of Broward County FL. 

“Keith’s extensive experience in the HVACR sales landscape, and progressive growth in his previous positions, showcase his expertise and dedication to providing premium solutions for a broad range of industry challenges,” said Stephen Rutherford, director of HVAC tools business for NAVAC. “His proven ability to meet and exceed sales goals and promote aspiring brands will be a true asset.”

Keller earned an associate’s degree from Santa Fe Community College. A father of two, he resides in Fort Lauderdale FL with his wife, Rachel.  

AMCA’s Ahuja Begins 2019-2020 Presidential Term

Amit Ahuja is the 2019-2020 president of the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International. Ahuja, who is managing director of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates-based Maico Gulf, said that the focus of his presidency will be achieving greater cooperation and cohesiveness among the regions AMCA represents.


“While the association’s actions are driven by strong government demand for energy efficiency, which we strongly support, we realize the challenges our members face when operating in different regions, which makes it essential for us as an association to play a pivotal role in advising global governmental institutions on adopting our codes and standards, improving the health, safety and efficiency of buildings in the process,” Ahuja said.

Ahuja joined Maico Gulf Dubai UAE in 2003 as a technical sales engineer. Three years later, he began participating in AMCA annual meetings. In 2009, he was appointed AMCA Middle East Region chair, a role in which he advocated for the AMCA Certified Ratings Program in the region. He was instrumental in developing the strategy AMCA adopted in the Middle East and is now part of the Middle East Region Steering Committee. In 2016, he was elected to the AMCA Board of Directors, going on to join the executive committee a year later.

A native of Delhi, India, Ahuja holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology in India and a master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in finance from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

AMCA Distinguished Service Awards

In other news, AMCA presented its Distinguished Service Award during its annual meeting Oct. 5 in Maui HI to three individuals: Rad Ganesh, PhD, PE, director, product applications, Twin City Fan Cos.; Tim Mathson, principal engineer at AMCA; and Bob Valbracht, PE, vice president of engineering, Loren Cook Co.

Rad Ganesh has more than 32 years of experience in the air-movement industry, the last 18 with Twin City Fan, for which he has had numerous responsibilities, including research and development, laboratory management, customer training, fan-system regulatory compliance, applications engineering, product development, customer testing, and assisting sales with order acquisition and manufacturing/service with order fulfilment. 


Prior to joining Twin City Fan, he spent 11 years in product development with Trane. He has four patents and seven pending patent applications to his credit. Ganesh has given presentations around the world and served on a number of committees for AMCA. 

Tim Mathson joined the AMCA staff in late July after 31 years with AMCA member Greenheck, has been very active with the association, serving as chair of the Fan Committee, the U.S. technical advisory group to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 117, Fans, and many other. He is the primary developer of fan energy index, AMCA’s new fan-efficiency metric. 


Mathson additionally serves on the AMCA Engineering Standards Committee and has presented several AMCA technical seminars.

Bob Valbracht, PE, has been an active participant in AMCA since attending his first AMCA annual meeting in 1996. A member of 12 AMCA committees, he recently retired as chair of the AMCA Air Movement Division and previously served as chair of the ANSI/AMCA Standard 260 and AMCA Engineering Standards committees and as a presenter for the AMCA Engineering Conference and Technical Seminar. 

Valbracht entered the HVAC industry with Tempmaster Corp. in Kansas City MO, developing and testing new air-distribution products, in 1987. In 1991, he joined Loren Cook Co., working as a product engineer. He has served as director of engineering or vice president of engineering for the last 24 years.

Greenheck Names Spink Managing Directo

Schofield WI-based HVAC equipment manufacturer Greenheck has named Matt Spink to the new position of Managing Director, Mechanical Rep Sales. In this role, Spink will have overall sales and customer management responsibility for Greenheck product sales through its rep channel in the United States and Canada markets. He will lead a team of six regional managers, as well as the customer care department.

A civil engineering graduate of the University of Minnesota, Spink brings 12 years of experience to the new post. He currently is general manager of the company’s Precision Coils business unit and previously served as a Greenheck HR recruiting manager, regional sales manager, product manager and application engineer. 

Greenheck manufactures and distributes air movement, conditioning and control equipment. Founded in 1947, the firm offers a broad line of ventilation equipment, including fans and ventilators, centrifugal and vane axial units, make-up air units, energy recovery ventilators, packaged ventilation systems, indoor air handlers, dampers, louvers, and laboratory exhaust systems.