From Matt Jesson, April 2014:
I grew up in the Quad Cities, and graduated from Bettendorf High School in 1997. I never really knew what type of career I wanted to pursue, but math and science were my strong points in school, so I went to Iowa State University for engineering. Turns out there were many different paths to take in engineering, so I was casting around for the first year. After briefly considering abandoning the engineering path to study music, I discovered the Construction Engineering program at ISU. The idea of being involved in the design and construction of building systems – and not being cooped up in an office 100% of the time – appealed to me. I graduated in 2002 with a BS in Construction Engineering, Mechanical Emphasis. As part of this curriculum, I took ME classes such as thermodynamics and heat transfer, and Dr. Maxwell’s HVAC design classes. Several classmates I met during those times are now colleagues and customers.
After college I was hired by The Waldinger Corporation, where I worked in project management and estimating for the Sheet Metal department. Waldinger encouraged my involvement in ASHRAE, and I joined the Board as chair of the Membership Committee in 2004. All of the acronyms and committees were confusing at first – PAOE, CRC, TEGA. It sounded like a secret language. But I benefited greatly from the guidance of Ron Engelhardt and other Chapter officers and board members of the time, and I’m grateful for their patience!
I now work for Systems Management and Balancing, in the HVAC testing and balancing field. In this position, I have the unique opportunity to work with people from all sides of the industry. Every day I interact with building owners, designers, contractors, manufacturers’ representatives, controls technicians, and I learn something from all of them. It’s a reminder that, in building systems and in this industry, the connections and interactions mean everything.
The Iowa Chapter hosted the Region VI Chapters Regional Conference (CRC) in 2009. I volunteered for the planning committee, and ended up organizing the Thursday night Welcome Party, which we held at the Des Moines Club, top floor of the Ruan Center. It was fun to plan and to see people enjoy the party. Although I did overhear a few people (not from Iowa) criticize my choice of a bluegrass band as the entertainment. Some people just don’t have any taste.
During my time as Chapter President, my primary goal was to host quality programs and increase attendance at our meetings. It was a very successful year, thanks (as always) to the involvement of great people on the Board and in the Chapter. The topics we covered in technical sessions were mostly energy saving technologies and systems, such as chilled beams, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, variable primary chilled water systems, and control techniques.
It’s been the custom, as long as I’ve been involved, for the Past President to serve as Chapter Historian. For this year’s project, I’ve been collecting the biographical information and memories of previous presidents for the 75-year history of the chapter. I’ve just finished reading the collective memories of dozens of these presidents, and I’m very honored to be included in this group of people.
I enjoy living in Des Moines with my wife Cassie and our two spoiled basset hounds.