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New Board Chairman Sees Member Involvement as Essential for Long-Term Growth of NFRC

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Monday, April 27, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A conversation with John Gordon

When he was an on-demand, round-the-clock information technology consultant, John Gordon knew that when a computer system went down, there was no waiting until tomorrow. That sense of urgency is real, and you don’t go home until the system is back online. Today, as the newly elected chairman of the NFRC Board of Directors, John embodies that same level of commitment to ensure the organization operates smoothly, without disruption.

After leaving IT, John transitioned to become the Simulation and Thermal Operations Manager and a certified simulator at National Certified Testing Labs based in York, PA. He oversees testing and ensures accurate ratings for product certification, which leads to certification labeling. His department is responsible for the NFRC testing, so it goes without saying that John knows the importance of the label. In his six years of being involved with NFRC, John’s held a variety of positions ranging from participating in task groups to leading committees to chairing working groups.

To mark the beginning of his tenure as board chairman, Michelle Blackston, senior director of communications and marketing, spoke with John about his vision for the board and the organization as well as goals he’d like to accomplish during his term.

What do you hope to accomplish while leading NFRC’s board of directors and overseeing the organization for the next two years? Also, talk about your leadership style and how you will set the direction for the future of NFRC.

It’s imperative that we continue stressing the importance of NFRC’s fair, accurate, and credible ratings for the growth of the organization, both in membership and for the widespread use of the NFRC ratings label. As board chair, I will also advocate for the use of NFRC ratings in the ever-expanding green building initiatives. This is especially vital for the health and betterment of the organization. Additionally, it bodes well for the fenestration industry overall, including our members.

I believe leadership is extremely important and so is the diversity of the board to have a voice. There are so many intelligent minds in the organization and on the board. Everyone has an opportunity to be involved with NFRC, and that’s the key to the success of the overall direction and health of the organization. I’m a big proponent of people getting involved and using their voice and vote to bring about change.

Over the last 30-plus years, NFRC has grown and evolved. What do you see as some of the biggest changes with NFRC? What is on the horizon for the organization and in the fenestration industry?

The movement in the organization to accredit the Product Certification Program (PCP) is extremely important for its long-term sustainability. I’ve seen a shift to be more open within the organization to embrace change such as in the new Linear Energy Analysis for Fenestration or LEAFF methodology.

From a high-level view, we need a better way to anticipate the pitfalls or the risks that lie ahead. We need some type of mechanism to determine risk and then capture, respond, and react. Ideally, we need to make ourselves immune to the risks.

Also, we need local and state code officials to rely on NFRC ratings. The ratings and the data that NFRC is known for and has expertise in must be a prominent part in the green building and wellness industries. Coming full circle, the more that starts to happen and the more exposure of the NFRC label, then there will be a drive for more companies to see the benefits of membership and being involved.

As for the industry, wellness and green initiatives are becoming more prominent along with the continued drive for more energy-efficient products. Both of those being in the discussion for net positive energy. However, we’re in a space and time where we’re asked to do more with less, which – before the Coronavirus and these stay-at-home orders – turns into more hours in the workspace. And the human element of comfort needs to be included in building facades and envelopes. Unless your building is actual brick and mortar there is no way fenestration can’t be a part of it.

What lessons have you learned from being involved in NFRC that you would share with young professionals just getting started in the fenestration industry?

Get involved. Be engaged. Listen. Actively participate—ask questions and offer ideas. NFRC is a great, well-rounded group of people and minds coming together to promote the advancement of energy efficiency, home and work environment comfort by way of fenestration products.

Through my time with NFRC, I’ve experienced tremendous technical growth and been able to connect and collaborate with some great individuals within the industry. As someone coming from a different sector or industry, I’ve been impressed by the minds in those meetings. There hasn’t been a meeting where I haven’t walked away without learning something or expanded my rolodex of people who I can call as a resource. 

If you could do anything now (outside your current profession or role), what would you do?

I would be professionally involved in sports in some way. I’d love to be an advanced scout or working in the front office of a professional sports team. I like to play baseball and ice hockey, and I enjoy coaching baseball. Mostly, I just want to be outdoors, enjoying my time with nature. 

 

Tags:  board of directors  chairman  green building  nfrc ratings  sustainability 

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