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ALBERTO "AL" SANCHEZ: AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW

Alberto or “Al” as many of his colleagues would call him, has been for several decades at the end desk in the HVAC activities, as a dedicated and well-recognized engineer and leader in the Region.

 

Knowing him thru the years, along with several friends and references it did not surprise me his right away “Yes, of course” answer to dedicate a few hours of his retirement time at home, for us to start digging thru his routes in the engineering road. Alberto conducted many, many HVAC projects thru U.S., Caribbean, Central and South America, leaving in each country, many friends, valuable projects and memorable stories.

 

Let´s go back on time to reassemble his life. Al ´s parents migrated from Spain and he was born and raised in La Habana, Cuba but finally run out of his homeland as Fidel Castro took over the government of the island. Initially moving to Spain, he finally settled in U.S. where after graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University in USA, he enrolled at Drexel University graduating in 1970 with the Master´s program of Environmental Engineering.

 

Nancy and Al got married 1962 raising a family of three children and one grandson, and they became a reference for friends as they would always be available to help and support any civic, social, welfare activity or technical discussion.

 

Being happily exposed to the HVAC industry, he climbed positions from Drafting to engineering services supporting HVAC, Plumbing and Fire Protection design services, which over the years gave him the background to apply for his P.E. license. He proudly supports a personal background of being P.E. registered in several States thru U.S.

 

After leading such enriching experiences in the engineering professional activity, he was ready to fund his company A. J Sanchez Consulting Engineers in Tampa Florida in 1988.

 

From those exciting times, Al resembles “Being in Florida dealing with engineering challenges of designing HVAC systems in a hot /humid climate brought an expertise that was available to our clients, our community and friends in the Industry to help resolve indoor Air quality issues in buildings.”

Whenever problems raised at ongoing projects, Al was right at hand to take-a-look and bring in valuable and lasting comments to fix and solve issues.

 

During all those years in business the firm received numerous awards and recognitions on energy-efficient designs including a Gold LEED for an elementary school; another  area of distinction was Historic Preservation; here again the company has been recognized several  times for  the sensitive  and  effective  designs.

 

Beyond his professional tasks and compromises, he supported several other Civic activities as he recalls. “Upon arriving in Tampa we were asked to contribute to a manual for historic preservation called Respectful Rehab which we did over the years. Eventually we were asked to serve in the City of Tampa Historic Preservation Commission, which we gladly served for several years. I also served our community in the County mechanical Board of Adjustment and Appeals which Regulates licenses for mechanical contractors.”  

Shortly after joining ASHRAE in 1968, Al was asked to participate in a technical program, which gave him the opportunity to meet other members and feel their enthusiasm for the organization. Later in 1974 when relocated to Tampa, Al joined the ASHRAE Chapter Florida West Coast, serving thru the years in several committees and becoming Chapter President in 1982 and Region Education Committee Chair. Along with those experiences, he recalls so many friends across the Region and specially his very close friend Alvaro Tapias from Colombia (ASHRAE Past Fellow Member).

 

At a given moment, the area covered by ASHRAE Region 4 became too big and was necessary for the Society to grow up. Finally, the Southern territory expanded as new Region 12 reaching out to South and Central America as well as Caribbean region. Al was the third director (DRC) of Region 12 (1988). First DRC was Wes Floreth and James Carrol PE came afterwards, as he recalls. Following his term, he continued serving when asked on several committees, in accordance with the Society practice that it is the position that seeks the member.

 

This background explains the reason why, to this day, there is a joint dinner of both regions during the Society Annual and Semi-Annual meetings and the Regions alternate sponsoring the dinner.   

 

Here it is a lasting gift Al wants to share with our ASHRAE incoming young Engineers; “Our chosen profession requires an open and inquisitive mind, ready to learn and apply that knowledge to every opportunity that comes your way; if you enjoy what you do, you will be successful!!.”

 

As we thank Alberto for reserving his time and sharing his vast engineering and life experience, we all feel proud of him for showing us with his example, the real meaning of dedication and passion thru his life.   Thank you indeed Al!! 

Alberto´s Family members: Beatriz, Diana, Nancy, Alberto and Alberto Junior

Event- Alberto receiving his ASHRAE Fellow Member Award.

ASHRAE Winter Meeting in San Francisco, 17th January, 1998