It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of our Chief Executive Officer, Claudette D. Beyer as of May 1, 2023. The Board of Directors has appointed Hans U. Zettler as President and Juan M. Diaz as Executive Vice President to lead HTRI into the future. They will continue to work closely with the other officers and together, effectively lead operations, continue financial growth, and technological development and innovation. Beyer will continue to serve as the Chair of the Board through July 31, 2024, the end of our fiscal year.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to sum up all that Beyer accomplished in her 34 years of dedicated service, visionary guidance, and unconditional commitment. HTRI thrived under her leadership, increasing our membership from 140 to 979 in 65 countries - truly global. She successfully moved the company's operations from California to Texas, built our first wholly owned offices and research facility, and has overseen the hiring of every one of our current 110 staff.
Beyer was a real change agent. When she arrived at HTRI, the company had not grown in a significant way for many years. Beyer was the first woman to lead HTRI; moreover, she was not an engineer. Her graduate degree (MA) was in organizational communication; however, she was exactly what HTRI needed. This ushered in a new era where she fought hard to change the culture of the company to a culture of kindness and transformed the operations to those of a first-class organization. She always put the best interests of the members first and said staff were our most important asset.
Zettler has been with HTRI for 23 years in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President, Global Sales. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, under his advisor Hans Müller-Steinhagen. Zettler's doctoral work focused on fouling and fouling mitigation in compact heat exchangers. He also possesses a mechanical engineering degree (Dipl.-Ing.) from the Technical University Karlsruhe, Germany. Zettler completed multiple internships in industry throughout Europe while pursuing his education. Zettler is a member of the German Engineering Society (VDI), an associate member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), and a committee member of the Heat Transfer Society, United Kingdom.
Diaz has been at HTRI for 14 years. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, Finance. Diaz graduated with a BS in Finance from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (LA), USA. His nearly thirty years of experience in a broad array of accounting functions and business environments gives him unique insight into the financial structure of a for-profit consortium like HTRI. Diaz is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Texas.
Zettler said of Beyer and her impact on HTRI, “On behalf of all the Officers, I made a promise to Claudette and to all staff that we will ensure continuity, keeping Claudette's legacy alive, and direct HTRI into the future. She has handed us a successful company, with 30 years of continued growth, giving us the base for future development and growth. I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to lead this company, and to work with a great team of people around the world on the next chapter of HTRI.”
HTRI is the leading global source of process heat transfer technology, research, software, and services. Incorporated in 1962, the company conducts studies on heat transfer and fluid flow at a multimillion-dollar testing facility in Navasota, Texas, USA. HTRI technology has been used by companies worldwide for decades to help them design, operate, and maintain heat exchangers and fired heaters. Based in Navasota, HTRI provides advanced experimental research to the oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical industries. Our global customer base includes the world's leading processing companies, engineering contractors, equipment manufacturers, and thermal process consultants. Our acclaimed HTRI Xchanger Suite® software is considered the most advanced available for the design, rating, and simulation of heat exchangers. We continue to develop new product and service offerings and extend our capabilities through partnerships and alliances with both industry and academia.