Longtime NARSA member David Bienvenu was inducted into the Cooling Systems Service Hall of Fame on Friday, May 6 in Houston, Texas during the 2022 Spring Conference. There is no higher honor in our industry than to be inducted into the Cooling Systems Service Hall of Fame. Among the speakers honoring David included former NARSA Board Member Riekie Roncinske and Bill Rickermann of Affton Radiator.
Bill Rickermann of Affton Radiator spoke of how he first met David Bienvenu at a trade show in 2016. “David and I have become very, very close. We have so much in common. We graduated high school the same year. We both had very different career paths before we got into the radiator industry,” said Rickermann. “David has made our business grow tremendously. We got into more repair techniques than ever before. I think David has learned a couple of techniques from me, but definitely not as much as he’s shown me. David deserves this award. It’s long overdue.”
Former NARSA Board member Riekie Roncinske spoke of planning the NARSA conference at Radiator Service Co. in Houma in 2014. “Some rumors got out that nobody is going to attend a radiator conference 60 miles out of New Orleans, but needless to say, David worked hard and proved them wrong. It turned out to be one of the most fun and successful events, and thus, the bar was set high for future events. During my time with Taalman, David always took the time to share with me his expertise of radiators and component parts. Of course, we would always catch up on family life and what was going on in the world. And one of the topics that popped up a few times was David’s decision to accept the position of NARSA President. I knew he would be a perfect fit–Cajun accent and all.” Roncinske went on to say, “David, we have appreciated how you have shared your success with us and your passion for the NARSA community, which is why you deserve this induction. Thank you for your dedication in contribution gto NARSA’s success and the radiator industry.”
Before presenting the award to David, NARSA Executive Director Mark Taylor recited a quote from President John F. Kennedy, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
“Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to meet David has been lifted up, and there’s no doubt about that,” said Mark Taylor. “To many in this room, David has been a mentor and a colleague, and personally, I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet David and call him a very good friend.”
NARSA Executive Director Mark Taylor and Vice President Bryan Braswell presented the Hall of Fame award to David, which reads:
“A teacher helps others to acquire knowledge, competency, or values. David is the quintessential teacher. His unfailing desire to help others in our industry by sharing his knowledge has increased the prosperity of many members.”
“David, your knowledge of what you have done for this industry as a member, as a Board Member, as President has definitely put us in a better position now than before you got involved,” said Bryan Braswell, NARSA/IDEA Vice President.
Upon receiving the award, David was asked what this honor means to him. “It’s kind of an emotional thing. It’s not something I set my mind to do. And it just touches me that I was acknowledged for all those things that I did out of the goodness of my heart, because I care about everybody. I never expected to be recognized like this. It’s like that song that came out, ‘My Dirt.” It says, ‘Find something you love, and call it work.’ And doing this work is what I really love. When I came into this industry, a lot of people were into the automotive stuff, and that was what was financing them. I knew that was about to end. So I just felt like it was my obligation to pass along to people the industrial part of this business and to give it away. I bought my business, 31 years later, the guy died. And I couldn’t have made it without people helping me, so I gotta pay it forward. Like Mary Kelly said, I’m a baby boomer. Who’s going to follow us? So you gotta pass it on.”