Appliance Industry Losing its Top Lobbyist

AHAM CEO Joe McGuire, left, with Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

The leading voice for the major appliance industry will be quieted come spring.

Joseph McGuire, CEO of the influential Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), has announced his plans to retire in May. The Washington-based trade group, which is extensively involved in the development of national appliance efficiency laws and regulations and sustainability and product safety standards, has begun a national search for his successor.

McGuire joined AHAM as president in 1998. During his tenure, he stablished an influential and pragmatic voice for home appliance manufacturers in the nation’s capital and engaged in numerous legislative and regulatory agreements with environmental, consumer and other external stakeholder groups.

Under his watch, AHAM’s advocacy drove Congress to pass the Barton-Domenici Energy Policy Act of 2005, which established the first-ever manufacturer tax credit for the production of super-efficient appliances. Four years later McGuire called on Congress to enact a financial rescue plan, leading to the creation of the 2009 State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, a $300 million consumer appliance rebate program to help stimulate the economy.

AHAM also built bridges internationally under his direction, opening an AHAM Canada office in 2012 and later establishing an International Roundtable of Home Appliance Manufacturer Associations with member groups from Austria, Canada, China, Europe, Russia, Korea and South Africa.

He also successfully merged the Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers Association into AHAM’s operations in 2004.

“Joe has created a legacy of achievement across many dimensions, but most importantly in developing a staff known and respected for their member service and can-do attitude,” said John Taylor, LG Electronics’ Senior VP of Public Affairs and Communications, and immediate past chair of AHAM. “As our industry has grown and as AHAM revenues expanded, the team has grown two-fold with talented professionals working in a high-performance, collaborative culture.”

Added current AHAM chair Patricia Bassett, “Joe has worked to create a responsible regulatory environment in which our products continue to make life better in homes while also protecting the planet.”

Bassett, who is VP of Research and Development, Appliances and Cookware, at Newell Brands, will lead the search committee tasked with finding AHAM’s next CEO.

Prior to joining AHAM, McGuire was Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for AlliedSignal Inc. (now Honeywell International). Before that he represented the air conditioning, refrigeration, and homebuilder industries.  He began his career with the U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration. He has also served on the National Association of Manufacturers’ Board of Directors; chaired its Council of Manufacturing Associations; was Chair of the American Society of Association Executives Board of Directors 2012-2013; and was named one of the top association CEOs by CEO Update in 2011.

In addition to his duties as AHAM CEO, McGuire is a Director of the American National Standards Institute and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100.