Ian Harwood has been named as president of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, following the resignation of Ania Hampton due to ill health.

Mr Harwood, who is based in Perth, has 22 years of experience in the industry, and has been a board director of AIRAH for the past two years, a member of the organisation for more than a decade, and was a previous WA division president.

AIRAH chief executive Tony Gleeson said Mr Harwood’s director experience and industry knowledge would serve the organisation well.

“Having worked with Ian over the past 12 months, I’ve seen the passion, experience and strategic nous he brings to the board,” Mr Gleeson said. “I have no doubt his energy, ideas and oversight will serve him and AIRAH well as he assumes this essential role.”

Outgoing president Anna Hampton had been in the position for less than a year, having been appointed the first female president of AIRAH in May 2016.

A statement from AIRAH said she had “reluctantly” stepped aside after being diagnosed with Ross River Fever to better aide recovery.

“AIRAH owes Ania a debt of gratitude for her commitment, competence and enthusiasm she brought to the role, especially in the sponsorship of the new website and membership platform, and the introduction of the Women of AIRAH initiative,” Mr Gleeson said. “The timing of her illness is really unfortunate, and we all wish her the best in her return to health.”

Mr Harwood said he was extremely proud to be elected president.

“I know Ania is disappointed to have to step aside, but all the directors understand that the decision was made in her and her family’s best interests,” Mr Harwood said.

“With the backing of their respective boards, previous presidents Ania, Nathan Groenhout and Sean Treweek have worked tirelessly to set AIRAH up into the strong position we see it in today. I hope to see this position maintained while working toward addressing some of the challenges we see in our industry, and for our membership cross-section.”

Paul Bannister, who was originally due to join the board when Mr Groenhout steps down in May, has now joined the board effective immediately.