[This obituary was written by the MOBILE AIR CONDITIONING SOCIETY (MACS)based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania]
Simon Oulouhojian Sr. MACS Co-Founder and President Emeritus Dies at 71
Simon Oulouhojian Sr., MACS (Mobile Air Conditioning Society) co-founder, and president emeritus died on Friday, January 18, 2002. To those whose lives Simon touched, he was known to be a fair, honest, man-of-his-word, with a passion for his family, his church, his friends, his profession and the MACS organisation. We are thankful to him for having the vision that created MACS and sharing so much of his life in support of our industry. We salute a life well lived.
Like many in the radiator trade, Oulouhojian began his career in the family business. He joined his family’s radiator repair shop in 1948, by which time Speedway Auto Radiator had already been in business at its Upper Darby, Pa, location for 20 years. Upon the death of his father in 1960, Oulouhojian took over management of the shop and redirected the shop’s focus on the retail trade.
In 1968, he introduced Original Radiators as a specialty distribution warehouse. In 1977, he opened a second retail cooling system service business location in Concordville, Pa, named Speedway’s Cool Aide. In 1984, he founded Automotive Video Training, a production and marketing company to produce professional video training tapes for automotive service technicians.
Throughout his busy business career, Oulouhojian has been a forceful presence with the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACS), the National Automotive Radiator Service Association (NARSA), and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Joining NARSA in 1968, he chaired the organisation’s convention committee in 1969. He served as NARSA president from 1968 to 1970, and as chairman from 1970 to 1972.
Upon retiring as chairman, he was named chairman of the NARSA Ed/Tech Committee, a post he would hold for an unprecedented 19 years. In 1995 Oulouhojian became the 32nd individual to receive the cooling system service industry’s highest honour when he was inducted into the NARSA Cooling System Hall of Fame.
In 1981, Oulouhojian was a founding member of MACS (the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide), which is today the largest trade association serving the mobile air conditioning industry. He was chief executive officer of MACS from 1981 to 1984, MACS chairman from 1984 to 1986, and president from 1984 until 2001.
An SAE member since 1979, Oulouhojian co-chaired many working groups including a Refrigerant Identification Group and Retrofit Task Force Committee addressing standards for a refrigerant to replace CFC-12. He has also co-chaired the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-sponsored ad hoc committee on purity standards for refrigerant reuse in automotive air conditioning systems.
The U.S. EPA recognised Oulouhojian for his environmental preservation efforts in 1990 when it named him as one of the inaugural recipients of the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award and again in 1997 when he was given their highest award, the U.S. EPA’s Best-of-the-Best Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for his role as a visionary co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Automobile Recycling Working Group. He developed educational and advertising campaigns to promote recycling, designed technician certification programmes, and guided state and federal regulators to make recycling mandatory.
Mr. Oulouhojian led industry efforts to minimise refrigerant contamination and to promote retrofit of automobile air conditioners to HFC-134a. The ability to recycle and reuse CFC-12 at service facilities has dramatically extended the CFC-12 refrigerant supply, avoiding most of the economic impact on the consumer during the transition to non-ozone-depleting HFC-134a refrigerant for motor vehicle air conditioning systems.
Oulouhojian also received Ford Motor Co.’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Ford has been a longtime supporter of MACS Worldwide.
In addition to his business and trade association activities, he has also been a very active member of the Catholic Church. For his leadership, Pope John Paul II conferred Papal Honors upon Oulouhojian in 1992 by anointing him a Knight of St. Gregory the Great, an order of honour established in the middle ages.
Family and friends of the Armenian Sisters Academy of Radnor, Pa, gathered together on Sunday, December 16, 2001, to pay tribute to Oulouhojian for his lifetime of service and dedication to the school and to the Philadelphia Armenian community. Mr. Oulouhojian was commended for his leadership and commitment to the Academy through his roles as board chairman, advisor, contributor, and faithful servant to the Sisters as they carry out their charge to educate Armenian youth and perpetuate the Armenian Christian heritage.
Simon’s beloved wife Rose has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Simon’s name to: The Building Fund, The Armenian Sisters Academy, 440 Upper Gulf Road, Radnor, Pa 19087, or to the Simon Oulouhojian Technical Achievement Award which can be sent to the MACS accounting firm, attention Richard A. Landis, CPA, Goldenberg Rosenthal, LLP, 101 West Avenue, P.O. Box 458, Jenkintown, PA 19046-0458, USA.
Simon is survived by his wife Rose, his children Rose Marie, Simon Jr., and Michael, as well as Simon’s eight grandchildren.
A viewing will be held the evening of Monday, January 21, 2002 from 7 to 9 pm at Saint Marks Armenian Catholic Church, 400 Haverford Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096. The funeral mass will be Tuesday, January 22 at 11 am at the same location.