Each year, New Jersey business journal NJBIZ compiles a list of 40 individuals under the age of 40 who represent, in its own words, “the movers and shakers making their mark in New Jersey business.” These 40 young businesspeople are honored as part of the annual 40 Under 40 awards ceremony, which took place just last month.
Among those recognized at the event was Mt. Laurel resident Ryan Diaz, who has made his mark on the New Jersey business landscape working as a senior account manager for DelRen HVAC, Inc.
“We supply commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment for basically any construction project between Delaware and all the way up to North Jersey and New York City,” said Diaz. “I’m one of those pieces to the puzzle. I call on contractors in the Central Jersey area and help engineers, owners and contractors fulfill their goals and challenges with any construction projects.”
Among the most significant and high-profile construction projects he has been involved in are the 99 Hudson building in Jersey City, a series of luxury waterfront condos that now make up the tallest building in the state, University City’s science center in Philadelphia and Lincoln Square Apartments, a mixed-use apartment/retail complex that was voted “Philly’s Best New Building of 2018” in a poll by Curbed Philly.
Diaz is equally proud of his recent work as president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, a volunteer-run organization he has been involved with in various capacities since he was in college.
As president, he set some lofty goals for his chapter he is proud to say they have been able to reach this year.
“One of my main goals was to reach out to young engineers, young professionals and students,” said Diaz.
More specifically, Diaz wanted to start an ASHRAE student chapter at a local college, something his Jersey chapter was lacking. This year, they were able to do just that, and there is now a chapter in place at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.
“I’m really happy about that,” said Diaz. “We can meet some students as they are in school and mentor them, get to know them and show them what’s possible.”
Diaz wants to encourage young people to explore the HVAC field. His industry could use new talent, he says, but engineering students aren’t always aware of the option as it may not seem quite as glamorous as some other tracks.
“Quite frankly, we don’t have enough talent to fill a lot of the spots that are needed for a lot of these design firms, mechanical contractors and even what I do on the equipment and manufacturing side,” said Diaz.
When he received an email about his nomination for the 40 Under 40 awards, Diaz admits he thought it might have been a scam. As we all know, any email opening with a line like, “Congratulations! You have been selected for…” is immediately suspect. After confirming the message’s validity, Diaz’s scepticism turned to surprise and a sense of pride.
At the ceremony on Sept. 18, Diaz was honored to be surrounded by so many like-minded young people accomplishing big things in their fields.
“Just to be in the same room with so many accomplished professionals, it just felt great. There were lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, educators, financial advisors and business owners – these people have done so much within a short amount of time,” said Diaz.
For the complete list of the 2019 NJBIZ 40 Under 40 recipients, visit njbiz.com.