Peachtree City, Georgia-based Rinnai announced its Innovation Department will enable the engineering and product management teams to “collaborate on the product roadmap and generate leading ideas and solutions for existing and new markets.”

Ray VanAssche was promoted to vice president of innovation and will lead the new direction. The new strategy for Rinnai aligns with the opening of the company’s new 300,000-square-foot facility in Griffin, Georgia, in Q4 of 2020, according to the company. The facility will manufacturer commercial and residential tankless water heaters.

“For years, Rinnai America Corporation has adapted Rinnai Japan products for the North American market. With a recent shift in strategy to be the product and technology leader in North America, promoting Ray will allow us to meet this goal,” Rinnai COO Frank Windsor said. “His proven track record of market-leading product development, leadership and progressive ideas will set Rinnai up for continued success. Our vision is enhancing lives by changing the way water is heated. Becoming the leader in product innovation in North America will strengthen our commitment to the water heating industry and dedication to our customers.”

VanAssche has worked at other innovated companies such as General Motors, Tesla Motors and The Coca-Cola Co.

“I am proud and truly honored to lead Rinnai America’s highly talented product management and product development teams,” VanAssche said. “This new role provides a unique opportunity to address market needs by integrating best-in-class products with innovative solutions which positively impact consumers’ lives.”