The holidays are now behind us, and this means we are only a
short time away from this year’s WATERCON that will be held in March! The conference looks to be bigger and better
than ever, and the Technical Program is incredible. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, the
contacts and networking that happens at WATERCON can be just as rewarding!
When I became Chair of the Section last year, I talked about
the number one priority I had for 2012 and early 2013 . . . TRAINING, TRAINING,
TRAINING! I wanted us all to work
together to increase and to improve the education opportunities for operators
looking to obtain a license and those needing hours to maintain one. I am very happy to say that, as I step down as
Xhair and put the Section into the very able hands of John Van Arsdel, this
goal was more than met! The Technology
Committee’s T-CON was a huge success, and I thank the Committee profusely for
all of their hard work. I attended the
conference and it was an excellent experience.
I would encourage you to attend this June. In addition, the use of webinars for training
was increased, and they are becoming very popular. These offer the opportunity for us to view
them when the time is right for each individual or utility, and this allows for
greater flexibility for all. The use of
water utility and municipal locations for partnering on training seminars was
also increased and was also a big success.
This type of arrangement offers individuals a chance to obtain training
that can be more cost effective and also closer to home for operators. If you or your utility/business has not
thought about trying, this please give it some thought!
The use of our new website was also a huge success this last
year. The functionality of the site is
amazing, and I have only touched the tip of the iceberg on all of the uses that
are available. As we move forward into
this ever-increasing technological era, the use of the site will become more
and more important.
I enjoyed my tenure as Chair of this Section and feel that I
learned a lot about what we do and what more we can do. I was fortunate to attend the AWWA Summer
Workshop for staff and officers in Denver last summer and learned a lot. We should be proud that out Section is one
that is emulated often and looked to as a trailblazer in the industry.
The biggest issue now facing both the Section, but more
importantly, the water industry as a whole, is the aging of our
membership. There are so many people who
will be retiring in the next 5-10 years, and this truly could become a
crisis. All of us need to work more to
encourage people to get into our field.
As we all know, it is an excellent career path. I cannot tell you how many great people I
have met in this industry and what a positive influence many of the individuals
I have met and worked with have had on my life.
This issue will be a long term goal for the Section. We are looking for ways to partner with
entities to improve what we do in attracting both members as well as nonmembers
to join our industry. In addition, this
spring, the Section will be working on a Strategic Plan for the coming
years. If you are interested in
participating please let us know!
On that note, the Section needs you and your help as a
volunteer! The cornerstone of our
organization relies heavily on the support that comes from members who
generously give their time to serving on committees and who participate in
ISAWWA activities. Take a look at the
Committee list in the back of SPLASH and see if there is a committee that
interests you. Don’t hesitate to contact
me or the Committee Chair directly to volunteer. Remember that the Section greatly appreciates
your time. I know that I would have
loved to spend more time as Chair, participating in a lot of functions, but
everyone understands that work does come first.
While I know that we are all "doing more with less”, I am thankful for
the time we all get to invest in the Section.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Laurie, Lisa and
Sandi, the excellent staff we have at the Section. Without them we could not have come close to
accomplishing all of our goals!!!
See you in Springfield at WATERCON!