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E-Splash February 2014 - Past Chair Report
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  February 2014


Past - Chair's Report
Kevin Lookis

The holidays are now behind us, and this means we are only weeks away from this year’s WATERCON that will be held in March! The conference again looks to be bigger and better than ever, and the Technical Program is packed with useful topics. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, the contacts and networking that happens at WATERCON can be just as rewarding as the technical presentations. Remember to ask your colleagues about their successes and frustrations, as much can be learned from these discussions.

When I became Chair of the Section 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 end my tenure as an officer, these goals were met or exceeded! 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 of training seminars also continues to increase and is 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. Please consider hosting a session at your utility!

The biggest issue that continues to face the Section and, more importantly, the water industry as a whole is the aging of our membership. The number of people who will be retiring in the next 5-10 years continues to grow and we need to encourage people to get into our field as it is an excellent career path. This issue will be a long term goal for the Section and we are looking for ways to partner with entities to improve what we do in attracting both members as well as people to join our industry. Last spring, the Section met and updated the Strategic Plan for the coming years and partnered with Northern Illinois University to strengthen our recruiting and retention efforts.

Please remember that the Section needs you and your help as a volunteer! The cornerstone of our organization continues to rely heavily on the support that comes from members who generously give their time to serve on committees and 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 the Committee Chair and volunteer. Remember that the Section greatly appreciates your time.

Last, but not least, a big thank you to Laurie, Lisa and Sandi, the excellent staff we have at the Section. They helped to make the multi-year commitment as an officer both rewarding and a lot of fun along the way! Without them we could not have come close to accomplishing all of our goals. Thanks again!

See you in Springfield at WATERCON!


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