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E-Splash June 2013 - Directors Report
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - June 2013


Kyla Jacobsen
AWWA  Director

OK, so last year, we didn’t have winter and then we had an early spring and no rain. At the time, that sounded nice. Get outside and enjoy!! Oh what bad things were coming our way that we didn’t know.

Now, this year, already we’ve had more rain in a month than we know what to do with; and, for those of us that have municipal responsibilities over and above providing drinking water, we have had an interesting spring. I wonder what the summer will bring. Hopefully everything settles down and we have a "normal” mixture of moisture and temperatures.

WATERCON2013 is now a memory. What a fantastic conference. I KNOW that every year I say, "I just can’t believe that it could get any better, run more smoothly or have more stuff jammed in”. Then the next year we exceed all expectations, AGAIN! It was a great conference and having a joint ISAWWA and IWEA conference makes sense – one stop shopping for those folks that wear two hats and for the exhibitors who only have to be at one place. Over 1600 attendees is a remarkable milestone. Kudos to Laurie, Lisa and Sandi for making the conference appear to go seamlessly. I, for one, know how hard they work for weeks so that we all have a great experience.

I also wish to thank all the committee members who helped make WATERCON the success that it was. And not only for their participation at WATERCON, but the participation throughout the year that makes our Section as wonderful as it is.

For my part as the ISAWWA Director at WATERCON, I was the official host for the visiting dignitary from AWWA. We were proud to have Reid Campbell, AWWA Vice President from the Atlantic Canada Section as our distinguished guest. Reid is the General Manager at Halifax Water in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Reid had heard good things about Illinois Section and couldn’t wait to get here. He participated in as many committee meetings as he could and had a lot to share at each meeting. He attended all the "social” events that we planned for him. And, he even participated in singing the "12 days of WATERCON” at the Board meeting Monday morning for a YouTube video production. Reid was a good sport about it.

This year, instead of hosting the AWWA representative and select guests for dinner, ISAWWA and AWWA decided to change the format and we hosted the first ever – Significant Cities dinner. It was an opportunity for some large utilities to get together and discuss challenges facing them at the local, as well as national, levels. Great format, great discussion.

The 3rd annual bike and breakfast, which was much more organized this year with maps and breakfast arranged, etc. (thanks to Kevin Wong and Jon Meyer) had to be canceled. It was only 18o on that Wednesday morning. I knew it was going to be cold and planned accordingly. As I was packing up all my cold weather riding gear, my husband commented, "If you have to dress with all that, maybe you shouldn’t be riding.” Well, he was right. But, we are going to try again next year. Please plan to join us at Bike and Breakfast during WATERCON 2014. It is a way to burn off those "client dinner and drinks” calories. Oh, and the Sunday AFTER WATERCON, Springfield got 18” of snow. We really dodged a bullet there!

This year I hosted the first ever "Operator Challenge”. It was during one of the session track times on Monday. It is like the Top Ops, only there is no clock and no one is keeping score. I plan to do it again next year. So, to warm up for Top Ops, come to the Operator Challenge and brush up on those operator questions.

Welcome to John Van Arsdel as our new Section Chair. We will be in good hands with him at the helm!


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