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E-Splash November 2012 - Chair Elect
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  November  2012


Chair Elect Report
John Van Arsdel

Greetings my fellow ISAWWA members!

I look out the window and see multicolored leaves blowing and swirling about in the changing wind and temperature pattern of the fall. Along with that came much needed rain that was surely missed this past summer. And, at this time of the year, we also see our yearly gathering of folks at the ISAWWA office in St. Charles to review abstracts for the upcoming WATERCON conference in March ’13. We were fortunate to again have 25 water and wastewater folks work their way through over 200 abstracts and shape them into another wonderful, action-packed, state-of-the-art festival, celebrating our great stewardship of the world’s greatest natural resource: Water. Every time I have been a part of this abstract act, I am in awe as to how we manage to sift through everything and get the sessions into a presentable format, in such an orderly fashion… Well, maybe not so orderly, but the end result is a schedule of presentations where there is a little something for everyone; a great variety of opportunities to sit and listen to someone passionately talking about their particular topic. I have always had a great time at this event, working with the folks from the IWEA. Oh, yeah, lunch was great, too!

As this is the season of change, we see a change in the Chair of the Water Efficiency Committee. Our very talented Amy Talbot is moving out west to California to pursue a different venue in water. I had the opportunity to watch Amy grow considerably in her role as Chair of this committee from the day she took the challenge on, to now as she waves goodbye. I have spoken a few times to others in AWWA as to our roles as water stewards and our challenge to create qualified water leaders. Amy is a good study of learning by doing and leading by example. She has taken her experiences from ISAWWA and leveraged them. This is what we are about… educating our water stewards to become better leaders. So, as Amy moves on, we should fear not for the Water Efficiency Committee, for we have been blessed with an equally talented new Chair, Danielle Gallet. I have worked with Danielle before and she will be great in this role. Welcome, Danielle!

By now you may have received a call as a part of our first Membership Week in November. As a part of this celebratory week of AWWA Membership, the Board made phone calls to as many people as possible in ISAWWA, thanking them for their participation in our grand society of water gurus. This will certainly gave those on the Board a real opportunity to gain new perspectives from our members on what it is the membership wants from the organization in exchange for the dues they pay. However, it will also allow the Board to share their experiences on what motivated each one of them to volunteer to take on the role of being a leader for the Section. Hopefully, we will have continued interest from newly minted water professionals who will consider taking the time to participate with the Section Board.

March 2013 is moving closer. That means WATERCON 2013 will be upon us before we know it. As stated earlier, we have the abstracts for the presentations sorted, ranked, and scheduled. However, this is just part of the fun. The schedule has changed a bit. Exhibits will open on Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday morning. That will give a bit more exposure to the exhibitors for convention floor traffic. Last year there was a bike ride on one of the mornings, and that will happen again. Bring your card playing talent (and an extra shirt in case you lose the one you have) as well, for the Texas Hold ’em poker games will be in action. Water main tapping contest will be there as well as the Meter Madness contest. Come cheer your favorites on as the winners will have the opportunity to go on to ACE ’13 to compete with others from the other sections. Test your knowledge of water by either participating in or watching Top Ops. Bid on objects donated for the Water for People Silent Auction. There is something for everyone to do.

It will be the New Year before I have the opportunity to write another article. So, for now, I wish everyone a blessed holiday season. Stay healthy and do good work.

I thank all who have made this great group we call the ISAWWA such a success. I look back a few years, (21 or so…) when I joined AWWA. I have seen positive changes throughout. I invite those who have not experienced working with our Section to do so. Get on a committee and become involve. If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

This has been a great time for the water industry. We all are here to pump you up. Please dive right in and make a big splash. Submerge yourself in the mainstream of water. Become awash in new knowledge from our deep wells and ride the waves of even newer technologies. There is more than enough in our reservoirs to quench the thirsts of everyone. This is not just a pipe dream… Water at your Service!


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