WISCONSIN SECTION Message from the Chair
Why Not?

I'm writing this on Election Day 2016, and I don't think I'd be too far out on a limb to say that if you have been paying even the slightest attention to the election campaigns that this has seemingly been a period of negative piled upon negative, no matter where you align politically. It is really easy to focus on the negative and take for granted (or even forget completely) the positives all around us. So in considering the topics I could write about, I decided to point out just a few of the many positives that we have experienced as a section in 2016.

In April, Milwaukee served as the host city for the annual WEF Residuals and Biosolids conference. Having the conference in Wisconsin provided an opportunity for many students and professionals to attend a major WEF specialty conference that they might otherwise have missed out on. Many Wisconsin section members were active participants in organizing and executing the on-the- ground arrangements for the conference, and the effort was well received by WEF staff and attendees.

Our Young Professionals and Student group has also been active in 2016. In February they organized a "Brew 2 Poo" tour in Stevens Point to highlight the mutually beneficial arrangement between a brewery and the municipal wastewater plant. August brought the annual "YP Brewer Outing", where young professionals and "seasoned professionals" had a chance to socialize before a baseball game. In November the same group organized a tour of comparative phosphorus recovery technologies, touring a pilot facility at the Sun Prairie plant, as well as a full scale phosphorus recovery installation at the Madison Nine Springs plant.

At WEFTEC in New Orleans CSWEA claimed as members three of the fifteen new 2016 WEF Fellows inducted, with Rusty Schroedel representing the Wisconsin section.

Also in conjunction with WEFTEC, and announced just before the event, was recognition for the inaugural "Utility of the Future Today" recognition program. Sixty-one utilities from around the world received this recognition; eight of them were part of CSWEA, with four in Wisconsin alone. The four representing Wisconsin are City of Fond du Lac, NEW Water (Green Bay), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and City of Stevens Point. Congratulations to these utilities on this well-deserved recognition!

As you see, there is a lot of positive that has gone on so far in 2016. And that is without even touching on the events and functions that we seemingly assume will go on as well-executed and successful events (such as the Government Affairs Seminar and the Spring Biosolids Symposium, to name two of many). All of these events and gatherings need is volunteers who believe in the task and who are willing to step in and help make these events happen. That could be a lead role (chair of a committee or subcommittee) or a "worker bee" role. Everyone appreciates the value in a well planned and executed event, so why not volunteer and play a role in the successes coming in 2017?

Writing that makes me realize that by the time this issue comes out and you read these words, we will be well into the holiday season. Many people make resolutions at the start of the New Year to improve or develop an area of their personal or professional life. Why not resolve to step into a new challenge, get to know some new people, and take on an active volunteer role in the section as a committee member? The aforementioned young professionals cadre in this section are doing impressive things, demonstrating a "Why not?" attitude that is refreshing and energizing. Why not join us as a volunteer in the section, make some new connections, and help us grow and build upon the success of 2016 and previous years?

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