Thank you CSWEA! I am honored and excited to serve as your President for the 2019-20 Term. I am grateful to all the leaders who have served before me to make our association what it is today.
Please join me in thanking Dave Arnott for his wonderful leadership this past year in driving our organization to new levels. The conference this year in Madison (lead by Dave and Lindsey Busch – Local Arrangements Committee Chair) was wonderful. I believe we set new records for both attendance and exhibitor booths. Well done Dave and Lindsey! The technical program, lead by Technical Committee Chair Matt Seib, was also outstanding. The sessions that I attended were fantastic and very high quality. Our WEF Visitor, Rajendra P. Bhattarai, 2018-19 Trustee, was an exceptional person to meet and get to know. If you talked with him as I did, you were left with an understanding of what a quality guy he is. I also would like to thank all of the sponsors and exhibitors that contributed to the success of this event! Without you, it would be very difficult to provide such a quality event year after year.
With spring in the air, it’s time to start planning our activities for the coming year. There are already several activities/functions planned. Please take a look at the list below of great educational and social events already in the works:
Information for these upcoming events can be found here on our website at: CSWEA.org/upcoming-events/. These events are valued by CSWEA members, as well as by many other distinguished professionals, wastewater pioneers, operators, manufacturers, professors, and students throughout the region.
I hope all of you are enjoying spring in the Central States region! Throughout our three states, the trees and plants are starting to blossom, and thoughts of hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, or whatever, are on the minds of many. For me, I am in the midst of planning my trip to the BWCA, and by the time you read this, I will be in a position to compare mosquito bites and tell you which ones to watch out for.
The value of our CSWEA membership is broad. When we asked our membership why they were involved with CSWEA, many cited the training and networking opportunities. The training opportunities with CSWEA are amazing. For example, the Illinois Section recently began a 14-course, Operator Training program, which is focused on providing operators an effective way to achieve their requirements and advancement more easily. My understanding is that these operator training events, 2 held so far to date, have been sold out. Which sends a strong message for the value of these training sessions. In addition to the training opportunities, we also have events like the upcoming CSX, which stands for Central States Exchange, in mid-July. This yearly event is an opportunity for many of the leaders from our three sections to get together and discuss and plan our initiatives for the coming year. Because of other commitments during other conferences, it was decided several years ago that we needed to get together without all of the other competing activities, so that we could discuss and plan our future events more effectively. I encourage all of you to attend CSX this year, as it is always a fun event that is held at a key resort in the Wisconsin Dells (so it is fun for the family too!).
Members of CSWEA are a community of highly-regarded, water quality professionals who have a unified focus on protecting the environment and public health by advancing the water industry in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. We strive to foster an environment of learning, networking, and enjoyment while providing value to our members. This level of professionalism and desire to advance the water industry drives our volunteers to coordinate, host, and participate in many public/private educational opportunities, trainings, and seminars throughout the year. Time is also donated for projects benefiting the community. For example, Global Water Stewardship (GWS) is planning a trip to Costa Rica in August to help local leaders in this country develop wastewater initiatives and facilities. I believe there is still time to register to attend this event.
We also monitor the pulse of current and pending legislation and regulations that impact all of us at the local, state, and national levels and provide valuable insight to our local political representatives. Information is provided to help our members stay informed of best industry practices and we continuously think of the future as we reach out to the next generations of water quality professionals and leaders.
We achieve all this through the action of more than 13 committees at the CSWEA level, and many more at the individual state section levels. Each committee has a unique focus or purpose that covers a wide range of important issues we face daily. Some committees are technically-focused, like the Stormwater and/or Residuals Committees; and some are more audience-focused, such as the General Awards and/or Academic Excellence Committees. We also have committees for member services and external outreach services. All of our committees would appreciate more support from volunteers like you. So please, if you are interested in a particular topic, please dive in and get involved.
In closing, If you are like me, be thankful for that last minute, where everything seems to get done.