To Another Great Year
By Jason Neighbors
Here’s to another great year for the Illinois Section! It is my honor to serve as the 2023/2024 Illinois Section Chair. I am excited to work with all of you to keep the excitement rolling as we head into the summer. Let’s please take a moment to thank our immediate past chair Jillian Kiss for her hard work and leadership in the Illinois section. Thank you, Jillian! In addition, thanks are in order to all the committees for their hard work finding news ways to educate and mentor the future of our industry. Without your hard work and dedication many outlets would not be available to upcoming and veteran members of our MA alike. And all of this would not be possible without the hard work and dedication from our Executive Directors Mohammed and Amy Haque.
My involvement in CSWEA began many years ago when I was asked to join a committee. As I can remember I was quite intimidated at first. But as I got more involved, I found the eagerness of everyone around me to give me guidance and mentor me in my role within CSWEA was awe inspiring. It gave me the confidence to take on more and more challenges and try to give back in the very way that I was welcomed into CSWEA.
The record-breaking attendance at the Annual Meeting in St. Paul Minnesota is the perfect spring board to send us into another exciting year. This year will have many great events to choose from. The Stormwater and Collection System Conference on June 20th at the NIU-Naperville campus is an excellent place to start. From the technical sessions and networking opportunities, to the Operator Training held in conjunction to the conference, this will be an exciting event.
Following that will be the Central States Section Exchange CSX at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI on July 20th. This event brings members together to share and discuss ideas for strengthening the Association. All are welcome to bring your innovative ideas and openly discuss their possibilities for the future.
Be sure to check out what the Operations Committee has been up to. There are monthly scheduled Operator Training webinars to further your knowledge, review for that next certification, or get in your CEUs, as well as an Operations Seminar on September 13th hosted at the Naperville Illinois Springbrook Water Reclamation Center. This event will have three technical presentations on PFOS, our first Operator Round Table on trouble shooting BNR issues, and to cap it off, a tour of the host facility.
These events are just a few of the many to come this year. Watch the CSWEA website for upcoming events from all of the committees. If you are interested in getting involved and don’t know where to start, reach out to one of the committees that sounds interesting to you. I can speak from personal experience that it will be a welcoming environment and will open up opportunities to showcase your talents to help the Section. You will also find lifelong friends and colleagues to help you throughout your career along the way. Networking is an invaluable tool and helps to make us all stronger.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone out there this year at one of the meetings, events, or social gathering!