By Dean Syrgley
The Bear Creek Mountain Resort located in the Poconos of Pennsylvania was a very popular address for the 2016 EWQA Convention. Reports from attendees, exhibitors and walk-ins expressed their consensus that this convention was the best for EWQA in recent memory. All 43 exhibit spaces were taken, there were a record number of attendees and everyone had nothing but positive comments about the site, food and easy access to the venue. Jeff Gottlieb (ResinTech) shared details about the BCMR for review in 2015; the Board of Directors was so impressed with the presentation that they approved a 2016 contract. In January, the board held its annual meeting at the proposed location and had an opportunity see first-hand what they had approved months earlier.
Brian Oram (B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc.) provided an eight-hour program on legalities of testing to assist those who require proper test results that would be admissible in a legal setting. A plant tour of the BCMR water treatment facility was followed by lunch and a certificate from Wilkes University (as well as WQA certification and Maryland CEU credit opportunities), a win-win for all. The BOD met to discuss various issues, then joined exhibitors and attendees for the Welcome Reception. Once again, attendance was high; BCMR employees had to dim the lights to encourage everyone to move on.
Activities on September 15 included a Keynote view of the WQA Final Barrier presentation by Richard Mest (Master Water) and WQA President, Don McGhee. They reviewed what WQA has done (and continues to do) to alleviate the crisis in Flint, MI. Both have been working very closely with Washington DC legislators and Michigan officials, from the governor to local representatives, with action items on how to not only resolve the crisis today with readily available solutions but also for the long-term.
Part of the Keynote included an update from Doug Haring (Clack Corp.) to the attendees. He presented a PowerPoint summary of what EWQA is doing to ensure forward progress in training, certification and improvement in quality membership enhancement goals for all members. Haring introduced the 2016 BOD to attendees and then presented awards for various categories. Thanks to him, EWQA will have designated awards for a variety of categories, raising awareness and affording recognition for achievements within our industry and the association.
Marianne Metzger received the President of the Year award and Kathee Srygley, EWQA Internal VP, received the Presidents award. Board member Mike Urbans (Nalco-Reskem) received the Hall of Fame award. EWQA Executive Director Dean Srygley received the Distinguished Service award. In addition to these awards, Haring also called out others who have given so much to EWQA. Former EWQA President Brent Golding has invested many years of volunteer efforts and continues to support EWQA with his time and energies in so many ways; EWQA is fortunate to have his help. Peggy Blazek was recognized for hitting one home run after another in support of sponsorship opportunities.
Golf fun at Olde Homestead
The golf event was overseen by Haring with support from Peggy Blazek. Between the two, they acquired 33 golfers, sponsors for the golf holes, a golf beverage cart, a 19th-hole banquet, plus the awards ceremony. Tournament winners included:
• Longest drive: Jim Vander Horn (Jayson Soft Water)
• Closest to the pin: David Baker (Duff Company)
• Winning team: Jeremiah Jesse (Hankscraft), Randy Hockenberry (ResinTech) and Jesse Smyers (Sunbury Controls)
Golf is much more than a fun time with friends on a beautiful day with rolling green grass, trees, rough water and terrain hazards that selfishly guard a golf ball’s ultimate destination. Despite the challenges, a golfer is rewarded throughout the day with laughs, challenges and friendship-building that lasts a lifetime. To the brave souls who participated in the 2016 golf event, may your experience continue in 2017 when you (and more) will be invited to repeat the experience.
Auction and banquet highlights
The annual EWQA Auction during the banquet keeps evolving to a high level of laughter, entertainment and is a great revenue resource for EWQA programs. The two who somehow raise the bar every year to make the experience even better are Mike Urbans and Peter Auchincloss (Don Shaw/Watermark Corp). How they always pull it off is a trade secret and we hope they stay with EWQA long into the future. Auction items from other industries are preferred items that help make the experience even more fun. Member donation of diverse items always inspires bidders to take something home they likely would not consider. EWQA programs are the ultimate winners, so EWQA thanks everyone for their continued support.
Let’s do it again!
Based on the first visit to this venue, board members authorized a contract for the 2017 annual convention, to be held September 27-29. You’ve been there and know how to find it so we’ll be expecting you next year!