By Denise M. Roberts
Several words come to mind when describing the Pacific Water Quality Association’s 56th Annual Convention and Trade Show, which was held October 8-11 in beautiful (downtown?) Burbank, CA: fun, festive and merry, as exhibitors and visitors happily took part in trade show floor activities, dinner events and a repeat favorite, Casino Night. Outgoing President Joyce Takeda offered words of support for incoming President John Foley and thanked everyone for their support during her tenure. The crowd was happily entertained during the annual Banquet Dinner and Industry Awards by Joe Valeri, and everyone was suitably impressed with his skill and talent as a musician. In addition, the association honored several members for their special and continued service to the industry and the organization. Pam and Jon Pomeroy were inducted into the PWQA Hall of Fame; California Assembly Member Luis Alejo was named Legislator of the Year and Special Service Awards were bestowed on Quality Home Services, Water Techniques and CRH California Water, Inc. Clifford Fasnacht and Mark Felton were honored with the Robert Gans Award and Dana Nichol received the Sidney Solomon Award.
Casino Night was a phenomenal success. The silent auction previous years was reorganized as a special Opportunity Raffle. There were so many fantastic items that some attendees had a hard time deciding on which to ‘spend’ their raffle tickets. Winners included C.R. Hall, Bill Hanson, Janell Cedarstrom-Wysocki, Kathy Armenteros, Courtney Hanson, Craig Bybee, Mark Nolan, Ron Reuf, Tracy Strahl, Diane Ergler, Terry Heckman, Chubb Michaud and Ken Schaeffer. The golf tournament, sponsored by Cargill Salt, featured the usual suspects and a good time was had by all. Winners included First Place team members John Miller, John Huerkins, Jeff Coody and Mike Conte; Second Place with Steve Bloemeke, John Brooks, John Foley and Peter Pak and Chuck Rodent winners Mike Mecca, Marty Jessen, Peggy Blazek and Craig Bybee. Men’s and Women’s Closest to the Pin winners were Mike Mecca and Peggy Blazek, respectively, while Brian Good took Longest Drive honors. Many well-attended educational seminars were held, in addition to Tech Talk presentations on the trade show floor. Pete Conaty, PWQA’s lobbyist, offered an in-depth overview of the current legislative climate in California that has had a far-reaching impact. WQA presented its Basics of Water Treatment training program and WQA certification exams. There was truly something for everyone, exhibitor and visitor alike, and there was a consensus throughout that the industry was movingin the right direction. Being a smaller association, PWQA has consistently served the dealers, manufacturers and distributors in a manner expected of a much larger organization. This year’s event was no exception.
Now is the time to start planning for the 57th Annual Convention and Trade Show, which will be held September 30 through October 3, 2014 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Keep an eye out for updates as more information becomes available. Go, PWQA!