Volume 46 Number 1
WQA Mid-Year Review: Lost in the Supermarket
Now and again, it’s good to try something new.
Holding the Water Quality Association’s Mid-Year Leadership Conference in conjunction with the World Wide Food Expo (WWFE) in Chicago was just such a good idea. That’s because the International Bottled Water Association, which merged its convention and exhibition with the event for the first time Oct. 28-30, 2003, had offered space at its pavilion, not to mention its central location made it easier for WQA members to attend.
Meat, potatoes and milk
As a grand experiment, it was a nice diversion from the usual. But most agreed that, while IBWA shares many things in common with WQA that makes it a more likely partner, the WWFE wasn’t necessarily the best fit. Overlapping events between the two organizations also made it difficult to attend all the meetings. Regardless, current logistics make the IBWA more of a future option--2005 or later, if WQA members remain interested in some form of event partnering, according to Jeannine Collins, WQA meetings and convention director. That’s because IBWA is committed this year to hosting BevExpo along with IDFA, the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers, and Beverage Marketing Corp. in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Testing the waters
The first step in setting goals is to submit a “Task Control Form” or documents (TCDs) to WQA staff for consideration by the BOG. A number of the forms already were submitted, most notably by the International Section and Government Relations Committee. There was some concern a flood of these forms would overwhelm staff and the BOG and how they should be prioritized, whether by the sections, staff or Strategic Planning Committee. Each committee and section generally came up with its own way of handling the process as well as prioritizing “burning issues” from the Las Vegas convention and earlier meetings. Some, like HydroTech’s Mike Baird, warned these various methods should be standardized before the convention in Baltimore to make sure the process was uniform and orderly, allowing association work to move forward.
The Water Sciences Committee, headed by Culligan’s Frank Brigano, seemed to have a leg up on this process since its predecessor--the Science Advisory Committee--already acted as an umbrella group for various technical committees and task forces that existed before. “Our intent is to keep task group sizes manageable--four or five people,” Brigano said. “The key is these will be working groups. We will define a timeline. The idea is to see that it eventually ends. It doesn’t go on forever. If the issue needs to be addressed further, then we’ll ask that a new Task Control Form gets filled out.”
Good Water Warehouse’s Pat Dalee noted that the TCDs could also serve as a way for WQA members to voice their opinions moreso than in the past “if they’re not happy about the way WQA is proceeding or not on a particular issue. For a lot of people who may complain, though, I’d like to see this as a way for them to express themselves and maybe offer up a solution.”
Breaking it down
Retail Dealer Section
Consumer Products Section
* The Water Quality Research Council was renamed the Water Quality Research Foundation, requested by chairman Jack Lorenzen, at the final board meeting to clarify the organization’s function and help promote a fundraising initiative coordinated by Gordon Miller to raise nearly $2 million. The WQRF Board is composed of past WQA presidents.
* Spatz, Osmonics Inc. found-er, resigned from the BOD since his company was acquired by GE. He recommended Dick Elliot as a replacement.
* The Manufacturers Section proposed addressing the issue of possible patent infringement of the industry’s products by “foreign/Asian” manufacturers, according to Pentair’s Jorge Fernandez.
* Member Services Committee chairman Gerry Dierolf said two task groups were set up to look at industrial certification. In addition, e-distribution of the industry compensation study was discussed and $5,000 allocated for three pilot projects to develop “learning in a box” programs online for education efforts focusing initially on ethics and arsenic.
* WQA’s Margit Fotre pointed out the Market Development Committee spent 1-½ hours on establishing a protocol for how to move issues through the new issues management process. Main points of discussion included progress reports, the trade show and refocusing a consumer attitude survey begun by the Consumer Products Section expected to cost $150,000. Remaining agenda items were to be handled via conference call.
* Government Relations Committee chairman Neil Desmond, of Pentair, noted three quarters of the Task Control Forms generated were on the septic tank issue. Meyer went through a state-by-state report. Warnes reviewed international issues, focusing on Europe, Asia and Latin America (see www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID=1183). And Enviro-gard’s Scott Macdonald gave a status report on emerging Canadian DWTU standards (see Viewpoint, this issue).
EXTRA: Chicagoland Encapsulated
For a summary of action at the WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference, see the following:
* Reorganization Reflected in Mid-Year Actions--www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID=1333
* Mid-Year State of the Industry Highlights--www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID=1334
For a summary of IBWA action at the WWFE, etc., see the following:
* Worldwide Food Expo ’03 Posts an Enormous Success--www.bottledwater.org/public/2003_Releases/Worldwide_Expo_Success_110303.html
* IBWA President’s Remarks - “A World of Opportunities”-- www.bottledwater.org/public/2003_Releases/Presidents_remarks_10_30_2003.html
* Bottled Water Industry Announces 2003 Awards Winners--www.bottledwater.org/public/2003_Releases/Award_Winners_2003.html
* IBWA Announces 2004 Officers, Board Members and Executive Committee--www.bottledwater.org/public/2003_Releases/IBWA_announces_2004_officers.html
Click here to view a followup article: