February 2004: Volume 46, Number 2
Where It`s at with the WQA
by James W. Baker, CWS-V
The Water Quality Association (WQA) is the organization to be with.
Over the past four years, the changes and improvements in WQA's scope and structure have opened the organization up to the entire water quality industry.
The structure (i.e., the Sections) and governance have included Direct Retail, Industrial/High Purity, Small Municipal Systems, International as well as the Manufacturers and Dealers that have always been the base of the WQA.
Bear in mind, these Sections came into being in 1997 when I was chairman of the WQA Strategic Planning Committee. We put off any significant changes to governance to allow these groups to gel into a more cohesive and practical format.
Rapid consolidation in the industry, on all levels, in the interim made it imperative we implement a new structure to handle the association's business that was more dynamic and dealt with the current reality of evolving channels to market, new members and the global economy.
As such, the new organizational plan offers opportunities for all to be heard and have input into how the association operates as well as to participate in the future growth of our industry—and our association.
It is very simple: If you or your business is in the water quality industry, the WQA is the place to be.
There are many issues and tasks that need to be addressed. The four new management committees have been formed. At the WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference in Chicago last fall, these committees began the process of assigning task groups and prioritizing issues to be addressed. Everyone I talked to at the Mid-Year said that seeing the process in action made the new strategic plan come to life and make sense.
As the years progress, the renewed WQA will be a much more effective, more focused and more open organization. It will be the organization that will have its finger on the pulse of our industry.
If you have not been involved with WQA, I invite you to go to its website at www.wqa.org. This site, which has grown immensely in recent years, will become an greater conduit for industry news and updates of the various task groups. It will also be a vehicle for people who want to be considered for management committees and task groups in the future.
As my year as president comes to an end, I realize how very much I have gained by being involved with the WQA. There is no doubt that my business has benefited much more than the investment we put into WQA.
I invite each of you to consider being a part of the WQA and I hope to see you at our annual convention in Baltimore next month.
James W. Baker, CWS-V
2003-2004 WQA President and President, AmeriWater Inc., Dayton, Ohio