Streamline - Spring 2013 - (Page 21)

VRWA’s 25 Year Anniversary – A Look Back BY DONNA LAWSON, WASTEWATER TECH II Though big hair and track suits have long gone out of style, the need for providing assistance to Virginia’s rural water and wastewater utilities through education and on-site technical assistance has not. has passed since Virginia Rural Water Association’s charter meeting took place on April 14, 1988. Fourteen founding members and two associate members met in Lexington to take part in forming the Association. Three months later, the first organizational meeting was held in Buena Vista. Certainly many things have changed since those early days. Though big hair and track suits have long gone out of style, the need for providing assistance to Virginia’s rural water and wastewater utilities through education and on-site technical assistance has not. A QUARTER CENTURY The founding board members of the July 26th meeting were: Greg Jefferson –Town of Wise Gene Phillips – Bath County PSA Gerald Monger – Town of Elkton Warren Carter – Ashland J.W. Jeffries – Town of Chincoteague Wayne Watts – Buchanan County PSA Robert Lohr – Town of New Market The original staff consisted of just two people: Myrica Keiser, Office Manager, and Bob Foster, Circuit Rider. Jerry Oakes was the first Executive Director and also served as the EPA trainer. The first Wastewater technician was BJ Blessing. VRWA has added staff positions such as Source Water Protection Specialists and ARRA personnel as funding and needs required. Myrica Keiser is now VRWA’s Executive Director and has served in that capacity for more than six years. The office staff is rounded out by an administrative assistant and a financial director. The field staff currently includes six positions: two Water Circuit riders, two Wastewater technicians, one Source Water Protection Specialist and one EPA trainer. VRWA’s first Conference was held at the Natural Bridge Hotel on April 19 with about 100 attendees and 50 vendors. The motel was undergoing a major renovation at the time and bathtubs and toilets were being thrown out of windows during class sessions. During the NRWA President’s closing speech, a jack hammer was being used to rip up the men’s bathroom floor. VRWA’s annual Conference has continued to grow over the years due to the loyalty and dedication of our members and vendors. The 24th Conference had 286 attendees and 109 exhibitor booths (with 250 exhibitors), and was held at the beautiful Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia’s star city. The original banquet has been changed to the more popular Casino Night and David Browning (Barney Fife) has replaced “Joe the Juggler” for entertainment. Classes were offered to the membership that first year concerning the Safe Drinking Water Act and how to comply. Currently classes are offered all over the state on both water and wastewater topics, thus providing training and CPE’s for licensed operators. VRWA’s technicians continue to endeavor to bring timely, informative topics to help Virginia’s operators meet the challenges of the environmental field. Another staple of the Association is the Streamline magazine that is found in every utility in the state. The format and content of the magazine has evolved over the years since Bob Foster hand-produced them in the office in 1988. The magazine is now professionally published and directly mailed to members. The field staff employees write the majority of the articles in addition to taking photographs of events and sites around the state. VRWA also maintains a website for the convenience of the members. This has enabled information about training, events and important announcements to be available around the clock. Individuals can register for a class, and get information on posted jobs and upcoming events via the website. An old fashioned phone call to a live person is still available during business hours. In addition to the on-site visits the field staff provides, VRWA continues to create new opportunities for growth and service such as providing membership books, annual reports, online classes and Facebook, to name a few. EXPO was 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
What If?
Stormwater Management
Soapbox Farewell
Water and Wastewater Certifi cation Exam Test Taking Tips
Past 25 Years of VRWA
Proactive vs. Reactive
Asset Management and Drought Management
Is the Tank Contaminating the Water?
Committed to the Future of Rural Communities
Standard Operating Procedure For Leak Detection Using the Pressure Hold Method
The Virginia RATES Program is at Your Service
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Employee Introductions
VRWA 25th Annual Exposition Agenda
Wastewater Math
eLearning Benefits
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Membership Application
Throwing My Loop
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2013