Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010 - (Page 12)

Relationsh BY GARY RHOADES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EVERGREEN RURAL WATER OF WASHINGTON THE LEGISLATIVE ISSUE I AM PROBABLY not the best person to write about cultivating relationships in D.C., but what we do seems to work, so I will give it a go. In November of 1999, when I accepted the executive director position with Evergreen Rural Water of Washington (ERWOW), I was really at a loss regarding legislative issues. I knew that ERWOW received federal monies for the programs that we ran, but really hadn’t put much thought into the role that I would soon be asked to play. Luckily for me, our national director and current NRWA president, Fred Sheldon, had been doing legislative work in DC for several years during the fly-ins, etc., and had laid the groundwork for us to follow. On my first trip accompanying Fred around the Hill in D.C., it became apparent that he had been doing something right, as almost every office we entered knew him by his first name, and on most occasions, we were able to have an actual audience with the elected official, along with their legislative director. Those relationships didn’t just happen overnight. Fred had worked at it, starting with their in-state offices and working from there. He would touch base with their in-state directors, introduce himself and inform them of the programs Evergreen Rural Water had to offer, as well as give them contact phone numbers for program personnel to call when a constituent needed help on water or wastewater issues. The importance of making these contacts has paid off over the years, as we have had instate offices contact their D.C. office to voice their support of continued funding for our programs. For years, I have heard John Montgomery, 12 Thir Quarte 2010 12 • Third Quarter 2010 Third Quarter 2010 ird

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010
From the President
Relationships Don't Just Happen Overnight
Make the Link!
Meet the New Agency Heads!
Legislation is Top Priority in Texas
Legislative Efforts in Arkansas
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Rural Water Utilities Energy and Water Efficiency Program
Regulatory Update
Wrap It Up: Michigan and South Dakota Advertise Quality on Tap!
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010