Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008 - (Page 74)

BY ROB JOHNSON, NRWA CEO Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a continuing series of articles by NRWA CEO Rob Johnson about the men and women who have been the founders, creators, “movers and shakers” of NRWA from the beginning. Without them, rural water – nationwide – would not be the catalyst or the influential voice of rural America that we have become. FROM THE CEO When people would meet Joe for the first time, they could tell there was something very special about him. He truly liked people and was quick to form friendships. Only when you got to know him did you understand the depth of experience he carried with him. JOE PALMER WAS THE SON of a south Georgia farmer who was recognized as a gifted child and went on to finish high school early and college in three years. Having the intellect and motivation to choose any vocation, Joe volunteered to serve our country by joining the Army. He served in World War II, Korea and then Vietnam. He excelled in the Army as he had in every other endeavor in his life. He attended the War College, served in the Pentagon and was generally being groomed to be a general officer. He served as an Honor Guard for President Kennedy’s funeral and taught at the Citadel. He met and worked alongside many of the world’s leaders and military officers. While serving in Vietnam, Joe was in a helicopter crash that hurt his back and would bother him for the rest of his life, effectively ending his military career. Never one to sit, Joe returned to Georgia and served as city manager for a couple towns before forming a very successful engineering fi rm. That is where he met Jimmy Matthews and became involved with the Georgia Rural Water Association. Joe received the fi nest leadership training our nation has to offer, and when he joined Rural Water, he put it to use. He became president of Georgia Rural Water Association, and when he joined the National Rural Water Association Board, he quickly rose to its presidency. When people would meet Joe for the fi rst time, they could tell there was something very special about him. He truly liked people and was quick to form friendships. Only when you got to know him did you understand the depth of experience he carried with him. He was president of our association from 1994 to 1996, during which he traveled all over America volunteering thousands of hours promoting good water for everyone. Joe Palmer was a man who truly had friends in every state in the nation and it is my good fortune to have been one of them. Joe’s wife Jean was a remarkable woman in her own right, serving as a science teacher for many years. Sitting at their breakfast table was always a learning experience. Their knowledge of history and current events kept discussions lively, and neither were bashful about expressing their opinions. Both Joe and Jean were tragically killed in an auto accident. In memory of them, NRWA created a scholarship program that has now sent several young people to college. Almost every day of my life, something will occur that reminds me of Joe. I have met a great number of brilliant people in my life and I work for a board of leaders representing every state. However, Joe Palmer was one of the greatest men I have ever met, and if you were fortunate enough to have spent any time with him, consider it a blessing from God. 74 • Third Quarter 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008
Contents
From the President
From Hypo to Gas - A Forward Leap
If You Lose All Your Data Today... Would You Still Be in Business Tomorrow?
Weaving the Wireless Web
Rural Water and the Farm Bill
Ensuring Your Water System's Security
Guarding Against Becoming a Victim of Fraud
10 Ways to Improve Utility Efficiency
New Technology
Making a Difference By Being Involved
Regulatory Update
Source Water Protection Corner
Throwing My Loop
Cub Scouts Visit Alliance of Indiana Rural Water's Spring Conference
Advertisers.com
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008

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