Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010 - (Page 46)

i friends. 46 • Third Quarter 2010 From the CEO Lessons Learned from a Catfish Fry I STOOD TO speak under a pavilion on a hot summer day, surrounded by water on three sides with a refreshing cool breeze coming off the lake. I was to talk about my favorite subject to a very distinguished group of board members from a Rural Water district, RUS state and district staff, managers from the state SRF and Water Resources Board, a state senator, staff from the U.S. Congressional office, several key staff from the Oklahoma Rural Water Association and a host of good BY ROB JOHNSON, NRWA CEO I faced a cross inscribed with “I am the way, truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Me” – and learned an important lesson from Cliff Tatums, the manager of the hosting Rural Water district. A southern catfi sh fry is a social tradition that is often more about enjoying good people and building good relationships than it is enjoying a good meal. Moving about the pavilion and visiting with the decision-makers of the funding agencies for water and wastewater systems is accomplished much easier with hush puppies, coleslaw and potato salad. Of course visiting with a Congressional staffer is always easier with some of Twilia’s famous blackberry cobbler. Over the years, this annual catfi sh fry has attracted virtually every important water person in the state of Oklahoma. Of course, we all attend meetings when these same people are present in their business attire, but driving to this remote site a couple of hours from everyone’s office does much to change one’s mood. Sitting on wood benches, eating with paper plates and sipping on sweet tea changes the serious A southern catfish fry is a social business mood of these professionals to tradition that is often more about match the relaxed, informal setting we found ourselves in. enjoying good people and building For those of you who know me good relationships than it is enjoying well, facing the cross when I spoke had a way of putting things in their a good meal. proper perspective. What a blessing to be surrounded by good friends and water professionals discussing our business in such a surrounding. Cliff Tatums, thank you for this lesson and a great catfi sh dinner.

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