Coming Up Roses

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Another successful WQA Aquatech USA tradeshow is in the books. This year’s event, held March 17 to 20 in Rosemont, Ill., drew more than 3,500 total attendees and 240 exhibitors, according to the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Despite harsh economic realities, the overall attitude of show attendees was highly optimistic, and new products on display highlighted environmentally friendly features, proving that innovation is making its way to this industry.

State of the Industry

The 2009 State of the Industry session featured an industry update from WQA Executive Director Peter J. Censky and insightful commentary from industry analysts Debra Coy and Steve Maxwell.

Censky discussed important trends and rising concerns in the industry such as the current economic recession, noting the historical strength of water utilities during recessions. Censky also touched on water usage issues, environmental concerns, regulatory challenges and emerging technologies, recognizing that “game-changing technologies are starting to pop up” in this industry.

WQA President Doug White addressed the water quality industry at the Opening General Session, highlighting current challenges and opportunities within the industry.

White emphasized that the industry must be prepared to face new laws, code changes and regulations in the coming year. The industry will also have to commit itself to developing and evolving new technologies and solutions in order to face current challenges, all with the goal of developing sensible, science-based solutions.

White also discussed various research the WQA will undertake in the next year, including:

  • Water Heater Efficiency Improvements on Softened Water by Battelle Memorial Institute;
  • The Soap and Detergent Study; and
  • Energy Benefits of Upgrading to High-Efficiency Water Softeners.

Industry Recognitions

Various honors were presented to industry professionals during the Opening General Session. Robert Ruhstorfer II, RBR Consulting, received the Lifetime Member Award, and C.R. Hall, Wichita Water Conditioning, Inc., received the Hall of Fame Award.

The nominees for the 2009-2010 WQA board of directors were also announced. These include:

Manufacturer/Suppliers

  • Neil Desmond, Ametek, Sheboygan, Wis.
  • Lawrence Holzman, Culligan Intl., Rosemont, Ill.
  • Richard Mest, Master Water Conditioning, Pottstown, Pa.
  • Tracy Strahl, South Bay Salt Works, Chula Vista, Calif.

Dealers

  • M. Stanley Fauth, Fauth Appliance, Inc., De Soto, Mo.
  • Paul D. Moorman, Culligan, The Good Water Co., Belleville, Ont., Canada
  • Bret Tangley, Sterling Water, Inc., Eau Claire, Wis.

Commercial/Industrial

  • Denise Urbans, Res-Kem Corp., Media, Pa.

Dealer of the Year Announced

Bob Boerner, president of Culligan Southwest, Inc., was awarded Water Quality Products’ Dealer of the Year award during the WQA Aquatech USA tradeshow.

Boerner has been actively involved in various industry committees and is always encouraging dealer involvement within the industry, especially pertaining to legislative issues. He was chosen by industry peers to receive the award.

If you missed the award presentation, visit our website, www.wqpmag.com, to watch a video of the presentation and a WQP exclusive interview with Boerner.

Looking Ahead

Next year’s WQA Aquatech USA show will be held March 9 to 12, 2010, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Stephanie Harris is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Harris can be reached at 847.391.1007 or by e-mail at sharris@sgcmail.com.

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