Throughout the month of March, WQP is sharing Q&A’s with outstanding women in the water quality industry in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Get to know fabulous women in water as they share their background, accomplishments, passions and more, and join us in celebration of their voices. Meet Emily Watkins, owner for Jason’s Water Systems.
Read other 2022 WQP Women in Water Q&As:
- Meet Jennifer Diener of Pentair
- Meet Blanca Salgado of DuPont
- Meet Nichole Pennisi of Graver Technologies
How did you become involved in the water industry?
I started in the water industry when I was 5-years-old. My father owned his own company with Lindsey Water Systems back in the late 70s. He soon grew into his own OEM and started his manufacturing company for Jason's Water Systems. I started off helping him test water hardness and counting the drops, then moved into the office once I could file invoices. Once I was able to drive, I began doing door-to-door sales and was able to run an entire water presentation at the age of 15-years-old in Killeen, Texas.
After graduating high school, I went to college and received a master's degree in special education. I taught children with special needs for 15 years before coming back to the "water world." I now own my own dealership and have the opportunity to employ my son, niece and nephew. It is an amazing feeling to keep the water flowing throughout our family. My father is still very active in the factory and runs appointments at the age of 80. One day I will be able to grow into the factory and pass along my dealership to another family member.
What are some of your accomplishments you are most proud of?
- Certified to Water Treatment Specialist III. The highest level you can become.
- Travel the USA training Roto Rooter technicians on our JWS product.
- Wrote an article in IAPMO's magazine: Backflow Prevention & Plumbing Intervention Jan 2017: Does Size Really Matter
- Public speaker for Realty Continuing Education Classes
- Special speaker at New Braunfels Home & Garden Show
How can mentorship play a role in elevating women in leadership? Has mentorship influenced you?
Mentorship can play a role in elevating women in leadership by providing a framework for management in business and how to overcome controversy. I have been influenced through mentorship with a local master plumber, Brian Bell. He has guided me in the world of plumbing and installation of water treatment products. I am able to take apart most any valve on the market and help technicians trouble shoot in the field.
What's your "why water"? What drives you about your work?
My "why water" has to be educating homeowners on the importance of plumbing codes to be sure they understand how to properly size their water treatment system for their home. Also, bringing awareness to the importance of filtration for the entire home. I have a daughter with sensitive skin and truly believe that her skin stays clear due to the removal of harsh chemicals in our water. We offer so much more than just softening.
Who are you when you close the laptop? A hidden talent or hobby when not working?
When I close the laptop??? I have learned to compartmentalize my life between being a female business owner, wife and mom. When the laptop finally closes, I get to engulf myself in raising my daughter. I coach her t-ball team, take her to gymnastics, dance class and volunteer at church for her Awana's classes. My husband is in a country band and we get to go dancing on the weekends while listening to daddy play his guitar.
What piece of media (books, TV shows, movies, games, podcasts, etc.) has had the greatest impact on you in the past 12 months?
Podcasts have the greatest impact on me. I do a lot of driving as a salesperson. I listen to Dave Ramsey mostly to learn how to become debt free and invest our money.