The event was held last month at the Las Vegas Convention Center
Nearly 3,700 visitors from 56 countries gathered in Las Vegas last month for WQA Aquatech USA 2015, the annual convention and exposition presented by the Water Quality Assn. (WQA) and Amsterdam RAI. Attendees took advantage of the opportunities to gain technical knowledge, network with their peers, learn about WQA's programs and services, see new water treatment products and gain business leads during the event, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Opening General Session was highlighted by a performance by comedian and late-night television host Jay Leno. Following a 35-minute standup comedy performance, Leno sat down for an informal on-stage chat with WQA 2014-2015 President Sam Karge. WQA Aquatech USA's headline entertainer shared several valuable lessons learned over the course of his career.
WQA also awarded key honors to 11 individuals during the Opening General Session:
- Hall of Fame Award: Denise Urbans, CWS-I, ShedWater LLC, Glen Mills, Pa.;
- Lifetime Membership Award: W. Gordon Miller, CWS-V, Cleanwater Corp. of America, Marlette, Mich.;
- Honorary Membership Award: Ryan Harper, Triadvocates LLC, Phoenix;
- Ray Cross Award: Donald E. Heskett, KDF Fluid Treatment Inc.,Three Rivers, Mich., and James A. Horner, Enpress LLC, Eastlake, Ohio;
- Regents Award: Ed Robakowski, Kinetico Inc., Newbury, Ohio;
- Key Award: Cliff Fasnacht, MWS, Pacific Purification Inc., Salinas, Calif.;
- Awards of Merit: Wayne Bernahl, W. Bernahl Enterprises Ltd., Elmhurst, Ill., and Mike Mormino, Enpress LLC, Eastlake, Ohio; and
- International Award of Merit: Rajul Parikh, ALFAA UV, Mumbai, India.
Fifteen WQA members were recognized for their recruitment efforts by earning an invitation to the President's Club for 2014-2015. The following individuals earned President's Club status by recruiting three or more new members into the association within a one-year period:
- Shana Bucki of Aqua Finance Inc. (Wausau, Wis.);
- Alex Duffine of Duff Co. (Norristown, Pa.);
- Buzz Goldstein, MWS, of Charger Water Treatment Products LLC (Elgin, Ill.);
- Jo Grace (Victoria, Texas);
- Kurt Gruett, CWS, of Water-Right Inc. (Appleton, Wis.);
- C.R. Hall, MWS, of Wichita Water Conditioning Inc. dba Halls' Culligan Water (Wichita, Kan.);
- Douglas C. Haring, MWS, CI, CWR, of Pentair (Milwaukee);
- Denise Heskett-Al-Kharusy, MWS, of KDF Fluid Treatment Inc. (Three Rivers, Mich.);
- Michael Kinney, MWS, of Portasoft of Morris County (Kenvil, N.J.);
- Kurt Peterson of Water Conditioning & Purification magazine (Tucson, Ariz.);
- Greg Reyneke, MWS, of Red Fox Advisors (Beaverton, Ore.);
- Dar Watts, MWS, of SEAS Capital Partners LLC (Plymouth, Mich.);
- Barbara Wakem of Atlantic Filter Corp. (West Palm Beach, Fla.);
- Margaret Wichmann (Lenox, Mass.); and
- Chris Wilker of EcoWater Systems LLC (Woodbury, Minn.).
Special member recruitment awards were presented to President's Club members. Hall was recognized with the Golden Circle Award for recruiting 50 new members into WQA over the course of his lifetime. Wichmann and Wilker were co-winners of the Bill Peltier Award; each of them was responsible for recruiting six new members - the most of any recruiter - during the previous 12 months.
Receiving the 2014-2015 Team Award, the top recruiting team consisted of Heskett-Al-Kharusy (captain); Shanna Bucki; Kate Cline of Water Quality Products magazine (Arlington Heights, Ill.); Daina Grace of the Texas Water Quality Assn. (Victoria, Texas); Jo Grace; Cindy Gresham; Susan Kernan of Precision Installation Products Inc. (Foothill Ranch, Calif.); Nicole Reisdorfer of Allied Purchasing Co. (Mason City, Iowa); Wakem; and Wichmann.
As part of the official business meeting at the Opening General Session, WQA held its annual board election. Eight industry professionals were elected to three-year terms on WQA's board of directors at the event.