President’s Message – December 2019 Clarifier

Greetings to all of my professional wastewater colleagues!

Many of you enjoyed a great annual conference with us at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay in October.  We had very good attendance, with 866 registered attendees.  Thank you to everyone that presented, moderated, competed, took photos, handled registration, helped set up or take down, or assisted with the conference in any other way.  It is through all of your collective efforts that we can make this annual conference such a success each year.

As I’m writing this article I’m enjoying a beautiful fall day.  For all of you outdoors enthusiasts out there, we know that along with the cooler temperatures and falling leaves comes some great deer activity, duck migrations, and fall fishing opportunities.  Even if you don’t enjoy hunting or fishing fall can be a great time for camping, bird watching, and walks to enjoy the peace and serenity nature has to offer.  I hope you found time in your busy schedule to experience all of these great things this season. 

We are fast approaching the holiday season.  So often many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, shopping, decorating and traveling.  As an adult the season doesn’t always seem quite as magical as when we were kids.  This year, take some time to enjoy the season, cherish the time you get to spend with family and friends while enjoying family traditions or creating new ones.  This season is truly what we make of it, so when January rolls around this year, I’d love to have everyone reflect back and be pleased about how much they enjoyed their time together.

For those who do not know me as well, I’m a UW-Stevens Point grad (Go Pointers!!), and I have spent the last 19 years working in various roles at NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District.  I started my career as an intern, then worked as an Apprentice Operator, a Treatment Operator, and Treatment Leader, before moving into the Watershed Programs Manager role, and most recently the Director of Environmental Programs.  All of my roles have allowed me to focus my efforts on water, which I’ve had a deep passion for since I was young, like many other fellow WWOA members.  I have had the privilege of serving and being a part of this great organization for my entire career.  I am truly looking forward to the opportunity to work with a great Board of Directors this next year to plan and organize another great year of training sessions, workshops, and the next annual conference. 

As we think about each of our roles in the wastewater industry, take a moment to reflect on just how crucial your role is to the community you serve.  Take pride in your work, and try each day to make a difference.  I would like to share the vision statement of NEW Water:  “Protecting our most valuable resource, water”.  I truly believe each and every member of this organization lives out that vision each day in their role. 

Wishing you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season.  Stay warm, and enjoy what the season has to offer.


Jeff Smudde

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