President’s Message:  Try A Different Resolution This Year

I hope you and your family enjoyed the holiday season, and were able to take some time out of your busy lives to spend some time with family and friends.  As I’m writing this message I’m looking out the window at a snowy, wintery scene.  Winter is a time of year where it’s often cold and snowy, and quite frankly, not that picture-perfect day on the beach many people dream about.  As an avid outdoorsman I truly enjoy all four seasons, but to do so you have to find a hobby or activity that fits your personal interests and location. 

We all know there are some of those days when it is just not enjoyable to be outdoors in Wisconsin in the winter time; however, there are plenty of calm sunny days in the winter where a little warm clothing will be plenty to keep you comfortable if you remain active.  Get outside, get some fresh air, and get the blood pumping this winter.  If you’re not an avid snowmobiler or ice fisherman, there are plenty of other winter activities to enjoy in Wisconsin to get you outdoors and make the season more enjoyable.  Take a walk in a local park or through your community to admire the beauty of nature in this frigid season.  Strap on a pair of snowshoes and take a hike through the woods to explore all of the tracks, trails, and signs of wildlife that you would otherwise assume are nowhere to be found during this season.  As you begin to look a bit closer, you’ll find there’s a lot more to see and experience than you believe.  Give cross-country skiing or downhill skiing a try.  There are plenty of facilities that offer lessons and used apparel if you’re willing to give it a try.  Whatever you do, take some time out of your busy life to get outside and enjoy the season.

This is also the time of year where people traditionally make their New Year’s resolutions.  This year, rather than making the same old resolution to lose weight (which most of us are never very enthusiastic about), try making a resolution to do something you are motivated to do and passionate about.  Do something that will make a difference in the wastewater industry.  Contact the local school in your community and offer to talk to one of the classes about the importance of clean water and what you do for a living.  Offer a tour of your facility to local schools, civic groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, etc.  Write an article in your local newspaper to explain how vital your role is to public health and the environment.  Promote the wastewater industry and demonstrate how it fits into the new focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers.  This is your chance to connect with your local community.

As a professional in the wastewater industry you have the opportunity to break down the misunderstandings of what wastewater is like and help elevate the profession to be something high school students are aware of and consider as they select a career path along with the appropriate university or technical college.  Talk to your local high school guidance counselor and ask them to integrate more information about careers in water and wastewater into their list of career options.  There are countless ways you can do your part in the community.

This year, rather than making that same old weight loss resolution, go make a difference in your community and help raise awareness to encourage the next generation to have a passion for water.  Future generations will thank you.


Jeff Smudde

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