THE ORIGINAL TRAIL BLAZER
BRIAN THORBURN, PO — EPCOR WATER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
On a calm September day, 2014, Brian Thorburn of British Columbia made history by becoming the very first to fulfill the requirements to earn a Professional Operator certification and designation. Passing his examination with flying colors, Brian, a long-time ABC volunteer, was given the distinct opportunity to be the first to realize a goal that was nothing more than a dream just a few years earlier.
Along with a number of other veteran volunteers, Brian served on the ABC Board of Directors’ 2011 Professional Designation Task Force and helped outline the initial vision of the PO credential. It was from this group’s preliminary discussions that the concept of the credential was created, which was later formally instituted by Certification Commission for Environmental Professionals’ (C2EP) Professional Operator program. “Our goal was to change mindsets,” says Brian. “Society doesn’t know any better; doesn’t know the importance of what operators do. The PO sheds a new light on the job.”
Though his personal contributions to the creation of the PO program are monumental, Brian remains humble. Like many operators, Brian quietly recognizes that his role in his community is crucial, though it may not always be visible. “I like to think that we’re kind of like unsung heroes, you know: we’re doing exactly what we do every day because we enjoy doing it, and we know that we’re performing an essential link in the health and environment chain.”
With his commitment to excellence in operations, his unflinching volunteer service to the industry, and his vision for a greater future for operators through professional recognition, Brian Thorburn, PO truly embodies what it means to be a Professional Operator.
C2EP is committed to protecting public health and the environment through certification and professional designation of water industry professionals.