PROFESSIONAL OPERATORS HONORED
DURING ABC’S ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY
A Professional Operator’s journey doesn’t end after receiving their certificate and pin. In fact, it’s just the beginning of their PO Code of Conduct commitment to “promote and encourage the highest quality of water/wastewater facility/system operation within the industry.” Seven POs who truly took this commitment to heart were among the honorees on stage during ABC’s Annual Awards Ceremony, held during the Innovation in Certification Annual Conference & Trainers Workshop in San Antonio, Texas this past January.
A common theme of the Conference was the ripple effect, or, how a single drop of water (a seemingly small action) can cause ripples of change and innovation. The men and women who took the stage to receive their awards are prime examples of individuals whose actions caused an ongoing effect in their utilities, communities, and the water industry as a whole. Take a moment to thank the people you know who create positive ripples in the world around them, and meet the POs who are leading by example:
JESS JONES EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE AWARD
Cheryl has been an advocate for ABC, C2EP, and the Professional Operator Program through her passionate messages to fellow operators both in the U.S. and abroad. “Cheryl is a valued member of the Certification Commission for Environmental Professionals,” said John Solvie, C2EP Chair. “Her technical expertise and professionalism runs deep, and raises the bar for C2EP and the water industry as a whole. Cheryl’s integrity and her passion for clean water and operator professionalism far exceeds her involvement with ABC. It’s a privilege to call her colleague and an honor to call her friend.”
Chuck Van Der Kolk, HPO said Cheryl “has more knowledge than any person I've ever met, is highly respective, has amazing leadership skills, and a passion for the water profession.” Likewise, fellow PO and PNWS-AWWA volunteer Mike McClenathan praised Cheryl’s leadership during ABC’s exam development process, and called her commitment to the industry a “blessing to operators throughout the country.”
JESS JONES EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE AWARD
With less than 48 hours’ notice and no hesitation, a group of individuals ABC affectionately calls “The Math Squad” dropped everything to serve their profession in a volunteer capacity. “It’s not every day you get a group of people willing to fly to Des Moines, Iowa with little notice to spend two days locked in a conference room pouring over math equations,” said ABC President & CEO, Paul Bishop. “It was truly humbling to witness their dedication and sacrifice.”
The Math Squad members were also outstanding volunteers through all phases of ABC’s exam development process. Psychometrician Dr. Andrew Falcone witnessed their hard work firsthand and said, “Throughout the process, these steadfast individuals had one goal in mind, and that was to improve their profession, propel it forward, raise the standards, and improve the knowledge and competency levels of the practitioners in the water and wastewater industry. I sat down and calculated the number of hours that they put in and I come up with about 150, or about 18-20 days, yikes! How many people would have done that?”
DR. KENNETH D. KERRI EXCELLENCE IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AWARD
DENNIS ROYAL SMITH, PO – U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WASHINGTON AQUEDUCT
On a regular basis, Dennis takes time out of his busy schedule to prepare current and potential employees, even those with no prior experience, to pass their water treatment and water laboratory exams. In addition, he teaches water treatment and math prep classes. Dennis is actively involved in the Army’s STEM program, and participates in library STEM programs to encourage future generations, including his own grandchildren, to embrace science.
“Mr. Smith is knowledgeable and always willing to ‘talk, teach and discuss’ all things water and science,” said Washington Aqueduct colleague John Delacey. “He daily encourages coworkers to achieve higher certification and embrace advancing technologies.”
HARRIS F. SEIDEL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Mike has more than 30 years in the water and wastewater industry. He has served as the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) President and CEO and has volunteered his time with ABC as Board Chair, and on the Awards, Canadian Certification, Communications, Conference, Finance, Membership, and Trainers Committees.
Mike is, as fellow ABC and EOCP volunteer Brian Thorburn puts it, “a poster boy of what an ABC volunteer does in that he gives so much of his time for such a worthwhile cause. The endless hours that he spent building a better certification program in our province enabled the EOCP to accomplish so many things during his time there.”
C2EP is committed to protecting public health and the environment through certification and professional designation of water industry professionals.