The Michigan Ground Water Association (MGWA) hosted its 78th annual convention and trade show in Grand Rapids, Mich., March 28-29. Despite the sluggish state economy, the association held its own: 600 industry members attended the two-day event.
When asked about the show, executive director John Schmitt notes: “We had exactly 600 [attendees] - 333 contractors and their employees, 215 exhibitors, plus non-exhibiting manufacturers and suppliers, and 52 ladies auxiliary, so it came out to exactly 600.”
YourNational Drillerstaff moderated a panel discussion, “Doing Business in a Changing Economic Environment.” Composed of contractors and a supplier, the panel considered topics such as the importance of knowing the cost of doing business and increasing profitability by identifying profit centers in your business. The audience was invited to ask the panel members questions, and a lively discussion ensued. Panelists included Steven J. Simmons, Ken Simmons Well Drilling, West Branch, Mich.; Charles “Buddy” Sebastian, Sebastian & Sons Well Drilling, Springport, Mich.; Stacy Podjun, Podjun Well Drilling, Fenton, Mich.; and Glenn Jandernoa, Valley Farms Supply, Fowler, Mich.
Several people were named life members: Ed Zientek, B & Z Well Drilling, Maple City, Mich.; Jerry Fettig, Boyne City, Mich.; Bob Larson, Robert A. Larson Well Drilling, L'Anse, Mich.; and Lloyd Richcreek, Richcreek Well Drilling, Watervliet, Mich.
Election ResultsElections had taken place, and the results were announced. “Bryan Brewer, who is our current president, was re-elected to another term,” Schmitt reports. “The first vice-president is going to be Richard Frey. Our second vice-president is Bob Gates. The new secretary will be William Corsaut. Steve McPhearson was re-elected as our treasurer.”
A number of new directors were appointed: Dion Foune, Foune Well Drilling, Paw Paw, Mich.; Greg McCarty, McCarty Well Driling, Buchanan, Mich.; Steve J. Simmons, Ken Simmons Well Drilling, West Branch, Mich.; Vern Coan, C&C Well Drilling, Kalkaska, Mich.; suppliers' director Glenn Jandernoa, Valley Farms Supply, Fowler, Mich.; and manufacturers' director Doug Kirchner, Pentair Water.
The new officers and directors will take office for a one-year term beginning in October.
Looking AheadSumming up his thoughts on the 2006 show, Schmitt reveals, “I think, frankly, the industry is struggling. I think the industry is in one of those times when great changes are taking place, and oftentimes, change is painful. Are we going to perish from the earth quickly? I don't think so. But it's a time of challenge. In that respect, the overall picture is that we did pretty well. People had a good time. In a challenging time, we can say we did pretty well.”
The industry can look forward to another well-run MGWA convention next year in Grand Rapids, Mich., March 20-21, 2007.