Laibe Corp.'s Kevin Alvey gets a visit from Donald and Michael Hall (Hall's Pump & Well Service Inc.).

The Florida Ground Water Association's 2006 Annual Convention and Trade Show took place May 18-20, at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, and the theme for this year's event was “Changing with the Times … Where Will You Be?” This matched well with the convention's intention of showcasing new products, systems, techniques and concepts that can benefit drilling contractors, in particular, and the industry, in general. Per usual, the meeting offered ample opportunities for more than 800 industry players to learn, socialize and become better drillers and businesspeople. The only constant being change, this was the place to either catch up or get ahead.

Roy Lilland of Tampa Well Drilling Inc. confers with Tim Myers (Myers Well Drilling Co.).

The ladies representing Water Purification Inc.: Heather Banks, along with Ashlyn and Jade.

Continuing education programs were offered in a concurrent format, allowing contractors to choose the most appropriate classes for their businesses while meeting their licensing renewal obligations. A small sampling of the topics covered: DEP rules, drilling fluids, constant pressure controls, increasing profitability, wire line logging, three-phase motors, water treatment, job site safety and down-hole video. And, just by visiting the 62 indoor exhibit booths and the outdoor display area, attendees were able to secure two CEU credits. The exhibit floor was open for a total of eight hours over the two days; of course, the outdoor displays put in overtime, drawing varying-sized crowds at all times during the event.

At the outdoor exhibit area, Ray and J.R. Newberry (Ray Newberry Well Drilling) check out the rigs.

FGWA Golf - Rick Hutchings and Roger Eisler (CME), Dean Laramore (National Driller), Stan Walls (Sun-Star Electric). “Wish you could have been here, Longball.”

The Sunshine State group also has a new leadership team, elected at the annual general membership meeting. The president is Pat Partridge (Partridge Well Drilling); the vice president is Tracy Smith (O.E. Smith's Sons); secretary/treasurer still is Griffin Crosby (Crosby Well Drilling); and David Boozer remains executive director. Seven individuals were elected to two-year terms to the association's board of directors: Pat Partridge, Tracy Smith, Bob Caswell (Coast Pump), J.D. Kemp (Kemp Geological Service), Dottie Mixon Roberts (Mixon Drilling Inc.), Carl Wood (Franklin Electric) and Harris George (George's Well Drilling). Best of luck to these folks with their important responsibilities.

J.P. Scott of Layne Christensen visits with Ken Crago at the CertainTeed booth.

Lots of fun at the poolside party.

Looking ahead to next year, the Florida Ground Water Association's 2007 Convention and Trade Show takes place May 10-12, again at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando.

John Walker of Drilling World talks with David Vanlandingham (Atlas Well Drilling).

Dottie Mixon Roberts accepts her “FGWA Lifetime Membership Award,” recognizing her service and dedication to the association. Presenting is FGWA executive director David Boozer.