The Michigan Ground Water Association held its 73rd annual convention at the end of March in the capital city of Lansing, and there were highlights aplenty.

Visiting on the trade show floor (l-r): Rick Schondel (Sta-Rite Industries Inc.); Michael Dye and Ryan Adams (Adams Well Drilling, Howell); and Jeff Cross (Sta-Rite).

Executive director John Schmitt is presented his honorary lifetime member plaque by association president Jack Belt.
The Michigan Ground Water Association recently reinforced yet again its reputation as one of the drilling industry's elite organizations. The group held its 73rd annual convention at the end of March in the capital city of Lansing, and there were highlights aplenty.

Bob Ward acknowledges his peers' accolades and accepts the association's highest award.
More than 700 participants spent two busy days taking in a variety of educational seminars and walking the trade show floor. Seminar topics included pump tests, water main projects, legislative issues and well abandonment (look for an article based on this presentation given by Jim McEwan later this year). The exhibit hall gave attendees 51±2 hours to check out the latest product and service offerings that suppliers were displaying in the 79 exhibit spaces and the heavy equipment area.

While admittedly a feel-good event, the awards dinner had a special buzz to it - the professional pride permeating the room was most obvious as nearly 200 industry colleagues celebrated the recent past and looked ahead to a promising future. Bob Ward (S. Ward & Son, Clarkston) was a very gracious recipient of the association's Well Driller of the Year Award. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Clinton Daniels (Schramm Inc.), whose efforts obviously stood out because these Michigan folks aren't going to give a Buckeye an award unless he's something extra special. A plaque signifying honorary lifetime membership to the association was bestowed upon a most-deserving John Schmitt, the association's executive director.

A good time at the banquet (l-r): Judy and Boomer Thomas (Hartsig Supply Co., Auburn Hills); Don and Cleo Carter (Carter Well Drilling, Carsonville); and Joan and Norman Buer (Buer Water Well Drilling, Alto).
The annual business meeting saw a big turnout, in no small part due to an interesting proposal carried over from the previous year: to revert the organization's name back to the Michigan Well Drillers Association, the group's name from 1940 to 1995. After the pros and cons were thoroughly discussed, the vote was 63 to 10 to retain the Michigan Ground Water Association designation.

Elections for association officers were easy on the Rolodex; everyone from 2000-2001 was re-elected for 2001-2002. Jack Belt (W.S. Belt & Sons Inc., Allenton) was re-elected to a third term as president; Michael Oberlitner (Oberlitner & Associates, Ashley) has another go as first vice president; second vice president is Bryan Brewer (Central Wells and Pumps, Muskegon); Michael Mattson (Mattson & Sons Well Drilling, Wolverine) continues as secretary; and Gerald Hart (Hart Well Drilling, Mason) stays on as treasurer.

Looking ahead to 2002, the place to be March 11-12 will again be the Lansing Center, where the Michigan water industry will get together for show No. 74.