The Texas ground water industry got together Jan. 23-26 at the Waco Hilton Hotel/Waco Convention Center for the Texas Ground Water Association’s (TGWA) 60th annual convention and trade show.

Educational opportunities abounded as a big slate of seminar programs offered a total of 16 continuing education sessions (you could earn one CE credit just by visiting the exhibit hall).

According to the association’s executive secretary, Leroy Goodson, the trade show floor boasted 120 booth spaces, giving the 700-plus in attendance plenty of opportunity to take in the industry’s latest technical innovations for water industry professionals.

Let’s meet the new TGWA officers. In the Contractor and Drillers division, Jerry Browning (Millican Well Service in Fort Worth) is president; the president-elect is Patrick Casarez (Patrick Water Well, Cleveland); Raymond Whisenant Jr. (Whisenant & Lyle Water Services Inc., Dripping Springs) is vice president; and the new secretary/treasurer is Dale Felder (Felder Water Well and Pump Service, Angleton).

For the Ground Water Science division, the new president is John Waugh (San Antonio Water System); Steve Musick (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Austin) is the new vice president; and Rusty Tarver (Geoprojects International Inc., Austin) is secretary.

On the Manufacturers and Suppliers division side, Joe Dobry (Baroid Industrial Drilling Products) is the new president; Ronnie Hensley (Global Pumps) is vice president; and the new secretary is Judy Herndon (Drillmaster International).

Convention time is just the setting for acknowledging the contributions and efforts of some of the association’s leading players. The Contractor of the Year Award went to Jim Bob Neely (Neely Water Well Service, Riviera).

The Manufacturers and Suppliers division’s Person of the Year went to Dan Gardner (Preferred Pump).

Two Lifetime Memberships were awarded. Raymond Felder (Felder Water Well and Pump Service, Angleton) and Gene Blaylock (Associated Pump and Supply) took home those honors.

The President’s Award (a new award for this year) was bestowed upon Karin Malone (Malone Well Service, Weatherford).

Sherri Abel (Abel Water Systems, San Angelo) received the biannual Lois Gavin Award as Outstanding Lady of the Association.

Dan Gardner (Preferred Pump) was honored as Manufacturers and Suppliers division’s Person of the Year.

Generous convention-goers really hit the hip when it came to the TGWA’s scholarship education fund and super chapter auction – nearly $29,000 was netted.

Calendar note for next year: TGWA’s 61st annual get-together takes place in Lubbock, the last week of January 2008.