This year’s meeting of the Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals took place in Peoria, Ill., Feb. 21-22, 2008. Despite inclement weather, 200 contractors converged on the largest city on the Illinois River to attend the expo, and their effort proved to be worthwhile.

About the annual meeting, Sue Bohenstengel, the association’s executive director, says, “We think of it as the showcase and the opportunity for contractors to see the latest products or talk to the people who make them.” At the expo, 50 vendors exhibited, affording ample occasion to learn about the industry’s new and tried-and-true products.

The show also offered a host of seminars, and contractors who attended could receive continuing education credit. With four tracks available, attendees had a range of topics from which to choose – everything from welding to drill bit selection to safety was covered. Geothermal drilling made the agenda, as did pump sizing and constant pressure systems. A seminar on good hiring practices also was available. Dave Hanson gave a presentation on diagnosing wells and the various problems that might arise, and Michael Krautkramer delivered the McEllhiney lecture, “How Much Is Enough? Making Decisions in the Water Well Industry.” A session on ground water and surface water interaction completed the program.

When asked about the highlight of the meeting, Bohenstengel quips, “Nothing drastic happened, so that’s a good thing.” She laughs, and then adds, seriously, “I hoped everything would go smoothly, and of course, it did.”

Elections and Awards

Awards were bestowed at the show. “We gave out our Jack Sisson award, which recognizes a contractor who is active in the industry but still makes time on a consistent basis to promote the industry or the awareness of it,” Bohenstengel notes. “This year, we gave it to Randy Gebke, Koh- nen Concrete, Ger- mantown, Ill.”

Elections took place as well. Two directors retired this year – Larry Lyons and John Heimann – both of whom have long histories of service to the association. New directors are Mark Dragovich (Geotechnical Construction) and Shane Balding (S & J Well Drilling); incumbent Greg Buffington (Layne Western Co.) was re-elected. The new president is Steve Snelten (A & C Snelten Inc.), and Dave Dingledine (M. Ebert Co.) is the new vice president. Secretary Brian Snelten was re-elected, and the new treasurer is Andy Wiesenhofer (Reynolds Well Drilling).


Bradford Supply, Foremost Ind-ustries, Grundfos, Tri-State Tubular, Water-Right Inc. and Wyo-Ben were the general sponsors of the convention. Atlas Copco, Franklin Electric, HOK Sales, Peoria Pump and Wilmar Pump & Supply sponsored the event’s hospitality, and Peoria Pump Inc. is the yearlong sponsor of the association’s educational programs.

Mark Your Calendars

Next year, attendees can look forward to gathering in Illinois’ state capital, Springfield, for another fun-filled meeting and expo.