Thirty-two hundred people attended the 53rd Annual South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee, which took place July 26-28, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. On hand were 199 exhibiting companies that filled the trade show floor with the latest in drilling- and water professional-related products and services.

The theme for this year’s show was “Profitability In Diversity,” and that played out quite nicely. “We went through the attendance for the continuing education classes, and it was really interesting,” explains Jane Cain, the group’s executive director. “I wasn’t sure how people were going to react to that strategy, but as it turns out, the top workshops were evenly divided between drilling and construction, geothermal and water treatment sessions. And in regard to the water treatment workshops, we had some requests for some things that were more technical in nature, which is a sign that people increasingly are moving into that area. So there’s a definite rationale for continuing to diversify our offerings, particularly in the areas of water treatment and the geothermal market. And people are looking more and more at commercial markets as a way to expand their businesses beyond just residential.”

There were nearly 50 wide-ranging seminars presented, so the only difficulty was deciding on which to attend, and even that was made easier because some of the more anticipated programs were presented twice to create flexibility. Cain tells us that next year, the educational programming probably will be less broad, and more in-depth within the offerings, so people will be able to glean even more from the most compelling seminar topics.

Environmental Protection

This year saw the introduction of Jubilee’s “Go Green” initiative, with a good many exhibitors highlighting their environmentally friendly products and systems, as concern for energy efficiency and the environment is becoming increasingly intense. This effort was underscored by the biodegradable tote bags provided by Franklin Electric. “We had to move them behind the counters at registration because people kept coming back for more, and we had to make sure everyone got one,” Cain reports, adding, “There are some other things we’re hoping to do next year to keep pushing in that green direction. It’s definitely something we want to build on.”

Jubilee Cuisine

AMTROL Inc. has been sponsoring the opening breakfast for approximately forever, and Cain notes, “That’s a big contribution on their part; they fed more than 1,000 attendees. And that’s a really nice supplement for all the families that come with kids in tow.” Jubilee, of course, sponsors the Worth Pickard Family Picnic dinner. “In addition to the fact that it’s a good chance to get everyone together for some fun and hand out some awards, it’s another way to help people with the cost of their trip to Jubilee,” she explains. And how can you put a price on picnicking with celebrities? Granny and Elly May from “The Beverly Hillbillies” showed up for the shindig and had a dandy ol’ time – the lack of possum gizzards and hog jowl soup on the bill of fare notwithstanding.

The annual picnic also provides the perfect setting for annual awards presentations.

This year’s proud and deserving recipients of Jubilee academic scholarships: Candace Brown, Mary Dorn, Whitney Ferguson, Brooks Floyd, Michael Francis, Douglas Griffin, Hannah Honeycut, Sarah Magette, Carrie Mahoney, Joseph McKenna. Ashley Merrill, John Thesing, Kelly Thrift, Audessa Vaught and Robert Weaver.

The George McCall Award, which honors outstanding commitment and service to the water well industry, was presented to David Hutson of Acme Well Co., Durham, N. C.

Carl Mason of Baroid IDP was presented with the much-coveted Vendor Appreciation Award for his continuous and substantial contributions of service and support.

Wall of Honor

Jubilee is in the process of reconstructing its Wall of Honor, where the industry’s history is put on display for visitors. “We have a new display in the works, and we’re asking industry members in the Jubilee states to send us relevant pictures – generational pictures, pictures of rigs with the company names on them, jobsite pictures, people photos and the like – things that can help commemorate the industry and its history.” Kindly send your contributions to Jubilee headquarters at P.O. Box 1290, New Market, Va. 22844.

Here’s where we recognize the generous contributions of the 2008 Jubilee sponsors. Special thanks to AMTROL Inc., Atlas Copco CMT USA Inc., BERKELEY/Pentair Water, Drillers Service Inc., Franklin Electric, Mincon Inc., PermaTank and Wyo-Ben Inc.

Mark you calendars for Aug. 1-3, 2009, when the 54th installment of this always-stellar event takes place – at the beach, of course.