Can you speak a little bit about how this Jubilee will be different from others?
The South Atlantic Jubilee has always been a great event, no matter where it was held. But after the event was away from Myrtle Beach for two years, this year’s return is going to result in a fantastic show. All early indicators are that participation, from both a vendor and contractor standpoint, is going to be outstanding. It’s going to be the best Jubilee in years.
The theme for this year is “back to grass roots.” What does the return to the event’s historic home of Myrtle Beach mean for Jubilee organizers?
Not many people realize that the Jubilee started back in 1955 at Carolina Beach, N.C.. It didn’t move to Myrtle Beach until 1970 and, at the time, people were concerned that the Jubilee’s days as a cozy get-together in a quiet beach town would be lost. They were right about the quiet beach town of course, but the Jubilee still has that cozy feel to it.
Jubilee has a reputation for being an event that groundwater professionals can attend with their families. Can you talk a bit about the family offerings at this year’s event?
You’re right; from the very beginning, the Jubilee was designed as a family event. You can find lots of water systems contractors that remember coming to the Jubilee as small children, tagging along with mom and dad. Today, those contractors are bringing their children and even their grandchildren.
The Myrtle Beach venue has always been a great place to bring a family for a summer vacation, and what facilitated the family atmosphere of the Jubilee even more was the timing. Although earlier starts of school years have cut into this somewhat, historically, for many families the Jubilee is their big summer vacation before school starts.
This year, the Jubilee will be even more family-oriented. There’s a Kid Zone during the trade show, and during the family picnic, a cornhole tournament and face painting.
It’s going to be a great time.
Jubilee has been around for decades. Can you talk a bit about how the groundwater industry has changed in that time?
Wow, that’s a huge topic. The Jubilee started in 1955 at Carolina Beach, N.C., so next year will be the 60th anniversary. Many, many things have changed since then: increasing regulations, more licensing requirements and new drilling technologies, just to name a couple. However, a lot of things haven’t changed. We are in a terrific industry with great people that delivers a basic need in the form of a high quality product (groundwater) in a highly efficient manner.
Tell me about the “Wall of Honor” display for this year’s event. How has the response been? Anything special you can mention about this year’s display?
The Wall of Honor is unlike anything else in our industry. If you’ve never looked at it, it’s an amazing history of not only the South Atlantic Jubilee, but of our entire industry. If you’ve never spent some time looking at it, it’s well worth it.
Franklin Electric is playing a big role for 2014 as a show sponsor. What does that role mean for Franklin?
Franklin Electric has always been a participant in the South Atlantic Jubilee, and this year is a great opportunity for Franklin Electric to participate in both big and small ways. For example, one small way is parking. A few years ago, the city of Myrtle Beach mandated charging for parking at the Convention Center (the Jubilee had no control over this). Franklin Electric will be picking up the parking fees for anyone attending the Jubilee.
Are there details you can share about the “Family Picnic” event, which returns this year?
It’s going to be lots of fun. We’ve got a cornhole tournament planned which, in a way, keeps with the traditional horseshoe tournament. It should prove very popular.
Education is, of course, a big part of Jubilee. Tell me about some of the educational offerings that groundwater professionals can look forward to this year.
The Jubilee Continuing Education program has never been stronger than what it is this year. I was on the selection committee and we had more quality submissions than we could accommodate. We’ve got classes covering everything from basic troubleshooting for someone that might be new to the business, to grouting to variable frequency drives to solar pumping. There are also a couple of seminars being presented by the NGWA that look very interesting.
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