After more than 34 years of combined employment by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and its subsidiaries, including more than 20 years as the CEO, Kevin McCray, CAE, will retire from the association effective Dec.31, 2017.

“I am humbled and gratified by the many diverse opportunities afforded me during my service to the association’s membership, as well as to the larger global groundwater community,” McCray told the board. “All in all, everyone has been an honor to serve.”

McCray started working for the association in 1979 as an assistant editor in its publishing subsidiary. From 1983 to 1985, he worked for an industry manufacturer and returned to NGWA in December 1985, serving in a number of roles until being named the association’s executive director in August 1995. He also serves as the chief executive of the association’s foundation.

“It has also been my special reward to work beside exceptionally dedicated and member-focused staff colleagues throughout my NGWA career,” he says. “I am confident I learned far more from them than ever could be tallied. They are NGWA, through and through.”

With McCray at the helm, NGWA has accomplished a multitude of achievements greatly impacting the groundwater community in the last 20 years. Among them are:

  • Publishing an industry standard in 2014, the ANSI/NGWA-01-14 Water Well Construction Standard
  • Developing a set of industry best suggested practices that currently numbers 19 with more in development
  • Hosting numerous national and international professional development opportunities, including events in Australia and Panama
  • Having NGWA work with several federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on a variety of programming benefiting the groundwater industry and well owners
  • Invigorated its charitable foundation, creating several endowed funds that have awarded tens of thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships
  • Hosting its biggest annual exhibition, the Groundwater Expo in 2004, with 5,959 attendees in Las Vegas
  • Seeing its technical journals grow in international recognition
  • Developing a program for well owners to become better stewards of groundwater with a website and other material specific to homeowners utilizing water well systems as their daily source of water

“I will miss the energy and satisfaction of helping any individual or any organization in need of the association’s resources,” McCray says. “I look back on a legacy of accomplishments large and small and take pride in knowing I have left valued contributions.”

NGWA Board President Jeffrey Williams, MGWC, CVCLD, is activating a task group from within the board of directors, which will meet to review a recommended transition timetable and related actions, as well as expectations for the future CEO. He anticipates the search to begin in the first quarter of 2017. NGWA is not currently accepting resumes and is not taking calls or emails about the position.

Williams anticipates the new CEO will assume his or her duties in conjunction with the 2017 Groundwater Week annual meeting and trade exposition Dec. 5-7, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.

 “As Kevin opens a new chapter in his life, NGWA must do the same,” Williams says. “I anticipate this to be a challenging but rewarding experience. Kevin has set the bar very high with his level of service and dedication, but NGWA must now embrace the opportunity to find a person that can continue to lead our Association forward. We will work hard to ensure this transition is a positive move for both Kevin and NGWA.”

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit