An End And Beginning For NASSCO Leadership

The Last Word
By Irvin Gemora, NASSCO Executive Director | December 2009 Vol. 64 No. 12

Dear NASSCO Members:

The famous English proverb, "All good things must come to an end," is as true as it is misunderstood. While I believe good things do end, they are so often replaced by other good things in life. That perspective is so important to remember.

I write these words because the many years of hard work and good times here at NASSCO are coming to an end for me in the not-too-distant future. During the October WEFTEC show in Orlando, I announced my plans and estimated retirement beginning in February 2011, following NASSCO's annual meeting in Puerto Rico. I thoughtfully made this decision and announcement to give myself and NASSCO ample opportunity to plan for my departure and, most importantly, secure a new executive director. I will proudly pass the torch and share the knowledge I've learned over the years to help NASSCO continue to grow on its successful path.

As executive director of the industry's leading trade association, I've been honored to learn and grow in this important role during the past eight years. Our industry is still considered young and watching it grow has been exciting. As I look back, I think about all that has changed since I was a young sewer rat, literally getting down and dirty to learn on the job. Most of the resources we have today existed in concept more than reality – it was trial and error and it was a lot of hard work. Training classes, guidelines and certifications existed, but not at the levels available today. The many products and processes for rehabilitation of the infrastructure available now are exciting and promise a bright future for the industry and all who work in it.

We're still working diligently as an industry and we have a long way to go to get the support we need, such as securing funding and building ongoing public awareness, but we've come so far. In the past year alone we've seen our industry on the front page of leading newspapers, particularly in articles about the need for appropriate funding. Personally, I can't think of anything more important, from a public health perspective, than to spend federal dollars on our nation's most vital asset – public sewer systems and clean water. My hope is that this funding will become a reality and not simply words in print.

I've enjoyed my career and I know I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity to serve the industry and contribute to the growth of a powerful membership based association where networking, training and education keep members coming back year after year. For decades now, we've come together to learn, grow, share stories, see old friends and make new ones.