In review: 2014 Spring Meeting in Rockport, Maine

NEWEA’s 2014 Spring Meeting and Exhibit was held June 1-4 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine. With a guest program featuring an elephant sanctuary visit and a session on the emergency response to Maine’s 2013 ice storm, the meeting was one of our most exciting and successful yet.

Operations Challenge Participants

The weekend began with the President’s Reception on the beautiful Penobscot Bay Patio. The cool but sunny evening set the stage for a few days of relaxing, laughing, and learning. Said Sue Guswa, program coordinator, “It was a great venue for gaining new technical knowledge but also for really connecting with other attendees; a great opportunity for networking.”

CWT_9363Monday morning started with a keynote speech by Bob Crowley. A Maine native and winner of the 2008 season of “Survivor,” Crowley provided a unique perspective on the work we do, remarking on improvements in water quality he has noticed in recent years. His presentation “was not only informative but totally entertaining and had the crowd fully engaged,” explained Meeting Management Director Meg Tabacsko. “The technical sessions which followed were well attended and, based on feedback, provided relevant, interesting, and useful information.” Sessions included the popular Operator Forum, Watershed Management and Ocean Acidification, and Maine Ice Storm of 2013 – Perspectives on Emergency Preparedness.

Group bike rideOther highlights from the meeting included Tuesday morning’s group bike ride, a facility tour of the Fisher Engineering Production Facility and Pretreatment System, and a successful Operations Challenge event. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s guest program led participants on a Mid-Coast Maine Mystery Tour, which stopped at Fiore for a private tasting of Maine foods and ended at the Hope Elephant Sanctuary to visit Rosie and Opal, the sanctuary’s two residents.

The event was co-sponsored by the Maine Water Environment Association. “MEWEA was excited to have the opportunity to suggest and help coordinate tours, speakers, and sessions to give Spring Meeting attendees the feel of mid-coast Maine and provide a window into the issues on which our association is engaged, locally,” said Aubrey Strause, 2014 MEWEA President, adding,  “We like to think the amazing weather was just good karma.”

Mary BarryThis Spring Meeting marked an important transition for NEWEA: 24-year Executive Director Elizabeth Cutone retired, passing the baton to Mary Barry, a recognized leader in the New England environmental industry

Next on NEWEA’s calendar is the Operations Challenge Golf Tournament in September, which will kick off a very busy fall season filled with seminars, conferences and an exciting President’s Challenge. Click here to see more photos from the Spring Meeting. For more NEWEA updates, stay connected via our website, email, Twitter, or Facebook.

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