Messages from ASDWA’s 2016 Incoming and Outgoing Presidents

It’s a new year and June Swallow, the Drinking Water Administrator for Rhode Island, is our new ASDWA President for 2016.  June is the Chief of the Office of Drinking Water Quality in the Rhode Island Department of Health.  June has been a member of ASDWA since 1989 and has served several terms on the Board of Directors for the Region 1 states and this past year as President-Elect.  She is also a member of the recent National Drinking Water Advisory Council’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Workgroup that has developed recommendations for EPA to make Long Term Revisions to the LCR.

Steve Sturgess, our 2015 President (plus a few months in 2014) and Drinking Water Administrator for Missouri, will continue to serve on the ASDWA Board for one more year as the Past-President.  A heartfelt “thank you” to both Steve and June for your leadership!

Message from June Swallow, ASDWA’s New President for 2016

june“As I race through my days putting out fires and dealing with the many issues that seem to appear every day, the hardest thing to do is to step back from the urgent to spend some time considering the bigger picture and work on the emerging issues or programmatic changes that will improve public health in the long term.

ASDWA is immensely helpful in this regard.  Certainly it is here to help with the day to day urgent issues but it also keeps us grounded in the bigger picture, giving us the national perspective, connecting us with other state programs that can provide experience on any number of issues and representing our interests to our national partners.

As I consider the year that is ending and the year to come, I would describe 2015 as the Year of the HAB.  A few spectacular blooms of cyanobacteria along with some catastrophic chemical spills brought a very welcome renewed national focus on the importance of source protection.  I predict that 2016 will bring a greater focus on legionella and other water quality issues related to distribution system operations and premise plumbing…and of course we will continue to struggle with the perennial issues of budget, staffing, and work load.

No matter what 2016 brings, ASDWA will be there to help.  I and the rest of the ASDWA Board, along with the very capable assistance of our ASDWA staff, will do our best to maintain communications, help with emerging or emergency issues, evaluate and promote long term strategic improvements, and represent your interests as best we can.

I look forward to seeing you all in Alexandria in March and may you all have a Happy New Year.”

Message from Steve Sturgess, ASDWA’s President for 2015

steve“It has been a great honor to serve as ASDWA president the past 16 months.  Things began inauspiciously for me, as I literally stumbled out of the starting gate, suffering a hamstring avulsion while on a run in Albuquerque the day before the 2014 Annual Conference.  But things quickly got back on track and I did my best to represent your interests in meetings, conferences, teleconferences, letters and other interactions this past year.

I cannot say enough about the quality of ASDWA staff and their commitment to providing first-rate service to the states.  Their knowledge and work ethic is unparalleled. We are fortunate to have Jim, Tom, Darrell, Deirdre, Anthony, and Bridget working tirelessly, behind the scenes, on the never-ending list issues confronting our programs.

Each year there is a new “crop” of administrators and staff.  I highly encourage new administrators, as well as old-timers, to get involved, any way you can, with ASDWA.  This includes taking your turn on the Board, volunteering for a committee, attending the Annual Conference and Member Meeting, or providing your input to member surveys and other requests.  Perhaps the greatest value ASDWA offers is the chance to forge relationships with your fellow administrators and their staff from around the country. These are colleagues confronting the exact same issues you are – friends you can call or email when you need a different perspective on a confounding issue.

I could not be more pleased to welcome June as the new president of ASDWA.  Her selection is well-deserved, and I am certain she will make a fantastic new president. She has years of experience and is extremely knowledgeable.  She will bring her thoughtful approach to representing your interests in 2016.”