Looking Back on 2011

While the organization made big strides, members pulled together to bring a key NASSCO staffer back from “exile”

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As the year ends, we at NASSCO can look back at many major milestones. Over the past twelve months, NASSCO has made significant operational improvements and has implemented a number of quality assurance initiatives including:

• Recertification program for PACP (Pipeline Assessment Certification Program) users and trainers

• Partnership with CSA Standards to make PACP available in Canada

• Online PACP Review for those preparing to take PACP, and a refresher for others

• Software certification requirements and initiatives to maintain quality data

• Inclusion of PACP in the Water Environment Federation Operations Challenge.

While we are proud of those accomplishments and appreciate the work of NASSCO’s board of directors and staff, our most valued assets are our people, the volunteer members who contribute so much of their time throughout the year to make these great things happen.

In 2011, NASSCO also welcomed its first woman board president. Kathy Romans, national sales manager of Trelleborg NPC Pipe Seals, has been a strong force in accomplishing many of the goals we set this past year. In her words, “While we’ve established the standards, it is now up to us to raise the bar on those standards by staying true to NASSCO’s mission.”

This year we also celebrated the retirement of Irv Gemora, former executive director. During the annual meeting in Puerto Rico last February, members honored Irv, a legendary presence in the world of trenchless technology. We are grateful to have had his leadership, and he continues to provide technical knowledge and support of our mission, even in retirement.

Finally, NASSCO members came together as never before to bring Diego Calderon, our technical assistant, back to the United States safely from what he expected to be a short visit to Colombia. Diego, a native Colombian, had returned home to take care of personal business while his wife and job here at NASSCO waited for him. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consulate Office in Colombia denied his return, stating that his visa was under “administrative processing.”

After repeated inquiries from our office, we still had no answers, and Diego was stranded in Colombia for eight long months. What finally turned the tide was an outpouring of support from NASSCO members. We are told time and time again that one of the greatest benefits of NASSCO membership is networking, and a committed network is what it finally took to bring Diego home. An overwhelming response to our letter-writing campaign to elected officials quickly led to Diego’s safe return to his wife, his home and his work. F

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at director@nassco.org. NASSCO is located at 11521 Cronridge Drive, Suite J, Owings Mills, MD 21117


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