Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

There are always challenges in the business realm, some of which make business owners feel uncomfortably out of control of their destiny. Being at the mercy of market forces, bad economic policy, Mother Nature or a host of other business bandits can force a company to reflect upon what works and what does not. Knowing when to walk away and start something new is the key to harnessing the energy of obstacles and challenges and riding them out to successful conclusions.

Such is the case with vertical markets that appear to be winning solutions for overcoming bad economics. Many dealers re-invent themselves and their business focus out of necessity rather than choice and, for many, that can be a defining moment for their future. Others stoically endure what is beyond their control, still seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But have they missed opportunities in the process?

Over the past few years, the shift to enhanced business models has been fraught with problems for many. WQA has tried to reorient its focus as well, to encompass a broader audience of larger market segments, including the industrial realm. And like any project that strikes out in a new direction, it will take time for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and the organization to determine if the expansion to aligned markets will bring the benefits that were expected.

In our recap of the WQA Annual Convention, David Martin focuses his coverage on industrial market players as well as WQA’s assessment of its programs for those wishing broader engagement of that segment of the water industry. We also report on the highlights, including honors and awards, that are important to members who may not have been able to attend. In addition, Marianne Metzger reinforces the importance of water testing and how the change of seasons opens the door for increased contamination events. Every dealer should be providing the best information and products to consumers, so this baseline approach to meeting consumer and public health needs is pivotal. And on that note, Dr. Kelly Reynolds reports on the recent chemical spill in West Virginia, which is still perceived as an ongoing health threat to residents.

As you turn the pages of this issue, think of what it means to you and your staff. Are they looking for more information on a specific subject, and finding it within our covers? Do you want to bring your expertise to a larger audience? Let us know how we’re doing and what else you would like to see. Maybe, it’s time to share your own knowledge with the industry. We’re always close by and ready to listen…so drop us a line!



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