AWRA is celebrating its 50th aniversary this year and a gaggle (17) of past presidents gathered for a photo at its recent annual conference. Three more - Richard Tucker (1980), Gerry Galloway (2007), and David DeWalle (2006) were present but are not in the photo.
The ones in the photo are:
Front row: Bob Moresi (2004), Yours Truly (2011), Jerry Sehlke (2009), and Ken Lanfear (2002)
Back row: Ari Michelsen (2010), Stephan Nix (1997), David Moody (1992), Janet Bowers (2000), C. Mark Dunning (2014), Arlene Dietz (1987), Jane Rowan (2008), Carol Collier (2013), Bill Battaglin (2012), Donald Potts (1996), Nancy Lopez (1994), Jerry Rogers (1989), and Chuck Mosher (1993)
BTW, 'OWAG' is my cutesy acronym for 'Old White American Guy' (and its politically incorrect sibling, 'Gal'), and there are a number of male OWAGs above. It should be noted that with a few exceptions (yours truly in red) the OWAGs were not OWAGs when they were president. I actually think most of those above have aged very well.
AWRA has had just seven women presidents in its 50 years - not that good. Its first was not until 1987, when economist Arlene Dietz (behind my right shoulder) took the helm. Five of the seven are in this photo. From left to right in the back row: Janet Bowers, Arlene Dietz, Jane Rowan, Carol Collier,and Nancy Lopez. Missing are Melinda Lalor (2005) and Jane Valentine (2003). Things have obviously picked up since the start of this century. We will have another one in 2016 when Martha Corrozi Narvaez assumes the top leadership position. I suspect several more will follow in quick succession after Martha. Just sayin'....
Here is our founder, Dr. Sandor Csallany, cutting the cake:
It is fitting that I am posting this from Csallany's native country, Hungary, whence he and his wife Agnes escaped in 1957.
Past Presidents Jerry Rogers and David DeWalle did us all a great service by assembling a history of AWRA:
I would love to be able to make it to the 75th anniversary, but that's a long shot (age: 91), especially if sentience is a requirement.
Suffice it to say that AWRA is a fabulous organization, and I am honored and humbled to be in such a select group of water leaders.
I am hard-pressed to come up with a better quote than this, the same one Rogers and DeWalle used in their AWRA history publication:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead