Greetings to all my TWUA colleagues. My name is Jim Siddall, and it is with gratitude that I begin my term as 2022 – 2023 TWUA Board President. I want to express my appreciation to Mike Norris and all the other past presidents, as well as current and past board members, who have as always set this association on a positive path. I have firsthand knowledge of the work and dedication of the full TWUA Board, not just in relation to the conference but throughout the year, and I am humbled to be entrusted with the responsibilities of this position. Thank you for your vote of confidence.

As I have traveled across the state attending regional and district training events, I have seen how the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts operator training. Many operators have retired, and many new or remaining operators have not met in person for over two years! Unfortunately, online meetings, while a valuable, are not as effective in helping to build meaningful professional relationships or collaborations: so much gets done during the breaks at in-person meetings. That does not happen during a Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Google Meet, or Ring Central meeting.

While social media is a staple at this point, and of course we must adapt and learn how to use it to our benefit, but local district meetings and regional training are still the best place to interact and collaborate with fellow operators. In an effort to help reduce isolation and lack of connectivity with mentors and supporters, the TWUA Board of Directors is committed to improving the availability and content of our training programs and encourage operators across the state join the association. The products and resources of TWUA must be available to all utilities so they can provide the best possible service to their communities, which help build trust in the agencies.

The board and I want you to be committed and active in this great association. If you are unfamiliar, you might wonder what we offer? Well, we are dedicated to helping the utility profession to move forward in this post-pandemic world.

We are:
 Informative. Sharing knowledge is at the heart of what we do — through symposiums, networking events, continuing education offerings, our professional journal and more.

We are:
 Established. Since 1918, we have been the most respected advocate for utility professionals, working hard to advance the profession and the individuals who choose it.

We are:
 Connected. With 8,000 members in all 254 counties around the state, we connect professional operators to a vast community of peers, resources, and opportunities.

We are:
 Passionate. Our members are dedicated to making the world a safer and healthier place. We share their dedication and are passionate about helping them achieve their goals

We are:
 Providers of license renewal training hosted by local districts.  From recent changes in the TCEQ rules to new technological tools that will make your job easier. These meetings provide continuing education to help you stay updated on virtually everything happening in the utility world.

We want you to be a member of the best waterworks organization in the nation, help us to help you reach your career goals.

We want you to be active in the association. Give a little receive a lot. Attend meetings. Support regional schools. Recruit new members.

We want you to be around other operators with different viewpoints which will expose you to new ideas and outlooks

I will once again this year be traveling around the state visiting regional and district meetings and events. I hope to meet and discuss your ideas and concerns on how to improve TWUA. If have suggestions or you wish to serve on a committee to help us grow this association, please contact me.

Jim Siddall