First and foremost, thank you to member InSinkErator, for graciously hosting The Water Council and all of our members for the Quarterly Meeting, and allowing us to experience the operations in action. It was great to see many new faces at the meeting, as well as all you returning members; for those that were unable to attend, here is a brief summary of the meeting:
-Racine Mayor John Dickert addressed the audience, extending a warm welcome to all. He also emphasized the city of Racine’s commitment to clean water, boasting that North Beach is one of the country’s top 200 beaches, while also encouraging those in attendance to return and enjoy downtown Racine and North Beach for a “day-cation.”
-Tim Ferry, InSinkErator, also welcomed the group, and gave an overview of the company’s 75 year history, from the invention of the first disposer in 1927, up to the present–150 million disposers later. InSinkErator stands as the world’s largest, and only U.S. manufacturer, of food-waste disposers.
-Lee Swindall, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), discussed his pleasure with the pace of development within the water technology industry in Wisconsin. He emphasized the importance that the water industry will play in the reinvention of the city of Milwaukee, as well as how WEDC’s investment in the water cluster will serve as a model for future priority industry sectors. Swindall said, “I am 100 percent confident, I don’t have a shred of doubt in my mind, that these strategic leaps that we’re making, this is a sterling example of that, are going to transform the city of Milwaukee, in five to ten years…I am completely confident that within a period of two years, the Harvard School of Business, the Harvard Institute, is going to be turning the lens on Milwaukee, to demonstrate how urban redemption, renovation and recovery is done.”
-David Kliber, SF Analytical Laboratories, gave an update on the Council of Great Lakes Region(CGLR), and measures being taken to ensure the levels of the world’s most abundant source of freshwater is sustained.
-Meghan Jensen, The Water Council, made her first appearance as the new Communications Director of The Water Council, and gave a brief overview of events that will take place during Milwaukee Water Week, September 9-12, 2013, which coincides with the Healing Our Waters Convention/Great Lakes Week, culminating with Innovation Flows!, the grand opening celebration of the Global Water Center. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased here: www.thewatercouncil.com/InnovationFlows
-Elizabeth Thelen, The Water Council, recognized the inaugural winners of the Global Freshwater Seed Accelerator(GFSA) program, as well as the other start-up companies that will occupy the Global Water Center. Elizabeth also stressed the importance and need of member companies to create opportunities, in the form of mentoring programs, internships and apprenticeships, for our future water leaders. She also announced the official creation of the Water Technical Pathway Certificate that will be offered through the Milwaukee Area Technical College, meant to guide students toward a career in water technology.
-Linda Reid, UW-Whitewater, also spoke of the GFSA program, and the integral role that UW-Whitewater’s Institute of Water Business will play in the incubation, acceleration and commercialization of the start-ups in the Global Water Center.
-During Member Drops, it was announced by Hanging Gardens that the planter for the green roof at the Global Water Center had just arrived and was being unloaded. Several of our start-up companies took a moment to introduce themselves and give brief descriptions of their companies, including Noah Technologies, Microbe Detectives, Alga Bionics, H2O Score and Hanging Gardens. Finally, the Alliance for Water Stewardship announced that they are in the final stages of creating a global water stewardship standard, and they have a Beta Water Stewardship Standard up for public review and comment, which can be found on their website, in the “What We Do” section, here: http://www.allianceforwaterstewardship.org/what-we-do.html#water-stewardship-standard .
Be sure to purchase you tickets for Innovation Flows!, and register for the exciting events that will be hosted around the city during Milwaukee Water Week. Thank you to all that attended and we will see you at the Global Water Center grand opening!