November 2013 Quarterly Member Meeting Recap

IMG_20131112_161359_083Tuesday, November 12 marked our 4th Quarter Member Meeting! Thank you to our  host, A.O. Smith. It was great to see so many familiar faces in attendance, as well as many new ones. For those that were unable to attend, here is a brief recap.

Executive Chairman Paul Jones, A.O. Smith Corporation, commenced the meeting by offering a warm welcome to all in attendance. 

Our Featured Speaker, Dave Haataja, President & CEO, Water Quality Association, described his company as an international trade association for the water treatment industry, with offices in Chicago and Shanghai, China; they are also looking to expand their presence to India and Europe. Dave stressed that he was present because The Water Council and the Water Quality Association (WQA) have a shared mission serving the water industry by creating opportunities to create consumer awareness, market innovative technologies, and grow membership. WQA boasts membership of approximately 2,700 companies around the world, involved in commercial, residential, and industrial water treatment. He emphasized that Water Council members can benefit from partnering with WQA by using them as a source of  information on industry trends, regulatory & legislative concerns, education & training opportunities, and certification requirements across the US, and globally.

Guest presenter and member of The Water Council, Rick Nelson, Strategic Frontiers, LLC, discussed how a new age of entrepreneurism is emerging in Wisconsin, noting that there are currently investments annually of $100-150 million, and that the state of Wisconsin is on a pathway to reach $300 million of investment in early stage companies in the coming years. He also stressed that investors should be engaged partners, and get to know the entrepreneurs by building relationships first, finding that “diamond in the rough,” and then helping them to build bridges and transition them to a self’-sustaining entity.

Committee Updates: 

Marketing Update: Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership, The Water Council, informed the audience that since the grand opening of the Global Water Center, we have received much attention and interest from International Delegations, and have hosted many open houses, board meetings, and lectures for our tenants and members. Senator Tammy Baldwin also stopped by for a look at the finished product, to which Rich Meeusen added showing her the Purleve Automatic Sleeve Dispenser installed by tenant Xela Innovations, meant to prevent germs from spreading via the door handle. Other updates included: an announcement that the green roof system has been installed at the GWC, through collaborative work of tenants Hanging Gardens, Fund for Lake Michigan, and Vegetal i.D. We have also recently received two awards, the first from the Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Women Impact Achievement Award, and the second from the International Economic Development Council for their Bronze Excellence Award for Technology Based Economic Development.

Meghan invited members to join the WC and Milwaukee Institute, who have opened up their advanced computing technologies to GWC tenants, for a presentation on November 20 and also extended an invitation to join Michael Best & Friedrich LLP for an IP Session on Patents on November 21. Interested parties should RSVP to Meghan at

It was also announced that Water Summit VII will take place June 18-19, 2014 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Centre, in Downtown Milwaukee, so mark your calendars, and watch for additional details and sponsorship opportunities to follow soon!

Talent Education Development Committee: Elizabeth Thelen, The Water Council, announced that they have appointed a new Co-Chair to the committee, Joe Russell, President, Watertech USA. As of their last meeting it was determined that top priority will be given to the Team Interns and Team Pathways projects, to build a Career Pathway Map in Water, as well as promote and expand the Internship program already in place.

The talent committee is looking for Sponsors to fund an episode of Into the Outdoors, centered around water, to air in 2014. Into the Outdoors is a TV show targeted at 5th-8th Graders which airs on Sundays.

Elizabeth also stressed the need for members to get involved, either by hosting an intern, becoming a water career coach, hosting special events, joining a career panel, or becoming a Co-Chair on a committee, in order to facilitate creation of a water generation from K to Gray.

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Member Drops

Caroline Mosley, a graduate engineering student, asked members to consider donating to Engineers Without Borders.

Jeff Lee, Total Water Treatment Systems, announced that he is very close to signing a lease at the Global Water Center, and also that his company is responsible for the Ultra Pure Water System in the building.

Lisa Downes, Alliance for Water Stewardship, announced that they are in the final stages of developing an International Water Stewardship Standard, it is still up for review and comment.

David Kliber, SF Analytical Laboratories, announced that he will be publishing a study regarding the “Economic Impact of Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes,” in Spring 2014.

About The Water Council

The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States, was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With more than 150 water technology companies in the Milwaukee area, the region’s water industry is a $10.5 billion dollar market and accounts for four percent of the world’s total water business. The non-profit organization is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. The Water Council is located in the Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way, Suite 500, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
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