Every Spring I hit the road and spend some quality time with our Manufacturers Rep of the Year. This year the honor goes to the great people at Annapolis Junction, Maryland-based E.J. Dwyer.

Be sure to check out the full profile starting on page 24 on Kathy and Ned Dwyer and the company. I was impressed with how much ground the nine-person E.J. Dwyer staff covers (one lives in Charlotte) and the respect the firm has in our industry.

One anecdote I couldn’t fit into the story is how the company is always looking out for potential new talent. The Dwyers have been longtime season ticket holders to Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles and recently were at Opening Day at Camden Yards in a corporate suite. It was in that suite where Kathy Dwyer met a hostess who impressed her with a friendly demeanor and top-of-the-line customer service.

Then an opportunity arose for Kathy Dwyer to talk to this hostess. “I was watching her and she got her scarf stuck in this door that was closing,” she recalls. “I went up to her and helped her get unstuck and she said, ‘Thank-you, Kathy.’ She remembered my name. In my head, I’m thinking, ‘I’m offering her a job.’”

Kathy Dwyer gave the woman her business card. The hostess has yet to call, but Kathy Dwyer will have her name at the top of the list if she ever does.

With all the association meetings, trade shows, manufacturer events and simple meetings, this industry provides unbelievable opportunities to find the perfect person to bring into our business.

Kathy Dwyer’s scouting eye always is working at it and that has helped lead E.J. Dwyer to nearly 50 years of sustained success. We all should take note.


Under the bright lights

I have lost count of how many keynote speakers, presenters and MCs I have watched at events over the years. Some blow the roof off the joint and keep the festivities lively while others, frankly, have made me want to run back to my hotel room for a nap.

I usually sit front row to have the ideal vantage point for the photos you see in these pages and on www.pmengineer.com. Despite seeing the sweat build up on these speakers over the years, I’ve always thought to myself that public speaking isn’t that hard. I remember it being one of my favorite classes back in high school.

After being a moderator at the 6th Emerging Water Technology Symposium May 15-16 in Ontario, California, I need to apologize for ever thinking being on stage is an easy gig. The event was incredible — check out page 30 of this issue for a full report — but I had to make sure I stayed properly hydrated during my four hours under the bright lights. I simply introduced the great presenters during the EWTS and cracked a couple of (hopefully) appreciated jokes.

I promise never to think lightly of all you who get up on that stage and deliver for us in the audience. I now know how the other side feels and it’s no laughing matter.