March 2022 From the Executive’s Desk: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Hello everyone. As we transition into Spring and are anxiously awaiting Summer, I’m reminded of how the months can move by so briskly. The first quarter of this year has been extremely busy, and the second quarter is showing no signs of changing pace, which is a great thing to see. With that in mind, let’s ramp up for a busy rest of the year as we continue to prepare for our 2022 Convention & Expo in Indianapolis on September 16–21.

That being said, I would like to catch you up on what’s happened in the industry lately.

The January Society Board of Directors meeting was busy, with many important issues being discussed and decided upon, and much more will be on the docket as we finalize plans for our April Board meeting, which will be held at the site of our 2022 Convention & Expo. As typical of all of our Board meetings led by President Carol Johnson, CPD, LEED AP, CFI, FASPE, the Board of Directors efficiently handled the extensive meeting agenda. I also would like to commend the Society Staff for their continued hard work in providing the Board members with everything they need to accomplish our goals. From my perspective, our team continues to show the best display of teamwork and professionalism and exemplifies what Board and Staff performance should be. My thanks to all who make up the vital pieces of our team. (More on team to come later in this column.)

Also looking back, we successfully marketed and participated in Engineers Week during February 20–26. As a reminder, please use celebrations such as Engineers Week and World Plumbing Day (March 11) to reach out to your community and talk to someone about ASPE.

2022 Convention & Expo

Since we are already into March, I want to remind you to get all of your ducks in a row as to attending the 2022 Convention & Expo. All events will be held at the beautiful JW Marriott and the Indiana Convention Center and registration will open next month, so start making your travel plans now. Speaking of making plans, I can assure you that ASPE’s Staff and Education Committee are working tirelessly to prepare our technical education program. We are excited to see how both our engineering members and our Affiliate members will benefit from attending the 2022 Convention & Expo. The ability to learn from the experts and spend time reviewing new products and new applications will surely help the professional growth of every attendee. This is a good focal point to express to your employer regarding the importance of your attendance relative to professional growth—not just yours, but your coworkers’ as well.

New Webinars

On March 23, ASPE will host a webinar generously sponsored by A. O. Smith and free to ASPE members, which is called Water Heating System Design 101“ and will be presented by Isaac Wilson, National Specialty Commercial Manager for A. O. Smith.

Another free webinar for ASPE members will be held on April 21 thanks to RWC. Jim Lestage, Specification Sales Manager for RWC, will present “Firestopping Vertical & Horizontal Penetrations.” Stay tuned for registration information.

We also partnered with IAPMO to present the following webinars:

  • April 1: “Net Zero Plumbing: Addressing the Water, Energy, Carbon, and Nutrient Crises” presented by John Lansing, CPD, LEED Green Associate, a Plumbing Designer with PAE
  • April 14: “Water Quality 101: Theory and Practice” by Vanessa Speight, PhD, PE, Professor of Integrated Water Systems
  • May 2: “New Perspectives on Water Quality: Is Water Hammer and Air in Domestic Water Pipe Causing Corrosion?” by Phil Woolhouse, Director of Phil Woolhouse Hydraulics Pty. Ltd.

Upcoming Deadlines

This year’s CPD exam will be held by remote proctor during the dates of April 11–22. If you are interested in taking the exam, you can learn more at The registration deadline is April 5.

For those members interested in participating in the Society Bylaws process, all proposed Bylaws amendments are due to me by May 16 at [email protected]. For those members interested in serving our Society as a member of the Board of Directors, all applications also are due to me by May 16 at [email protected].

As we look forward to our 2022 Convention & Expo, I will continue to keep you updated on additional important dates.

What Kind of Teammate Are You?

I mentioned earlier about focusing on team, and I want to expand on what that should look like. I’ll draw on something I read a few years back in FPN (Fast Pitch News) that was relative to part of my past life. For many years my daughters and I were involved with women’s fast-pitch softball—they played it; I coached it. Playing as a team and being a good teammate were of the upmost importance.

The following excerpt from FPN is a good example of how to be a good teammate:

You don’t have to like all of your teammates, but you have to be able to play with them. This statement has been preached to young women (and men) in sports for decades. It couldn’t be truer. No matter what level of softball you find yourself playing at, there is bound to be at least one instance where you and another teammate don’t get along. It’s common and it’s more than okay as long as you don’t let it affect the team on the field.

Female athletes, especially those in their teen years, undergo many different mood and behavioral changes. It’s all part of growing up. Some of these mood and behavior changes include mood swings, attitude changes, body changes, hormones, boy drama, gossip, girl drama, priority changes, softball, and school stresses—you name it, and it happens.

There is a 100 percent chance that when you bring 12+ girls together for a season where they practice, travel, play, and hang out together at softball and outside of softball, there is going to be some conflict. It is extremely common and happens on every team. So, if you are a coach reading this article and can relate, don’t panic because chances are you are not alone.

How should coaches deal with conflict among the team? There are several different ways to go about it. First, at the beginning-of-the-year meeting, no matter what team you find yourself coaching, address it by outlining some team rules and standards. Implementing a 24-hour rule among the team helped my college team deal with conflict. If you had a problem with someone on the team, you had 24 hours to confront them about it. If the 24 hours passed and you didn’t confront them, then the problem must not have been as big of a deal, and it’s your responsibility to let it go since the time window had passed. This rule helped hold teammates accountable, addressed issues in a mature and upfront way, and created trust among the team.

There is always something going on in our lives outside of the softball field lines, but once you step between the lines, whether it is for practice or games, all that matters is what is in front of you. If you let outside factors come to softball with you, the game will eat you alive because you already have a big role among your team when you step onto the field. If your mind is on your outside factors while you are on the field, you are taking yourself away from your game, which is taking away from your teammates. Every athlete needs to find a way to unplug from the world when they are on the softball field. Make softball your safe haven, where when you step onto the field, between the chalk lines, nothing else matters except you, your teammates, and the game you are about to play.

I hope reading that helps you understand that even in our work life, we must be that same level of teammate for the good of our respective teams. You as an individual are extremely important; however, putting all the teammates together with the same mindset is most important to our collaborative success.

ASPE is that kind of team! Are you that kind of teammate? If so, and you haven’t already become an ASPE member, come join us. Let me help you. Here is the link to join:

See you in Indy!

Carry on…

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