Ted DeBoda took over as executive director of NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) in August 2010 and has settled in quickly, managing on-going association programs and looking ahead to the challenges of the future.
NASSCO is a national organization comprised of several hundred members representing rehabilitation industry manufacturers and suppliers, municipalities and utility districts, engineers and contracting firms.
For many trade associations, the transition to a new executive director can be difficult. However, DeBoda’s industry experience in public works engineering and operations in the public sector, and as a consulting engineer and contractor in the private sector, make him well-suited for leading NASSCO.
“I said at the time that accepting the position at NASSCO was a natural progression for me,” said DeBoda. “It is the next step in my contribution to helping the industry grow as a whole. I’ve been in this business my entire life, and I have a passion for the industry and the professionals involved in it. This is the next step for me to personally promote trenchless technologies on a national level. I am reconnecting with people both in the U.S. and internationally I’ve known through the years and making new contacts with industry experts who can help us all come together to move our industry forward. I have found that it would be impossible to succeed without these relationships.
“It’s very exciting to me.”
Previous executive director Irv Gemora remains active in a consulting roll through January and DeBoda said that Gemora, NASSCO Technical Director Gerry Muenchmeyer and Operations Manager Heather Myers have helped make the transition very efficient.
“Irv really does have his finger on the pulse of the industry, and my intention is to pick his brain as much as possible,” DeBoda said.
Immediately after coming on board at NASSCO, DeBoda said he was occupied with the release of Version 6.0 of PACP which includes MACP and LACP.
“With PACP essentially complete,” he continued, “we have focused on QA/QC reviews of MACP and LACP. Because MACP and LACP have a large amount of new material, we conducted a series of sessions with master trainers to make sure everyone was comfortable using it for training.”
At the same time, DeBoda said, NASSCO has been working with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and signed an agreement to conduct PACP training in Canada.
Before accepting the NASSCO post, DeBoda was manager of the Baltimore office of URS Corp., a leading provider of engineering, construction and technical services to public agencies and the private sector throughout the world. Before that, he served 15 years with New Castle County, Delaware’s Departments of Public Works and Special Services in both the engineering and operations divisions. His leadership experience includes 20 years as an officer in the Delaware Army National Guard.
DeBoda currently is president-elect of the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA) and is a founder and past chairman of the association’s Collection Systems Committee. DeBoda and five others started the committee in 1998.
“We found that there was a large network of sewer professionals, both public and private, that were thirsty for sharing knowledge and learning from other people’s projects and programs,” he said. “We started with small luncheon presentations, and have progressed to providing several full day and luncheon seminars each year, as well as providing one to two days of collection system training at a Water and Waste Operators Association’s (WWOA) Short Course for the past eight years. We also introduced the Operations Challenge to the CWEA annual conference in which six teams competed last year, and have had a spin-off committee dealing with storm water. The committee has become one of the most active WEF membership association committees in the country.”
DeBoda said as a project engineer he learned the importance of communicating about projects with the public and elected officials.
“A good line of communication with elected officials,” he said, “can make this task easier, because it provides an opportunity for them to interact with their constituents. A side benefit to working with elected officials on sewer issues is that they can start to appreciate infrastructure that is otherwise ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ ”
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With several months on the job, NASSCO Executive Director Ted DeBoda identified several challenges facing the association and directions he believes NASSCO needs to take.
Expansion — “Based on the ground work Irv Gemora started in Canada, NASSCO now has the opportunity to extend PACP to Mexico and Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. NASSCO created a Latin American committee to address this, and we have met with ANEAS, the association that serves the Mexican water and wastewater industry.”
Additional training — “We plan to add pipebursting and manhole rehabilitation to our tremendously successful cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) Inspector Training and Certification Program (ITCP) curriculum. This program can expand into other areas to meet the needs of the industry.”
PACP quality — “Sustaining the quality of PACP is a high priority and will involve establishing a recertification program for users in order to maintain coding skills, as well as making sure trainers have the appropriate knowledge and experience to provide quality training. We will continue to explore and implement methods of maintaining quality in PACP.”
WEF collaboration — “I recently met with the WEF staff to establish a productive dialog between the two organizations to benefit the industry as well as association members. One of the first topics discussed was incorporation of NASSCO’s Pipeline Assessment Certification Program into WEF’s Operations Challenge Competition.”
Outreach — “NASSCO has active members throughout the U.S., and we are developing an outreach committee to communicate the benefits of NASSCO to include PACP and our Inspector Training and Certification Program (ITCP) for Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP), as well as other benefits of NASSCO membership.”