February 2015, Vol. 70, No. 2


Derek Potvin Leads NASTT In The Right Direction

Traci Read, Managing Editor

NASTT (North American Society for Trenchless Technology) continues to keep its commitment to grow the trenchless industry by remaining true to the society’s core values of education and training all the while establishing new initiatives to lead the society forward as it prepares for the future.

As NASTT makes final preparations for its annual No-Dig Show to be held March 15-19 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO, past NASTT 2012-2014 Chair/International Representative Derek Potvin, whose term ended in December, says that, “for the last two years I have had the privilege of seeing some wonderful growth in both the society and the trenchless industry as a whole.”

According to Potvin, NASTT’s trenchless webinar series, which was first introduced in 2012, has proven a success each year with record attendance. In 2014, more than 20 live training sessions were scheduled across North America. “In July, we featured NASTT’s Carbon Calculator and in early September, we focused on cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). In November, members had the opportunity to learn more about condition assessment for water mains,” said Potvin.

All of NASTT’s webinars offer training from top experts in the field. Attendees receive education from the convenience of their home or office, yet are able to actively participate using a Q&A platform. Webinars are offered free of charge to both members and non-members as a service to the trenchless industry.

As a complementary benefit to NASTT members, another value-added tool is the Carbon Calculator that was launched in 2014. “We believe this will be a substantial benefit for NASTT members while building upon the “green” initiatives of trenchless technology,” Potvin said. “The Carbon Calculator is web-based so it can be used in your office or on the jobsite.”

New initiatives

In 2014, NASTT implemented some of the new initiatives in its Strategic Plan, which outlines the society’s vision, direction and priorities, reports Potvin. “The Strategic Plan findings showed that our members not only approved of the services and benefits we’ve been offering but, they also wanted to expand and develop NASTT even further.

“One of the endeavors I am most proud of during my time as NASTT chair is our Strategic Plan. In order to continue to grow and serve the trenchless industry, NASTT embarked on a three-year Strategic Plan in the summer of 2013. We began with a survey of our membership and an in-depth study into the society and how we can best meet our members’ needs. In the fall, the Strategic Plan committee reviewed the findings and began to strategize for the coming years.

“Each year we will implement initiatives and programs based on our Strategic Plan and build on the foundation we have set up in 2014. In order to adequately implement these initiatives, it was important that NASTT have the required resources on hand.”

To continue to meet the needs of the membership, NASTT hired two new staff members, Jenna Hale and Molly Margosian.

Hale joined in June 2013 in the new position of marketing coordinator. She came to NASTT with nearly a decade of trenchless industry marketing and trade show experience and has used her skills to expand the online trenchless job board and social media presence. Hale heads up the newly launched NASTT blog, Talking Trenchless, and the bi-weekly e-newsletter.

Margosian joined the staff in July 2014 in the newly created position of membership coordinator. She brings to NASTT a professional background that includes engagement management and employee relations. Her role is to facilitate NASTT member interaction as well as to offer support to the Regional and Student Chapters.

Potvin is the president of the multidisciplinary engineering firm Robinson Consultants Inc. His term as president ended in December after which Kimberlie Staheli, Ph.D., P.E., assumed the chair position.

Staheli is the president and founder of Staheli Trenchless Consultants in Seattle, WA, a trenchless engineering consulting firm specializing in the design and construction management of all types of high risk trenchless projects for over 20 years.

Serving with Staheli on the board of directors for 2015 are: Vice Chair Frank Firsching, executive vice president/general manager, Underground Solutions Inc.; Secretary Jennifer Glynn, P.E., senior infrastructure designer, RMC Water & Environment; Treasurer Kevin Nagle, national accounts manager, TT Technologies; and Past Chair Derek Potvin, Robinson Consultants.

NASTT headquarters is located in Cleveland, OH; Michael J. Willmets is executive director and Michelle Hill serves as communications and training manager. Information about NASTT programs is available via phone (216) 570-8711 or visit www.nastt.org.

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