IPPCA Needs You!

There have been big changes at the International Professional Pond Companies Association, and I thought you should be the first to know. First, I regret to announce that Dave and Gloria Jones have voluntarily removed themselves from the Executive Committee, the governing body of the organization, and the Board at Large. I would like to publicly thank Dave and Gloria Jones for their years of dedication and service, to IPPCA and to the Industry at large. Since the founding of the organizatdemi_we_need_youion in 2004, the Jones have been the driving force behind the advancement of the Association over the years. Their establishment of an impartial Certification Program for contractors, the successful campaign to blunt the incursion of EPA Water Sense regulations, the integration of NAPP membership, all have served the Industry well. Their tireless efforts kept IPPCA moving in the right direction even as the Association outgrew its beginnings. The Water Feature Industry’s only dedicated trade organization has reached 523 Members over the years, including 314 Contractors, 75 Retailers and 74 Corporate Sponsors, and certified nearly 50 Wildlife Ponditats. Under the Jones’ guidance IPPCA has taken giant strides forward; now the Board of Directors will shoulder the administrative and executive duties of IPPCA without them. At my request, Gloria has agreed to assist with secretarial duties during the transition, for which I am very grateful. Dave has stepped away “with a clear conscience, leaving IPPCA in good hands”. I have asked that he consider assisting the Board with advice from time to time, as a private consultant, to which he agreed, but only if requested by the Board.

Next, we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Rip Sokol to the Board, joining Mark Lawson, Gil Belcher, Mark Gibson, Pieter Van Westervelt and me. An icon of the Industry, Rip needs no introduction; we are delighted to add his talents and experience to the Board. Together, we are aggressively expanding our educational and certification programs, and IPPCA builds on sturdy foundations. To our Certified Professional Pond Contractor program we are adding a new Certified Professional Pond Retailer initiative, headed up by President Elect Mark Lawson, to provide and promote best management and construction practices for our Retail Members. I am personally developing Best Practices PowerPoints in English and Spanish, to help our Members grow their businesses as they promote interest in the Water Feature Industry and IPPCA, to benefit all of us. The first two, Pond and Pond-free Best Practices, will be available to our Members for presentation to interested Koi and water garden clubs, non-profit organizations, contractor associations and the like across the country, Canada and Mexico. With the able assistance of Mark Gibson and Rip Sokol, we are expanding our affiliations with sister organizations and manufacturers to become a single site for one step access to vetted Water Feature information, regardless of platform or agenda. The website will be updated to accommodate the new content as soon as funds allow, at www.ippca.wordpress.com, as befits our status as a State and Federally recognized 501(c)(6) non-commercial organization. Finally, though the phone number will remain unchanged, a new mailing address is being secured.

The most important thing that’s still missing from the all new IPPCA is… you! We need you, to join and revitalize the only Trade Organization by, and for, our Water Feature Industry. Come visit as we begin implementation over the next couple of weeks, to see what we can accomplish together. Drop me a line at 631-827-7353 or send me an email at demi.fortuna@gmail.com to be included in the next Open Meeting, when we’ll discuss where we’re going together. Make no mistake – IPPCA is YOUR organization, and it’s not going anywhere without you. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Be Well! Demi

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