March/April 2018 Issue

I love a winner and think you will, too. Our Water Artisans of the Year issue [link] is quickly becoming one of my favorite issues of the year. It blows me away to see all the talent out there. I get the honor of reviewing and sorting out all the submissions so the judges can evaluate them without knowing the identities of the artisans. In a word, you guys are GOOD.

We had a few bumps in the contest this year. We upped the degree of difficulty by allowing only one category submission per project. However, you guys turned the tables on us, making the evaluation process a little tougher for our judges. Specifically, the results for a couple of the categories were incredibly close. The core competencies of our judges were especially diverse this year, and this led to a wide range of opinions, assessments and votes. That is to say, the panel had a lot to love about many of this year’s entries. That led to some pretty interesting results, with just one or two votes separating the winner from the runner-up in a couple of the categories.

We’ve designated most of this issue to the contest, so click here to meet the winners [link], runners-up [link] and judges [link]. We’d like to thank this year’s judging panel for doing a solid, nonpartisan job of choosing the second winner’s circle of Water Artisans of the Year. It isn’t easy ranking waterscape projects based on aesthetics alone, without any knowledge of the builder, the project location or the materials used in the build. But that’s the way we designed it — our goal here is to serve as a fair, level playing field for all pond contractors, regardless of the size of their business’ bottom line or their brand affiliations. What do you think about this year’s winners? Take to our website comment section, or drop us a line with your feedback.

This issue isn’t all about the contest, though. This is our largest issue ever, and we’re jam-packed as always with relevant material to help you enhance your business. Find Rick Smith’s tried-and-true tips for diagnosing a cloudy, unbalanced or otherwise ailing pond [link]. We also have a great article from Steve Shinholser of Premier Ponds with some valuable advice on how to value and sell your business [link]. Why so valuable, you ask? Steve actually used some of these very strategies to successfully organize the sale of his own business.

Happy 2018 Pond Season to all of you — and happy PONDering!

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