Well, well, well. We did it again. It’s hard to believe we’re publishing the results of our fifth Water Artisans of the Year contest. It seems like only yesterday that the POND Trade Editorial Committee was finalizing the rules and format of what would become our inaugural contest. And now here we are, celebrating the fifth year and five more pond contractors on the leading edge of the industry (along with five very respectable runners-up, of course).
The contest has also gone global! We were thrilled to receive entries from across the Big Pond (United Kingdom) and all the way Down Under (Australia). It’s exciting to know that we have our finger on the pulse of the pond world.
We like to keep it fresh each year, so this year we debuted two new categories, Ponds by Night and Fountains & Formal Features. Both received a lot of entries and interest, and it was a joy sorting through them before handing them over to the Supreme Stream Court. The competition among the three mainstay categories (Most Naturalistic, Best Pondless and Best Under $15k) was just as stiff as it’s ever been, and in several cases, the winners separated the runners-up by just one or two votes.
We’ve dedicated more than 15 pages of this issue to the contest, but like always, we’ve packed the rest of it with quality content intended to inform and inspire you as you build, grow and maintain your business. Our occasional tax contributor, Mark Battersby, gives us a timely, detailed look at the Paycheck Protection Program and Shane Hemphill, a winner of last year’s contest and judge on this year’s panel, shares some of his water wisdom — Mastering the Craft. Also, if you keep koi, don’t miss Carolyn Weise’s profile on anchor worms and fish lice.
Once again, we’d like to express our pride in administering the Water Artisans of the Year contest, and we look forward to keeping it going for many years to come. A big thanks to all of our judges this year and to everyone who contributed to our donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.