The trade show season continues: The Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals' annual meeting and expo took place Feb. 8-9, 2006, in northern Illinois.

The Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals' (IAGP) annual meeting and expo took place Feb. 8-9, 2006, in northern Illinois. For the first time, Crystal Lake, Ill., played host to the annual event, and the new venue was very well received. Attendees came from far and wide: The show drew contractors from around the state as well as its bordering neighbors, including Wisconsin and Kentucky, and even from as far away as Arizona. With 150 registered attendees and a 10-year record-high of 43 exhibitors, the convention was deemed a success.

The expo opened Wednesday afternoon after the annual business meeting and extended into the evening, complete with complimentary hospitality and technical tip mini-sessions; door prizes lent to the festive air. When asked about the show's highlights, executive director Sue Bohenstengel reports: “We had a great turnout for our annual business meeting, and that's always meaningful to me.”

Continuing, Bohenstengel notes, “We have a new president. Larry Lyons passed the gavel to James Layten, Kickapoo Well Drilling, Downs, Ill. Annually, we have four positions that come up; three incumbents were running. The three incumbents were re-elected, and the new person on the board is James Cleary Jr., Tri-County Well and Pump, Ottawa, Ill. Re-elected were Dave Dingledine, M. Ebert Co., Washington, Ill., Stephen Snelten, A&C Snelten Inc., Barrington, Ill., and Andrew Weisenhofer, Reynolds Drilling Corp., Springfield, Ill.

“The other special thing: We have created the Jack Sisson award, which recognizes contributions in general from people who are busy working their business but still find time to do other things. This year, we gave it to George Gaffke from the Henry Boysen Co., Hainesville, Ill.”

The trade show ran for a couple hours the following morning before the continuing education courses began. A strong slate of seminars rounded out the show; in fact, one was so popular that there was standing room only, with attendees spilling out of the room into the hallway. Presented with a good mix of timely topics and subjects of local interest, contractors could take in seminars on water rights, Illinois' geology, profitability, pump and tanks, water well evaluations, emergency safety training and more. Fred McAninch of Rig Doctors closed the expo with the NGWA McEllhiney lecture, “The Right Drill Rig for Your Geology.”

Look for information on next year's IAGP show in an upcoming issue of National Driller. It's sure to be an event not to miss.

Photo gallery

Cliff Thomas, Bit Brokers Inc., visits with Dale Stevens, ABC Well & Pump, Belvedere, Ill.

Mark Laibe, Laibe Corp., Indianapolis, and Jeff Snelten, Peter Snelten and Sons Inc., Wauconda, Ill., talk drill rigs in front of the National Driller booth.

Catching up at the start of the show: Glenn Beanland, Beanland and Sons, Anna, Ill., new association president James Layten, Kickapoo Drilling, Downs, Ill., and Andy Weisenhofer, Reynolds Well Drilling, Springfield, Ill.

A bit of industry history: Larry and Glenn Lyons of the 115-year-old Lyons Well Drilling, Stockton, Ill.; father and son both have served as presidents of the National Ground Water Association and the Illinois Association of Ground Water Professionals.

Jim Valentine, Rep Rite Burk & Associates, Kaukauna, Wis., hosts Don and Cindy Wagner, Specialty Water Well, Algonquin, Ill., and Roy Bailey, Dekorra Products.

Taking a well-deserved break from walking the expo area to do some required reading.

Jeffrey Tyrell, Tyrell Well & Pump Inc., Sycamore, Ill., Doug Schmiesing, Drillers Service of Illinois (DSI), Yorkville, Ill., and Stewart Krause of Wyo-Ben Inc. swap stories at the DSI booth.

Baroid's Andy Schumacher wins the National Driller door prize, presented by publisher Linda Moffat.