WEFTEC 2005 drew a record 18,132 attendees to the WaterEnvironment Federation’s (WEF) 78th annual technical exhibition in Washington,D.C. The conference featured a total of 898 companies, covering 220,000 sq ft offloor space. The record-breaking exhibition numbers make this year’s WEFTEC thelargest show to date at the Washington Convention Center, which first opened in2003.
“The last time WEFTEC was held in Washington was in1990,” WEF executive director Bill Bertera says. “By all accounts fromexhibitors to attendees to presenters this was definitely one of our mostsuccessful shows.”
Special events also highlighted the show, such as anappearance by D.C. mayor Anthony Williams speaking on a panel about thedevelopment of the local Anacostia Riverfront; a hurricane panel discussionfeaturing several water quality and environmental professionals from NewOrleans, Florida and Mississippi; and technical sessions on the tsunami inSoutheast Asia and reconstructing water and wastewater infrastructure in Iraq.All provided the opportunity to learn about a wide-range of water qualitychallenges from local, national and international perspectives.
During the “WEF Celebration of Excellence,” Lynn Orphan,outgoing WEF president, passed federation leadership to new president MichaelRead and new officers were inducted. The ceremony culminated with thepresentation of more than 25 awards in recognition of the outstandingachievements of professionals in the water quality community.
WEF instituted a new president’s award recognizingoutstanding leadership on behalf of the water environment. North Carolina Rep.Charles Taylor was honored as the first recipient for his support of theNational Biosolids Partnership and efforts to restore funding to the Clean WaterState Revolving Fund.
More than 1,600 international attendees visited theGlobal Center where conference exhibitors had the opportunity to meet withbuyers and market experts from Asia and Eastern Europe.
In recognition of WEFTEC’s global business program, WEFreceived a certificate of appreciation by Israel Hernandez, assistant secretaryof commerce and director-general of the U.S. & Foreign CommercialService.