Nick Belmont’s Incoming Chair Speech


I first wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to our now Past Chair Dan Sleeth, the work that you did for
this Section over the past year was exceptional and really laid the groundwork for what I hope to
accomplish in this coming year. I would also like to thank Michelle Cheek for her guidance,
determination, and heart, you’ve shown and taught me a lot over this last year as well. Next, I would like
to thank my family and my wife Maureen, you are our rock and without the love and support you give
each and every day to myself, our daughter Natalie and son Finley, I wouldn’t have been able to
accomplish all that I have over these years. And last but not least, my employer West Yost, I couldn’t do
what I do for this incredible Section without your support and backing.

Now, let me share my vision for the coming year. It begins with my journey through PNWS, which I'd like
to share with you today.

It all started back in 2010 when Brad Phelps sat both myself and Chris Young down and let us know if we
wanted to be successful in the Pacific Northwest and to be truly immersed in all it had to offer, we
needed to get involved in the Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA. For those of you who know Brad,
you’ll be able to sympathize with the fact that I wasn’t about to say no to such a large man.

From there it was off to the races, starting as a YP enjoying their many events and the YP Scavenger hunt
at this conference, to spending time on the E&T Board, the PAC, then to the Board serving as the Trustee
At Large and finally today as your Section Chair.

Throughout my career, I’ve observed many other sections across the country, and I have to say, this one
is special. The people, the traditions, the sense of family—there’s nothing quite like it. Because of this,
it’s something we must strive to preserve.

Today we walk into a new era, and as with all new era’s they come with it’s own set of challenges, but
also excitement and new opportunities.

Randy Black, another inspiration and true friend of mine, got us ready for this new era with his 2020
Vision. His plan was an amazing start to strengthen our Section and water industry bringing new
professionals; operators, engineers and other water focused professionals into our world.
But now its our turn to show these people the value of Membership.

My goal this year is to reinvest back into our people and our Membership. But I need your help…
We celebrated some wonderful people here today, but I’d like to take it one step further. If I could
please ask everyone who is or has been involved with the Section (Committee Member, Subsection
Leadership, event planner, or anything else in between) to please stand, be recognized and let’s all give
them a round of applause.

Now, a call to action: To those of you who are standing, please find someone who is not and share with
them the value of your service to this Section and the journey it has taken you on. Without this transfer
of knowledge and guidance, how can we expect to pass the baton to the next generation of amazing
volunteers and water professionals.

In closing, please remember, we as the Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA, we are a family, and as such
we must support each other and this Section to continue to keep the bond between us strong. And as
your new Chair, I want to say that I appreciate you all, and I am so very proud to serve you.

Thank you!