Adjusting the Convention and Trade Show to Meet Evolving Needs of PSAI Members

Winners announced for Andy Gump, Volunteer of the Year and Service Technician awards.

Adjusting the Convention and Trade Show to Meet Evolving Needs of PSAI Members

Service Technician of the Year Runner-Up winner Gregory Borchert is shown with the crew from Mr. John.

At a social event not long ago, a bright millennial named Grace asked me what I do for a living. I had just returned from the PSAI’s Annual Convention and Trade Show, so I attempted to describe the event — the people, the education, the massive trucks and booths filled with products. She had no clue what I was talking about. “Why would you travel somewhere to see equipment and learn what others do in their businesses?” Grace asked. “Just use Instagram.”

The PSAI has held a Convention and Trade Show for 49 years. This year, in Portland, we had some of our highest attendance and approval numbers ever. Focus on that and you might think our brightest days are ahead. Yet Grace and her friends will be running companies in the next five to 10 years. The wind is clearly bringing change. As they ready themselves to take over the world, we also have to remember that today’s portable sanitation business owners have more options than ever. For the PSAI and its trade show to remain viable, we need to be providing relevance and return on investment now even as we are preparing for the not-yet.

Going forward, the PSAI expects to continue offering the largest portable sanitation-focused event in the world well into the future. To do that, to meet the needs of the industry’s business leaders and suppliers, means that our event will have to evolve. Here’s what we know so far:

• Our event needs to offer something valuable that cannot be replicated online. To that end, we will be introducing a “hands-on” learning environment beginning in 2019. Building on our successful roundtable model, this new offering will give operators and suppliers a chance to present information, address real challenges, and learn together using real equipment in real time.

• Surveys of trade show attendees all over the U.S. show they want to meet people and have fun at these events. So the PSAI has formed a special ad hoc committee of portable sanitation operators and suppliers to help us ramp up the networking and “fun factor.” It’s too soon to describe exactly what these ideas will look like in practice, but you can be sure they’ll be different than you’ve seen previously at our events and definitely not something you can do online.

• The internet has its place. We also have a team looking at ways to offer more relevant portable sanitation-specific value without leaving home. Expect to see announcements for topical discussions and training courses you can access from your desktop.

• Also expect to see us trying to learn from the next generation of business owners. Whether that means using Instagram (or whatever new virtual tool is hot) more effectively, also offering a virtual trade show, or flying to the moon, the PSAI will do what it takes to be the most trusted, most relevant resource for the portable sanitation industry.

The writer William Arthur Ward once said, “The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, and the realist adjusts his sails.” The PSAI is adjusting its sails. We look forward to a fantastic voyage with our friends and colleagues in the portable sanitation industry. Where are we headed? Wherever the changing winds and seas take us — anywhere, except into the sunset. March 27-30, 2019 we will be in Mobile, Alabama, for the 50th Annual Convention and Trade Show. See you there!

AND THE WINNER IS …

The PSAI announced winners of its 2018 awards during the Annual Convention and Trade Show.

• The Andy Gump Award went posthumously to Barry Gump, second-generation owner of Andy Gump Temporary Site Services in Santa Clarita, California. Gump passed away in April 2017 after a remarkable career in the portable sanitation industry. Working alongside his father in the early years, Gump built the family business into a regional leader in Southern California. He was a pioneer in the portable restroom trailer industry, continually striving to bring advancement to the sanitation field.

In addition to running his growing company, Gump was a local civic leader, playing Santa Claus at Christmas and supporting a number of charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Gump served on the PSAI Board of Directors, and as president of the board, provided expertise to numerous committees and projects and freely helped newcomers to the industry.

In 1993 the Gump family started the Andy Gump Award; however, Barry Gump would never allow his own name to be placed into nomination. After his death, the Awards Committee received numerous letters calling for his contributions to be honored.

The PSAI’s most prestigious honor is named for M.C. “Andy” Gump, a portable sanitation industry pioneer who exemplified the award selection criteria: fairness and integrity in personal and business relationships, working to improve the image of the industry, using innovative approaches, developing new products/services, leading industry colleagues, and exhibiting vision in the face of economic challenges.

• The Flay and Glenda Anthony Volunteer of the Year award went to Lindy Boehme, division manager for CPACEX, who has been involved in the portable sanitation industry for nearly 30 years. As a leader in a supplier company, she is in a unique position to see the industry from the perspectives of companies of all sizes, and she has brought that insight to nearly every volunteer role she has held over her many years of work on behalf of the PSAI.

Boehme has served on numerous committees and recently spearheaded the PSAI’s first Urgent Run, a charitable event that raised more than $4,000 for sanitation efforts in Kenya. Boehme is one of those unique individuals who has a multiplier effect on others. She is able — and willing — to engage others, get them to contribute their own time and resources, and challenge others to be better.

The award was established in 2015 to recognize individuals who have given exceptional service to the portable sanitation industry through volunteerism. It is named for Flay and the late Glenda Anthony, former owners of Porta-John of the Piedmont, whose tireless devotion to the PSAI and the portable sanitation industry set a bar that inspires others to give their best.

• The Service Technician of the Year award went to Kelly Kimes of Cal-State Site Services in Simi Valley, California. Kimes has been in the portable sanitation industry for more than 20 years. Since joining the Cal-State Site Services team about five years ago, the company has increased its event business and opened another yard to handle the overflow. Kimes’ loyal customers followed him without question. He manages Cal-State Site Services’ secondary yard; covers route drivers, pickup and delivery drivers; washes units; and preps them for events and daily deliveries. Kimes does this while still maintaining approximately $500,000 in sales in a small area.

The Service Technician of the Year Runner-Up award went to Gregory Borchert of Mr. John of Pittsburgh. Borchert joined the Mr. John team six years ago. He is currently a service technician and has the skills and qualifications to perform numerous other duties. He is always punctual, always thorough, and has a flawless safety record.

After seeing him prove himself time and again, Mr. John’s leaders realized that Borchert would be a great influence on new employees. He agreed to become a service tech trainer and part of the Short Service Employee, or SSE, Program. New employees join Borchert to learn what it takes to be a successful service technician. He leads by example to show them the company’s expectations of work ethic and professionalism.

The Service Technician of the Year award honors the industry’s top service technicians who actively embody the highest industry standards.



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