PSAI Learns That Failure is Not Final

PSAI Learns That Failure is Not Final
International members presented at this year's PSAI convention.

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At this year’s Portable Sanitation Association International annual convention and trade show, the PSAI hosted a seminar called “Failure Is Not Final.” Retired U.S. Naval Commanding Officer Scott Waddle shared a story that happened in his life, also told in the book The Right Thing, of overcoming obstacles and choosing to do the right thing, even when the road was difficult. 

The message seemed timely considering the circumstances the PSAI has endured in the last couple of years. The PSAI has overcome some economic and organizational setbacks, yet continues to move forward, stronger and more resilient than before. 

General overview

In the General Session, the PSAI presented a promising future for the organization. Membership is growing, the new tiered membership has been well-received, and the organization is renewing its commitment to both domestic and international members.

New inductees to the board include President Ron Crosier (shown at left) and Vice President Tim Peterson, among others. 

Jeff Wigley shared a story of fellow members working together to accomplish some monumental tasks over the past couple of years, and he expressed his gratitude for their dedication and commitment. Among those recognized were Ron Crosier, Flay Anthony, James Elliot, John Simison, Kathy Crafton and Karen Holm. 

Financial planning

Speaker Paul Butler was on a mission to demystify the language of business finance in a fun and engaging presentation, “Business Financial Intelligence.” Participants learned how to better understand various financial forms. One of them was a company’s EBITDA, or Earnings, Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization. 

Understanding the financial picture of one’s company is not always easy, yet this simple business calculation can be used to analyze and compare profitability as it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions. Butler’s explanations cleared the way for more business owners to grasp important finance concepts.

Worldwide efforts

Lothar Vermillion, a past president of the PSAI and former group managing director and partner at ADCO International, led a discussion on international standardization for portable sanitation. Vermillion’s presentation covered the requirements of services, including the international standardization, national standardization organizations and European Standards. There are variations in portable sanitation around the world, including regions where the very concept of portable sanitation is unknown. 

Consequently, conversation ranged from the effect of cultural practice –– the use of water for cleansing rather than toilet paper, for example –– on capacity estimates and water requirements to how standards must be differently applied based on the unique restroom habits and processes of local populations. Attendees from around the world including Barbados, India, Canada, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the U.S., collaborated on solutions to some of the various issues that make global standardization challenging. 

Meet and greet

Approximately 50 vendors displayed goods and concepts at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Attendees had the opportunity to visit with the representatives and see products and services that cater specifically to the portable sanitation industry.

Among the portable restrooms, hand-wash stations, restroom trailers, service trucks, and tank providers could also be found some industry service providers for insurance, financing, software and equipment graphics. Solar LED Innovations featured a new solar pod light as a great addition to portable restrooms.

Biff’s Pathfinders demonstrated a high-tech cleaning device that improves the sanitary condition of portable restrooms upon servicing and earns the seal of “Disinfected” upon completion.

New restroom trailer innovations included a urinal now available inside the NuConcepts trailers and Ameri-Can Engineering’s energy saving features, which utilize LED lights and solar options to lessen power requirements.

Presidential offerings

The highlight of the President’s reception was the presentation of the prestigious M.Z. Andy Gump Award. Presenting the award on behalf of her father Barry Gump, Nancy Gump offered heartfelt words of appreciation to this year’s recipient, Jeff Wigley, and thanked him for his dedication to the industry before presenting him with the award.

Wigley became the 21st recipient thanks in large part to his commitment to the PSAI. His slogan while he served as president these past two years was “Roll Up Our Sleeves,” and he is directly responsible for leading the organization firmly into the future through hard work, regular meetings for PSAI leaders, and a new structure for the organization.

Networking creates future success

PSAI members may not agree on everything, but they seem to share one opinion on the association: “I couldn’t have built my company as successfully without being a part of this organization.” Membership in the PSAI and active participation has afforded many portable restroom operators knowledge and tools to operate their businesses that they cannot find elsewhere.

Whether it’s conversation over roundtable discussions, breaking bread together for dinner, or meeting others who have shared in similar business challenges and successes, networking opportunities abound through PSAI and every discussion has the potential to contribute to the future of one’s success.

About the Author
Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry. She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. Contact Beverly at or visit

How does being involved in local or national associations benefit your portable restroom business? Post a comment below.


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