Sep 11, 2018

WQA Schedules Virtual Gatherings in Wake of Canceled Mid-Year Leadership Conference

Committee meetings and industry update program set for Thursday and Friday

Mid-Year Leadership Conference to become a virtual event
Mid-Year Leadership Conference to become a virtual event

The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) announced that instead of traveling to Hilton Head, S.C., this week for the Mid-Year Leadership Conference, water quality professionals will gather around their laptops to take part in meetings and view presentations in a virtual experience.

With Hurricane Florence rapidly escalating to a Category 4 hurricane Sept. 10, and South Carolina’s governor ordering a mandatory evacuation of the state’s coastline beginning Sept. 11, there was no doubt that WQA’s cancelation of the conference – planned for Sept. 12 to 14 in Hilton Head – was the right decision. Within 36 hours of making that call, WQA staff had rescheduled an industry update event and board, committee, task force and section meetings to create its first-ever Virtual MYLC.

“Clearly, we weren’t going to be able to get together in person this year, but we refused to let that mean members had to miss out on all the valuable information shared and industry progress conducted at the leadership conference,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “Now we can view presentations and make decisions through the internet, and we can even open up some of the presentations to more people across our industry.”

The schedule of online meetings, including four sessions open to all WQA members, can be found at

Nearly 150 WQA members and staff were expected in Hilton Head this week for one of the best attended MYLCs in over a decade. With news of a tropical storm heading toward the East Coast, WQA’s Crisis Management Team began monitoring the situation over the weekend and decided Sunday morning to cancel the conference.

The team alerted registered attendees immediately and has provided a FAQ sheet that includes information on canceling flights and hotel reservations as well as the impact of the cancellation on WQA.