Lanesborough resident Dave Vogel coached a U.S. team to gold in Munich, Germany last month in a competition like no other.
Team KSB-USA members took home gold medals as the overall winners of the third Open German Championship in Wastewater Technology, besting 36 teams from six countries. The competition took place over two days, during the IFAT 2016, held from May 30 through June 3.
This year marked the 50th year of IFAT, the world's trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. A total of 3,097 exhibitors from 59 countries and 138,000 visitors from over 170 nations attended the event.
Organized by the Water Environment Federation and sponsored by manufacturer KSB Inc., the U.S. team included Vogel, the eastern U.S. sales director for CH2M Hill's business development team, as well as national team competitors members Dale Burrow from the TRA CReWSers team in Dallas; Donnie Cagle of the Terminal Velocity team of Wake Forest, N.C., and Steve Motley of the Terminal Velocity team based in Virginia Beach, Va.
During the intense two-day competition, the teams were judged in five core competencies of wastewater operations, which include work safety and health; scheduled and unscheduled maintenance; instrumentation and control; and process control.
Team KSB-USA accumulated the most combined points from each individual discipline to take first place, followed by two German teams; second-place winner Nuremberg – Die Drei Wreckla, and third-place winner Stadt Stuttgart Pumpis.
"We are extremely pleased with results and the overall experience," Vogel said. "What is most significant to us is what we have learned, the friends we have made, and how all of the participants, along with all operators around the world, will continue to perform this important work every day in their own communities."
Water Environment Federation Executive Director Eileen O'Neill congratulated the team on its win and said, "It was our great honor to have been invited to be a part of IFAT and the Open German Championship, which along with WEF's own Operations Challenge competition, showcases the incredible dedication, professionalism and outstanding skills of our operations personnel."
The competitors will have the opportunity for a rematch this fall at the Operations Challenge in New Orleans, held as part of WEFTEC 2016, WEF's 89th annual technical exhibition and conference.
Learn more at weftec.org
Fond farewell in Lee
In the last four years, Suzanne Scarpa has helped organized six retirement parties for veteran Lee town employees totaling 200 years on the job.
On Thursday, it was her turn to be honored.
Scarpa, Lee's town clerk for the past 18 years — 25 years in all at Town Hall — was surprised with her own fond farewell at the Locker Room Sports Bar.
"They shocked me because they told me it was Friday," she told County Fare. "I had come down here instead to have dinner with my kids."
Dozens of co-workers, family and friends gathered to reminisce about Scarpa's stellar job performance and how she balanced home life with working in municipal government.
"The role of the town clerk is the face of the community and Sue is a warm, welcoming face," said Town Administrator Robert Nason.
Nason lauded Scarpa as a team player, willing to help out fellow town workers at the drop of a hat.
"Sue has been my heart and soul, she's helped me a lot," said Town Treasurer/Collector Donna Toomey.
Scarpa relinquishes her town clerk duties to Brandi Page, currently the office administrator for the Lee Department of Public Works — one of the 70 applicants for the job. Nason formally announced her hiring at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday evening. Page officially switches gears on Aug. 1.
Scarpa says she's ready to spend more time with her family, but remains sentimental about leaving behind valued co-workers and the people entering the town clerk's office.
"I will miss my co-workers, townspeople and out-of-towners — I like to strike up a conversation with everybody," she said.
Fifteen individuals of varying abilities from Berkshire County Arc's Residential Program participated in the five-mile National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society's MS Walk on May 21.
The Berkshire County Arc team named itself "Lisa's Valentines" after Lisa Morgan-Fiero, who has MS and resides at the agency's Valentine Road residence in Pittsfield. The team raised $650 as a part of the event, which will support research, MS treatment and support programs.
"I am so touched," Morgan-Fierro said. "I am grateful for my second family at Valentine and for the caring people living and working at Berkshire County Arc."
County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.