Monday, August 31, 2015

Anniversary Story: "The People I've Met" by Cindy Kreifels

"The People I've Met" 
by Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

The majority of my adult life (22 years) has been spent working for The Groundwater Foundation.  So when I was asked to write a story for the 30th anniversary celebration, it was quite difficult to decide where to start, and stop for that matter.  So as I sat back to reflect on what has made the most impact on me personally over the years, I realize it is the people – the people who put their heart and soul into protecting groundwater.  Getting to know and work with so many wonderful people who share my passion for groundwater is why I come to work each day.

In 22 years, I have had the honor of working with 38 Groundwater Foundation staff members, over 70 board members, hundreds of Groundwater Guardian team members, and educating thousands of youth who will someday be our groundwater stewards.  All of these individuals are some of the greatest people I have had the privilege to know. 

Let’s start with Susan Seacrest, founder and first president of The Groundwater Foundation.  Susan is one of the most strong, passionate people I have ever met.  Susan took a concern over the health of one of her children, researched the issue of groundwater contamination, and created an organization which is 30 years strong.  Whether they know it or not the citizens of the world have much to be grateful for as people have become more aware of a vital resource and the importance it plays in their lives.

The many staff and board members that have been involved in spreading the word and supporting The Groundwater Foundation by giving of their time and expertise have brought the Foundation to the point it is today.  Many have come and gone, but most are still very connected to us in some way.  Protecting groundwater is not a passing fancy, it is something that must continue to happen throughout time.

As for the Groundwater Guardians I’ve had the joy of meeting, I cannot say enough.  I would like to name them all by name but I would surely leave someone out so I will not go there.  What I will say is that these are the people who make the true difference, protecting groundwater at the local level.  Thank you all for your dedication and hard work!  I call you each my friend.

And the children – what can I say?  They are the ones who hold the keys to the future.  And, through groundwater education, they will understand its importance and no matter their profession, they will understand groundwater’s impact on them and the great impact their role may have on groundwater.  This is the most important step of all.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting children from Australia to Zimbabwe and working with youth of all ages; this has been a true source of gratification for me.

And last but not least, are the great crew of staff members I currently get to work with each day.  Jane Griffin, Lori Davison, Anthony Lowndes, Doug Sams, Jennifer Wemhoff, and Jessica Wheeler – you are all awesome.  I so enjoy the opportunity to work with all of you and can’t wait for what tomorrow will bring.  Another 30 years, bring it on.

So as I look back over 22 years of the Foundation’s 30 years, I can honestly say it is the people who have made the difference – both for me and for groundwater.  Thank you all!


7 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities

30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

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