President's Message

New England Chapter APWA

President's Message 2018

Where did the summer go? I cannot believe that Halloween is right around the corner and stores already have Christmas items on the shelves. Too soon!

The Executive Committee has been extremely busy since my last message in May. I offer the following highlights from the past few months:


This year’s National Public Works Week Luncheon was at Venezia Restaurant in Boston and more than 300 people attended. The NPWW Luncheon Committee did an incredible job of coordinating the day’s activities that included giving out the Chapter’s annual awards and recognizing our own Chip Barrett for National’s Top 10 Leader of the Year Award. Congratulations Chip!

My thanks to the Scholarship Committee that gave out $10,000 in O’Leary Scholarships as well as the George Crombie PWX Scholarship. This is the first time in many years that the Executive Committee was able to bring our O’Leary Scholarship back up to the $10,000 level. I am grateful to the Executive Committee for helping those who wish to further their education in Public Works!

David Rendall, author and all around funny man, treated the crowd to a discussion related to his book, The Freak Factor. David gave us some valuable lessons while keeping us in stitches!


The New England Chapter collected more than 20,000 pounds of food for local food banks during its Fill a Public Works Truck during NPWW. This was the first year for the food drive and it will only continue to grow and collect more food in the coming years. Kudos to Mike Gantick for being a leader during this campaign!


The Summer Conference Committee did a phenomenal job with this year’s Conference. They always do a great job, but I was able to see firsthand as President what goes into it and everything went off without a hitch. The Education Committee also did a great job filling the schedule with robust, informative sessions.

Congratulations goes out to our Member of the Year recipient – Jaqui Connors! A well-deserved honor for someone that keeps this organization on track and plays an essential role behind the scenes for all of our events and activities. I, for one, would be lost without Jaqui, her guidance throughout this year, and her distinguished service to the Public Works community.

Special thanks goes out to Chief Frederickson of the Yarmouth Police Department for speaking at our Member of the Year Dinner. It was an honor for me to go with Alan Viall to the Yarmouth Police Department to present $1,045 for the Sergeant Sean Gannon fund. That money will go towards building a training facility in memory of Sean and his service to his community. My sincere appreciation goes out to all those that donated to help our host community of Yarmouth to heal from the horrible tragedy that befell Sean.


The Executive Committee traveled to Quechee, VT to take in the natural splendor that Vermont has to offer. My thanks to the folks in Vermont for hosting us. It is a goal of the Executive Committee to hold meetings across New England to give folks the opportunity to attend a meeting and meet their representatives. This was our first major step towards that goal and I look forward to our next visit somewhere in New England!

Vermont is also the home to Brigadier General Dennis Lutz who received the Outstanding Achievement in Public Works Award this year. Rick Merson made the trip to Essex, VT to present the award to Dennis and I appreciate him for taking the time to make the trip to help celebrate Dennis’ amazing achievement.


This year’s PWX brought us to Kansas City, MO along with nearly 6,000 other DPW professionals. PWX is always a great opportunity to learn new topics at more than 130 technical sessions, a wonderful opportunity to network with your peers, and a chance to add new pieces of equipment to your wish list from the exhibition floor.

The New England Chapter is no stranger to the stage during the presentation of National Awards. This year the Chapter brought home eleven National Awards including the Top 10 Leader of the Year Award, and the Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence. Bravo! Encore!

My thanks to the Awards Reception Committee, a committee of one – Richard Benevento, for coordinating the Awards Reception. The Awards Reception gives us the opportunity to gather and congratulate the National Award winners and celebrate their achievements!

The PWX Chapter Dinner Committee did an outstanding job with planning this year’s Dinner. The food was delicious and the venue provided us with many opportunities to network with our peers.

Next year’s PWX will be in Seattle so mark your calendars.


It is always due to a tragedy when the Bereavement Committee has to act; however, they did a great job calling out to the DPW community to honor our brother, John Doherty of Melrose, MA. John lost his life after a tragic work accident with the Melrose DPW. More than 200 DPW employees showed up with their trucks to create a procession that stretched for more than a mile and a half. It was an emotional tribute to a man that dedicated his career to his hometown.

My sincere appreciation to those men and women that traveled to Melrose to pay their last respects.


The Fall/Snow and Ice Control and Snow Plow Roadeo is on October 17, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. at the Boxborough Regency Hotel in Boxborough, MA. There are additional details on the Chapter’s website.

The Young Professionals (YPs) are hosting several networking events throughout the fall and winter so keep your eyes on our website for more details. The Executive Committee fully supports the efforts of the YPs and we hope you can attend their events.

Our final event of the year is the 2018 Holiday Board Meeting at the Courtyard by Marriot Boston Downtown Hotel on December 1, 2018. This year we are opening up this event to all of our Chapter membership - if you are a member of the New England Chapter then we invite you to come to the event, celebrate our accomplishments from the year, meet members of the Executive Committee, and welcome our new President, Gordon Daring. You do not want to miss this opportunity!

Details on these events, and much more, are online at

None of these events would be possible without the hard work, dedication, and passion of the members of the Executive Committee. I extend my sincere appreciation to those members who volunteer their time and talents to make the New England Chapter the best in the Nation!

We are also grateful for the support of our Sponsors. None of our events would be possible without their generous support. The Chapter appreciates our Sponsors’ financial support, their work on our Committees, their help at events, their friendship, and their dedication to the Chapter’s members. 

Best Wishes,

John K. Westerling

Your Chapter President


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