Tag Archives: Phyllis Simon

Who’s the Best in the Business?

Every year, GMWEA honors operators, facilities, organizations, and companies that have demonstrated exceptional service to Vermont’s water quality industry.  The 2017 awards were presented by outgoing president Rick Kenney at our 2018 Spring Meeting & Conference at the Killington Grand Hotel and Conference Center.

We’d love to publish all the winners’ photos, but due to space limitations, we need to select just a few.  Nevertheless,  congratulations to every one of the awardees, who are truly the best in the business!

  • Michael Garofono Water Operator Excellence: George Donovan, operator, Fair Haven Water Dept. (see photo, right); Mike Barsotti, director of water quality and production, Champlain Water District
  • Operator Excellence, Wastewater: Timothy Kingston, operator, Town of Brandon
  • Facility Excellence Award, Water: Grand Isle Consolidated Water District (SOS)
  • Facility Excellence Award, Wastewater: Town of Richford WWTF
  • Andrew D. Fish Laboratory Excellence Award: Mike Swindell, operator, City of Burlington Main Wastewater Plant
  • Outstanding Industrial Operator Award: Gary Audy, contract chief operator for The Alchemist Brewery, Trapp Lager Brewery, and Swan Valley Cheese (see photo, right) 
  • Bob Wood Young Professional Award: Nick Giannetti, Vermont DEC Wastewater Management Program
  • Stormwater Award (Individual): Annie Costandi, stormwater coordinator, Essex Town (see photo, right)
  • Corporate Sponsor Award: Clean Waters, Inc.
  • Outstanding Industrial Facility Award: Stone Corral Brewery, Richmond
  • Elizabeth A. Walker Meritorious Service Award: Mark Simon, principal, Simon Operation Services (posthumous)(see photo, below)

  • GMWEA President’s Award: Eileen Toomey, customer service specialist, Endyne Labs; Town of Hartford 

Two Vermont facilities and one individual also won U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards, which were presented by NEWEA’s Ray Vermette:

  • U.S. EPA Operations & Mantenance Award: Town of Milton
  • U.S. EPA Operator of the Year Award: Nate Lavallee, chief operator, Burlington North and East Plants​
  • U.S. EPA Energy Efficiency Award: Village of Essex Junction

Who do you think deserves recognition? GMWEA award winners are considered based on nominations received from our membership!  We invite you to put forward names of colleagues, facilities, or organizations you think have made exceptional contributions to the industry.

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In Memoriam: Mark Simon

We regret to inform our members that Mark Simon passed away on March 6.  Mark was a longtime and greatly-admired member of Vermont’s water quality professional community, who founded Simon Operation Services, coincidentally, the same year that GMWEA was born, in 1993.

GMWEA board members heard the news with sorrow, and many have shared fond memories of working with him. Mark was well known and had a large influence in the water and wastewater industry throughout Vermont.  He was instrumental in training many new wastewater operators over the decades by teaching the Sacramento Course.  To acknowledge his outstanding contributions to the industry and to the Association during its formative years, GMWEA gratefully awarded Mark its Founder’s Award in 2011.

Mark was born on February 3, 1949 in the Bronx, N.Y.  He and his wife Phyllis met in kindergarten and while they went their separate ways for many years, they finally got together in 1985 in San Francisco. Mark founded Simon Operation Services in 1993 in Waterbury, Vermont.

GMWEA board member Steve Crosby’s first job in wastewater was working under Mark at the North Branch Fire District in Dover, Vermont.  Bob Wells, now Middlebury’s wastewater superintendent, worked for SOS early on.  He recalls that “Mark’s business was used by a number of young operators in the state.  Some used this as a test of ‘Do I want to work in the municipal field of water and/or wastewater?’  One might even say it was a training area which many communities benefited from. I will definitely miss Mark.”

Per Mark’s request, no services will be held at this time, but family will hold a memorial gathering in Vermont during the summer. His family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Central Vermont Humane Society , 1589 VT-14, East Montpelier, VT 05651.

The GMWEA Board of Directors and the 500 members of the association extend sincere condolences to his wife Phyllis and their family.  Mark will certainly be missed.

If you have memories of Mark you would like to share, we invite you to send a comment.

To return to GMWEA’s website, click here.