Title at Secondwind: Manager of Commercial and Public Water sections, although one staff prefers to call me Yoda.
What do you do at Secondwind? It’s easy to describe what I do every day. I design water systems. I solve water problems. I help others in the company to also do those things. Those are the things I do that you can see. But I like to think I do a lot more. Everything I do comes down to two things; I help improve peoples’ quality of life and I help to protect public health. Many years ago, I walked into a house with a well contaminated with gasoline. I ran the water and it smelled like I was at the gas station. When I was done, the water didn’t smell and tests showed all the gasoline was gone from the water. That was about well over a decade ago and it still sticks with me today. We use water every day. I help to make that water better.
What’s your favorite part about working with Secondwind customers/ or the public? Sometimes we are presented with a very difficult problem to solve. It might be severe water quality, space limitations, or budget constraints. It’s great when we’re able to solve the problems and provide our customer with what they need. At some point in the process, they recognize that you’ve just done something special and you can see the tension leave them as you share your solution. It’s great being able to help them.
What have you learned while working at Secondwind? I’ve been here for over 19 years! I’ve learned a lot of facts and I’ve learned a lot about working with people, both customers and co-workers. But the most interesting thing I’ve learned in my world of water comes from Jacues Cousteau’s “The Cousteau Almanac” in which he states this about water: “Almost every other substance becomes heavier, smaller, and more dense as it changes from a liquid to a solid. But water expands and grows lighter, so that ice floats. If that does not seem remarkable, it should. If water acted like other substances, its solid form, ice, would sink. The floor of the sea and the bottoms of lakes would accumulate ice. Gradually, winter after winter, the ice would lock up more and more water until there would be none running free on the planet. There would be no life on earth.”
In your time with the company, what has been the most challenging or unique or fun job you have worked on? Why? The most fun job is easy. I helped solve some very challenging problems at a brand new winery in NH and helped this business focus on making wine by eliminating a serious water problem. A close second was working with the Lindt Chocolate factory and getting to sample chocolate still warm as it came off the machines. I wonder if I could call on both of those customers at the same time. The most challenging thing I’ve done is when I was an expert witness for the State of NH in a suit against oil companies for putting MTBE in gasoline because it contaminated a lot of our water. I spent a day on the witness stand and was questioned by Exon/Mobil attorneys for hours.
What is your favorite Summer activity? The ocean. I love being at the ocean. The smell of salt in the air and sound of the waves is incredibly peaceful to me. All my grandparents came here from the Mediterranean, so maybe that’s where my DNA belongs. When I can’t be at the ocean, I want to be getting dirt under my nails digging in the gardens.
Any big projects going on right now at home? We just finished (Or nearly finished. No home project is ever really finished) building a pergola in our yard. We have three grape vines that belonged to my wife’s grandfather, so they are all about 70 years old. We have been wanting to provide a suitable place for them to grow for years, and we finally did it this year. By the way, we also have her grandfather’s wine press that she used as a kid. Maybe that’s why I liked the winery job so much!