Hey All! It’s Demi, we’re all still fired up about our first Virtual Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor Conference last Wednesday and Thursday. Zoom allowed us to reach hundreds of attendees from Europe to Australia, Mexico to Canada without a hitch, and without the hassles of travel, masks and distancing.
Jeff Weemhoff, President of Atlantic-OASE kicked off the Conference, welcoming attendees around the globe from Aurora, Ohio. Next, Thorsten Muck, CEO of OASE Living Water, presented a riveting recap of how OASE started, and where we’re going, speaking from World Headquarters on the other side of the world. When the head of the world’s largest manufacturer of water feature equipment speaks, it’s the real deal and we were very excited to have him join us!
Next up, from Michigan, our recently promoted Training Manager, Jim Chubb, showcased OASE Advanced Filtration systems, and how they dovetail perfectly with Atlantic’s Skimmers and FilterFalls. From a mile high, Kyle Weemhoff and Sean Bell continued the theme of ‘Two Is Better Than One’ with a detailed look at a Denver pond with both an OASE pump-and-filter setup and a traditional Atlantic skimmer/falls combo. We’re calling this the “A-O Water Feature.” It’s the perfect combination of both brands to create the ultimate water feature.
After a short break, newest member to the Marketing Team, Leah La Farciola, flew attendees via camera drone all through the 170,000 square foot facility. The highlight was the SandBox Training Center, something we’ve been working on for a couple of years on paper and has finally come to fruition! The Training Center combines the hands-on training areas you’d expect to find (it ain’t called “SandBox” for nothing) with a beautiful fully landscaped façade and “back yard”, complete with sod lawns, plantings, walks and patios. Not only can we train in the dirt and host on-line events year-round regardless of weather, we now have an indoor backdrop for Marketing’s photos and videos. We’re ALL thrilled. Next Frayne McAtee covered calculations for single and multi-nozzle fountain systems, followed with participants continuing lively discussions of the benefits of the pair-up in Round Table discussions.
The first day of the Conference ended with attendees splitting up into ‘Zoom Rooms’ to network during a virtual Cocktail Hour – mine was the Long Island Ice Tea Room.
Day Two opened with Frayne and yours truly presenting New Products – new filters for smaller water gardens and hardscape features, Product Bundles that add water and light to hardscapes and cool new hand-hammered brass bowls similar to the Copper Bowls but heavier, with an amazing patina. My friend and Category Manager, Maximilian Colditz, was up next with an informative presentation on state-of-the-art Natural Swimming Pools from Germany, a topic of particular interest to many, including me. Frayne followed up with what’s coming to North America for Natural Swimming Pools. Then, we Zoomed back to the States where Regional Manager, Sean Bell, unraveled the knots of Estimating Hardscape Water Features. Jim Chubb batted cleanup with an in-depth inspection of the latest in remote control of filters, pumps and lighting via wifi and applications with the Easy Garden Control system or EGC.
In closing Thursday afternoon, Jeff Weemhoff, presented the President’s Award to renowned sustainability expert, fitness coach and award-winning designer and builder of water features Mike Garcia of Enviroscapes LA for his years of teaching the responsible use of water in the landscape. The Pond Monster, Lloyd Lightsey, presented the Monster Award to Art of the Yard’s Shane Hemphill and Heath Webb for their selfless and constant support of other contractors across the industry. Jeff ended the Conference with the presentation of the APC Contractors of the Year Award to Jason and Tony Lenox and their crew at Ponds Inc. of Illinois for their public promotion of excellence in pond construction and practices. “The Conference went off without a hitch”, commented marketing director, Kendahl Kreps, “but we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in person next year!”
Thank you to everyone who attended or registered and watched the conference on demand this year!
About the Author:
Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.