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President’s Message: Thoughts from OGWA’s new president

October 26, 2022  By Dwayne Graff, President OGWA

Dwayne Graff President

Greetings and salutations, fellow well contractors! Wow – where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was new to the industry and fresh out of school, and now the newly voted president of OGWA. Where does the time go?

I would like to take a moment to thank past president Matt Wilson for his efforts while serving as president. I believe Matt held the president’s seat the longest of any president at OGWA. Congratulations, Matt! (sorry, there is no special award or prize). Thanks for your conviction and volunteering your time to our industry. Also, many thanks to the others that have recently retired from the board, such as Bill Beaton, Paul Conrad, Don Hsu, and Troy Hughson.

At of our June annual general meeting, we also welcomed some new faces to the board of directors: Rob Byers, Shawn Hopper, Boyd Pendleton, and Mike Steffen. We look forward to a fresh infusion of ideas with their assistance. You can view the new executive officers and board of directors list on the OGWA website under the About Us section.


We have been busy at OGWA despite the lack of direct in-person interaction that many of us have had with members over the past while. COVID has played a part in keeping us somewhat isolated. Our board has organized, cancelled, and reorganized several AGM events as well as regional meetings. I think it is safe to say that COVID has worn all of us down and we are all looking at getting back to normal – whatever that looks like. With some luck, I hope we are on the right track.

I am pleased and amazed at the volume of work available over the past year or so. We are fortunate in our industry to be involved in a business that, in the truest sense of the words, does not stop. During the past two years, I’ve been grateful to be in our business over many others, including travel and hospitality. We really are fortunate. Hopefully, everyone is enjoying some profitable times at work and that pricing for you and your competitors are allowing for business success. Moreover, I hope that the good pricing remains long after this whirlwind of activity slows down. I have heard many contractors have a significant backlog of work. Personally, I feel sorry for those people who need service that we have little availability or capacity to help due to existing workload, but there are only so many hours in a week.

For those who were not aware, the OGWA is fortunate to have Anne Gammage back on a part-time basis at the office, helping out behind the scenes. I’ve missed Anne and her attention to detail over the past few years and am very pleased she is helping us out. Don’t be surprised if you see Anne at some of the upcoming events, and feel free to give her a warm hello.

There are several items on my mind that I’d like the association to pursue over the next while. I believe any person, group, or association should have goals to not only succeed but improve upon our current standing and situation. To that end, some of the ideas we have explored at OGWA are as follows:

  • Improving the continuing education mandate for our members.
  • Raising the profile of our industry to gain proper recognition. To that end, we are exploring becoming an accredited trade.
  • Working with members to report unlicensed contractors to the authorities.
  • Bringing an increased level of safety to the industry.
  • Maintaining an industry that is profitable.

With thanks to Paul Conrad, we have developed the OGWA golf tournament, allowing a sustainable awards program for students. I think there is more we can do to be more impactful. This program has been a huge success.

As always, for any of you who have ideas, feel free to reach out to me or any board member or the office. We need to hear your ideas or concerns – after all it’s your association.

While we are all busy with our own businesses and careers, it is important for all of us to participate in the industry – beyond your immediate involvement with your own business. Finding time can be difficult, but it is a worthwhile cause. I will endeavour to leave it a better place.

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