Jay and the boys at the Green Bay Packers Stadium - Lambeau Field, 30 minutes away from where Jay grew up.
The boys relaxing!
Jay and his family
Welcome to Jay Tannan the Section’s February Spotlight Member! Jay is a Senior Sales Application Engineer for Harold Beck & Sons, Inc., an electric actuator manufacturing company located in Pennsylvania. Jay has been a member of AWWA since 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jay has been involved with a variety of industry associations including AlChE, AIMCAL, AISTech, AWWA, PACKEXPO, POWERGEN, TAPPI and WEF. At an AIMCAL conference in 2006, Jay received the John Matteucci Technical Excellence Award for a presentation entitled “Measuring Roll Parallelism in a Vacuum Metallizing Chamber Using Inertial Alignment Technology”. More recently, Jay has supported both national and PA/NJ section level AWWA, Water for People and WEF committees. Jay has attended many Young Professional events over the years and this year; he was the first exhibitor to register for the Annual Conference!
Why did you decide to go into the field of water?
There was no direct tie between what I studied in college and the water industry. My career started out in the paper industry where I worked in research and development. My next job was with an alignment systems and condition monitoring company that gave me exposure to several industries, none of which included water. It was not until 2009 when I joined BECK, that I would work in the water industry. Although my work in the water industry is from a manufacturing standpoint, I believe in the mission of AWWA. Water is a necessity to everyday life and having solid and sound infrastructure is critical. Proper infrastructure lacks in many places around the world. I’m glad organizations exist to provide water solutions, promote development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, and protect the environment and public health. Having now worked 10 years in the water industry, I want to be part of the solution.
How did you become a volunteer for AWWA? What motivates you to be active in the Section?
I first became a volunteer at the association level of AWWA. Having been to many different industry-related trade shows over the years, I was most impressed by AWWA because I had not seen such a buzz of excitement and volunteerism in any other associations as I witnessed among the AWWA members, and I wanted to be a part of it too. At the 2013 ACE/AWWA show in Denver, I was introduced to Nancy Sullivan who connected me with the Young Professionals and MAC (Manufacturers Associates Council) committees. Having a role on the association level has motivated me to be active in the local sections where I live. The NJ-AWWA connections that I have made so far are amazing and I recommend anyone coming out of college entering into the water industry get involved with AWWA as a great development and networking opportunity.
How long have you been an AWWA member and what have you gotten from your membership?
I have been an AWWA member since 2012. I’ve attended several ACEs, Section and YP-Summit AWWA conferences. Having met many members over the years, some of whom have been mentors to me, I’ve gained professional knowledge which expanded my expertise in the water industry. I can’t say enough about the networking opportunities that I’ve gotten out of my membership.
Hobbies and outside interests?
I have many passions outside of work. My parents are avid travelers who encouraged me to see the world and all the different cultures that exist. My wife has been supportive over my career and aspirations. I have two young and very energetic sons that keep me on my toes. Like my parents, I plan to give them as many travel experiences as possible. Aside from traveling, I love to play basketball, go skiing and toss around the football with my sons. My other hobby is music. Prior to moving to the east coast in 2006, I had been part of a professional DJ service from 2002-2006. Being a DJ taught me a lot about dealing with various personalities, reading social cues and figuring out how to make sure everyone is having a good time.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
I am lucky to have supportive people in my life that have helped me get to where I am. Without mentors and role models, it is difficult to navigate a professional career. I hope to inspire the incoming generation and encourage them to be a part of the solution rather than being part of the problem. The environment needs us just as much as we need it so we all have to do our part to protect it. The mantra I follow is to live life to its fullest and don’t sweat the small stuff.