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This year’s American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) Annual Conference & Expo (ACE11) will host more than 500 exhibitors and take place against the inspiring backdrop of Washington, D.C. A major highlight this year is the opportunity to get up close and personal with key House decision-makers affecting change. Attendees are invited to take critical issues to Congress through in-person meetings. On June 14 and 15, buses will run between the convention center and Capitol Hill between 7 a.m. and noon.

The exposition itself will kick off with the Attendee Reception on Sunday, June 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. This is an excellent chance for networking and catching up with friends and peers. Exposition hours for the remainder of the show are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.

Attendees do not want to miss the Opening General Session June 13 at 9 a.m. The official kickoff to ACE11 will include the return of AWWA’s volunteer “On Tap” Band, presentations from the organization’s leadership and a keynote presentation. Notable professionals will be recognized.

Another show highlight is the free seminar on June 13 at 2 p.m. titled “U.S. Government Export Programs: Helping Your Company Join the Global Marketplace.” Beyond that there will be plenty of other opportunities for learning with a full day of expert-led workshops on June 12 and exhibition hall education sessions throughout the week. The ACE11 technical program follows the tracks: Distribution & Plant Operations, Engineering & Construction, Executive, International, Legislative & Regulatory, Management, Manufacturers & Associates, Public Affairs, Research, Residuals, Reuse, Small Systems, Special Topics, Universities Forum, Water Conservation, Water Quality, Water Resources and Poster Sessions.

Noteworthy events to check out include the “Best of the Best” Taste Test on June 14 from 3 to 4 p.m., the Women’s Networking Event June 14 at 10 a.m. and a slew of Young Professionals Events taking place throughout the conference. Also returning this year is the ever-popular, high-energy Pipe-Tapping Contest, where top utility teams from section-level contests race to tap a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe. Also for the purpose of fierce yet friendly competition: the Meter Madness and Top Ops contests are cannot-miss events.

Please feel free to visit Water & Wastes Digest’s booth (#310) and say hello to the editorial staff. Enjoy the show, and see you in Washington!

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