Pumper Wants to Pick Your Brain at WWETT

Thought-provoking WWETT roundtable discussions keep an Oregon pumper ahead of the competition.
Pumper Wants to Pick Your Brain at WWETT
Al Kenney, the company’s general manager, is shown in the office with Angela Huber, customer service representative.

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Every February, Al Kenney looks forward to attending another Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport show (formerly the Pumper & Cleaner Expo). WWETT offers him a chance to see old friends, take a close-up look at the latest tools and technology, receive insightful business advice and refresh his batteries. 

“One thing I’ve really enjoyed the last couple years is the roundtable discussions,” says Kenney, the on-site manager for two Roto-Rooter franchises owned by Waste Connections Inc. in Brookings, Ore., and Del Norte, Calif. “You basically go and sit down with portable restroom people or [septic] pumpers and everyone asks questions and listens to answers. It’s great. No one is in competition with each other there, so you get a lot of straight answers.” 

While he walks around the convention floor, Kenney may overhear someone ask a question, and then walk up to the total stranger and share an answer – and no one is offended. “People from five different parts of the country might have five different answers, but one is likely to fit your operation,” he says. 

The show keeps Kenney up to date on technology advances, which, in turn, saves his company time and money – and boosts profits. He says he prefers to talk to people as they browse through the same manufacturer booths, and tries to glean any insights. 

“Those are the guys whose brains you’ve got to pick,” he says. “Every tool has its limits – that’s my favorite saying. And guys who use that equipment know the limitations.”

But more than anything, WWETT renews Kenney’s commitment to and pride in the industry. 

“I remember the first time I went to the show, the one thing I took away is how proud people are to be in the business,” he recalls. “It was amazing to me not only how proud they were, but how highly educated people are in this business. It’s our profession and it’s what we do and we love it. I came home and felt reenergized and proud of what I do.”

Want to learn more? Check out a full profile on these Roto-Rooter franchises.


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