Employee Spotlight - Eileen Laird

Aqua New Jersey employee, Eileen Laird, was awarded First Place in the Figure Masters Division at the NPC (National Physique Committee) Eastern USA Championships at the end of October.  The NPC is the amateur bodybuilding division of the International Federation of Body Building. Eileen works in Hamilton, New Jersey as an administrative assistant for state president, Nicholas Asselta.

Eileen has been a Master Figure Athlete with Bombshell Fitness for three years and takes her water consumption very seriously. She drinks between a gallon and a gallon-and-a-half of water each day when preparing for a competition.

“I trust Aqua to give me the best quality water, all day, everyday,”  she said. “My water consumption is crucial to my stamina and endurance in and out of the gym.”

 

Eileen wasn’t always so disciplined. A few years ago, at age 50, she was in danger of developing adult-onset diabetes as well as osteoporosis. Rather than letting her situation worsen, she made some dietary adjustments, purchased a treadmill and started lifting a few weights in her basement.

In 2013, after a year of training on her own and improving her health, Eileen was inspired by her newfound hobby. She needed a new obstacle to overcome (and check a box off of her bucket list), so she entered her a bodybuilding competition. With help from Gennifer Strobo of Bombshell Fitness, an IFBB professional, she started down a road that led to her passion.

Today, Eileen is a fitness competition regular. She has competed in numerous events, most recently attended the Eastern USA Championship and won first place in the Women’s Figure Master Over 50 division (she also came in fifth in a separate division). She is a nationally qualified NPC athlete and is already preparing for the 2016 championship. 

Outside of her decorated competition career, Eileen’s passion has also led to partnerships with Revolutionary Technology Nutrition, a fitness supplement company, and Elite 1 Fit Gear, an athletic apparel company. She also still works with Bombshell Fitness as one of their specialist.

“I love what I do and I am blessed to be in the best shape of my life instead of struggling with feeling over the hill,” Eileen said. “I have gained strength physically as well as mentally and I hope to inspire others to work to improve their health and general well-being through proper nutrition and exercise.

She added, “as a result of these lifestyle changes, I have reversed the threat of diabetes and no longer fear osteoporosis or growing older. Age is truly just a number. My number one answer when asked what one fitness tip is most important, I always say drink more water!”

A mother of three, Eileen also has received her black belt in Tang So Doo Karate and enjoys cooking and riding with her husband, Tom, on his Harley.

 

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What We're Thankful For

It's that time of year again! 
 
As we all sit around the dinner table for Thanksgiving with family and friends to recognize what we are most thankful for, the Aqua team would like to thank the people who make clean and accessible water a possibility: our employees. Their dedication to their trade helps build a stronger and more reliable water infrastructure and a closer bond with the customers we serve.
 
 
With winter weather approaching, our crews will work tirelessly to respond to emergencies and ensure water service through even the harshest of polar vortexes. We are thankful for our employees' hard-work and daily commitment to excellent service in some times unpredictable conditions, long hours and plenty of service requests.
 
Whether you work in the lab, at a call center, or out in the field, we can not thank you enough for your work. Happy Thanksgiving! 
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Fat, Oil and Grease - Oh My!

Don’t let fat, oil and grease get the best of your household pipes this Thanksgiving season.  Let Aqua and Gus the Grease Monster show you how to avoid costly clogs. Food scraps, grease and disposable wipes can block pipes and cause wastewater backups in homes and businesses. Check out our tips to dodge the whole mess! 

 

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Kankakee River Clean-Up

On September 20th, Aqua Illinois held this year’s second river clean-up event at the Kankakee River. The clean-up was a part of the Adopt-a-River program in which “foster parents” are responsible for a designated section of a river to clean twice a year. Aqua Illinois has been involved with Adopt-a-River program for the past 13 years.

 

This year, the clean-up was led and organized by Joel Mingus. He’s been involved for the past 5 years, this year being his second in organizing the event. In regards to the Kankakee River, which serves as a source for one of Aqua’s water treatment plants, Mingus commented, “Aqua’s support of this event reinforces the importance we place on the environment and our water source.” Aqua employees Kevin Culver, Don Denault, Tori Mury, Sean Culver, Kyle McKay and Sonia Fisher also helped out.

 

This Year’s Team

 

Mingus’ team comprised of Aqua Illinois employees, local residents and a Boy Scout troop scoured their mile of the river for litter. The team rid Kankakee of the usual wrappers, bottles, cans, plastic bags and other litter. What was more interesting, however, was how they came across pieces of a dilapidated dock and a relatively intact aluminum boat in the midst of their venture! This only goes to show the importance of the two clean-ups per year due to the random debris that can pop up at any given time.

These clean-ups are not only important, they’re also super fun! The biannual clean-up appears to be enticing to all ages as Joel’s kids took part in their second year this time around! “Our kids loved helping. They did get sidetracked by the shells and flowers, but they enjoyed spending time around the river,” he said. What’s great about having kids involved is the opportunity to educate them on the importance of clean water and a healthy environment.

 

Another Successful Clean-up

It was a successful day, according to Mingus. The kids had fun, the Kankakee River got a much-needed cleaning and Aqua Illinois was able to continue providing clean water to the area.

An event like Adopt-a-River is what Aqua America strives for in providing clean water and encourages you to get involved in. To find out how you can get involved with the Adopt-a-River program, head over to their site!

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Could You Imagine A Day Without Water?

How many of your daily activities require you to use water? Stop and think about it for a second. Can you imagine lasting an entire day without any water to perform the most basic of tasks, like washing your hands?

 

We use water for a lot more than just drinking. We use it to do our laundry, make coffee, upkeep our yards, clean ourselves, clean just about everything else and much more. To increase awareness around responsible water usage — and how lucky we are to have access to safe, clean water — from October 6 through October 8, we want you to imagine a day without water.

 

These days are a time to think about water’s importance in our lives and to reflect upon what we can do to conserve our most essential resource.

 

Change starts at the smallest level, and you can imagine a day without water just by changing some of your daily habits and practices at home. Our WaterSmart Tips page is a great place to start with plenty of everyday tips on how to reduce your water usage and value how we use water in our lives: 

 

      Brush your teeth without running your sink

      Check your home’s pipes and faucets for leaks, which can account for wasting up to 140 gallons of water per week

      Sweep the driveway instead of using a hose

      Time your showers! Your household can even make a game out of challenging one another to take the shortest and most efficient shower

 

See? There are plenty of ways for you to get involved!

 

At Aqua, we act as stewards of the environment. We value water immensely, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness about its importance to every aspect of our lives. By joining forces with people around the country to imagine a day without water, we’re hoping to remind both our customers and ourselves of how fortunate we are to have reliable access to water. How will you imagine a day without water? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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