News Releases

WQA president focuses on member engagement
We have such an incredible journey ahead of us’ 

LISLE, Ill. (April 13, 2020) – Water treatment dealer DJ Shannahan, taking the reins as Water Quality Association President during the COVID-19 pandemic, pledges to foster engagement across the wide spectrum of WQA members. The association of like-minded water professionals serves “to remind us of what we all do for a living: help others by providing the cleanest, safest drinking water possible,” he said.

Shannahan, MWS, CI, CCO, is owner and operator of four Culligan dealerships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. He assumed the presidency during the WQA’s Virtual Annual Meeting April 2, succeeding Steve Ver Strat, Regulatory Policy Director at Amway.

“I could not be prouder or more excited to serve WQA members this coming year as president,” Shannahan said. “We have such an incredible journey ahead of us as we tackle issues surrounding the coronavirus; the relocation to a new headquarters and laboratory facility that will open many new doors for WQA; engaging our dealers, women and young leaders; aligning with allied association and industries; and fighting for legislative legitimacy for what we do every day.”

Shannahan said WQA has provided resources and support to its members during the coronavirus crisis, part of its regular advocacy for the industry. He pledged to increase engagement of all WQA members, especially younger members and women, and urged all members to get more involved in the association.

In brief remarks during the meeting, held online after cancellation of the WQA Convention & Exposition, Shannahan singled out his own two biggest mentors and role models: his father, Duke Shannahan, “the best people leader I have ever met;” and his uncle, Terry Cullen, “the man who taught me how to manage like a professional.” He said it now is time for himself and other experienced water industry professionals to step up to mentor young people entering the profession.

Shannahan has 30 years’ experience in water treatment, working first for a small portable exchange tank company before buying the company in 2004 and establishing Sharp Water Culligan in Salisbury, MD. He was elected to the WQA Board of Directors in 2005 and served as co-chair of the WQA Onsite Issues Task Force for nine years.  He was honored with the WQA Regents Award in 2008 and the Key Award in 2013.

He spoke more about his goals as WQA President in a recent WQA Radio podcast.

WQA has a 24-member Board of Directors: 15 elected representatives of manufacturer/supplier members and nine from the dealer membership category. Eight directors, including Shannahan, serve as the Board of Governors.


WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).  

wqa.org