In Profile: 2009 WCTA President Karen Hounsome

12.01.11 Karen-HounsomeKaren Hounsome's Bio In Her Own Words…

President Plasteras asked me to tell the members of the Western Turf who I am. So I spoke to my therapists and they said in about fifty years I might be able to tell you. This is what happens when you work in the Irrigation industry for 27 years.

I was born in Quebec and moved to Nova Scotia soon after.

In 1974 we moved to Victoria and I continued my education at Camosun College, University of Victoria and the BC Institute of Technology. I hold a Technologist Diploma in Landscape Horticulture and am a member of the ASTT, Applied Science Technologists of B.C. in Biological Sciences.

In 1978 I started working for Rain bird Canada doing irrigation design for western Canada. At the time I thought this would be a temporary job "until something better came along", but as anyone who has worked in the Irrigation industry can attest, the vortex sucks you in. I worked in the Vancouver Area for ten years, transferred to Toronto and worked with an irrigation contractor there for two years. In 1988 I moved back to the Island to work for the Hunter distributor of Irrigation products.

I currently live on Vancouver Island and work for Eljay Irrigation Ltd., managing the Victoria and the Burnaby branches.

I have been actively involved with the IIABC (Irrigation Industry Association of B.C.) since its inception in 1978. Over the past 18 years the IIABC has become more involved in the expansion of education to Contractors and end-users of irrigation systems. My passion in the industry is to see equipment used appropriately to eliminate waste, both water waste and financial waste. To this end I volunteer time with the IIABC education classes at their annual conference as well as volunteering with the Local Victoria Water District (CRD) in teaching homeowner workshops aimed at efficient irrigation.

I teach and assist local Colleges on the Island with irrigation information for courses taught to students in the landscape and turf fields. I am certified through the Irrigation Industry Association of B.C. in Golf Irrigation Design, Commercial Irrigation Design and Water Auditing. I am also a Past President of the IIABC and currently serve on the Certification Board of the IIABC.

My goal over the next few years is to help co-ordinate with the WTGA and the IIABC, to achieve our common goals of education and certification of qualified personnel for the advancement of public water use in the in our industry.

Free time you ask? Buy me a bottle of wine at the next conference and I will tell you more than you want to know about music from the 40's and barbershop harmony.

Thanks for your support in letting me serve on the Board for the WTGA; I am looking forward to having the opportunity to have a positive impact on our industry.