News

September 19, 2018

Retirement Announcement

With Nearly 41 Years of Service, LB Water Chief Administrative Officer Retires

SELINSGROVE, Pa. –  When Bob Dagle began working at LB Water in 1978, the company had just four employees, three desks, one location and no computers.

According to Dagle, the four employees had to fight for space at the three desks, which were pushed together so workers could access a single set of product-inventory cards that they would rotate among themselves with the help of a lazy Susan.

"When we started off, we had a manual system and handwrote all of our invoices," said Dagle. "And we used a calculator to calculate product prices and multiply the units. The father of one of our employees would check our math."

Today, LB Water has grown to have more than 200 employees at eight locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and maintains a computerized inventory of more than $25 million in products used in the potable water, sanitary sewer and stormwater management industries. The company also has two affiliated companies, S3 Stormwater Solution Source and 540 Technologies® –which specializes in leak detection and water-loss management as well as smart lighting and smart grid applications.

During his four decades at LB Water, Dagle's diverse roles included everything from working in the warehouse, loading and unloading trucks and sweeping floors to driving a delivery truck, testing water and sewer lines and serving customers throughout a sales territory that extended from Coudersport to Towanda, Clearfield to the coal region, Millersburg to Tower City and all areas in between.

Despite his success at sales, Dagle said he and his fellow sales representatives never considered themselves to be salespeople.

"We were customer service people who tried to help the customer out – fix their problems," said Dagle. "We developed a lot of friendships with and trust from our customers. When we tried to sell them something, they knew that it was something that would be good for them."

In 2002, LB Water's original team of owners sold the company to the employees under an employee stock ownership plan, and Dagle became its first president, a position he held until 2008. Since then, until his retirement on June 30, Dagle served as chief administrative officer, overseeing the company's financial, legal, insurance and human resources functions.

"At the end of July, it would have been 41 years," said Dagle. "My wife had been retired for probably 10 years already, and it just seemed the time to do things while I'm healthy and able to get out and about."

To honor Dagle for his many years of service, the company held a dinner in his honor on June 21. Guests included LB Water's board of directors and leadership team, employees who had worked closely with Dagle as well as members of Dagle's family, several of whom also work for the company.

"Bob has been a tremendous asset to LB Water throughout his 40 years of service," said Shawn Pulford, the company's president and CEO. "His longevity, customer-driven focus and detailed knowledge across all areas of our company really can't be measured."

Now that they're both retired, Dagle and his wife, Romane, plan to travel, go boating, enjoy their cottage along the Susquehanna River and spend more time with their three children – Jason, Stacy Dressler and Jodie Mitterling and their children's spouses, Rachel, Troy Dressler and Andrew Mitterling – and four grandsons, Sean, 15; Evan 12; Mason Dressler, 12; and Logan Dressler, 10.

"My oldest grandson just started to golf," said Dagle. "So I'll probably be getting back into that a little bit. I haven't played for a number of years."

Despite his many years of service, Dagle credits LB Water's employee stock ownership plan for enabling him to retire "a little early, " and he said making friends with customers and coworkers over the years made work more fun.

"I enjoyed my time working at LB," said Dagle. "I never really felt that it was a great burden or hardship to go to work. We had great people working together, and we had fun working."