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The Water Quality Association's (WQA) staff, members and friends are mourning the loss of Global Government Affairs Director David Loveday, who passed away July 3, 2021, of cancer. He is being remembered as a tireless and innovative leader within the water treatment industry.
"We are devastated," said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. "David was such an integral part of the association with his unique experience in public policy, but he was also a great colleague and friend embraced by so many in the industry."
Loveday's achievements and leadership over nearly 15 years at WQA supported the water treatment industry at the state and federal level, building strong relationships on both sides of the political aisle.
He drew upon a vast reservoir of political strategy experience that began in the Reagan Administration in the 1980s, later serving in various roles with the Illinois Attorney General's office; Illinois House of Representatives, Office of the Republican Leader; Illinois State Toll Highway Authority; and the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees mass transit in the Chicago area.
"He had the most priceless and special brand of optimism around," said John Hoffman, a close friend and colleague of almost 30 years. "Dave immediately recognized the challenges and obstacles, then with his unflagging cheer motivated those around him into working together to move ahead and build for the greater good."
Loveday spearheaded several new programs while at WQA, launching the annual DC Fly-in, which brought members to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress or their staffs. He also helped create the WQA Political Action Committee to expand the association's influence among legislators. And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was instrumental in helping WQA members be recognized as essential businesses at both the federal and state levels.
"Dave was tireless, attending dozens of hearings in small towns or on Capitol Hill, always knowing just who to call or how to have that conversation that could change the course of a proposed bill affecting our industry," said WQA member Mike Mecca of Performance Water Products. "He was like a kid in a candy store when major political news was breaking, but he just as much enjoyed the smaller incidents he could tease his friends about, like the time I unknowingly brought a pocketknife into a security screening at the U.S. Capitol."
Loveday, 65, battled cancer for the past several months, yet never let on the difficulties that he faced, and never stopped contributing in every way he could to WQA, its members and clients. His sense of humor and positive outlook remained intact, and he was still working, engaging with his WQA colleagues from his hospital room, the last few weeks of his life. In his final days, he also worked with John Hoffman to create a remembrance that is accessible here.
"We have so much to be thankful for in all that David accomplished and those benefits will continue to be seen long after his time with us," continued Undesser. "He was a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and a tireless champion of all the good that this industry provides every day."
Loveday is survived by his wife of 35 years, Natalie; three children; and a new grandson. Memorial arrangements will be shared by the Humes Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the David Loveday Memorial Research Fund of the Water Quality Research Foundation, which will go toward scientific research to support Loveday's passion for water quality and continue his legacy of sound science in policy and decision-making. The memorials can be made online or via check made out to WQRF and mailed to 2375 Cabot Drive, Lisle, IL 60532.