Bill Maher to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Water Quality Association of Wisconsin
Former owner of Maher Water Corp. to be honored Sept. 13
FOR THE TOMAHAWK LEADER
WISCONSIN DELLS – William “Bill” Maher, former owner of Maher Water Corporation in Stevens Point, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Water Quality Association of Wisconsin (WQAW) during the WQAW’s annual convention at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells on Sept. 13, with the entire company and Wisconsin water treatment industry in attendance.
Bill was born and raised in Stevens Point, the same year his parents, Paul and Lydia Maher, went into a business called Maher Soft Water Service. The business began in Paul and Lydia’s home on Main Street, where the dining room became the office and garage behind their house became the shop. Bill is the oldest of five, and all grew up surrounded by the water business, but it was Bill that had a passion for carrying on the family business.
As a boy, Bill would accompany his dad on trips to the local feed mill to pick up 10-pound bags of salt, which were used to regenerate the manual softeners of the day. His dad was growing a portable exchange tank business, and as a teen, Maher helped out in the regeneration plant, which was still the garage behind the house. Bill would ride in the truck with his dad doing routes, and as soon as he had his driver’s license, he was able to run routes by himself on Saturdays and after school.
In February 1980, Bill’s father retired and Bill and Bonnie purchased the business. The business continued to operate from the house and garage on Main Street until July 1990, when Bill and Bonnie built a new building and moved the business to the east side of Stevens Point on Hoover Road. Lydia Maher continued to work part-time in the family business. In 1984, Bill opened a second location in Hazelhurst and later moved that business to Minocqua.
In 1983, Bill served his first term as President of the WQAW, a time when product approvals were first being mandated. Bill successfully received the first product approval in 1984 for a whole house nitrate removal system, a remarkable event since this was not only a softener or filter, but a health-related device. In 1994, Bill served his second term as the WQAW President, as well as on the Board of Directors of the National Water Quality Association.
In March of 2011, Danielle had that same conversation with Bill that he had once had with his father regarding ownership in the family business. Bill and Bonnie sold Maher Water Corporation to their daughter Danielle Maher-Baron and her husband Sam Baron. The business continued to grow, and in 2018, Danielle and Sam built a larger facility, the same year Bill retired.