ASDSO History

ASDSO History

Joe Ellam, ASDSO's First President, 1984-1986

ASDSO was formed in 1983. The first conference, held in 1984 in Denver, attracted nearly 300 attendees and saw the ASDSO constitution and by-laws adopted by 34 states.

ASDSO’s origins date from November 1977, when 39 people were killed by the Kelly Barnes dam failure in Toccoa Falls, Georgia. President Jimmy Carter immediately issued an executive order directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to inspect dams nationwide. This 3-year "Phase I" program revealed deficiencies in the great majority of non-federal dams.

On the heels of the Phase I inspections, two investigations - by the National Academy of Engineering and FEMA - revealed the inadequacy of state dam safety laws and programs. Their reports recommended an interstate forum on dam safety.

ASDSO began with organizational meetings in 1983 in Orlando, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky. By February 1985, 37 states and Puerto Rico had officially joined the association. ASDSO’s membership stood at 165: 90 associate (government employees) and 75 affiliate.

Today, ASDSO has more than 3,000 members representing state, federal and local governments; academia; dam owners; manufacturers and suppliers; consultants and others.

For more details on ASDSO's history, read The Origins of ASDSO, by Charles Gardner, ASDSO's first vice-president.

ASDSO Organizing Committee

  • Jeris Danielson, Colorado
  • Louis Jordan, Kansas
  • Del Downing, New Hampshire
  • Charles Gardner, North Carolina
  • Bruce Pickens, Ohio
  • Joe Ellam, Pennsylvania
  • John Clarke, Texas
  • George Christopolus, Wyoming
  • Bruce Tschantz, FEMA
  • Doug Roderer, CSG
  • Bill Bivins, FEMA

ASDSO's First Board of Directors

  • President - Joe Ellam, Pennsylvania
  • Vice President - Charles Gardner, North Carolina
  • Secretary/Treasurer - John Clarke, Texas
Board Members
  • Jeris Danielson, Colorado
  • George Christopolus, Wyoming
  • Jim Doody, California
  • Bruce Pickens, Ohio
  • Marty Stralow, Illinois
  • Del Downing, New Hampshire
  • Phil Moreschi, Connecticut
  • Brian Long, West Virginia
  • George Ballentine, South Carolina

ASDSO Board of Directors, 1984 to Present (updated 10/1/2013)

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