Dick Hourigan Resigns from the AWT Board of Directors Over a Free Speech Issue
BEAR, Del., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Water Technologies (AWT), a Rockville, Maryland trade organization consisting of small water treatment companies, has attempted to restrict the ability of one of its members to communicate freely with its customers via the Internet.
In March of 2011, the Association of Water Technologies (AWT) informed Dick Hourigan, the owner of Richard Hourigan, Inc., that he would have to remove http://www.MissedPerceptions.com from the Internet or resign from their Board of Directors. They alleged that http://www.MissedPerceptions.com, a forum and blog, was in competition with the Association's private, members-only forum called the AWT ListServ. They alleged that this was a Conflict of Interest on the part of Mr. Hourigan. Regarding this issue, Mr. Hourigan said: "This is silly. Their forum is internal while ours is public. The purpose of our forum is to provide answers to customers and potential customers in the hopes that they may purchase items from our online discount venture known as http://www.TheWaterTreatmentStore.com. The only competition that I see is a bunch of my competitors trying to use their offices in a trade organization to limit my ability to compete with them. They are the ones who have the Conflict of Interest, not me." Over the next few months the Board of Directors took disciplinary action against Mr. Hourigan, stripping him of his voting rights, ability to speak at Board meetings, and his oversight of the AWT's Technical Committee and all of the Technical Subcommittees. Mr. Hourigan finally resigned his position on the Board on June 19, 2011. The complete written correspondence between Mr. Hourigan and the AWT Board of Directors, including his resignation, is posted on http://www.MissedPerceptions.com for all to see.
Dick Hourigan is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel with 35 years of service. While in the Army, he was in both Special Forces and the Chemical Corps. On the civilian side he is a degreed chemist who has been in the water treatment business since 1973 in various capacities. He is active in the day-to-day operations of http://www.TheWaterTreatmentStore.com which has sales all over the USA and in 8 foreign countries. He also is the driving force behind http://www.MissedPerceptions.com.
SOURCE Richard Hourigan, Inc.