He Won $35,000 at the WWETT Show. Now What?

Max Silva of Warren Environmental was the lucky winner of $35,000 at the 2015 WWETT Show. The burning question on everyone's mind? What's he going to do with the cash.
He Won $35,000 at the WWETT Show. Now What?
Max Silva celebrates on stage at the 2015 WWETT Show Industry Appreciation Party after winning the $35,000 grand prize.

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If you attended the 2015 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show Industry Appreciation Party Feb. 25 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, there’s a good chance you recognize Max Silva.

Silva, who works for exhibitor Warren Environmental, was the lucky grand-prize winner of our giveaway in celebration of COLE Publishing’s 35th show anniversary. One of 12 finalists, Silva opted for the $35,000 cash prize over the 2015 WWETT Show truck. He accepted a check from COLE Publishing president Jeff Bruss on stage before the headline performance from rising country music star Cole Swindell.

We caught up with Silva to learn more about what he thought about his first WWETT Show, his role with Warren Environmental and most importantly — what’s he going to do with the prize money!




Q: I think the first question most of our readers have is, "What do you intend to do with the cash?"

Silva: Most of the money will go to paying down my student loans. The other portion of the money I will put away for a rainy day, I think. Not very exciting, I know, but this money will go a very long way.

Q: Where did you attend college and what did you major in?

Silva: I attended Boston University and graduated with a degree in business administration from the School of Management in 2012.

Q: Did you even contemplate taking the truck or was the cash prize a no-brainer?

Silva: I definitely contemplated taking the truck. I work with a few guys who love trucks, and it really was a beauty. It took me a few hours to decide when I was told I was going to be a finalist, but in the end, I decided it would be badass but impractical in my personal situation to take the truck. I called family and friends to help me decide, and even they were calling me back changing their minds multiple times.

Q: When did you start working for Warren Environmental, and what has that experience been like?

Silva: I have been with Warren Environmental for just under two years. After I graduated, I couldn’t find much that interested me on the job market, and I wasn’t interested in finance or accounting. Other opportunities for entry-level positions seemed more like call centers, and I wasn’t interested in that. I made a living waiting tables until my father, who also works in the trenchless industry, told me about [Danny Warren’s] company.

The experience I have had with Warren has been a great one because of how involved I was with projects right at the get go. From fieldwork to selling and traveling to manufacturing to reading plans and specs — I had my hands in everything, and a man who has been in the industry for 30-plus years as a teacher.

Every day is different at Warren Environmental with a new set of challenges. I don’t think I could have learned more about an industry in a shorter period of time with another company. 

Q: Can you explain a bit further in detail your role with the company and tell us what Warren Environmental does?

Silva: People ask me all the time what my role at the company is, and I never know really how to respond. I usually say something like, “I wear many hats and do a lot of different things for the company.” If I had to put a title on it I would say assistant project manager.

Warren Environmental is a manufacturer of 100 percent solids, zero-VOC, single-coat high-build structural epoxy. The epoxy is sprayed through patent-protected machines and can be spun cast and hand-troweled as well. We have NSF-approved materials and are listed on the Navy’s Qualified Product List (QPL) to be used on their ships.

We have certified licensed applicators spread out over the United States and overseas and are always looking for qualified contractors to add this valuable tool to their toolbox. The epoxy has been used in wastewater facilities, raw water lines, nuclear facilities, hospitals, Exxon Mobile facilities — you name it, we are in it. The epoxy has been through countless independent studies and field studies and has consistently performed at the highest level. The master applicator for the Warren Epoxy is A&W Maintenance, and they work all over the country and all over the world.

Q: Outside of being our grand-prize winner, what did you think of the 2015 WWETT Show?

Silva: The WWETT Show was a great experience. I have been to a number of trade shows, but this was my first time at WWETT. This show had more large equipment than I am used to, and some of those trucks were huge … made the prize truck look tiny. We did good business there, and I think we found a few good contractors that want to help us expand and become licensees.


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