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Wine to Water Summit 2018 Recap

By September 18, 2018November 29th, 2020No Comments

Hi blog readers, my name is Katie Hodges and I am the author behind most of the blogs that you read. I was honored to be asked to attend the Wine To Water Summit and am extremely excited to share my recap with you.

A little over a week ago, we had the incredible opportunity to attend and be a sponsor of the Wine To Water Summit in beautiful Blowing Rock, NC.

Wine To Water is committed to supporting life and dignity for all through the power of clean water. They’re also our amazing charity partner! As soon as we found out they were planning a summit, we jumped at the opportunity to be a sponsor.

The purpose of the conference was to gather the Wine To Water community and help change-makers better understand the global water crisis, learn how they can help fight this crisis with Wine To Water, and help them walk away equipped to make a difference in their own community and around the world.

Here’s a recap of our time at the summit:

Thursday night: 

Thursday afternoon we checked into the conference and mixed and mingled with other attendees before heading to Appalachian State University to continue meeting movers and shakers in the Wine To Water community.

After some scrumptious hors-d’oeuvres and a little too much wine, we made it to the Schafer Center for the premiere of the short Wine To Water Film Mountains to Mountains.


The Mountains to Mountains short film was about the work that Wine To Water has been doing in Nepal since the earthquake back in 2015 and how much of an impact it they have made in Dahakhani, Nepal. After the end of the film, a few members of Wine To Water and an App State student and professor who helped Wine To Water bring clean water to Nepal sat on a panel and amazed us all with their stories and heartfelt vision for this community. Hearing how just one person can help thousands of people gain access to clean water is mind-blowing.

After the panel, we watched another short video about how a few simple taps have helped this community in Dahakhani flourish. As soon as the video wrapped, Wine To Water’s founder, Doc Hendley, came out to say a “few” words. He spoke with so much passion and emotion, that it left everyone in the room with tears streaming down their face.

Hearing everything that Doc had to say and what they’ve been able to do in Nepal, made me so incredibly thankful to be part of such an amazing community of people who are changing the way people think about clean water.


The evening ended with a few drinks and great conversations at Wine To Water’s newly renovated bar, Ransom, in Downtown Boone, NC.




Early Friday morning we grabbed our coffee and settled in for a day of learning and inspiration. First, we heard from Wine To Water’s CEO, David Cuthbert. He talked to us about where Wine To Water started, the impact that they’ve made thus far and where they plan to be in the future.


Here are some amazing stats he shared:

  • 2.1 billion people are not able to access clean water easily
  • Contaminated water is the #1 killer of children under the age of 5

So far, Wine To Water has been able to have an impact:

  • 314 communities
  • 729,650 lives
  • 33 countries


To help keep the momentum going, we heard from former NFL player, Justin Forsett. He talked about some of the trials he had been through in his life and his career. Here are a few quotes from his talk that made a huge impression on everyone in the room:

  • “Greatness grows best in the shadows.”
  • “You must excel at what you can control.”
  • “Vulnerability leads to growth which leads to greatness.”
  • “Greatness should permeate your whole life.”

“The greatest way to impact someone’s life is serving.”

Next, we heard from a panel of Wine To Water domestic and international staff. Here are a couple things that they said that stood out:

  • “We’re still figuring it out and we need your help.”
  • “The filter needs to be an investment so that families will take care of it.”
  • “Public health grows through trust and relationships.”
  • “If you don’t educate the people about the filter, they won’t care about the filter.”
  • “Invest in the people so that they can invest in the well.”

Before breaking for lunch, we were put into smaller groups. I was in the group that got to build Sawyer filters. These incredible filters can help provide a family with clean water for over 10 years.

These filters may look complicated disassembled, but once we got started, the assembly became easier because of the impact this small filter would have on a family somewhere. The best part? Once we assembled the filter, we were able to write a note to the recipient. How cool is that?



After lunch by the lake, we reconvened to hear from 2004 gold medal gymnast, Carly Patterson.

Carly spoke to us about some injuries that she had faced in her career and how she pushed through. She also talked about how she moved on after her gymnastics career was virtually over.

She gave us 3 things to remember:

  1. “Hard work never disappears.” -Yevgeny Marchenko
    • “We’ve got to be able to redefine success.”
    • “In order to have success you’ve got to take big risks and knowing that you will fail.”
  2. Success requires resilience
    • “Mistakes are inevitable consequences of doing something new.”
    • “Mistakes bring us more success than the things we do perfectly.”
    • “Setbacks are where we create strength in other areas.”
    • “I’m not letting fear and pressure control me.”
  3. Make decisions from a place of freedom
    • “Success is enjoying your journey.”
    • Don’t be the best at what you do, but be the best you, you can be!”


As if that wasn’t enough inspiration for the day, we moved on to our afternoon breakout sessions.

I attended an international panel where we were able to hear more from Wine To Water’s domestic and international staff.  Each one of them spoke with so much passion and purpose it made me so thankful to be a partner with them.

Shortly after, we attended another panel, that our fabulous Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dee Ray, sat on. Each of the women on this panel had stories about how they got connected with Wine To Water and why they have continued to partner with them.

Dee talked about how became connected with Wine To Water and what a wild journey it has been. We are so thankful to have aligned with such an incredible company that is making such a huge impact around the world and we cannot wait to partner with them for years to come.


While I was only able to attend 2 out of the 3 days, I am so thankful that I did. We are so appreciative of the fact that we get to be such a small part of Wine To Water’s BIG mission to help eradicate the global water crisis. Our mission as a company goes beyond providing you and your family with the products and knowledge to have clean water and clean air in your home. Our hope is to help provide those around the world with access to clean water so that they can live happy and healthy lives.

Thanks for reading our recap! We can’t wait to attend the next summit!


To find out more about The W3 Project and how you can help, click here. is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on  
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