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About Kirt Brooks


by Mike Donovan

CWEA's Kirt Brooks Memorial Scholarship was named after Kirtland "Kirt" Brooks, Association Manager and Bulletin editor for several years in the 1980's. Kirt had joined the Association in the mid-60's and become active in the San Francisco bay section and several other northern California sections. In 1972, he served as Chairman of the Bay Section and later as chairman of the Northern Regional Committee. In 1974, he was inducted into the Association's 5S society (Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers) in 1975 and was one of the first to be awarded the Pretreatment Pollution Prevention & Stormwater Committee (P3S) Committee's Silver Manhole Award.

Kirt's participation in and commitment to the Association were focused on the Association's operator training and certification programs. Kirt believed that by improving the technical qualification of operators and maintenance people, all would benefit. One of his major satisfactions was the development of what is now the Technical Certification Program. He was a key figure in encouraging the development of the program while on the Board of Governors and later its first "paid staff" to manage and process the tests - although he probably donated more time than he got paid for. Later when the idea of a scholarship program was conceived, Kirt became a member of the ad-hoc committee to define its objectives and selection criteria. He saw the scholarship as a logical extension of the Association's basic purpose of education of its members.

For nearly thirty years, Kirt actively contributed his time, creativity and wisdom to the Association. Several times, he declined the opportunity to be nominated to the Association's presidency, wanting instead, to work behind the scenes to foster the goals of the Association and encourage others to embrace them by his example. He was so respected and loved, that, at the next Board of Governor's meeting following his passing, the Board unanimously voted to name the scholarship program after him.