Awards | Board
of Directors | Local
Sections | Membership |
Raffles | Other
Topics | Membership
What is the Awards Program?
CWEA's Awards Program is a large and important part of
fulfillment of CWEA's Mission, which includes promoting
and recognizing excellence in the wastewater profession.
The program costs CWEA $85,000 per year for the plaques,
engraving, flags, certificates, application binders, and
What is the Timeline for the Awards Program?
The timeline starts in February, when Committees must
provide CWEA with any revisions to standards and
criteria for the annual Awards. On July 1st, award forms
for 16 categories of State Awards, plus WEF Awards are
distributed to Local Sections and Committees by CWEA
Local Sections then select Local Section winners, who receive
awards at Local Section Award Banquets between October
Winners at the Local Section level then progress to the
State-level competition when the Nominee and/or the
Local Section Awards Chairs submit their nominations to
CWEA by the deadline which is the second Friday in
January. Each Committee then reviews nominations from
Local Sections, and selects the winner. State Awards are
presented at the Awards Luncheon at the Annual
Conference in April.
Nominees for WEF Awards must be submitted to CWEA by mid-January,
for review by the Membership and External Relations
Committee. The deadline for submittal by CWEA to WEF of
nominees for WEF Awards is March 1.
Why has the Board Adopted an Awards Policy?
In June, 2001, the Board adopted a formal Awards Policy
to clarify the purpose of the Awards Program, ensure
consistency and equity for participants, and protect the
credibility and value of the program.
What are the Guidelines for Interviews and On-Site Visits?
Not all awards require interviews or on-site visits.
However, for those that do, the Board has approved
guidelines for interviews and on-site visits for State
Those guidelines require a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 judges
for on-site visits or interviews for only the top 3
applicants for State awards. The guidelines also require
that all judges visit all locations within that category
of award and participate in interviews. If any judge
cannot participate at one location or on one interview,
then that judge’s review comments on other sites or
interviews shall be excluded from consideration.
The policy specifies that Inspections of sites for State Awards
shall be a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 3.
Interviews shall be a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of
1 and 1/2 hours.
Finally, the policy specifies that inspections and interviews be
based on standard questionnaires or areas, such that
each nominee receives the same questions, or is
evaluated on the same criteria.
Must all Nominees be CWEA Members?
Yes. Non-members are not eligible. If an award is for an
agency or company, at least one person from that agency
or company must be a member of CWEA.
Must Local Sections Follow the Same Guidelines?
Not all Local Sections conduct interviews or on-Site
visits, however, those that do should establish criteria
that will ensure the same consistency — i.e. the
number of judges, and minimum and maximum times for
interviews or on-site visits.
Are Winners Notified Before, or at Awards Ceremonies?
This particular topic has been discussed and debated for
many years. Some Committees have always notified
winners, and others have not. The new policy, adopted
after two-years of input and consideration by the Ad Hoc
Awards Task Force, specifies that winners of State
Awards will be notified in writing three weeks prior to
the CWEA Annual Awards Lunch.
Local Sections may choose whether to notify or not.
While anticipation and surprise are enjoyed by the audience,
notification of winners allows the winner to invite
family, friends, co-workers, Agency Board members,
supervisors, etc. to share in the celebration of the
pinnacle of achievement — a lifetime achievement for
many people. This increases the significance of the
award to the winner, which is the objective of the
Can Winners Compete Again in the Next Year?
No. The new policy precludes winners from consideration
for a period of one year, and encourages winners
instead, to participate in the judging for the awards in
that year. The objective is to encourage those who might
not otherwise do so to participate in the program.
Can Local Sections Have Their Own Awards Forms or Criteria for
No. To protect the significance and value of the CWEA
State Awards, all winners must use the same forms and
meet the same criteria and standards.
In the past, some Local Sections have selected winners at the
Local Section level, using different forms and criteria.
This has lead to some problems, including negative press
reports, which reduce the credibility of the whole
Awards Program. Also, use of different forms and
criteria at the Local Section level may result in
winners from that Local Section not being as strong a
competitor, and cause them to be less likely to win the
Can Local Sections Have Unique Awards?
What Period of Time Does the Award Cover?
Yes. However, to protect the credibility of the Program,
and ensure legal compliance, Local Sections who initiate
any new unique awards must submit the criteria and
intent of the award to the Membership and External
Relations Committee for review prior to presenting any
This is also a topic much discussed. The new policy
establishes that the time period for consideration of
the award shall be the most recent July 1– June 30
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Who are the Board Members?
The Board members are 17 CWEA members that other members
have selected and voted into office, to make decisions
on behalf of the members, in the bet interests of the
How are Board Members Selected?
Local Section Boards and Committees, including the Northern
and Southern Regional Committees, may nominate any Active
member (member of CWEA and WEF) to fill any vacant position.
Each year, 6 positions are filled, four of them requiring
a vote of the membership Vice President; WEF
Director; at-large North and South; and two of them
are appointed TCP Chair and Northern or Southern
Regional Committee Chair.
The nominations are reviewed by the Nominating Committee,
which also interviews candidates for the Vice Presidential
position. The Nominating Committee then recommends a
slate of candidates to the Board, at their January Board
meeting. The Board votes to approve the slate to be
presented to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting,
held during the Annual Conference in April.
At the Annual Business Meeting, the membership has
the opportunity to vote for candidates on the slate,
and on any candidate nominated from the floor.
Until 1998, CWEA had never had a request for proxies.
In 1998, a question from a member lead CWEA to investigate
the legality of proxies, and CWEA legal counsel advised
that every CWEA member has the right to vote by proxy,
guaranteed by the California Nonprofit Corporation Code,
Section 7613 a), which provides that every member is
entitled to a vote by authorizing another person to
act by proxy unless the right has been withdrawn
or limited in the CWEA Articles of Incorporation or
Constitution and Bylaws, by vote of the membership.
CWEA members have never limited this right, nor withdrawn
it, and the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were
silent on the issue. Therefore, the membership has the
right to vote by proxy.
Following this legal opinion, the CWEA Board incorporated
language from the California Corporation Code into the
CWEA Constitution, affirming the right to vote by proxy,
to avoid any confusion in the future.
How is a Proxy Different from
an Absentee Ballot?
An absentee ballot allows a member to vote his/her own
wishes on the slate of candidates, by mailing his/her
vote in ahead of time.
A proxy is authorization given by a member to another
member, who will be present at the Annual Business meeting,
allowing that member to vote not only his/her own vote,
but to vote on behalf of those who have granted him/her
CWEA has no provision for absentee balloting. Therefore,
members who cannot be present at the Annual Business
Meeting, can only exercise a vote by granting
the power to a member who will be present, to vote in
What is the Process for Exercising
The Board established procedures for use of proxy votes
on January 29, 1999.
After the Nominating Committee has developed a slate
for the next election, all candidates are advised of
their right to request a copy of the standard proxy
form from the CWEA office.
- Only the standard CWEA Proxy Form may be used. That
form must contain the name of the member to whom the
proxy is being given; name, signature and membership
number of the member granting the proxy, and the date
on which it is given.
- Each proxy form is limited to a single purpose,
so a separate proxy is required for each office or
- Only CWEA members whose membership is current, may
vote or assign their vote to another member by proxy.
- Only members of CWEA whose membership is current
may be designated to receive the proxy of another
- Completed proxy forms must be received at the CWEA
office 7 working days prior to the Annual Business
Meeting, to permit verification of membership numbers
- Any member who has received proxy forms must be
present at the Annual Business Meeting in order for
those proxies to be counted. If that member is not
present, proxies assigned to him/her are not counted.
- At the time of the election at the Annual Business
Meeting, the holder of any proxies is required to
notify the Nominating Committee Chair of the number
of proxies that have been confirmed by the CWEA staff.
- For any office for which there is more than one
candidate (I.e. the nominee approved by the Board
for the slate, and candidate(s) nominated from the
floor, a written ballot is held and the proxies count
as ballots, with the proxy holder designating the
candidate for whom the ballot shall be cast.
What is the term of office?
The term of office for each Director is 3 years, with
the exception of the TCP Chair Director, who serves
a single year, during his/her term as Chair of the TCP
Executive Committee. Each officer serves one year in
any officer position.
Who are the Officers?
The officers are the Vice President; President Elect;
President; and the Secretary /Treasurer of the Association.
What are the duties of the
Non profit Board Members have 10 basic responsibilities:
- Determine a Program of Work to fulfill the Mission.
- Select and review the Chief Paid Executive.
- Ensure effective organizational planning, including
the establishment of policy and direction.
- Ensure that there are adequate resources, and manage
those resources effectively.
- Know the issues and exercise independent judgment
in the best interests of the organization.
- Enhance the organization's public standing.
- Rely upon experts.
- Delegate the day-to-day business of the organization.
- Recruit and orient new Board members and assess
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain
What are the Board Committees?
Why have them?
In 2001, the Board created a total of 4 Board-only committees,
and divided the work responsibilities among the 4 committees:
- Planning and Program Development Committee
Comprises the President Elect, Vice President; Past
President, 3rd year Regional Committee Past Chair
and the 3rd year Director-at-Large. It is responsible
for budget development; conference steering; design
of the annual program of work; new program development;
planning work sessions and strategic planning.
- Operations Committee Comprises the Secretary/Treasurer;
2nd Year Director; 1st Year Director; TCP Chair; 1st
year Director-at-Large and the 2nd Year Regional Committee
Chair. It is responsible for oversight of committee
and conference activities; financial operations and
budget implementation; publications; operational policy
development and TCP.
- Membership and External Relations Committee
Comprises all 3 WEF Directors; 2nd year Director-at-Large;
and 1st year Regional Committee Chair. It is responsible
for awards; constitution and bylaw issues; local section
activities; marketing; communication; membership and
- Executive Committee Comprises the President,
and the Chairs of each of the other three Board Committees.
It is responsible for setting Board agendas, personnel
The purpose of the Committees is to make best use of
limited time available for reviewing and understanding
the increasing volume and complexity issues confronting
the organization. Each Committee is responsible for
reviewing all items within its domain prior to the quarterly
Board meeting, and for developing a report and recommendations
to the full Board, which then takes final action on
all issues. Staff is responsible for preparing reports
and recommendations to Committees, and for preparing
the Committee reports and recommendations for the Board.
Are Board Costs Paid by CWEA?
CWEA pays only for meeting room rental for Board meetings,
and for meals during Board meetings. Board members are
responsible for paying for their own travel and hotel
rooms, and for any meals other than those served at
Board meetings. The cost to Board members is typically
approximately $2500 to $3500 per year.
How is Liability Limited by
and for the Board?
Board members incur personal liability for activities
of the association. Liability is limited by risk assessment
and management; reliance on experts; and purchase of
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What is a Local Section, and
which Local Section is mine?
CWEA Local Sections are geographic groupings of CWEA
members, distributed throughout the State of California
for the purpose of providing educational programs to
assist in the fulfillment of CWEAs Mission to
educate wastewater professionals. (See the Local Section
What is the legal basis for
CWEA Local Sections are authorized by the CWEA Constitution.
They can be formed on the basis of a Board vote of approval,
providing that they meet the basic criteria of 20 CWEA
members, and submit a Constitution and Bylaws that is
consistent with CWEAs Constitution.
CWEA Local Sections are not independent which
means they are not separately incorporated, and do not
have separate tax identification numbers from the IRS.
Instead, they are Integrated Chapters, meaning
they share CWEAs tax identification number. The
CWEA Board of Directors absorbs the liability for activities
of the Local Sections.
Who are Local Section members?
CWEA members may elect to join a Local Section or Sections,
and must pay the Local Section dues in addition to CWEA
How are Local Section Officers
Each Local Section has an annual nominations process,
for the selection of the Local Section President, Vice
President, Secretary/Treasurer and other Local Section
Board positions. Local Section members may be nominated,
and may participate in the vote, usually at the Local
Section Annual Meeting. Local Section leaders frequently
are already, or become leaders in CWEA, chairing Committees,
or serving on the CWEA Board of Directors.
How are Local Section activities
Local Section membership dues are a primary source of
income to Local Sections. Revenues are also received
by Local Sections, from educational activities such
as dinner meetings or professional development activities.
CWEA underwrites a portion of the costs of Local Section
activities, by absorbing the cost of insurance, tax
preparation and audits through the CWEA general fund.
CWEA also provides some staff support services and awards
given by the Local Sections as part of the CWEA awards
program. CWEA also maintains a reserve fund, which secures
Local Sections, and protects against losses or judgments
not otherwise covered by CWEA purchased insurance.
Aggregate Local Section financial holdings represent
slightly more than 51% of CWEAs gross assets.
CWEA Local Sections do not directly contribute to CWEAs
How do Local Sections contribute
A) Local Sections major contribution to CWEA is in the
form of fulfillment of the CWEA Mission, to educate
wastewater professionals. California is a large state,
and the costs to members or their agencies to travel
to statewide training venues is substantial. Local Section
training activities are accessible and of shorter duration
than the traditional 2-4 day statewide training conferences,
so costs are kept lower, making training affordable.
B) Local Section subscribers frequently recognize the
value of increased involvement in CWEA, and elect to
join CWEA. So Local Sections also serve as a membership
C) Local Sections have been generous supporters of CWEA
Kirt Brooks Scholarship Fund, making annual donations
to achieve the initial goal of $200,000, from which
$5,000 is annually awarded in scholarships to CWEA members
and their families.
What is the role of the Regional
Committee with regard to Local Sections?
The Northern and Southern Regional Committees are intended
to function as Regional Councils, gathering
information from Local Section Leaders, and providing
information about CWEA state activities in return, and
coordinating Local Section activities to avoid calendar
Each Local Section is required to name two representatives
to the Regional Committee. Generally, these are the
President and Vice President of each Local Section.
If these officers cannot serve, the Local Section may
select any other officers of the Local Section Board.
Regional Committees meet quarterly, and attendance at
these meetings by all representatives is required.
There are 10 Local Sections in the North, and 7 in the
Why must Local Sections report
Because Local Sections are not independent associations,
but are part of CWEA, using CWEAs tax ID for all
activities, the CWEA Board incurs all liability and
fulfils all financial reporting responsibilities, through
the CWEA paid staff.
Monthly financial reports are required, and must be
received by CWEA staff within 3 weeks of the close of
each month. Annual Budgets, and annual reports are also
required within 30 days of fiscal year-end which
is June 30th.
Records of expenses and income for such items as pins
or tee-shirts must be kept and reported. CWEA staff
aggregates the total profits for CWEA and all Local
Sections, reports to the IRS, and pays the State Board
of Equalization any money owed.
Amounts over $600, paid to individuals not incorporated,
require completion of a 1099 Form and the new State
DE 542 form. CWEA staff completes all filings upon notification
by the Local Section.
How can I get other questions
answered about Local Sections?
Call, write, fax or email any question to the CWEA office.
You can also contact the Local Section directly using
the contact information found on their website
or their list of officers.
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What is CWEA-only membership?
Wastewater professionals, and other interested citizens,
can join the California Member Association (CWEA) of the
Water Environment Federation (WEF), without joining WEF.
To join CWEA only, any individual can check the CWEA
member only box on the Membership Application and send
in a check for the CWEA dues. CWEA membership
applications are processed in the CWEA Oakland office.
What is WEF membership?
If individuals join WEF, either through CWEA or directly
through WEF and are employed in
they automatically receive CWEA membership. There is no
need to join CWEA separately if you are also a WEF
Member. CWEA dues are included in the WEF member price.
If you are applying for WEF membership through CWEA,
CWEA will enter your information and forward WEF dues to
WEF headquarters in
CWEA will send you a membership card once we receive
your new membership number assigned by the WEF office.
This option can take about 6 to 8 weeks to process.
you are applying for WEF membership directly through
WEF, you may call WEF Member Services at
with any questions. Once WEF has received and processed
your application, they will send your information to
CWEA where it is entered into our database. CWEA will
send you a membership card in 6 to 8 weeks.
Does membership in CWEA also mean I am a member of a Local
Yes. All CWEA renewals and membership fees include a fee
for Local Section Membership. Local Sections are not be
responsible for billing their own members, rather all
billing is done through the CWEA office, and a portion
of your membership dues will go towards a Local Section
Membership of your choice. This means that all Local
Section members are also CWEA members. If
you would like to join more than one Local Section you
may do so, just click here http://www.cwea.org/pdf/localsections/localsection_additional_memform.pdf.
You will receive information about your Local
Section with your membership card after your membership
What do my CWEA membership dues provide? How do I benefit from
The largest benefit to those who join CWEA, is the
opportunity to get information that will help you
professionally, increase your salary through your
knowledge and ability as a wastewater professional, and
access to information and support for professional
problems that arise in your field of wastewater
treatment. Through its training programs; technical
articles in the Wastewater
Professional; study sessions for the
exam, and through the certification program,
wastewater professionals are able to expand or maintain
cutting-edge knowledge in the wastewater field.
CWEA’s certification program is the premier
wastewater testing program in 6 disciplines of
wastewater treatment. The programs and services are
available to members at discounted prices.
Annual Conferences in April each year, bring
together 2,000 wastewater professionals, and top
quality speakers on wastewater topics in over 8
concurrent tracks. Additionally, several Specialty
Conferences are held annually, focusing on topics in
emerging issues, Industrial Waste Treatment and
Inspection; Biosolids; Electrical and
Instrumentation and Safety. Most Local Sections
offer monthly meetings with training as a component.
PRODUCTS: Exhibits by manufacturers and suppliers of
wastewater equipment and products provide conference
attendees with the opportunity to evaluate, compare
and gain information on state of the art
developments from 150-200 exhibitors at the annual
RECOGNITION: The Awards Program provides recognition
for outstanding individuals and agencies in more
than 20 categories of wastewater treatment. Only
CWEA members are eligible.
CWEA’s Scholarship Program annually awards CWEA
members with up to $5,000 in funding for education.
Membership Directory available on-line on the CWEA
site, in a members-only area, provides contacts at
Leadership opportunities at the CWEA and Local
Section level provide members with opportunities to
develop new leadership skills; contribute to the
profession and professional recognition to enhance
professional standing within the industry.
INFORMATION: CWEA has a very large, very
with a huge array of information posted, and updated
daily. Among the offerings are educational calendars
that include listings statewide, and a jobs
Life is short – the profession is a hard one. CWEA
offers an opportunity to meet new people who know
and share your professional concerns, but who also
know how to enjoy what they do, and they can show
you how to make what you do a more enjoyable
How long does it take to process my application?
Applications sent directly to CWEA are processed within
2-3 weeks, with new member packets mailed
within 4 weeks.
Applications sent to WEF take 6-8 weeks, as do WEF
applications sent to CWEA, as CWEA must wait for WEF to
process a member number before we can issue new member
Can my agency pay for my membership at the same time as other
Agencies can pay for multiple employee memberships at
one time, with a single check. The Agency should simply
attach a list of the names of all individuals for whose
membership that check is paying. A recent survey shows
that 70% of membership dues are paid for by the
I work for a company, not an agency. Can I join
as a Corporate member?
CWEA and WEF both have a Corporate membership category.
However CWEA benefits are different from those of WEF.
When a company applies for a WEF Corporate membership,
the company currently pays the dues and receives several
publications (see the CWEA membership application for
only 1 designated individual in the
company receives CWEA Association membership. Look
at the CWEA membership application for specific
When a company has a WEF Corporate membership, more than
1 employee may use the WEF member number to receive the
member rate at a WEF event. However, for attendance at a
CWEA event, only the individual employee designated as
the CWEA member may use the member number to receive the
member rate, since CWEA currently has only individual
I work for a utility (or agency). Is there a Utility or Agency
CWEA has adopted a Utility membership status CWEA's
category provide a package of membership benefits unique
to this membership category.
It also has a single individual as the designee
of the utility/agency.
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What is a raffle?
Raffles are a type of lottery in which prizes are awarded
to people who pay for a chance to win. Each person enters
the game of chance, by submitting a detachable coupon
or stub from a paper ticket purchased.
Who may conduct raffles?
Only eligible private, tax-exempt nonprofit groups qualified
by the Attorney Generals office, may conduct raffles
to raise funds for charitable or beneficial purposes
CWEA qualifies as it is exempt under revenue and taxation
code section 23701 d).
However, because of the complicated reporting
required, the CWEA Board of Directors has passed a policy
that states that no raffles are to be held within CWEA
at Local Section, Committee, and State events. Door
Prizes, within specific guidelines, are still permitted.
What is the difference between
a raffle and a door prize?
Raffles are a lottery in which money is exchanged for
a chance to win a prize, and individuals may purchase
multiple tickets in order to win.
Door Prizes permit all in attendance to have an equal
opportunity to win a prize. It is in no way related
to any money paid for the ticket or attendance, nor
donated to CWEA.
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How should Local Sections
or Committees respond to requests to donate to other
organizations or individual projects?
More and more frequently, CWEA and its Local Sections
are receiving requests from organizations or individuals
with projects that seem good, interesting, valuable
and worthwhile. Here are 3 things for the Local Section
Board to think about if it receives request to donate:
How can I get other questions
answered about CWEA or included on the FAQ list?
- How does the person, project or organization fulfill
CWEAs and the Local Sections Mission?
- Do we have written guidelines, approved by the Board,
in place to help us make fair and equitable decisions
about donation requests? If we do not, how will we
respond to other similar requests in the future in
a fair and equitable way? Does this gift create a
- Non-profits cant legally make gifts
of member funds. Can we justify the donation to the
satisfaction of our members?
Call, write, fax or email any question to the CWEA
office. They will be answered, and the question and
answer will be added to the FAQ listing on the CWEA
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If you have any other questions regarding membership,
please contact the membership department.