CWEA Leader Link- January 2013
California Water Environment Association                                                                               January 2013
Leader Link

News, insights, and advice for CWEA's volunteer leaders                     

In This Issue:

Build Relationships by Breaking the Ice

New Quarter Century Recognition Program - Deadline Extended to Jan 31

There's Also Still Time to Submit for 5S or PICK Awards

New Feature on CWEA Events Calendar

Calling all Local Section Treasurers

AC13 Free Display Tables

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Build Relationships by Breaking the Ice

Getting people comfortable in a group setting before a team meeting can be the best investment of ten to 15 minutes of time that you can make. Ice breakers get creative juices flowing, can increase the exchange of ideas, establish team identity, and create a sense of community. All of these items are important in forging top productive teams. But how do you get people to participate and not feel uncomfortable with an ice breaker?

For meetings in a business or volunteer setting in which participants are professionals, ice breakers that require actions not normally associated with day-to-day behaviors in the office generally make people uncomfortable. Successful ice breakers for these type of groups generally consist of having attendees share memorable information with each other, create innovative ways to get people to introduce themselves to each other, or have group members collectively work on a problem where everyone has to contribute.

We've been sharing icebreakers in the last few issues of Leader Link. Have you found icebreakers valuable at your meetings? Which ones worked best? Send in your response.

Here's an icebreaker to kick off your New Year.


Break the meeting into teams of four or five. Give each team a topic. Pick topics that are fun and simple like, "What would you take on a trip to the desert?" or "List things that are purple". Give your teams two minutes, no more, and tell them "This is a contest and the team with the most items on their list wins." Encourage the teams to write down as many things as they can and not to discuss anything, just list things as quickly as possible. At the end of two minutes, the team with the most items on their list wins! This helps people to share ideas without fearing what other people will think.


New Quarter Century Recognition Program - Application Deadline Extended

The CWEA Quarter Century Recognition Program recognizes water professionals for their commitment to improving the quality of life and the protection of the environment. CWEA Quarter Century Recognition Program honorees have dedicated their careers in a challenging and most vital profession, the water environment field. These essential professionals who have spent countless hours improving our water environment include: Operators; Collection System, Maintenance, Laboratory, and Environmental Compliance personnel; Engineers; and Administrators. CWEA Quarter Century honorees will be presented with a framed certificate recognizing their achievement and a lapel pin they can proudly wear identifying them as members of this elite group of professionals.

1. Must be a current member of the California Water Environment Association and a member in good standing for the last five consecutive years.

2. Must have been a vital, full-time participant in the water environment field for a period of 25 years, 10 years of which must have been actively involved in the day-to-day tasks associated with treatment or conveyance of wastewater.

3. Must submit an application for recognition consideration by no later than the second Friday of January for review by the Quarter Century Recognition Program sub – committee.

4. The application must be accompanied by a complete and detailed resume of experience that includes; dates of employment; project / plant location; positions held; and specific achievements.

Application for the Quarter Century Recognition Program is available online. Application Deadline: January 31


There's Also Still Time to Submit for 5S or PICK Awards

Not ready for awards season to end? Nominate someone for a 5S or PICK award.

5S - the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers - are nominated and selected by their peers based on their extraordinary commitments to CWEA through volunteer activities. Any CWEA member can nominate another member, so submit your nominations by March 1.

PICK stands for professionalism, ingenuity, contribution and knowledge. PICKS are awarded to members in any discipline who have contributed to the collections systems committee. Nominations are due Feb. 12.


New Feature on CWEA Event Calendar

We're pleased to announce that we've been able to make posting events on the CWEA calendar one step easier. Go to and select the "Suggest an Event" tab. When the pop-up screen appears, simply add your event information.

Check out before scheduling your trainings to make sure that they aren't in conflict with other CWEA events. Make sure there are no committee meetings, board meetings, state events and such before scheduling a training event that could pull people from other sections. This will help all of us keep our event attendance up and ensure that training are spread out enough to meet our members' needs.


Calling all CWEA Local Section Treasurers...

Spend an hour, save your sanity.  The Treasurer Orientation is required for local section treasurers to successfully fulfill their responsibilities over the next year. Plus, this free one-hour orientation webinar will make your job as treasurer easier. Local section presidents are strongly encouraged to attend too. Even if you are not a new treasurer, or if you have attended this webinar in the past, you will learn what’s new and will be able to share your experiences with incoming treasurers.

What You’ll Learn

  • The features and updates to the local section budget and reporting template, with a live demonstration.
  • The basic budget reporting and planning requirements.
  • Answers to your questions and helpful advice you would like to share with your fellow treasurers. 
  • Why financial reports are so important to the proper functioning of CWEA.

Who Should Attend
Current local section treasurers, incoming/prospective treasurers, and presidents are all strongly encouraged to attend. It would be best if you could all attend the meeting.

Treasurers’ Orientation Webinar Topics

  • Meet other local section treasurers and CWEA incoming Treasurer Zoeanne Tafolla, current Treasurer Paul Schmidtbauer, CWEA CFO Kevin Rogers, and our Finance Manager Renu Pal.
  • An overview of the annual and monthly financial reporting requirements.
  • Helpful tips on understanding your local section budget and financial reporting. 
  • The Local Section Budget Template.
  • Questions & Answers.

Webinar Date & Time
Wednesday, February 13 from 12-1pm.

How to Participate
RSVP and we will send you logon and call-in instructions.  

Please RSVP by Wednesday, January 31
Contact Chris Lundeen to RSVP @ or 510-382-7800 x104. 

Contact Director of Member & Leader Services Chris Lundeen at 510-382-7800 x104 or


AC13 Free Display Tables Available

The California Water Environment Association will be hosting its Annual Conference at the Renaissance Hotel and Palm Springs Convention Center from April 16-19, 2013.  The conference planning committee would like to invite you to exhibit at our conference free of charge.  This annual event showcases the best and brightest of California in the wastewater and water industry, offers networking opportunities for busy professionals, and provides continuing education for everyone from front-line operations and maintenance workers to engineering staff and managers.  We anticipate over 1,000 attendees and participants from public agencies, consultants, manufacturers and vendors supporting the California water and wastewater profession. Contact Megan Yoo for more detail at 949-278-5761.  


STAFF CONTACTS - 510-382-7800
  Staff Concierge: 
Lola Dvorak
Contact Lola if you need help and don't know who to contact.  



Latasha King x 110


Awards, Publications & Advertising
Lola Dvorak
  x 114


Local Sections & Committees

Chris Lundeen  x 104



Board Meetings

Victoria Rawson  x 113



Renu Pal x 102



Teresa Montano x 100


Conferences & Exhibits

Julie Taylor x 103

Leadership Reference Materials Online
Local Section Orientation Packet: 
Committee & Liaison Orientation Packet: 
Leadership Web Pages:

Leadership Calendar      





January 21 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for MLK Jr. Day  
January 24 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
January 25 & 26 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
February 13 CWEA Leaders Treasurer Training Chris Lundeen
February 18 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for President's Day  
February 25-27 CWEA Members P3S Training Conference Julie Taylor
April 16-19 CWEA Members Annual Conference Julie Taylor
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at