California Water Environment Association                                                             February  2011
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:

Local Section Budget Template

Treasurer Training 
March 8 & 16

Blog for the E-Bulletin

Managing Volunteer Challenges

AC11 Needs Volunteers

2011 Board Nominees

Proxies Due March 24

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

New Budget Template Developed for Local Section Test Drive

The CWEA State Board approved rolling out a new Local Section Budget Template to help treasurers track revenue and expenses. Your local section Board Liaison will be in touch to explain how to use this new tool and to get input on how it works for your local section. The template was developed in response to requests from local sections seeking help to track revenue and expenses in key programmatic categories, to save volunteer time, and make the treasurer’s job easier.   

Some of the other benefits of this approach include:

  • clarity about which programs are investments funded by other programs
  • standardized reporting for tax filing
  • more efficient reconciliation by staff
  • details that allow local and state board members to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility for financial oversight. 

Local Sections are encouraged to test out the template for FY 11-12 (budgets due April 30) so we can get your input.  In addition to an introduction of the new template by local section Board Liaisons, the new template will be covered in the upcoming Treasurer Training webinars (see below).


Local Section Treasurer Training Webinars March 8 and 16

Calling all CWEA Local Section Treasurers...spend an hour, save your sanity.  Participate in a free one-hour webinar training to help make your job as treasurer easier.  Local Section Presidents are encouraged to attend too. CWEA is hosting a webinar to help prepare CWEA local section treasurers for their terms over the next year. Even if you are not a new treasurer, or if you have attended this webinar in the past, you are encouraged to participate to learn what’s new and share your experiences with incoming treasurers. For your convenience, there are 2 dates to choose from (see dates below).

What You’ll Learn

  • Why financial reports are so important to the proper functioning of CWEA.
  • The basic budget reporting and planning requirements.
  • How to use  the new Local Section Budget Template to submit your annual budget and monthly financial reports
  • Answers to your questions and helpful advice you would like to share with your fellow treasurers. 

Who Should Attend
Local section treasurers and presidents are both strongly encouraged to attend. It would be best if you could both attend the same meeting, but it is not required.

Treasurers’ Training Webinar Topics  

  • Audit Requirements and Good Business Practices

  • The new Local Section Budget Template

  • Questions & Answers

  • Other Resources for Treasurers

  • AC Leadership Workshop @ AC11 in Ontario (April 12, 12-5pm)

  • Regional Committees @ AC11 in Ontario (April 13, 1:30-4:30pm)

Webinar Dates & Times
Tuesday, March 8 from 12-1pm.
Wednesday, March 16 from 12-1pm.

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

Please RSVP by Tuesday March 1
Contact Chris Lundeen to RSVP. Please include the date of the webinar you plan to attend.

510-382-7800 x104 or
[email protected]

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


Hey CWEA Leader! 
Help Your Committee as a Volunteer E-Bulletin Blogger  

Hey CWEA leader! Do you like keeping up-to-date on news and events in your field? Well – you’d make a great CWEA blogger. We need you! It only takes 5 minutes to get the word out! Contact Lola Dvorak to get signed up. It’s so easy. Great for those young, old and everywhere in between. Those with lots of computer skills or only a little bit. No problem.  Come  join the fun - we need the help.



Managing Volunteer Leadership Challenges  

The December-January Leader Link gave a brief summary of the local section success stories that were shared by CWEA leaders at the Annual Leadership Meeting in November. This issue, highlights discussions on leadership challenges. Meeting participants broke out into groups to discuss real-world examples of some of the challenges local sections and committees are facing.

One group tackled a “Difficult Volunteer Challenge.” A difficult volunteer can make committee work or section events less enjoyable.  However, situations arise all the time where we have to work with difficult people.  The group talked about the effect a difficult volunteer has and shared insights on how a volunteer leader might best deal with this situation. Some symptoms of a difficult volunteer might be a problem volunteer who does not perform his or her duties, or a volunteer who is dictatorial and domineering. The group discussed questions such as:  

  • Are there ways to bring that person in and engage them?

  • How could their strengths be used?

  • How is it possible to ensure that the section/committee doesn’t suffer due to the difficult volunteer’s involvement?

The discussion then focused on solutions for a problem volunteer such as:

  • Ask if the volunteer needs help. Maybe they are in over their head, and just need some help, or they are reluctant to give up responsibility.

  • Find out a way to support the volunteer.

  • Acknowledge accomplishments and growth. Focus on the good behavior and results.

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities. One way to do this is by developing a job description for volunteer positions.

  • Have a discussion with them to find out what might be bothering them.

  • Increase face-to-face communications and rely less on email communications with the individual. Often, email communications can be misinterpreted—especially with respect to tone.

  • Apply peer pressure by acknowledging difficult behavior. This might snap them out of it.

Next, the group discussed solutions for a dictatorial or domineering volunteer. These volunteers command rather than lead. A true leader motivates the group through consensus building, fostering cooperation, and providing context when giving direction. Quite often a domineering volunteer is also a martyr who takes on too many tasks and then complains about how much work he or she has to do. This makes for a cranky and overworked volunteer who is likely to burn out. However, the big risk of the martyr volunteer is losing other able and willing volunteers by taking from them meaningful volunteer opportunities. Also at risk is a smooth succession once  the martyr volunteer decides to leave.

The group brainstormed a few ways to handle a domineering volunteer:

  • The volunteer could be coached by an able and willing leader. Teach them to listen to other volunteers, be flexible, and to think of the needs of the local section or committee first.

  • Engage the CWEA Board liaison to address the volunteer.  

  • Be specific with deadlines.

  • Train the volunteer on policies and procedures.

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities with a job description for volunteer position.

  • Redirect their energy to tasks and responsibilities that are likely to reduce domineering tendencies.  

  • Acknowledge accomplishments and growth.

  • Seek help from staff and other colleagues.

  • Find a compromise.

  • Fire or replace the volunteer. If all else fails, the volunteer could be asked to resign. Be sure to check your standing rules or bylaws for any guidance on the process or succession.

The executive summary of the 2010 Annual Leadership Meeting is available online. The March Leader Link will continue with how to manage lackluster leadership.



Volunteers Needed at Annual Conference 2011

AC 2011 needs your help. Come volunteer to help at the conference.   It’s a fun way to see people you haven’t seen in years and it helps the event run smoothly.  We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the registration desk, a two hour shift is the typical commitment.  For some folks, volunteering helps their employer approve their attendance at the event.  Email Linda Losurda at [email protected] to volunteer.  See you in Ontario!


CWEA Board of Director Nominees  

The board candidates up for member vote at the April 13 Annual Business Meeting are: 

Vice President
from the North will be President in third year of a four-year service
Christoph Dobson, Principal Civil Engineer at Sacramento Area Sewer District

Director at-large
from the South (three-year term) 
Jon Ganz, Division Engineer at Los Angeles County Sanitation District

Director at-large
from the North (serve as CWEA Treasurer in third year of three-year term)

Zoeanne Tafolla, Director of Safety/Training at Vallejo Sanitation and FCD

Water Environment Federation Delegate Director
from the North (three-year term starting in October 2011)
Hugh Logan, Capital Improvement Program Manager at SBSA

Southern Regional Committee Chair
automatically nominated by the Board (three-year term)
Barbara Santos, Lab Supervisor at City of Simi Valley

Technical Certification Program Chair
automatically nominated by the Board (one-year term)
Simon Watson, Manager of Collections Facilities at Orange County Sanitation District, for.

For nominee bios, check or contact Victoria Rawson at [email protected] or 510.382.7800 x 113.


Send in Your Proxy for Annual Business Meeting 
by March 24th

Be sure to let your local section members know that if they can’t make the annual business meeting they can still vote to approve our incoming slate of directors via proxy. In fact…we need their proxy to ensure we reach our quorum.  A proxy vote gives a designated member who is in attendance the right to cast a vote for another member. Votes can be assigned by proxy to a CWEA member who is attending the April 13th annual business meeting in Ontario.   Make your local section's voice heard and help us reach a quorum. Proxy forms for the 2011 annual business meeting are available at from Victoria Rawson ([email protected] or 510.382.7800 x 113) and must be returned by March 24 in order to allow staff to confirm membership.


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


Publications & Advertising
Lola Dvorak
  x 114


Local Sections, Committees, Leader Link

Chris Lundeen  x 104



Brian Murray x 102


Lola Dvorak  x 114



Leslie Carino x 107


Conferences & Exhibits

Julie Taylor x 103

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

Leadership Calendar      





Feb. 8- Mar. 2 CWEA Leaders/Members CWEA P3S Conference
Santa Clara
Marci Donohoe
[email protected]
April 12 CWEA Leaders CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
[email protected] 
April 12 CWEA Leaders CWEA Leadership Workshop
Ontario, CA
Carrie Mattingly
[email protected] 
April 12 Study Session Moderators Study Session Moderator Training Joanna De Sa
[email protected] 
April 12-15 CWEA Leaders/Members Annual Conference
Ontario, CA
Jodee Schwan
[email protected] 
April 13 Local section and committee leaders NRC and SRC meetings
Annual Conference
Ontario, CA
NRC: Rick Staggs [email protected] 

SRC: Debra Bogdanoff [email protected] 

April 16 CWEA Leaders CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson  
[email protected] 
April 30 Treasurers:
local section and committees
Annual work plan & budgets for FY 2009-10 due for local sections and committees. Brian Murray
[email protected]
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at [email protected]