California Water Environment Association                                                           May 2010
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:
Staffing Changes at Office

State of the

New Board Elected

Scholarship Gets $14k

CWEA Directors & Past Presidents Available to Present CWEA Awards to Your Council or Board

CWEA Board Update

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Staffing Changes at CWEA Office

Over this past year, the economy has touched CWEA as well as each of you and your employers.  While CWEA’s membership and certification renewals have remained strong, the down economy has reduced attendance at our events and our new member dues income.  And, our certification applications have come down from their high levels of the past few years.  CWEA’s Board expects that we won’t start seeing growth again in the water environment sector until Fiscal Year 12-13.  The growth in participation and programs that we had been seeing for the past seven years or so meant that we needed to grow staff…and we did.  Now that we’re seeing participation down, and because we expect it to be down for the next several years, it means we need to reduce staff accordingly.

As a result, we have reduced the Education & Training department by one position at the Coordinator level, eliminated the Office Assistant position, and restructured the Certification Assistant position to incorporate Office Assistant duties, including serving as receptionist.  Although there will be no changes to our automated phone system at the office, Teresa Montano will now be picking up when members dial 0 or extension 100.

The CWEA Board will approve a Fiscal Year 10-11 budget at its June board meeting.  The Board is planning a vibrant yet focused program of work for next fiscal year that is expected to include low-cost webinars, newly updated Collection System Maintenance certification tests, updated Collection System Maintenance study guides and materials for study session moderators, a redesigned and updated web site, an improved online job site, and improved content in our Wastewater Professional. CWEA is financially strong overall and the Board is not anticipating raising member dues or certification application fees while still achieving a budget that breaks even on operating expenses.  The Board plans to use reserves to fund a few opportunities and/or special projects that will benefit members in the long run, but are not considered regular operating expenses.   The July issue of Leader Link will include a recap of the Board’s June meeting and the budget decisions.


State of the Association  

Our 09-10 President Darren Greenwood updated the attendees at our April 21st Annual Business Meeting on the State of the Association. Here are highlights.  

Money…Clean FY 08-09 audit with the exception of treating membership dues on a cash basis vs. accrual.  CWEA’s FY 08-09 audited financial statement is available to members in the E-Bulletin at:

We expect to end FY 09-10 slightly under break-even target with attendance at training events down (reducing revenue and some expense).  Good reserves position helps us weather this down economy…$1.436 million in reserves, the bulk of it in CDs.

Membership…Strong, new members slightly under budget.

Certification…Strong, renewals ahead of budget, applications on budget debuted successfully in January 2009 giving you the opportunity to schedule a testing time at your convenience. 

Training events…Typically train more than 6,000 people annually at hundreds of state, regional, and local training events.  Attendance was lower than budget at some events…effect of economy.  A new master training calendar on CWEA’s web site makes it easier for you to find the conferences, seminars, workshops, and training events you need to stay current and safe as well as to maintain your licenses and certificates.  Check out Make sure your CWEA Local Section events are posted…even the tentative ones…send the info to [email protected]. 

E-bulletin…has fresh news daily for you about CWEA and the water environment profession.  You can post stories or comments as well in its new blog format.  Check it out at  Appoint one person in your CWEA Local Section or CWEA State Committee to post your CWEA Local Section photos and stories.  It’s easy.  Contact [email protected] to get set up.


2010-11 Board of Directors Elected

Members attending CWEA’s April 21st Annual Business Meeting unanimously approved the slate of candidates for the 2010-11 Board of Directors as recommended by the Board:  

  • Carrie Mattingly
    Utilities Director, City of San Luis Obispo , for Vice President (becoming President in 2012-13);
  • Connie Leonard
    Project Manager, CDM, for WEF Delegate Director from the South;
  • Paul Schmidtbauer
    Industrial Waste Administrator, SOCWA, for Director-at-large from the South (becoming Treasurer in 2012-13);
  • Mike Fisher
    Project Manager, Water Works Engineers, for Director-at-large from the North.

Two new directors joined the Board who are not elected by the general membership, but come to the Board through their respective committees:  

  • Rick Staggs
    Chief of Wastewater Operations, City of Fresno , joined the Board as Northern Regional Committee Chair
  • Mike Neri
    Wastewater Lead Worker, City of Folsom, joined the Board as Technical Certification Program Chair.

Pei-Chin Low, Supervising Engineer with MWH Americas, Inc., took office as CWEA’s President on April 23rd.  Matt Bond, WEF’s VP, installed the entire 2010-11 Board at the Annual Conference banquet.  You can find the CWEA Board contact list at:


Local Sections & 5S Donate $14,247 to Scholarship Fund  

Ten Local Sections presented $12,329 in donations to CWEA’s Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship Fund during the Annual Conference. New 5S inductees were challenged to gather donations for the Scholarship Fund while at the conference and raised $1,807! Plus 5S raised an additional $110 in shovel fines (required of those shovelers who show up at a CWEA event without their shovel). Total donations amounted to $14,247 bringing the Fund to approximately $298k. 

A special shout-out goes to CWEA’s Tri-Counties Section for its policy of contributing at least 10% of its bank balance annually.  The Fund provides annual scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to students in the wastewater field.  Seven scholarships were awarded for the 2010-11 school year, totaling $10,000.  Scholarship applications for the 2011-12 school year will be available online in September. The annual deadline is January 15—plan now for next year.   Scholarship applicants do not have to be members of CWEA. However, they do need a CWEA member sponsor.


Board Members and Past Presidents Available to Present Awards  

CWEA Board members and Past Presidents are ready, willing, and able to present CWEA awards locally at agency council/board meetings.  This extra promotion helps spread the word about our profession’s good work.  Contact Logan Olds , MER Committee Chair and Sr. WEF Delegate Director at [email protected] or (760) 948-9849 if you would like a CWEA leader to make an award presentation.  The complete list of winners of CWEA and WEF awards given at CWEA’s April 2010 Annual Conference, including new 5S inductees, will be available by the end of May at


CWEA Board Keeps Busy This Spring

The Board had a busy agenda at its April meetings. Some of the highlight of those meetings include:  

Approval of a Student & YP Handbook
The Board approved a handbook on how to run a Student & Young Professionals (YP) Committee, developed by CWEA’s Student & YP Committee.  The handbook will be added to the Local Section Orientation Packet to help Local Sections establish Student & YP Committees.  By the way, the Committee defines “Young Professional” as “young in the profession and / or young at heart”!  

Revisits of Northern Safety Conference Goal  
The Board approved a reduction in the budgeted goal for the 2010 Northern Safety Conference in light of recent trends in conference attendance.  The Committee, chaired by Zoanne Tafolla, is already going gangbusters planning for “Scared Safe” on October 27, 2010.  

WEF Identified 5 Hot Training Topics
WEF’s VP Matt Bond alerted the Board that WEF has identified five hot topic areas for the coming year based on member interest:  wastewater treatment basics (you’ll see a fundamentals track at WEFTEC 10), biosolids, energy management and energy efficiency, nutrients, and wet weather.  

Key objective for FY 10-11 Approved  
The Board approved the following key objective for FY 10-11:  Increase the quantity and quality of CWEA training in content, presentation, and delivery, with a focus on quality and delivery methods, such as combining face-to-face training events with webinars.  

The next Board meeting will be June 25th (workshop) and June 26th (meeting) in Oakland , CA .  A big item on the June agenda is the next program of work and budget for our fiscal year beginning July 1.


STAFF CONTACTS - 510-382-7800


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

Marci Donohoe x 120


Leadership Calendar      





May 31 CWEA office closed in observance of Memorial Day
June 16 LS and Committee leaders and newsletter editors E-Bulletin highlights email. get your story in E-Bulletin before this date. Lola Dvorak
[email protected]
June 24 LS & Committee leaders in the north Northern Regional Committee Meeting-- Oakland Rick Staggs 
[email protected]
June 25-26 CWEA Leaders CWEA Board workshop and meeting Victoria Rawson
[email protected]
July 5 CWEA office closed in observance of Independence Day
July 21 LS & Committee leaders in the south Southern Regional Committee Meeting-- Big Bear CSD Debra Bogdanoff
[email protected]
August 1 LS & Committee Leaders Local Section & Committee Annual Statements Due 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]