CWEA Leader Link- February 2012
California Water Environment Association                                                                                               May  2012
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:

Doing Our Part to Retain Members

Share your Stories

CWEA's New Board Members and Key Contacts

Local Section and Committee Orientation Resources

Big Thanks to the Kirt Brooks Scholarship Fund

New Volunteer Opportunities

Regional Committee Meetings

What is a QR code and why do you need one?

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Doing Our Part to Retain Members
From Linda Leong, San Francisco Bay Section Leader
Hello Fellow CWEA Leaders! For the past two years, I have been acting as the Registration Chair for seminars sponsored by the SF Bay Section’s Professional Development Committee. My predecessor, Bing Misra (now retired from Dublin-San Ramon Services District), was kind enough to provide me with her spreadsheet which includes a calculation for figuring out the amount of non-member differential owed to the CWEA State Office for each seminar that PDC sponsors. As a detail-oriented engineer, I feel it is my responsibility to do “due diligence” in accurately reporting the number of member versus non-member registrants so as to provide the correct differential to the State Office and to ensure that members really do receive "Member discounts on training & certification."

When I initially took over as Registration Chair, my first inclination was to use the honor system to determine member versus non-member fee applicability. You would be surprised, however, at the number of times that I received registration forms with promises of payment where the registrant failed to indicate member status (and, consequently, the applicable registration fee). As a result, I started to check CWEA’s online membership directory to determine membership status. While I was at it, though, I decided to check EACH registrant’s membership status (did I mention that I’m an engineer – i.e., anal-retentive?), and I was surprised to find one to three lapsed memberships per seminar (the PDC sponsors seminars approximately once per quarter)! Many times, the membership has lapsed because the person’s employer is responsible for paying membership fees, but I’ve found memberships in the past year that have not been current since 2009. Not only are there a handful of people who are unfairly paying the member-discounted rate, but the CWEA state office is also losing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in unpaid membership fees. As a Registration Chair, I feel that it is my responsibility to help identify lapsed memberships and to encourage new sign-ups and/or renewals. At a minimum, non-members need to pay non-member prices; otherwise, we do a disservice to our members.

To use the CWEA online member directory, you need to log in as a member. If you need log-in assistance, you can call CWEA at (510) 382-7800, x100. TIP: If you do not find a given person of interest in the online directory, you should then ask Latasha King to verify membership status for you as sometimes people are not listed in the online directory because they have “opted out.” Occasionally, the person may be listed in CWEA’s database under a slightly different name. I have encountered both of these situations.

I encourage all CWEA leaders who are responsible for registration activities to be on the lookout for lapsed members. Perhaps we should start a contest to see who can root out the most lapsed members in a year?!


Share your Stories

Leader Link is published ten months a year and covers leadership topics, upcoming meetings and CWEA housekeeping (deadline reminders). Let us know - like Linda did above - what's working locally or where you need ideas to improve. Take the time to pick the brains of your fellow CWEA leaders and save some time down the road.

Do you like keeping up-to-date on news and events in your field? You'd make a great CWEA E-bulletin blogger! We need you. It only takes 5 minutes to get the word out.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!

Got more than 5 minutes to spare? And a story that needs more ink? Submit a story - or story idea - for the Wastewater Professional. You can even earn contact hours for your writing. Share an article you'd like to read with your colleagues. If you're more of a talker than a writer, simply share your idea and we can work together to develop something to print. We're already hard at work on the August issue.

Contact Lola Dvorak to get started.


CWEA's New Board Members and Key Contacts

Thanks for helping us reach the quorum needed to approve our incoming Board Members. Your new Board Members are:

  • Vice President from the South = Simon Watson
  • Director from the North = Kevin Calderwood
  • Director at Large from the South (to be Treasurer) = Berlinda Blackburn
  • WEF Delegate Director from the South = Alec Mackie

  • Automatic Appointments from Standing Committees
    • Northern Regional Committee Chair/Director = David Stoops
    • Technical Certification Program Chair/Director = Lenny Rather

Carrie Mattingly took offices as CWEA's President on April 20. You can find the CWEA Board contact list at: as well as updated Committee Contacts and Board Liaisons.


Local Section and Committee Orientation Resources

Don’t forget that Lola Dvorak is your local section “concierge.” Get in touch anytime you need help. She won’t always have the answer, but she can help you find someone who does. You might also refer to the LS Orientation Packet online here: Victoria Rawson coordinates committees - including reserving conference calls. Check out the Committee Orientation Packet online here:


Big Thanks to Contributors to the Kirt Brooks Scholarship Fund

Nine Local Sections presented $17,529.25 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 quickly raised $1,867. Donations during the conference totaled $$19,396 bringing the Fund to approximately $347,636. The Board is looking forward to reaching its $500k goal by 2015.

The Fund provides annual scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to students in the wastewater field. Six scholarships were awarded for the 2012-13 school year, totaling $13,200. Scholarship applications for the 2013-14 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.

Learn more about the scholarship and download a donation form today.


New Volunteer Opportunities

CWEA always has volunteer opportunities available which help you develop leadership and management skills while giving back to your profession.  Here are two areas ripe for your contribution in the coming year:  CWEA Public Education Committee and serving as a Subject Matter Expert for the Technical Certification Program in the field of Electrical Instrumentation.  If you are interested (or someone you know might be interested) in the Public Education Committee, please contact Catherine L. Allin, City of Millbrae, or 650.259.2470.  If you are interested (or you know someone who might be interested) in serving as a Subject Matter Expert for the Electrical Instrumentation certification revalidation, please contact Vivien Malig, Certification Manager, at


Regional Committee Meetings

At the annual Joint Regional Committee meeting, local sections voted to keep local section membership dues at $12. Several local sections offered to help other sections by providing speakers or other resources for training events. Get involved in the regional committee meetings for more information. See the calendar below for summer meeting dates - which will feature leadership training from CWEA Board Member Connie Leonard - and bring ideas for more ways the regional committees can serve you!

Here are a few tidbits you might learn at a regional committee meeting:

  • The Sierra Section, with around 300 members, held a safety training for 100+ attendees in May. Ask Evy Henkel how they do it.
  • The San Francisco Bay Section has trainers - and travel funds - available to send speakers to your event. Contact Tom Hendrey to learn more.
  • The Santa Anna River Basin Section developed a press release for its awards banquet to generate media contacts and local awareness. Find out more from Berlinda Blackburn.
  • The Students and Young Professionals Committee has developed a handbook to help local sections reach out to younger members. Get your copy from Lani Good.
  • The Colorado River Basin Section reaches out to its members twice a month using Facebook. Check out Jeff Carter's TCP Tidbit.
  • Which file sharing service works best...Dropbox or

Make a difference and meet other water environment professionals at the next Regional Committee meeting near you.
Contact Barbara Langley and David Stoops


What is a QR Code and Why do You Need One?
From Connie Leonard, Scholarship Chair

A QR code is a two dimensional bar code that can be scanned using a mobile phone and can send the user targeted information or to a website. QR codes are common in stores, magazine ads, etc and provide a link to find more information about a product or service. I’ve even seen them in a marina with a link to boating safety classes given by the Coast Guard.

As the Scholarship Committee Chair, I was looking at new ways to get information out about the scholarship both to students as well as potential donors. I wanted to have a brochure to hand out at an information table at the annual conference with up to date information and an easy way for anyone interested to donate to the scholarship fund. In revising the old scholarship brochure, I got the idea to use a QR code to bring students and others to the scholarship website. The website converts text or a web link into a QR code that can be copied and pasted into a brochure or newsletter. I created a QR code linking to the CWEA website scholarship page so both students and donors can get more information.

Maybe you can use a QR code to link to your local section or committee calendar of training events, or a link to where to register for the next dinner meeting. It’s very easy and saves copying the same information to different places.

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 x 102



Elaine Fuller x 109


Conferences & Exhibits

Julie Taylor x 103

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

Leadership Calendar      





May 23 CWEA Members One-day Specialty Training - Operations and Maintenance 101 and Beyond Julie Taylor
May 24 CWEA Members One-day Specialty Training- Operations and Maintenance 101 and Beyond Julie Taylor
May 31 CWEA Members One-day Specialty Training -The 7 Laws of Leadership Julie Taylor
June 28 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting David Stoops
June 29-30 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
July 12 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
September 12 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
September 12-14 CWEA Members 2012 Northern Regional Training Conference Julie Taylor
January 25 & 26 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at