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

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

In This Issue:

New Year, New Faces

Local Section and Committee Orientation Resources

Share your Stories

CWEA's New Board Members and Key Contacts

Big Thanks for Donating to the Kirt Brooks Scholarship Fund

New Volunteer Opportunities

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

New Year, New Faces

Most CWEA Committee and Local Sections transition to new leadership around the time of the Annual Conference and come back from our biggest event full of new ideas and enthusiasm for the coming year. There's nothing like the high energy, great education and networking experience of attending CWEA conferences!

It's also a great time to look back at your achievements over the last year and celebrate your success. Check out this nice message from Catherine Allin, Past Chair of the Public Education Committee.

Greetings Public Ed Peeps Et Al.,

Thank you sooooo much for your participation, support, and enthusiasm as we have rebuilt the Committee!  It has been encouraging to see what has emerged as a vibrant, engaged, and thriving group in our CWEA Community.  This past year we managed to successfully:
  • Fill Committee Roles
  • Rewrite our Standing Rules (All with MER input and approval)
  • Provide Sessions at the P3S and Annual Conferences (Chairs Darcy Aston & Dianne Lee)
  • Promote the Committee at AC Partner Tables with our NEW brochure (Darcy Aston)
  • Launch a Website (Samantha Eshelman)
  • Create a Committee Logo (Lani Good)
  • Publish an Article in the Wastewater Professional (Jackie Davison and Dianne Lee)
  • Provide Items for the E-Bulletin (All)
  • Host WordPress Training (Lola Dvorak)
  • Promote, Review and Select Newsletter, Person, and Small & Large Programs of the Year (Mike Auer)
  • Create a Facebook Page
  • Establish a Presence for our triennial Film Festival at AC ‘14
  • Establish Specialty Training Workshop for Fall ‘13
  • Establish Local Section Education Outreach Award (pending MER approval of change from Newsletter Award)

Let me introduce your new Committee:

Chair, Susan Hiestand
Vice Chair, Dianne Lee
Secretary, Gretchen Mueller
Past Chair, Catherine Allin
Film Festival Chair, Mike Auer
Webmaster, Samantha (Eshelman) Bloch

Members at Large
Darcy Aston
Eva Justimbaste
Jackie Davison
Don Wasko
Rob Cole

CWEA Executive Committee Liaison from the South, Berlinda Blackburn
CWEA Executive Committee Liaison from the North, Gayle Tupper
CWEA Staff Concierge, Lola Dvorak

Special thanks to Past CWEA Executive Committee Liaison, Connie Leonard, who has supported the Committee for many years and to Lola Dvorak, who makes all things possible!

Catherine Allin


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: We include quick links to these resources at the end of each Leader Link.


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 Catherine did above - what's working locally or where you need ideas to improve. Take the time to pick the brains of more than 200 CWEA leaders and save some time down the road. If this publication looks new to you, it's likely because you've taken a new leadership role.

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! E-bulletin can be read by anyone and we feature the top news posted each month in Highlights, which is emailed to all members.

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 North = Phil Scott
  • Director from the South = Chuck Greely
  • Director at Large from the North (to be Treasurer) = Gayle Tupper
  • WEF Delegate Director from the North = Giti Heravian

  • Automatic Appointments from Standing Committees
    • Southern Regional Committee Chair/Director = Megan Yoo
    • Technical Certification Program Chair/Director = Soma Bhadra

Christoph Dobson took offices as CWEA's President on April 19. You can find the CWEA Board contact list at: as well as updated Committee Contacts and Board Liaisons.


Big Thanks to Contributors to the Kirt Brooks Scholarship Fund

Nine local sections and one committee presented $15,000 in donations and $8,372 in pledges 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 $1,419. Donations during the conference totaled $24,791 bringing the Fund to approximately $387,443. The Board is looking forward to reaching its $500k goal by 2015. With 9,441 members that would only take an $11.92 donation from each member to reach. Scholarship donations are accepted throughout the year, not just during the Annual Conference.

The Fund provides annual scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to students in the wastewater field. Seven scholarships were awarded for the 2013-14 school year, totaling $15,500. Scholarship applications for the 2014-15 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 some areas ripe for your contribution in the coming year: 



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



Merin Lund x 110
Teresa Montano x 100


Conferences & Exhibits

Serena Miller x 115

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

Leadership Calendar      





May 21 & May 22 CWEA Members Wastewater Operator Program Regulations: The Future is NOW Julie Taylor
June 4 & June 6 CWEA Members Labs 101: Back to the Basics Julie Taylor
June 6-7 CWEA Members Certification Prep Session Julie Taylor
June 7 CWEA Leaders Committee Reports Due Victoria Rawson
June 26 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting Steve Caswell
June 27-38 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
July 24 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Megan Yoo
September 10 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
September 10-12 CWEA Members 2012 Northern Regional Training Conference Julie Taylor
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at