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

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

In This Issue:

Regional Committees Update

Board Approves FY 13-14 Budget and Program of Work

Local Section and Committee Budgets Improved

New North Coast Testing Centers

Certification Policy Revised

AMS Project Update

CWEA Awards Program Kicks off July 1

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Regional Committees Update

CWEA’s Regional Committees (NRC and SRC) are a forum for Local Section and State Committee communication and collaboration. Each Local Section should send a voting member (President or Vice-President) or proxy to the quarterly in-person meetings. In FY 13-14, the Regional Committees plan to:

  • Share leadership challenges and successes.
  • Honor long-time water environment professionals through the new Quarter Century Recognition program. If you know someone who has contributed to the water environment field for 25 years (or longer!), submit him or her for this special award. They’ll receive a certificate and lapel pin at AC14.
  • Connect larger sections with smaller sections to help put on training wherever it is needed. Struggling to find a speaker or need resources to support your educational initiative? Your CWEA local section (and committee) colleagues can help.
  • Integrate leadership training into meetings to make them even more valuable. Contact NRC Chair Steve Caswell or SRC Chair Megan Yoo to suggest a topic.
  • Provide a free lunch, where you’ll be able to network with CWEA leaders. Share best practices, get to know your fellow volunteers and have a little fun.


Board Approves FY 13-14 Budget and Program of Work

On June 28, the Board approved CWEA’s FY 13-14 budget to continue to fulfill our core mission to educate and certify water environment professionals.  Our FY 13-14 budget maintains our core programs and member benefits while increasing membership and certification fees modestly. You’ll continue to see the membership benefits that have fuelled CWEA’s growth into the largest state association of water environment professionals in the country. We’re planning to build upon the strength of our more than 9,400 members to reach out to others in our profession and grow even stronger together.

This will be an exciting year for CWEA. As we roll out the Association Management System, one of our largest technology infrastructure projects ever, and initiate several new projects, the Board believes CWEA is moving forward to help our members and their employers move forward.

With every budget, the Board looks at the pricing of all of the products and services that CWEA provides – to both members and nonmembers – taking into account CWEA’s need for sustainability and as well as our fiscal realities. During the worst of the economic crisis (2008 – 2011), the Board kept dues static despite increases in overall operational costs.  We are still catching up from that dues freeze. 

We are keeping CWEA on stable financial ground by prioritizing our existing program-of-work and setting CWEA Association membership dues at $148/year or an $8 increase. This allows us to rebuild the project fund so we can prepare for future opportunities. Being good stewards of CWEA finances requires us to manage our current commitments efficiently, while keeping an eye on longer-terms trends that impact our effectiveness.

In order to cover ongoing revalidation costs to keep certification tests job-related and defensible, we are in our last year of modest certification fee increases over four years that the Board approved in June 2010.  FY 13-14 raises certification application fees by $5 and renewal fees by $2. The Board continues to invest into the program from the Project Fund to minimize the impact of fee increases on our certificate-holders.

Certification FY 13-14 Application Fee – CWEA Member Price
(non-members add $148)

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4





Certification FY 13-14 Renewal Fee – CWEA Member Price
(non-members add $148)

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4






Local Section and Committee Budgets Approved

The Board approved FY 13-14 budgets for local sections and committees (a small portion of the P3S committee budget was referred to the Executive Committee for further clarification). The Board has also asked staff to follow up on local section budgets to gather more information needed for our financial reporting requirements. Your Board Liaison will be working with you to help you prepare for next year’s budget cycle…budgets are due April 30th every year. Committees that don’t submit a budget request receive a $500 budget.

Thanks very much for your increased efforts to meet our fiduciary responsibilities as legally required. Please continue to take extra measures to ensure your financial reports, along with appropriate backup, are submitted on time (no later than 30 days following the reporting month) to the CWEA Finance Manager, Renu Pal.


New North Coast Testing Centers

CWEA is pleased to announce the opening of new test centers in California’s north coast region. One site is available now at Hank Brenard Environmental Consultants in Fortuna and the other is scheduled to open in the fall at Humboldt State University in Arcata. The sites will provide on-site, on-demand certification testing in all 8 of CWEA’s occupational vocations. CWEA works with Pearson VUE to provide secure and convenient testing at more than 100 locations throughout the state ready to serve our 5000+ certificate holders. Take your career to the next level through CWEA’s certification program. Locate a test center near you.


Certification Policy Amended to Extend Reinstatement Period to Two Years

The Board approved revisions to our certification policy (02-03 TCP Recertification) to extend the period for reinstating an expired certificate from one year to two years. This is a last-choice option for certificate-holders as applicable late penalties will still apply.


AMS Project Update

Replacing our Association Management System is budgeted to cost $153,000 for implementation in FY 13-14. In the years following implementation we have budgeted $54,000 in annual licensing fees to maintain the AMS and $30,000 per year in staff/consulting support to help us use the system to its fullest extent. We’ve saved for the new AMS implementation in a Project Fund – just as you would save for a capital improvement project – and are ready to make this critical investment for CWEA.

Our professional staff are negotiating a pre-payment agreement of that annual support fees that could result in an estimated $65k savings over six years. These savings would mean this major infrastructure upgrade is not only on track but also under budget.

We’re nearing the finish line now, as the new system will launch in October. We’ll show you how your customer service experience will be improved at our September Regional Committee Meetings.


CWEA's Awards Program Kicks off July 1

CWEA Local Sections hold their awards contests between August - February. Their winners go on to participate in the state program, where winners are acknowledged each year at the Annual Conference in April.

Awards forms for 2013 will be available online by July 1. Please make sure to turn in your banquet dates and plaque orders as soon as you’ve made your installation and awards decisions. Contact Victoria Rawson with banquet questions and to schedule the President’s attendance. Contact Lola Dvorak to order your awards plaques. Forward the applications of your first-place winners to the CWEA office by Friday, January 10.

Applying for an award takes time, which is becoming increasingly scarce as resources decline. However, participating in the CWEA awards program should be a priority for all water environment professionals. Participation is valuable because it:

  • Acknowledges team and individual excellence.
  • Boosts employee morale and agency pride.
  • Celebrates and recognizes good work.
  • Benchmarks accomplishments in the field.
  • Analyses and evaluates annual progress.
  • Raises organizational profile in the community – and with ratepayers, public officials and board members.
  • Gives the media something constructive to report. Free positive publicity.
  • Increases results and productivity though friendly competition.
  • Attracts and retains talent. Adds a vote of confidence for new hires. Helps identify best candidates.
  • Reinforces agency and industry direction. Adds credibility to claims of excellence in regards to environmental record, public health or employee safety, among many others.


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


Local Sections, Awards, Publications & Advertising
Lola Dvorak
  x 114



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      





July 24 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Megan Yoo
July 25 CWEA Members Certification Prep Session in Sacramento Leslie Carino
August 13 CWEA Members 2013 WW Operator Program Regulations: The Future is NOW Sheena Bell
August 13 CWEA Members Certification Prep Session in Whittier Leslie Carino
September 2 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Labor Day Holiday  
September 10 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
September 10 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting Steve Caswell
September 10-12 CWEA Members 2013 Northern Regional Training Conference Serena Miller
September 24-26 CWEA Members Tri-State Seminar Julie Taylor
October 23 CWEA Members Northern Safety Day Serena Miller
November 28-29 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday  
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
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