CWEA Leader Link- August-September 2012
California Water Environment Association                                                                               August-September  2012
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:

Ideas to Recruit and Retain New Members

President Mattingly Seeks CWEA Board Nominations

Free Leadership Training on 10/30

Over 1,000 E-bulletin Stories Published

Dinner Meeting Icebreaker

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Ideas to Recruit and Retain New Members

All local sections struggle with recruiting and retaining members. The ability to recruit new members and retain existing ones is an essential skill for your group. The larger the section, the more resources and capacity you have to create strong programming and to reach a wider audience. Recruitment and retention should never be separate from everything else your local section does; there should a be a recruiting element in every program or meeting you organize.

Think about why a member chooses to participate in your local section. A new CWEA member recently shared that she initially belonged to the two local sections that were within driving range of her work. Although one section was closer to home, she ended up choosing to renew with the farther-flung section. Not because it offered better trainings, but simply because she felt more welcomed.  After her first dinner meeting, an officer phoned her to thank her for attending and to find out more about what she wanted out of her membership. The officer then emailed her before the next meeting to say that she looked forward to seeing her again. And at that meeting, the officer introduced her to other members with similar interests. That sense of welcome made making new connections easy and gave her the confidence and excitement to get involved in planning future meetings.

New CWEA members receive a welcome packet of information from staff and some local sections also send out a welcome note that is specialized to their region. Consider personalizing the welcome experience with an informal phone call, email or note from your local section leaders. Networking is a primary reason for joining CWEA and one of the most important benefits we offer. However, some people – especially those who are new to an organization – are not comfortable with a room full of strangers. Sometimes new people attend a meeting, but come away feeling disappointed because they didn’t meet anyone. Or they’re not engaged enough yet to attend an event. Making a personal connection can help sway them to get more involved …and to get more out of their membership. Has your local section had success with new member recruitment and retention? Share your story with your peers in a future issue of Leader Link.

President Mattingly Seeks CWEA Board Nominations

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” --John Quincy Adams.

Serving on CWEA’s Board not only allows you to give back to the profession that we care so much about but also provides you with an outstanding leadership and professional development opportunity…so nominate your next leader (or tell someone to nominate you) for your CWEA State Board.

We are seeking the following candidates:

  • Vice President from the North (will be President in third year of four-year term);
  • Director at-large from the South (three-year term);
  • Director at-large from the North (serves as CWEA Treasurer in third year of three-year term);
  • Water Environment Federation (WEF) Delegate Director from the North (three-year term, starting in October 2013; however, attendance at Board meetings starts immediately after April 2013 elections).


Free Training on 10/30: The “Lazy Leader's” Guide to Outrageous Results...or how to stop being a “Martyr Leader” and learn how to attract and engage other folks to help out

CWEA volunteers know that volunteering does more than lend CWEA a helping hand. You get a chance to develop your leadership and delegation skills. And, it’s a fun way to grow your career. One way is by taking part in CWEA’s free leadership development training.

Join us October 30 at Orange County Sanitation District for our free Annual Leadership Training to learn how to lead so others want to get involved. Turn “I don’t have time” into “I can’t wait to volunteer.” Leadership Strategist Cynthia D’Amour will teach us how to delegate for outrageous results. This session will share and build upon the “Lazy Leader” concept she shared at last year’s training in Sacramento.

Here’s what leaders like you had to say about last year’s fall training:

"Cindy was very energetic and positive. Her training was practical and applicable to today's workplace. She is keeping up with the emerging industries and her material is fresh. I would recommend my colleagues to attend her seminars when she gets back to this area. Great job in bringing her in."

"I learned how to better understand people's hot buttons and can use this to motivate and engage staff and the public."

"I learned ways to bring in more volunteers. More agency volunteers = more opportunities to share knowledge and
information with other agencies/companies."

"Great speaker, with valuable information that could be used immediately. I'm glad I was able to get the book with the
program free too!"

We’ll post a flyer with all the details soon at and you can register with Victoria…for free…right now. RSVPs needed by October 15th. The first 50 registrants receive a free copy of Cynthia’s book, The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results.

Current and prospective CWEA leaders are welcome. The more leaders, the more outrageous our results.


Over 1,000 Ebulletin Stories Published

It’s been three years since we launched the E-bulletin in its new-and-improved online blog format. Leaders like you have provided content for E-Bulletin, which has now surpassed 1,000 news stories. Give yourself a pat on the back for staying up-to-date and connected to the water environment community by reading  and contributing to the E-bulletin.

You can send in articles or ideas for articles by clicking on the “Send us a news tip!” button (on the right side of the E-bulletin homepage). When you have a comment about an article, subscribe (or log in) to add your perspective and knowledge. Let the whole world know when a colleague or agency has done something noble and noteworthy: go to the “Shout-outs” to describe the event or activity and why you think the water environment community should know about it. Contact Lola Dvorak to set up a quick orientation.

Visit often, leave a comment and share a story idea…WATER’S WORTH IT.


Dinner Meeting Icebreaker
Excerpted from Getting Together, by Lorraine L. Ukens, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, copyright 1997.

Try this icebreaker at your next dinner meeting.

1. Prepare by making enough copies of a multi-panel comic strip for several small groupsCut each strip into separate panels and place the panels in an envelope. The number of panels in the comic strip will determine the number of people in each small group.

2. Instruct the participants to form work groups of three to four members each (or the number of panels in the comic strip). Distribute one envelope containing a set of comic strip panels to each team.

3. Direct the members of each team to open the envelope, place the panels of the comic strip face down without examining them, and shuffle them around the table.

4. While the panels are on the table face down, hidden from view, members of each team take turns drawing a panel (without showing it to others), going around until all panels have been chosen. Team members are allowed to describe their own panes as fully as possible, but they are not allowed to look at the panels of the other participants or to show their panels to others.

5. When the team members have agreed on which panel is first in the cartoon, (based on the participants' descriptions of the panels), they place it face down on the table. After they have placed all the panels face down in the order they have determined, they then turn them over to see if they have sequenced the comic in the proper order.

6. Lead a discussion on the communication process used to describe the panels and the means by which group decisions were made. Explore ways in which members of the group could have improved the team's performance.

Here's a funny comic to get you started.

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 Pal x 102



Teresa Montano x 100


Conferences & Exhibits

Julie Taylor x 103

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

Leadership Calendar      





September 12 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
September 12 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting David Stoops
September 12-14 CWEA Members 2012 Northern Regional Training Conference Julie Taylor
October 24 CWEA Members Northern Safety Day Julie Taylor
November 7 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
November 22-23 CWEA Members CWEA Ofiice Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday  
December 24-25 CWEA Members CWEA Offiice Closed for Christmas Holiday  
January 1 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for New Years Holiday  
January 24 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
January 25 & 26 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
February 25-27 CWEA Members P3S 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