California Water Environment Association                                                           October  2009
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:
November leadership meeting
Banquet & installation forms needed
Board nominations due December 16

Minding the meeting's minutes

Staff contacts

Leadership calendar

Get free leadership training at our November 4th Annual Leadership Meeting

If you are a CWEA Local Section Board and/or Committee member or leader…or want to be…or have served as a CWEA volunteer leader in the past…or you’re not a CWEA volunteer but are interested in leadership training…you are invited to attend our Annual Leadership Meeting on Wednesday, November 4th at the Sheraton Hotel, Sacramento.  

Here’s a peek at a few agenda items:  

  • Learn from Local Section and Committee success stories.  Help brainstorm solutions to their challenges, which may ring a bell for you, too!
  • Learn how to fire up volunteers.
  • Find out why a code of conduct or ethics is important for any profession and why leaders need them.
  • Get an update on the status of the State Water Board requiring collection system certification and CWEA’s response.

Contact Victoria Rawson at [email protected] or 510.382.7800 x 113 for an invitation and the final agenda. 


President’s calendar is filling up fast—send in your banquet & installation logistic forms ASAP

The President's Calendar is filling up!  There are a number of sections that haven't turned in their completed banquet forms yet.  If you haven't sent yours in, please send it to Jodee Schwan at [email protected] or Victoria Rawson at [email protected]  Completing this form will allow us to make sure you have everything you need (awards, board member attendance, insurance…) for your local section banquet. The form can also be found at by clicking on Plaque & Banquet Order Form.  CWEA’s President tries to attend every Local Section’s annual banquet and preside at the installation of the new Local Section Board.  In order to hit all 17 Local Sections, we need to know the dates for each banquet and installation ASAP. 


CWEA Board nominations due December 16, 2009!

Nominations for the 2010 CWEA Board of Directors positions are now open and local section and committee officers have already received the Executive Committee request for nominations for CWEA Directors and Officers. Below is a summary of the nomination process – and how you can become involved in selecting your leaders. See the CWEA website at for more information

The Nomination Process
Per the CWEA Constitution and Bylaws, the Executive Committee serves as the nominating committee, and is made up of the current President, Past President, and the Chairs of the three board committees. The President chairs the Executive Committee.  The members of this year’s Executive Committee are:

Darren Greenwood – CWEA President, Executive Committee Chair
Pei-Chin Low – President Elect, Planning & Program Development Committee Chair
Phil Scott –Treasurer, Operations Board Committee Chair
David Greenwood – CWEA Past President
Fran Smith Burlingham –WEF Director, Membership & External Relations Committee Chair
(Jody Allen, CWEA Vice President, serves as a non-voting member)

Every year the Executive Committee requests nominations from the membership, local sections, and CWEA committees for candidates able and willing to perform the duties and responsibilities of the positions open for nomination. Nominees are vital to the continued success of CWEA.  This is an opportunity to function at a higher volunteer level and get involved in setting the future direction of the Association.  

The selection process is handled much the same as a typical job recruitment process.  The Executive Committee interviews each nominee and considers their past employment activity in the industry, level of CWEA activity, leadership qualities and values, record of prior duties and commitments, understanding of the workings of the Association, the nominees’ views and opinions on the future needs of CWEA, and the desire for the CWEA Board to represent the diversity of the membership. It also allows the nominees the opportunity to expand upon their qualifications and their ability to serve in these key positions.

Following this process, the Executive Committee presents the recommended slate to the CWEA Board for approval at the January Board meeting.  The slate of candidates is subsequently presented to the membership for a vote at the business meeting during the annual conference in April. At that time any member may nominate another member from the floor to be considered by the membership along with those candidates presented by the Executive Committee.  The exact protocol is described in the CWEA Constitution

This year the Executive Committee requests your help in soliciting nominees for the following positions:

  • Vice President (from the South, will be President in third year of a four-year service)
  • Director at-large from the North (three-year term)
  • Director at-large from the South (serve as CWEA Treasurer in third year of three-year term)
  • Water Environment Federation Director from the South (three-year term starting in October 2010, however attendance at meetings starting immediately after April election is recommended)

Nominations for all candidates must be submitted in writing to the CWEA office and received by December 16, 2009, with a brief biography of the candidate. Candidates should have confirmed their willingness to serve and submitted a picture and a completed questionnaire concerning their qualifications and commitment by December 16, 2009 – the date the nominations are due. If you are unable to contact the person you are nominating, please submit early so that staff can request the information from them on your behalf.  

In 2010, the Vice-President nominee will become President in their third year of service and will serve on the Executive Committee.  The Director at-large from the North will become a member of the Operations Committee and become the CWEA Treasurer in the third year on the Board.  Thus consideration of nominees will include experience in financial matters.

WEF Delegate Directors and Directors at-Large serve a three-year term of office and also function as CWEA Board members. To preserve balance in the numbers of representatives from the North and South, WEF Delegate Directors from the North are replaced by representatives from the South, and vice versa. As the term of WEF Delegate Director Fran Smith Burlingham from the North, is ending in 2010, the WEF Delegate Director position will be filled from the South. WEF Delegate Directors are elected in April, but do not take office until October, at WEF’s annual conference.  WEF Delegate Directors-Elect are expected to attend CWEA Board meetings beginning immediately upon their election.   

Vice Presidential nominees will also participate in an interview with the Executive Committee by phone early January. Candidates will be selected based on the responses to the questionnaire, resume, and, if applicable, the phone interview.  If you wish to submit a nomination, please direct your written nomination and a brief biography/resume and jpg photo of the candidate by December 16th. Click here for the pdf of the Board of Directors Questionnaire  and the Sample Nomination Letter.  For more info please visit the Board nominations web page.


Minding the meeting’s minutes

Recording the events and actions of a meeting is not always as easy as it sounds. How many meetings have you been to where it feels like the agenda was thrown out the window somewhere between the call to order and the roll call? While much of the order of the meeting is up to the chair or president, the accurate recording of the meeting is up to the secretary to capture. This means that with every added item, deleted or postponed item, or off-subject discussion, there is at least one person who is struggling to figure out how much of what discussion to include.

Taking minutes is balancing act between capturing what happened, and overloading the minutes with unnecessary detail. Unfortunately, quite a few first-time volunteers get thrown into this role. In fact, it is one of the most critical roles on a board or in a committee.

Why take minutes?
While it is important to keep records for posterity, there are several other important reasons to take and approve minutes of any meeting. First, it reminds the group about decisions that they made. Second, it documents the board/group’s fulfillment of their legal obligation to the members of CWEA to be actively involved. Third, minutes can protect against (or indemnify) the committee’s members against claims of misuse of funds, misappropriation of power, conflicts of interest, and other potential legal nightmares.

What should I include?
When Joe Waiter interrupts the discussion to ask how many vegetarian meals the board will need for lunch in 20 minutes, you don’t have to record that in the minutes. What does need to be included is any action taken, highlights of any report given, and any requests for board consideration or action. This includes:

·         purchase of equipment not already in the budget

·         expenditure of any unbudgeted funds

·         changes to policy or procedure (some of which may need to be approved by the constituency – members – and possibly the state board)

·         pricing changes (newsletters subscription fees, conference fees, and advertising rates)

·         election results (or any change to the board or committee officer structure, including presidential/chair appointments)

·         award proposals and acceptances

·         any vote taken by the board, and

·         any item upon which the board reached consensus or agreement.

How much of the discussion need to be included?

Only the highlights. In fact, in many legal circles you are taught not to include the names of the people who made and seconded the motions. Instead the minutes just need to show that there was a motion, a second, and whether the motion was carried or not.

(Originally published in the October 2003 Leader Link.)


STAFF CONTACTS - 510-382-7800


Latasha King x 110


Publications & Advertising

Chris Lundeen  x 104


Local Sections, Committees, Leader Link

Chris Lundeen  x 104



Brian Murray x 102



Jodee Schwan x 125



Leslie Carino x 107


Conferences & Exhibits

Marci Chase x 120


Leadership Calendar





Nov. 4 All CWEA leaders Annual Leadership Meeting
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
Victoria Rawson
[email protected]
Nov. 30 All members Winter certification testing window deadline Vivien Malig [email protected] 
Dec. 8 Northern Region Leaders Northern Regional Committee Meeting, CWEA office Oakland  Penny Carlo
[email protected]
Dec. 17 All members CWEA Board nominations due, including completed questionnaire and bio. Victoria Rawson
[email protected]
Jan. 8 Local Section awards committees Local section & committee award submissions due for state awards Jodee Schwan [email protected] 
Jan. 13-14 All interested leaders Board of Directors Meeting San Diego, CA Victoria Rawson
[email protected]
Jan. 15 All members Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship application deadline Chris Lundeen [email protected]
Jan. 28 Southern Region Leaders Southern Regional Committee Meeting, San Diego Debra Bogdanoff
[email protected]
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at [email protected]