CWEA Leader Link- October 2012
California Water Environment Association                                                                               October  2012
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:

Keeping New Members Engaged

How Local Sections Can Promote the Kirt Brooks Scholarship Program

Awards and Installation Banquets

President Mattingly Seeks CWEA Board Nominations

Free Leadership Training on 10/30

Calling all Local Section Treasurers

Icebreaker: Not Your Normal Nametag

On the Personnel Front, for Board and Staff

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Keeping New Members Engaged

For many, CWEA membership can be a lifelong experience in which professionals network and learn from each other for their entire careers and beyond. Local Section and Committee leaders are often longtime volunteers with vast experience in the field. But as increasing numbers of the water environment workforce get ready to retire, recruiting and retaining new talent is critical for successful information transfer in the workplace and in CWEA. Indeed, our state's clean water and public health depend on it.

During the first years of membership, members form their initial judgments about the value of membership. The first two years of membership are the most critical for longer participation. Most CWEA members make their strongest connections at the local level and their membership experience is strongly formed and nurtured by Local Sections.

Consider doing something special to acknowledge your newest members when they choose to renew for the first time. By renewing, they've shown that they appreciate their membership. Now it's our turn to show them that we appreciate them. Some groups list "First Anniversary Members" in the same way that they might list new members in their publications. Others might offer a round of applause at a meeting. Depending on your volunteer capacity, it might also make sense to hold a special happy hour with the Board leadership for newly renewed members or to give a quick thank-you call.

This attention establishes a strong member-based customer service. Conversations that take place might also be a great opportunity to gather feedback about what new members want out of their experience. And once you know the "hot buttons" of what motivates them, you can help identify ways for them to get involved in making our Association even stronger.

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.


How Local Sections Can Promote CWEA's Scholarship Program

On occasion, a CWEA local section might consider starting its own scholarship program to support the educational needs of its members. Unfortunately, because of the arduous IRS and legal reporting, CWEA doesn’t   have the resources to support local section scholarship programs.  Although local sections cannot start their own scholarship programs, they still can make a difference for local students by reaching out to local colleges and universities, and encouraging local participation in the Kirt Brooks scholarship program.  Leaders at local sections can also offer assistance with the application process and link scholarship applicants with sponsors.  Local sections could also work with the Scholarship Committee to develop new categories or refine criteria that might better meet the needs of various groups of students. For example, it might be possible to develop scholarship categories for CWEA’s Northern and Southern Regions.   These are just a few examples of how local sections can get involved with the scholarship program to encourage more participation and offer assistance to local section members and students. Contact Scholarship Chair Connie Leonard to learn more about how you can help with CWEA's scholarship program.

Another word of warning about grants and scholarships...Local sections and committees must also avoid offering any type of grants (or “scholarships”) such as grants for event registration fees or membership dues because of the same type of reporting and legal requirements that are required for scholarship programs. Instead of offering a grant or scholarship to attend an event, local sections could set lower event price points for students and other similar groups.  For example, WEF student membership costs only $20. Local sections could offer a discount of $20 for first time registration at an event for new WEF Student members. Or local section members could bring prospective or lapsed members to an event for a reduced fee.

If you have questions about promotions that help to encourage membership and support the mission of your local section and CWEA, please contact your Board Liaison. If your local section has had some good pointers on encouraging student participation events, getting them to join CWEA, or encouraging them to apply for the Kirt Brooks Scholarship, send your notes to and we can share on Leader Link or through the CWEA Regional Committees.


Award and Installation Banquets

Awards and Installation Season is here.  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.

Plaque orders need to be placed 5 weeks prior to your banquet in order to keep cost low and to ensure engraving accuracy. Orders may be delayed if winners' memberships are not up to date or if the correct awards nominations and plaque order forms are not used. We need your help to make sure your plaques are delivered in time for your big nights. Everything you need to know can be found on the CWEA website.

How is the awards season looking in your local section? Do you have ideas on how to improve the program or need help getting more applicants? Let us know and we'll cover in a future issue.

Two sections are trying some new strategies that you might be interested in learning more about: our small but mighty Sierra Section was able to secure three lapsed membership renewals and two new memberships by recognizing great work with awards. These nominees were active and making great contributions to the field, but had neglected their CWEA memberships. Now they're current members and winning an award is a great way for them to build even stronger local section connections.

The Central San Joaquin Section sent out a personalized appeal by email that asked interested applicants to simply email the awards coordinator for more information. That way, a leader could make a personal connection and perhaps even help fill out the application, which can sometimes appear daunting at first glance.

Here's an excerpt from the appeal:

The world of wastewater treatment is a lonely one.  We are the unsung heroes, the soldiers at the last bastion between the good health and welfare of the general public and some of the most devastating diseases that have been known to wipe out populations.  We wish the world could see what we do and why we do it.  We wish for some recognition of all the hard work we do to protect the public from unsanitary world under the streets.

Well, we may not get the general public to recognize our accomplishments, but we can recognize and honor ourselves.  Every year, the CWEA honors its members in the various vocations of wastewater management.  We start at the local level and then at the state level.  And this recognition and honor comes the best source ever:  ourselves.

The CWEA awards program is our chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with our peers and say, "I think you're doing a great job and I want others to know about it.


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 this week. 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.


Calling all CWEA Local Section Treasurers...

Spend an hour, save your sanity.  The Treasurer Orientation is required for local section treasurers to successfully fulfill their responsibilities over the next year. Plus, this free one-hour orientation webinar will make your job as treasurer easier. Local section presidents are strongly encouraged to attend too. Even if you are not a new treasurer, or if you have attended this webinar in the past, you will learn what’s new and will be able to share your experiences with incoming treasurers.

What You’ll Learn

  • The features and updates to the local section budget and reporting template, with a live demonstration.
  • The basic budget reporting and planning requirements.
  • Answers to your questions and helpful advice you would like to share with your fellow treasurers. 
  • Why financial reports are so important to the proper functioning of CWEA.

Who Should Attend
Current local section treasurers, incoming/prospective treasurers, and presidents are all strongly encouraged to attend. It would be best if you could all attend the meeting.

Treasurers’ Orientation Webinar Topics

  • Meet other local section treasurers and CWEA incoming Treasurer Zoeanne Tafolla, current Treasurer Paul Schmidtbauer, CWEA CFO Kevin Rogers, and our Finance Manager Renu Pal.
  • An overview of the annual and monthly financial reporting requirements.
  • Helpful tips on understanding your local section budget and financial reporting. 
  • The Local Section Budget Template.
  • Questions & Answers.

Webinar Date & Time
Wednesday, February 13 from 12-1pm.

How to Participate
RSVP and we will send you logon and call-in instructions.  

Please RSVP by Wednesday, January 31
Contact Chris Lundeen to RSVP @ or 510-382-7800 x104. 

Contact Director of Member & Leader Services Chris Lundeen at 510-382-7800 x104 or


Meeting Icebreaker: Not your Normal Nametags

Prepare nametags for each person and put them in a box. As people walk into the room, each person picks a nametag (not their own). When everyone is present, participants are told to find the person whose nametag they drew and introduce and say a few interesting things about themselves. When everyone has their own nametag, each person in the group will introduce the person whose nametag they were initially given and mention something of interest about that person. This helps participants get to know and remember each other.


On the Personnel Front, For Board and Staff

Northern Regional Committee Chair and CWEA State Board member David Stoops has accepted a new job, and will not be able to continue in his NRC or Board positions.  Fortunately, NRC’s vice chair, Steve Caswell, was available for “promotion,” and the Board approved his appointment to the NRC Chair position and to the Board.  We were able to have an effective transition, with both David and Steve present at the September Board meeting. On the staff side, Katrina Twaddell, in the Education and Training area, and Elaine Fuller, in the Certification area, have left CWEA.  We appreciate their work for CWEA and wish them well in the future.  Staff is working to fill the vacancies.

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      





October 24 CWEA Members Northern Safety Day Julie Taylor
October 30 CWEA Members Annual Leadership Meeting Victoria Rawson
November 7 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
November 22-23 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday  
December 24-25 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Christmas Holiday  
January 1 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for New Years Holiday  
January 7 CWEA Leaders Committee Reports to Board Due Victoria Rawson
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