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

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

In This Issue:

AMS Update

Leadership Workshops on 21st Century Education

President Dobson Seeks Board Nominations

CWEA Code of Conduct Policies

Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship

It's Local Section Awards Season

New P3S Committee Chair

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

AMS Update

Every day we use more and more technology in our professional and personal lives. Keeping pace with our members’ evolving use of technology, CWEA is rolling out a new online customer service system that will be integrated with our website.

Over the next few months you will notice improvements when:
• Registering for educational events
• Renewing certification and membership
• Managing your continuing education
• Connecting with your fellow water environment processionals

The CWEA Board believes replacing our online customer service system is an essential project in making your membership experience even better. To help support the agencies and wastewater professionals of the future, CWEA needs to invest in our infrastructure so we can become the association of the future. This is the largest technology upgrade project CWEA has ever undertaken. It’s even larger than the computer-based testing program we rolled out a few years ago. Our original go-live target of mid-October proved to be too optimistic; we’re now targeting mid-December for go-live for core functionality followed by a phased approach to additional features.

Watch your email in December for a welcome message with instructions on how to log in to start using our new system. Make sure we have your current email address in our records because it will be your user name. No need to keep track of a confusing online or member number any longer!

Attend your upcoming regional committee meetings for a demonstration. The next Southern Regional Committee (SRC) meeting will be November 1 in Big Bear and the next Northern Regional Committee (NRC) meeting will be December 12 in Oakland. Contact SRC Chair Megan Yoo Schneider at or NRC Chair Steve Caswell at


Leadership Workshops on 21st Century Education
11/4 at OCSD and 11/5 at SASD

Leading in the 21st Century requires a new set of skills including a commitment to life-long learning. Life-long learning means being able to “unlearn” as knowledge and science evolve and then relearn. CWEA is committed to using 21st Century learning techniques so we can better fulfill our mission of educating water environment professionals. Please join us November 4 at Orange County Sanitation District or November 5 at Sacramento Area Sewer District for a one-day workshop to learn science-based methods to improve your presentations and your educational events.

Discover how to reenergize your education offerings so they lead to better knowledge transfer as well as attendee attitude, behavior, and skill change. Discuss how science-based or evidence-based education opportunities result in increased knowledge retention, deeper understanding, and wise transfer to the real world.

The workshop will be led by Jeff Hurt, Executive Vice President, Education and Engagement with Velvet Chainsaw, a consulting firm CWEA is using to increase our effectiveness in the way we educate water environment professionals in the 21st Century. Please see the flyer for details and to register or go to: Prospective volunteers are very welcome at the workshop so please pass along the flyer to those you think might be interested. People who have or will be presenting at CWEA events are also very welcome. They’ll learn ways to improve their presentation skills and results. Please encourage them to come as well. Space is limited so be sure to register by October 28th to ensure your spot. Get a 21st Century reboot for only $21.

Questions? Please contact Victoria Rawson at or 510.382.7800 x 113.


President Christoph Dobson Seeks CWEA Board Nominations

"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” --John Buchan.

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 by January 1 (or ask someone to nominate you) for your CWEA State Board.

We are seeking the following candidates:

  • Vice President from the South (will be President in third year of four-year term);
  • Director at-large from the North (three-year term);
  • Director at-large from the South (serves as CWEA Treasurer in third year of three-year term);
  • Water Environment Federation (WEF) Delegate Director from the South (three-year term, starting in October 2014; however, attendance at Board meetings starts immediately after April 2014 elections).


Professional Conduct at CWEA Events

As we start shifting into a new year, it's a good time to remind ourselves of the appropriate conduct that we should all take into consideration whenever we are participating in CWEA activities. Just like at work, participants in CWEA are responsible for behaving professionally. Some of our events include social activities where alcohol is served; behaving professionally is still the order of the day (and night). CWEA members and volunteers are responsible for their own behavior at our events and for upholding the expectation of professional behavior from others. Sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior, in particular, are unacceptable and leaders should immediately address any inappropriate activity.

For more information, please review policies 93-01: Sexual Harassment, 96-01: Standards for Presentations & Entertainment, and 98-01 Code of Conduct. Or see the entire list of policies developed by CWEA's Board of Directors.

Please also consider that your individual actions represent CWEA as a whole. Be considerate and treat your fellow volunteers, members and staff with kindness. We're all working together to improve our profession and safeguard our water resources.


Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship Fund

The Board approved a 2014 total grant appropriation of $17,100 from CWEA’s Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund is a grant-making program for students who are engaged in the water environment field and who are members of CWEA or sponsored by CWEA members. This is an increase of 10% over the award amount last year, is consistent with our financial policy for the Scholarship Fund, and is based on the stabilization and recent growth of the scholarship fund.

Scholarship applications are due on January 15. Learn more about the Scholarship Fund and download an application form at

Donations are accepted any time! Consider donating or increasing your donation in order to meet the Scholarship Fund’s goal of $500k by 2015.


It's Local Section Awards Season

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.



New P3S Committee Chair

CWEA President Christoph Dobson has appointed Berlinda Blackburn as Chair of CWEA’s P3S Committee, effectively through the Annual Conference in April 2014. Berlinda is Environmental/Regulatory Programs Manager with the City of Coachella, holds CWEA certificates in Environmental Compliance Inspection and Collection System Maintenance, has participated with the P3S Committee as a member, volunteer, and CWEA Board liaison, and has served as President of CWEA’s Santa Ana River Basin Section. Berlinda will also continue her service as a CWEA Board Director through the end of her term (April 2015).

Berlinda has begun convening meetings of the P3S Committee to move forward with the 2014 P3S Conference planning and to resume the Committee’s monthly meetings and awards activities. She will be reaching out to P3S members to invite their participation; meanwhile, she would welcome those interested in participating to contact her at The P3S 2014 Conference will be held in Ontario at the DoubleTree Hotel on February 24-26, 2014.


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      





October 23 CWEA Members Northern Safety Day Serena Miller
November 1 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Megan Yoo Schneider
November 4-5 CWEA Leaders Leadership Workshops Victoria Rawson
November 6 CWEA Members Improving Communications In Presentations Workshop Serena Miller
November 11 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Veterans Holiday  
November 28-29 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday  
December 12 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting Steve Caswell
December 23-27 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Winter Holiday  
January 1 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for New Year's Holiday  
January 24-25 CWEA Board Board of Directors' Meeting Victoria Rawson
February 24-26 CWEA Members P3S Conference Serena Miller
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at