California Water Environment Association                                                    November  2008
Leader Link

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

In This Issue:

What's in it for Employers?

New Newsletter Award

The Benefits of Volunteering

Changes in MLS Department

Important Awards Reminder

CWEA volunteer leaders ask for help getting management support…Many of the volunteer leaders who met in Irvine on October 7th for our sixth annual leadership planning meeting said they could use help getting management support for CWEA participation.  About 45 participants represented a cross-section of CWEA leaders from North and South, local sections and committees, the current state board and the past board as well as a sprinkling of Past Presidents.  During the highly interactive day, participants provided input on how local sections and committees can bring CWEA’s strategic plan to life and what resources they need to be effective in attracting and serving members.  CWEA’s Planning & Program Development Committee, chaired by CWEA’s President-Elect Darren Greenwood, developed a meeting summary that is posted on our web site, alongside our other planning documents including our strategic plan.  The Committee will use the input in developing our future program of work and in working with the CWEA’s Board in January to develop priorities for Fiscal Year 09-10. 

CWEA Membership, Training, & Certification…What’s in it for employers?

Better compliance…Ok, no guarantees, but employers will have an edge with the SSO-WDR training we offer through a Memo of Agreement with the State Water Board.  That MOA gave the industry extra time to comply.

Fewer accidents…All right, we can’t guarantee that either but it makes sense that better trained staff are less likely to have accidents.  CWEA offers hundreds of hours of affordable training every year throughout the state designed specifically for wastewater treatment professionals.  

Bigger workforce…You’ve heard the expression “Two heads are better than one.”  How about almost 9,000 heads? CWEA members learn and share solutions when they link with fellow CWEA members who offer the power of their experience when you’re trying to solve a problem or figure out a new situation. 

Human Resources Support…Staff retiring?  New positions opening up?  Our Jobs Available web-postings help employers reach a target audience of certified, capable, committed professionals. 

Supplier contacts…CWEA members include equipment manufacturers, consulting engineers, and other key partners.  Most CWEA conferences and many Local Section training events include supplier exhibits.

Training department…CWEA serves as a training department for employers, offering training workshops, seminars, and conferences every year throughout the state.  Programs are designed and delivered by subject matter experts who know what your folks need to know to be even more effective on the job.  Training + certification = better shot at increased compliance + fewer accidents = lower costs

Certified competent staff…CWEA certifies competence in six wastewater vocations so employers…and the public…can be assured that they keep themselves, the public, and the environment safe.

A voice with regulators and the public…CWEA works with other wastewater associations to connect with regulators to provide wastewater expertise as new regulations are being developed.  And, we get the word out to the world by funding and promoting Sewer Science, No Drugs Down the Drain, Kids in the Creek, the PBS documentary “Liquid Assets:  The Story Behind Our Water Infrastructure,” World Water Monitoring Day, and our new Wastewater Utility Branding Manual:  Building the Wastewater Utility Brand:  Practical Advice for Increasing Trust, Support, and Investment

Saving money…Employers save $$ with the technical tips, tools, and processes CWEA members pick up from award-winning wastewater treatment plants, CWEA training, CWEA publications, and fellow members.

CWEA does collectively what an individual employer just can’t do all alone…All this for 36 cents a day for CWEA membership!

Get and keep management support for your CWEA membership and participation… Check out for CWEA membership flyers -- “what’s in it for you?” and “what’s in it for employers?” – that you can download, print, and distribute at your Local Section and Committee meetings.  Use these flyers to remind your current Local Section and Committee members of the value of their professional organization…and to entice those who haven’t yet joined.

Newsletter Award Added to 2008 Awards Program

 Recognize the unsung CWEA Newsletter Editors! Countless hours are put into many CWEA newsletters to develop high quality periodicals to convey the current events of the Local Sections and State Committees.  Recognize the efforts of the volunteers behind the scenes by nominating them for Newsletter of the Year.

Nomination forms are available online. The forms include details about the three Local Section categories (small, medium, and large) and criteria on how to nominate your Local Section or State Committee Newsletter Editor.   Deadline for nomination is:  Friday, January 9, 2009.

Award Nomination Forms <>

Volunteer Benefits

As fellow leaders in CWEA, we are all aware that folks in CWEA Leadership Roles reap numerous benefits – but so do our employers! 

During these times of tightening budgets, some employers may be less willing to have their staff participate as a leader in CWEA.  Employers must look at the long-term benefits their organization will realize including:

  1. Visibility throughout the state as having a culture of encouraging professional growth and leadership, thereby attracting other top-notch employees.
  2. Improved moral within existing staff for supporting ongoing involvement in a professional organization the staff knows and respects.
  3. Invaluable training for leaders within the organization including:
    1. On the job training for staff on managing the operations of a multimillion dollar budgeted organization.
    2. Development/enhancement of presentation skills
    3. Development/enhancement of skills in organizing and running meetings
  4.  A statewide network of resources for assistance with troubleshooting, problem solving, and sharing of new ideas.

If you are encountering challenges with having others step up to leadership positions in your local section or committee due to lack of employer support, make sure they know of these great benefits.  Also, consider offering to meet with the management at those employers to make the case.

 Great leaders are the lifeblood of any organization – be sure that we are looking to the future and recruiting top-notch folks – and their employers!  It is a win-win situation for all .

Changes in Member & Leader Services (MLS) Department

Some of you may have already heard that Member & Leader Services Coordinator Kristina Basgen has moved on from CWEA to take on a few adventures in China and beyond. Although we wish her the best of luck, with Kristina gone, a big hole has opened up in the MLS department. The plan is to fill her position early in 2009. Meanwhile, our small (but mighty) staff is taking up the slack and getting things done. The list below shows who is doing what.

  Latasha King 510-382-7800 x 110, [email protected]

Ø  CWEA Membership

Ø  Web site logon info

Chris Lundeen 510-382-7800 x104 [email protected]

Ø  Ebulletin

Ø  Wastewater Professional

Ø  Advertising

Ø  Local Sections

Ø  Committees

Ø  Web site

Tricia Tway 510-382-7800 x100

Ø  Job postings on

Ø  Looking up basic member info

Jodee Schwan 510-382-7800 x125 [email protected]

Ø  Awards

Ø  Leader Link

Important Awards Reminder

As a reminder, all state award nominees MUST be received in the CWEA office on or before Friday, January 9, 2009. Postmarked nominations will NOT be accepted, so please be sure yours are in on time. 

Also, because the office will be closed during the holidays, it is very important you get your award plaque names to Jodee Schwan on time to avoid your local section being charged any rush charges. If your banquet is on or before Friday, January 23, your order MUST be to Jodee no later than Monday, December 22, 2009.

STAFF CONTACTS - 510-382-7800


Latasha King x 110


Publications & Advertising

Chris Lundeen x 104


Local Sections & Committees

Chris Lundeen  x 104


SSO-WDR Training

Serena Miller x 115


Brian Murray x 102


Awards & Leaderlink

Jodee Schwan x 125



Leslie Carino x 107


Conferences & Exhibits

Marci Chase x 120



Leadership Calendar
November 27 & 28 Happy Thanksgiving~ CWEA Office Closed 
November 30 Certification applications due for January-March testing window
December 4 Northern Regional Committee Meeting, CWEA HQ Oakland
December 4 Electronic Reporting Workshop - Woodland 
December 4 Certification Preparation Seminar, City of Oxnard Community Center (hosted by Tri-Counties Section)
December 9 Crisis Communication Workshop - Oakland 
December 16 EPA Innovative Energy Management Workshop
December 17 CWEA Board nominations due, including completed questionnaire and bio.
December 24 to January 5 Happy Holidays! CWEA Office Closed 
January 2 Computer-based certification testing begins
January 9 Local section & committee award submissions due for state awards
January 15 Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship applications due
January 27  Biosolids Dewatering Workshop - Carson
January 28 Biosolids Dewatering Workshop - Oakland
January 15 Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship applications due
February 6-7 CWEA Board workshop and meeting, San Diego
April 28 CWEA Board meeting, Palm Springs
May 2 CWEA Board meeting, Palm Springs

For more information about upcoming Local Section Events
For more information about CWEA conferences

Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at [email protected]