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

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

In This Issue:

Volunteer Opportunities Menu...And a Prize

Icebreaker: What's Your Claim to Fame

New Quarter Century Recognition Program

Awards and Installation Banquets

CWEA Board Nominations Due December 20

Free E-bulletin Wordpress Training

Calling all Local Section Treasurers

Committee Reports to Board Due January 7

Check the CWEA Calendar When Scheduling Events

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

Volunteer Opportunities Menu...And a Prize

When you visit a restaurant, you know you're hungry and what you like to eat. You check out the menu and figure our what sounds good, what you've got time for and perhaps what's best for your wasteline...or perhaps not-so-much this time of year. Consider structuring your volunteer opportunities in the same way.

A menu of tasks lets you show your members what's "cooking" in your local section in a creative and visual way. It can also help organize the work to be done into smaller components and give volunteers an idea of how much effort is needed. Appetizers and desserts might appeal to folks who best like to start or close a project. And the main course might be selected by someone who's ready to commit more time or energy.   

Here's an example:

Today's Starters
Welcome five new dinner meeting attendees with a follow-up phone call
Talk to your supervisor about a cool tidbit you picked up from a networking happy hour
Send in your event details to so it is added to the state listings

Plats Du Jour
Light Bites - Write up a review of a great training or talk
I Could Eat - Give a talk about your most recent cool project or success
Skipped Lunch - Organize a monthly speakers series

Something Sweet
Judge awards applications or review a paper
Take photos for facebook, newsletter or website
Be a greeter or welcomer at your next training

For the last two years, CWEA's free fall annual leadership meeting has featured leadership strategist Cynthia D'Amour. She discussed this volunteer opportunities menu concept as a way to encourage creativity and have some fun. Send a note to describing something new you'd like to try in 2013 and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Cynthia's book, The Lazy Leader's Guide to Outrageous Results. And we'll share the ideas generated in our next issue so we can learn from one another.

The next free leadership training will be held as a pre-conference workshop at the Annual Conference in April in Palm Springs. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to learn how to lead both at CWEA and at work.


Icebreaker: What's Your Claim to Fame

Another highlight from this year's Annual Leadership Meeting was a simple "What's Your Claim to Fame" introduction exercise that could easily be adapted to your dinner meeting or training. In this icebreaker, simply ask everyone to give their name along with something that makes them special -- their "Claim to Fame"

The exercise gave attendees networking experience in a safe and supportive space. It also helps with remembering names and faces. You might remember to call on the "#1 Little League Coach" or the "Biosolids Guy" the next time you've got a question. Though you might want to select your claim to fame's possible that these monikers might stick around for a long time.


New Quarter Century Recognition Program

The CWEA Quarter Century Recognition Program recognizes water professionals for their commitment to improving the quality of life and the protection of the environment. CWEA Quarter Century Recognition Program honorees have dedicated their careers in a challenging and most vital profession, the water environment field. These essential professionals who have spent countless hours improving our water environment include: Operators; Collection System, Maintenance, Laboratory, and Environmental Compliance personnel; Engineers; and Administrators. CWEA Quarter Century honorees will be presented with a framed certificate recognizing their achievement and a lapel pin they can proudly wear identifying them as members of this elite group of professionals.

1. Must be a current member of the California Water Environment Association and a member in good standing for the last five consecutive years.

2. Must have been a vital, full-time participant in the water environment field for a period of 25 years, 10 years of which must have been actively involved in the day-to-day tasks associated with treatment or conveyance of wastewater.

3. Must submit an application for recognition consideration by no later than the second Friday of January for review by the Quarter Century Recognition Program sub – committee.

4. The application must be accompanied by a complete and detailed resume of experience that includes; dates of employment; project / plant location; positions held; and specific achievements.

Application for the Quarter Century Recognition Program is available online. Application Deadline: January 11


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.

Applications for the state awards program are due January 11. Late applications are not accepted. Questions should be directed to the contact/s listed in each of the awards forms. Applications available on the CWEA website.


CWEA Board Nominations Due December 20

“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 E-bulletin Wordpress Training: 1/15

The reinvigorated public education committee is hosting a training on how to use Wordpress, which is a Content Management System (CMS) that many local sections are now using to produce their websites. Join the public education committee in person at its 1/15 meeting at 10 at the City of Millbrae Ops Center. RSVP to Catherine Allen at or 650-259-2397.

The hour-long training will also be available via GoToMeeting. In it, participants will be given an overview of how to become a contributor to the E-bulletin, which is CWEA's daily news source and is built using Wordpress. Not only will you be learning some impressive (and deceptively easy) technology skills, but you'll have fun! It's great for those young, old and everywhere in between. Those with lots of computer skills or only a little bit. Help keep your fellow water environment professionals current on everything that interests you. Be the voice of CWEA.


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


Committee Reports to CWEA Board Due January 7

Please complete the committee report form and send along with your committee's agendas and approved minutes for this quarter by January 7. Contact Victoria Rawson with any questions.


Check the CWEA Calendar When Scheduling Events

Check out before scheduling your trainings to make sure that they aren't in conflict with other CWEA events. Make sure there are no committee meetings, board meetings, state events and such before scheduling a training event that could pull people from other sections. This will help all of us keep our event attendance up and ensure that training are spread out enough to meet our members' needs. Make sure your event is posted on the CWEA event calendar by emailing

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      





December 24- January 1 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for Winter Holidays  
January 7 CWEA Leaders Committee Reports to Board Due Victoria Rawson
January 11 CWEA Members Awards Applications Due Lola Dvorak
January 15 CWEA Members Scholarship Applications Due Lola Dvorak
January 15 CWEA Members E-bulletin Wordpress Training Catherine Allin
January 21 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for MLK Jr. Day  
January 24 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
January 25 & 26 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
February 13 CWEA Leaders Treasurer Training Chris Lundeen
February 18 CWEA Members CWEA Office Closed for President's Day  
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