Emerging Leader, Thomas Johnson, Sales manager, WECO Industries

CA Water Pros, Emerging Leaders, Members in the News, Wastewater Life

Thomas Johnson started in the wastewater business by answering the phone, filing customer information, taking out the trash, and shipping products for his father’s company. 

And he was only 15 years old. 

Today, 17 years later, he is sales manager at WECO Industries, and poised to take over the business someday. “I grew up with it,” he says, “and I’m here for the next 30 years. It’s my future. I love it, man.” 

CWEA is in his future, too. Since he joined at a young age, he’s become a member of the San Francisco Bay, Santa Clara Valley (SCV), and Students and young Professionals sections. “In just four years, he has risen to vendor liaison for all three sections,” states his nomination letter for Emerging Leader. “He has gone above and beyond his job description in several ways, taking the initiative to grow the SCV section with recruiting and even taking the secretary’s position, helping with conventions, and running the golf tournament. 

“He helps and coordinates ongoing training for all members of CWEA sections…including starting an educational classroom to learn about root foaming.” 

It’s this opportunity to educate and connect with people that drives Thomas. He says his association activities give him the opportunity to build relationships, while using the range of products his company represents to teach various technologies to the membership.  

And the association has helped him grow as a professional. “I remember my first training session,” he recalls. “I had 55 minutes but I talked so fast I was finished after 22 minutes.” 

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected his business, of course. All WECO employees who are not in the service department are working from home, he reports, and sales have had to be cancelled because of supply and supplier issues. “The pandemic has delayed shipping so customers have had to wait longer for orders,” Johnson says.


We are looking for accomplished water professionals who are making a significant, positive impact on California’s water and they have not yet been recognized for that effort.

Emerging leader describes an individual who:

  • Has demonstrated the potential to assume a leadership role in an organization.
  • Are strong performers who have the potential, ability, and aspiration for continuing their impact on the profession in a leadership role.
  • Show commitment to the organization, exert influence, and demonstrate a willingness to step up and take on more responsibility.
  • Have desire to grow both personally and professionally through networking with like-minded professionals and volunteer work in our profession.
  • Impact will last for a couple of years or more.

Nominators need to be a CWEA member. The nominee does not have to be a CWEA member but should be involved with California water and should live in California. Self nominations are eligible – make your case for the impact you’ve had and you might get picked!

The Emerging Leaders will be selected by a panel of seasoned industry leaders and will be interviewed and profiled in Clean Water.

Nominations due April 1!

Submit application.