Executive Director's Message

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

The Executive Director’s Message reports on actions CWEA’s State Board of Directors takes on your behalf at each quarterly Board meeting. This issue highlights the April 25th Board meeting and April 29th Annual Business Meeting. 

Annual Business Meeting Highlights: State of our Association is healthy

Our 15-16 President, Phil Scott, updated attendees at our April 29th Annual Business Meeting on the State of the Association. The Association received a clean audit for FY14-15 with one departure from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP),


which we anticipated (for treatment of membership dues on a cash basis).  Our current fiscal year ends June 30th; we’ll report preliminary fiscal year-end results in our Member Value Report (published in October). Our annual audited results are published in the Spring/Summer issue of “Wastewater Professional.”

Through February 2016, financial performance for FY15-16 is on track. Year-to-date income is over budget by 4% ($90k) and expenses are under budget -6% (-$171k).

President Scott noted the common theme he is hearing over and over: how busy everyone is…that means CWEA is busy, too. Here are the hot issues the Board identified this past year and the organizations to work with for our members’ awareness and education include:

  • Potable Reuse Certification
  • Stormwater
  • Career Paths
  • Utility of the Future
  • Onsite Reuse

ED-Pic2Because we’re all working on more issues than ever…that means we have to work smarter. Working smarter is not just about increasing our technical IQ; it’s also about increasing our Emotional Intelligence – our EQ. Self-awareness and managing our emotions are key to working effectively, especially in times of rapid change.  So…we’ve been offering emotional intelligence workshops and sessions in addition to technical and issues-based sessions.


Working on more issues means working smarter…and working together. This past Year we’ve deepened and added to our partnerships with our fellow associations.

Examples include:

  • WEF / AWWA Utility Management Conference in San Diego
  • Onsite reuse session with Sustainable Silicon Valley
  • CASA Deep Dives on leadership at this conference
  • Connecting with Nevada Water Environment Association and AZ Water to rethink the form of our Tri-State Seminar agreement – exploring an LLC model
  • Renewed our agreement with the State Water Board on education regarding the SSS WDR

We’ve also increased our support for our own local sections to help them serve our Members locally. Examples include:

  • Offering support for local certification study sessions
  • Offering support for local section web sites
  • Partnered with Santa Clara Valley Section on Drought Summit and WateReuse CA

We’ve also focused on communicating better, especially listening more. Examples include:

  • Outreach to employers and regulators for feedback on our certification program
  • Outreach to sponsors to understand their needs and interests in supporting our mission
  • Snap survey to our members on AB 2890, water and wastewater operator certification amendments
  • Improved content in our member publications – E-Bulletin and Wastewater Professional – more focus on people and projects

What’s coming up?  Examples include:

  • Brand new CA water careers website
  • Possibly new certification for Direct Potable Reuse operators
  • Emerging leaders and their stories in “Wastewater Professional”
  • Utility of the Future success stories – with our Summit Partners

Annual Business meeting: 2016-17 Board elected

Members attending CWEA’s April 29th Annual Business Meeting unanimously approved the slate of nominees for the 2016-17 Board of Directors as recommended by the Board. You can see the full 2016-17 Board here.

See what was new at AC16 here. http://cweawaternews.org/annual-conference-2016-wrap-up/

April Board Meeting highlights

At our April 25th Board meeting we:

  • Reviewed and discussed key assumptions for the draft FY16-17 budget along with key priorities for the draft program of work. Both are works-in-progress. Staff will continue to work with CWEA’s Planning & Program Development Committee to bring a proposed budget and program of work to the June Board meeting.
  • Received a briefing from WEF President Bowen on the launch of a new recognition program for Utility of the Future (UOTF) along with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and WateReuse—with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program will celebrate the progress and exceptional performance of our nation’s wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model. The deadline to apply is June 17. See information here

The board gave a thumbs up on the following:

  • Sending a comment letter to State Water Board on AB 2890 supporting continuing education requirement for wastewater treatment plant operators. See E-Bulletin article with details and fact sheets on AB 2890.
  • Conducting a program assessment for our certification program portfolio.
  • Setting up a Tri-State Seminar/CWEA Governance Task Force to work between June and September to provide recommendations to the Executive Committee for how the CWEA side of TSS governance should be handled.
  • Trying a new approach recommended by our Government Affairs Committee Chair which would convert from a Committee Chair role to a liaison/advisor position with the following responsibilities:
    • Serve as CWEA’s liaison to the CASA Regulatory Workgroup and relay relevant information to the CWEA Executive Director and Board.
    • Monitor CASA’s legislative watch list and relay relevant information to the CWEA Executive Director and Board.
    • Submit a quarterly report to the CWEA Director for presentation to the Board.
    • Serve as CWEA’s liaison to the WEF Government Affairs Committee.
    • Serve on CWEA’s Education Committee and assist with preparation of regulatory and legislative sessions at the CWEA Annual Conference, as needed.

New Committee Chairs take office for 2016-17

CWEA State Committee Chairs, appointed annually by CWEA’s President, take office each year at the close of the Annual Conference.  You can find the current CWEACommittee Chair list, committee descriptions, and the CWEA state board liaisons at mycwea.org.

Next Board Meetings:

Our next Board meetings will be:

  • May 24, 2016, (Board orientation webinar)
  • June 24th (workshop) and
  • June 25th (meeting) in Oakland

An important item on our June agenda is our next program of work, budget, and fees for our 2016-17 fiscal year beginning July 1. Committee quarterly reports, informational items, and requests for Board action are due June 5.

Other upcoming Board meetings:

  • October 21, 2016 in Oakland.
  • January 27 & 28, 2017 in San Diego (includes strategic-thinking workshop).
  • April 24, 2017 in Palm Springs (at AC 2017).

About the Author

Megan Barillo

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