Executive Director's Message

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

Dear CWEA Members,
I’m happy to report the highlights of the June 25-26 Board workshop and meeting most recently held in Oakland. Our fiscal year starts on July 1st  so this issue is dedicated to our FY16-17 program of work and budget recently approved by the Board.




FY 15-16 Accomplishments:
Our accomplishments from Fiscal Year (FY) 15-16 included:

  • 21st Century Education roll-out continues, bringing science-based adult-earning principles to our education events
  • Certification Strategic Planning is on track
  • Certification holders increased by 4% as of May 31 over our FYE 14-15.
  • New publisher for Wastewater Professional selected
  • Launched our new careers website CAWaterJobs.org
  • Projections indicate we will end the fiscal year better than budget.

FY 16-17 Program of Work:

The CWEA Board approved the program of work and budget for FY16-17.

Major highlights include:

  • Approved this year’s base dues increase of $8 bringing the FY16-17 membership dues to $172 (including the $12 Local Section dues). The Board adopted a 5-year working scenario in June 2012 with a base membership dues increase of $8 annually (with annual approvals still required). The Board’s approach is to make incremental, annual dues increases to keep pace with increased expenses.
  • A $5 increase for certification applications and $2 increase for certification renewals was approved. (See table below for new prices.)
  • Continue refining the certification strategic plan
  • Work in partnership with the California-Nevada American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA) on an Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) Operator Certification program
  • Educational events: Northern Safety Day; AC17; P3S; and specialty workshops
  • Hire a staff person to provide bookkeeping services for Local Sections
  • Continue to explore transitioning our Tri State Seminar agreement with AZ Water and Nevada Water Environment Association to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) model with a goal to have an agreement by the end of this year. A CWEA Task Force will meet to make recommendations to our Board on CWEA representation in an LLC model.
  • Create an Editorial Advisory Group for improving the quality and quantity of news stories in the Wastewater Professional and E-Bulletin.
  • Create several new websites, including: Events, Certification, Awards and Utility of the Future
  • Implement a new email communication system
  • Implement new Local Section website template and server
  • Work with the Board to refresh CWEA’s strategic plan

Certification FY16-17 Renewal Fee – CWEA Member Price
(non-members add $172)
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4
$83 $88 $93 $98

Certification FY16-17 Application Fee – CWEA Member Price
(non-members add $172)
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4
$160 $175 $190 $205

See our “storyboards” that give context for our FY16-17 budget, our membership and certification fee increases, and our investment in special initiatives from our Project Fund. Also download our most current dashboard showing the metrics the Board tracks to monitor progress on our strategic plan. We review this dashboard at every Board meeting.

Planning for the Future: The WE in CWEA


As California’s water sector continues to evolve, we’re evolving CWEA’s programs so we can continue to help members. As the Board worked on the upcoming program of work it was noted there’s a WE in CWEA. We’re here to help one another. We’re here to provide opportunities for networking, education and certification. We’re here to build strong relationships among members – across the state, across disciplines and across utilities, regulators and vendors. We’re here to share success stories and honor the outstanding performance of cleanScreen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.48.27 AM water professionals. CWEA programs are built by water professionals for water professionals. As stated in our big audacious goal “Clean water professionals will be increasingly effective in protecting public health and enhancing the environment and we’ll be valued for our expertise and competency.” The Board selected three major areas of focus for FY 16-17:

  1. Continuing to move Certification program forward to ensure it remains relevant and responsive to our members and employers
  2. Provide more support for our technical committees and Local Sections by expanding staff support for accounting, communications and website development.
  3. Continue to improve our communication platforms, including upgrading our magazine with a new publisher; developing new microsites for events, awards and certification; and working with our fellow water associations to develop “work for water” outreach materials and share information about the utility of the future.

Nominations for the 2017-18 Board of Directors

Applications are now being accepted for the Board of Directors. Open positions include VP from North, WEF Delegate Director from the South, Treasurer from North, and Director from South. Deadline is December. Please contact Victoria Thornton at vthornton@cwea.org if you are interested in running for a position on the Board.

Local section & committee budgets approved

The Board approved Local Section and Committee budgets for FY16-17. Committee budgets, totaling about $69k in expenses, are included in CWEA’s state-level operating budget. Local Section budgets total about $589k and are not included in the state-level operating budget. We do include Local Section financial activity in our financial reports as well as our audit and tax filings.

A few good volunteers needed
Volunteers are the driving force within our association. We wanted to share some great opportunities that have opened up for volunteers. One of these roles might be a great opportunity for you or for someone you know.Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.57.14 AM

  • Students and Young Professional Committee Chair and Vice Chair
  • Community Engagement & Outreach Committee Chair and Vice Chair
  • Scholarship Vice Chair
  • Certification Prep Task Force
  • Editorial Advisory Group

To learn more about volunteering or to recommend someone, please contact Communications Manager, Megan Barillo at mbarillo@cwea.org and she’ll direct you to the proper person.

Next Board meeting

Our next Board meeting will be October 21, 2016 in Oakland, CA.

About the Author

Megan Barillo

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