Executive Director’s Message

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

Elizabeth Allan, Executive Director

The Executive Director’s Message covers the meetings of CWEA’s State Board of Directors on your behalf after each quarterly Board meeting. This issue highlights the January 30th & 31st Board workshop and meeting.

Board nominees approved for election vote at Annual Business Meeting on Friday, May 1st
The following new board candidates will be up for member vote at the Friday, May 1st Annual Business Meeting at CWEA’s 2015 Annual Conference in San Diego:

  • Debi Lewis, Sr. Engineer at MWH, for Vice President (from the North, will be President in third year of a four-year service),
  • Berlinda Blackburn, Environmental/Regulatory Programs Manager at City of Coachella, for Director at-large from the South (three-year term),
  • Jeff Tucker, Director of Administrative Services/Chief Financial Officer at Napa Sanitation District, for Director at-large from the North (will serve as CWEA Treasurer in third year of three-year term), and
  • Dianne Lee, Marketing Director at West Yost Associates, for Water Environment Federation Delegate Director from the North (three-year term starting in October 2015).

The candidates automatically appointed by the Board as chairs of their respective committees:

  • Wendy Wert, Environmental Engineer at Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, for Southern Regional Committee Chair (three-year term).
  • Roy Reynolds, Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor at Orange County Sanitation District, for Technical Certification Program Chair (one-year term).

For nominee bios, see http://www.cwea.org/pdf/board/BoardNominees2015.pdf.

Certification strategic-thinking begins with trends and what they might mean to CWEA
As part of CWEA’s ongoing strategic-thinking, we’ve begun working with Lenora Knapp of Knapp & Associates International, a consulting firm specializing in the development and revitalization of professional certification programs. CWEA’s certification program is strong and vital and we plan to keep it that way by taking time to think strategically about how to remain relevant to our certification stakeholders. At our January workshop, we explored 12 trends affecting certification programs and identified six for further consideration:

  1. Is small the next big thing?  (Micro-credentials and digital badges)
  2. “Where’s the beef?” (Evaluating the value of certification)
  3. The certifier as a professional development partner
  4. Certification as a customer-focused business
  5. The new “degrees”
  6. The digital brain (impact of technology on the brain)

CWEA will consider these trends as we continue our strategic-thinking work on our certification program over the next fiscal year.

Teeing up FY15-16 program of work
FY14-15 key priorities (listed below) were reviewed while FY15-16 priorities were considered as we head into our FY15-16 program of work and budget development:

  • 21st Century Education and Annual Conference Growth initiative;
  • Certification Strategic Planning
  • Certification prep initiative;
  • Certification revalidation initiative;
  • Building CWEA staff capacity;
  • Stabilizing use of netForum and mycwea.org (new association management software rolled out December 2013); and
  • Agency outreach.

The Board’s Planning & Program Development Committee will take the Board’s priorities and strategic planning input into account as it works with staff to develop the FY15-16 program of work and budget which will come to the Board for approval at its June meeting. View CWEA’s Strategic Plan and its one-page Strategy Map at:  http://www.cwea.org/dashboard.

State committees are reminded to submit their work plans and budgets (if over $500) for FY15-16 by April 30, 2015. Local Section budgets are due April 30, 2015.

Mid-year indicators are on track and continue to be carefully monitored
Current indicators suggest that we are performing at or better than budget year-to-date in FY14-15.

Clean FY13-14 audit with one exception that we expected
We received a clean audit with one expected generally accepted accounting principles departure (for treatment of membership dues on a cash basis). The Board approved the audit, its accompanying management letter, and CWEA’s tax filing for FY13-14. Although CWEA is a tax-exempt organization, we must make an annual tax filing at both the state and federal levels. Check the April Wastewater Professional to review the audited financials.

Recycled Water Forum Sponsorship approved
Santa Clara Valley Section will sponsor their second annual recycled water forum, building on the Section’s success with its inaugural event in May 2014: Urban Water and Drought Preparedness.

The event continues the focus on a very timely statewide issue and is intended to draw regulators and politicians as well as CWEA members and other water environment professionals. The event will be held in Sacramento in May/June and will likely include participation and perhaps sponsorship from CA WateReuse.

Community Engagement & Outreach Committee standing rules amendments approved
Amendments to the standing rules proposed by CWEA’s Community Engagement & Outreach Committee (formerly Public Education Committee) can be viewed online at http://www.cwea.org/members/mlr_leader_board_gd_csr.shtml.

Tri-State Seminar contract and connections
CWEA’s Executive Committee plans to develop a stronger connection with CWEA’s representatives on Tri-State Seminar Committee and plans to prepare for review of the mutual participation agreement (expiring December 2015) that CWEA has for the event with Arizona Water and Nevada Water Environment Association.

Ops Challenge Task Force established
CWEA President Simon Watson struck a task force to explore and make recommendations on the best future for Operations Challenge. The Task Force, chaired by Member & External Relations Chair Alec Mackie, will assess the value OPS Challenge brings for the overall membership and its relationship to supporting CWEA’s mission, evaluate the likelihood of more teams becoming active in California including barriers and opportunities, consider how other Member Associations handle Ops Challenge, and make recommendations on the best future for Ops Challenge.  The Task Force is expected to provide an update at the June Board meeting and recommendations at the September Board meeting.

Send in your proxy for the annual business meeting by April 8th
We approved record dates, as required by law, for CWEA’s annual business meeting notification, voting, and proxies. If you can’t make the annual business meeting, you can still vote to approve our incoming slate of directors and help us reach a quorum. Simply assign your vote by proxy to a CWEA member who is attending the May 1st annual business meeting. Proxy forms for the 2015 annual business meeting are available at: http://www.cwea.org/pdf/board/Proxy2015.pdf and from Victoria Rawson (vrawson@cwea.org or 510.382.7800 x 113) and must be returned by April 8, 2015, in order to allow staff to confirm membership. A proxy vote gives another member who is in attendance the right to cast your vote, in the manner you prescribe.

Resolution passed to thank CWEA President’s employer
A resolution of appreciation for Brown and Caldwell and Orange County Sanitation District for supporting Simon Watson’s service as CWEA’s 2014-15 President has been approved.

Dashboards–check out our progress
Check out the Strategy Map Metrics Dashboard to see how the association is advancing its mission through key project milestones and metrics. The 12/31/14 Dashboard shows progress for the first half of the current fiscal year. The dashboards track performance indicators CWEA’s Board has identified to measure performance on our strategic plan.

Next Board meeting
Our next Board meeting will be held Monday, April 27th in conjunction with the Annual Conference in San Diego. Committee Chair Appointments are due March 16.  Committee quarterly reports, informational items, and requests for Board action are due April 10.

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