Shannon Simmers has covered a lot of ground in the last seven and a half years…from earning a college degree, to volunteering and then working at the Riverside Water Quality Control Plant and now for Redlands Municipal Utilities, and chairing the CWEA’s P3S committee.
That takes determination and persistence, and she has it.
“When she doesn’t know an answer, she finds it,” says Michael Placencia, her supervisor while at Riverside. “When she has a challenging case, she asks for help but doesn’t surrender; when given an additional task on top of the mountain of tasks we already have, she smiles and gets it done‑‑all the while showing professionalism and pride in her work.”
It was only in 2010 that–displaced from the manufacturing industry–she heeded advice from her father-in-law, went back to school and earned an associate’s degree in Water Supply Technology.
She fulfilled her volunteer requirement by working 1,800 hours at both Riverside and Redlands treatment plants, and then taking a job as an Environmental Compliance Inspector at Riverside. Today she works at Redlands Wastewater Treatment Plant as the Regulatory Compliance Officer.
“I had a passion for treatment,” she remembers, “but in my first three weeks on the job as an inspector it started to grow on me. Working with industries requires restraint and creative thinking. I want to give my industries the tools they need to make their facility better, to save money and protect water by proactively implementing best practices while achieving compliance.”
“It is challenging and fun.”
And she’s taken an active role in CWEA, chairing the P3S committee and applying her interests in training others and professional development. “It’s a chance to work on cool projects—like rewriting the Cal State Sacramento Pretreatment Inspection Manual.”
Her enjoyment of the job has certainly been a factor in her career advancement. “She has tackled difficult and technical tasks well,” says Placencia. She has rocketed up from the stage of trainee to seasoned inspector in record time. She embodies the notion of an emerging leader.”
Would you like to nominate someone as an Emerging Leader to be featured in the CWEA E-Bulletin and Clean Water? We accept applications on a rolling basis. Head over to our awards site and start nominating!