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Latest News & Quarterly Newsletters: E-Newsletter Spring 2014

Executive Director's Report: Reporting from ACE14

Tuesday, June 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alane Boyd
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I am just returning from another great AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition.  This year it was held in the great city of Boston.  What a great place with so many things to do and places to visit from the revolutionary war to today.  It also helps that my son and daughter-in-law live there as well.

The Intermountain Section has nearly 90 members in attendance at ACE14.  The Intermountain Section and our members received quite a few awards throughout the conference too.  Let's just say it was a very fulfilling trip on many fronts.

I started out by attending the Board of Director's meeting on Saturday and Sunday.  The AWWA Board was reviewing the Special Presidential Panel document and resolution.  In 2012, AWWA President Charlie Anderson established the Special Presidential Panel (SP2) to examine all current Association and Section operational and business practices. The panel was assigned the task to develop a re-engineered operations and business partnership model between the Sections and the Association. Fundamentally, the panel’s work focuses on identifying and leveraging the programs and services of the Association and Sections to meet the future needs of the water community. During 2013, the panel conducted a thorough review of existing research and data. It decided to focus its work in five key areas: Education, Membership, Finances, Branding and Communications. Subject matter advisory committees (SMACs) were formed to explore opportunities in each area.  I headed up the Branding SMAC.  

After research, discussion among relevant stakeholders and vetting through the panel itself, the subject matter advisory committees each concluded their work, the results of which are included in the 2014 report, AWWA2020: A Path to One AWWA The report is a guide for how AWWA can reach the future state envisioned by the panel’s vision, mission and ultimate recommendations.

The SP2 envisions a future when all of AWWA is working toward the goals of a common strategic plan that respects interests at all levels of the Association. It recognizes the collective impact will be better if the Association and Sections are commonly branded, have a unified education program, pursue financial strategies that are in the best interests of all members, communicate efficiently both vertically and horizontally in the organization, and remain focused on bringing members together to share knowledge.

Another great meeting that I attended was on the EPA Grant that AWWA and other organizations received to do small system training.  Our Section will be involved where we will provide two separate, all-day training sessions to small systems in Idaho and Utah.  The areas of focus are both technical and managerial.  Look for these trainings to occur in 2015.

The Opening General Session was particularly special to me.  I was given the Zenno A. Gorder Award for recruiting the most new members in 2013.  Also, Merril Bingham was awarded the Industry Hall of Fame Award for his many years supporting AWWA and the Intermountain Section.

I attended the Partnership for Safe Water awards luncheon to cheer on Central Utah Water Conservancy District for their 10-Year Excellence in Water Treatment Award to the Utah Valley Water Treatment Plant for providing safe water to their customers.  Partnership for Safe Water is an important program that all of our Utility Members should be involved in.  Partnership now has also embraced delivering safe water through distribution along with treatment in the program.

I attended the Member Engagement and Development Committee meeting on Monday where the new Member Engagement Guide was unveiled.  This is a real hands on guide to getting and keeping members engaged in AWWA.  I had participated in preparing one chapter on Keeping Engaged Members from Disengaging.  I have also volunteered to be a subject matter expert on continued development of Chapter 1, Welcoming New Members.

Also, Melanie Penoyer, AWWA Membership Director reported that overall membership in AWWA has gone up the past 4 months.  This is a turnaround from the previous 5 or 6 years.  The Intermountain Section's membership numbers have also been increasing the past year.  This is a great trend!

On Tuesday Vince Hamilton, Eva Nieminski and I attended the Leading for Growth Awards ceremony.  This ceremony is where Sections are awarded for their programs and services. Nicole Baser and I both received the AWWA diamond pin club award for membership recruitment.

On Wednesday morning I, along with 8 other members of the Intermountain Section attended the Fuller Award Breakfast where Dave Pitcher received the Fuller Award. Dave is very deserving of this award named for George Warren Fuller, the developer of the rapid sand filter process.  Dave exhibits the great leadership characteristics of George Warren Fuller

Lastly, I attended the first Water Utility Council (WUC) Congress.  The WUC follows legislative issues related to water.  They organize the annual Fly-In.  We focused on how to get Sections and other members involved in current legislative concerns and be a catalyst for legislative and regulatory development.

I also did get a chance to attend a few technical sessions on water conservation and pollution transport.  I also judged the Fresh Idea Poster Session.

Overall, great, great conference!  Can't wait until next year in Anaheim, California.

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