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Latest News & Quarterly Newsletters: E-Newsletter Winter 2015

A Path to One AWWA

Tuesday, March 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jared Oldroyd
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 Like the Tour de France One AWWA is a Race to the Finish Line!

By:  Alane Boyd


It has been nearly three years since I was contacted by Charlie Anderson to be a member of a Special Presidential Panel.  Charlie was the President of AWWA at the time and had formed the SP2 panel whose goal it was to develop recommendations that would strengthen the business relationships between the Association and Sections of AWWA.  All of this was being done to increase value to AWWA’s members.  After countless hours of conference calls, many late nights doing research and gathering information, miles of travel back and forth to meetings together, and so much time on my computer I am happy to announce that the work is complete, but not finished.  This process is more like the Tour de France in that it will be a series of stages until we cross the final finish line.

This journey started with Charlie’s bold vision to implement changes in policies, systems and processes to come up with a new business model for Sections and the Association.  The new model would be more of a Partnership of sorts.  You see, most Sections, like the Intermountain Section, are independent corporations while the Association is also independent.  We operate under our own bylaws, elect our own boards, and raise and spend our own money.  However, we are very codependent, in a good way.  We have an affiliation agreement that outlines our codependent relationship.  Because of this agreement our relationship is much like cycling team members who have different specializations, but depend on each other. Climbing specialists grind away on hard inclines; sprinters save their energy for sprints for points and position; time trialists keep speed high over great distances; and domestiques guard the team from rivals and carry food and drink to their leaders.  Most of the time I personally feel like a domestique in that I provide large amounts of food and drink for our members at all of the events that the Section sponsors.

So, you might be wondering just what it was that this group was doing over a two year period.  Well, after some initial road rage among the group, the SP2 Panel was off and running.  We were organized into five strategic areas: communications, education, membership, branding, and finance.  Our final recommendations were included in a report AWWA 2020: A Path to One AWWA and presented to the AWWA Board at ACE14.

Each of us on the panel were involved in two areas.  I participated in the Education group and was the Leader of the branding group.  We decided that it was important that it be obvious through a common look and feel, and consistent operations that the Sections and the Association are One AWWA and are united around a common mission and vision.

One of the first recommendations to get implemented from the branding area was that Sections would incorporate the AWWA Section Brand Program into their print and electronic communications.  You will notice that the Intermountain Section has already incorporated the AWWA Brand.  We have a new and fresh logo that will be prominent on the website, newsletter, stationary and emails.

Other Sections are quickly signing on.  To date over 30 of the 43 Sections have implemented or will implemented the brand shortly.  We see how this will be like a snowball effect and help broaden and strengthen AWWA.  Very similarly as the Tour de France, which began in 1903, gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe.


And, like the Tour de France, the vision of One AWWA to develop a vibrant, sustainable, association business relations partnership between the Association and Sections will be accomplished over many segments/phases. The SP2’s recommendations include multiple theme tactics each of which will serve to advance the goal of creating One AWWA. I am happy to announce that the SP2 work is complete, but the finish line is still in sight.  There are many great changes in store for us until we reach 2020 and it will definitely feel like a race to the finish line. 

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