Water Leadership Institute Class Graduates at WEFTEC 2012

November 28, 2012

Achievements, Featured

WEF Immediate Past President Matt Bond speaks at the Water Leadership Insitute graduation Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Oscar Ezing photography.

WEF Immediate Past President Matt Bond speaks at the Water Leadership Institute graduation Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography.

WEFTEC© 2012 marked a historic event: the graduation of the first class of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Water Leadership Institute (WLI).

The program, developed and operated by WEF, helps participants develop new skills and knowledge through a curriculum delivered by expert instructors from various public and private organizations.

“The participants did a great job on their final projects and summaries during the WEFTEC WLI workshop,” said Renee Kayal, WEF Education and Training program director. During the workshop, held Sept. 29 at WEFTEC, participants presented their final projects, participated in group discussions, and participated in a graduation ceremony. “They really used the opportunity to talk to each other about different challenges they were experiencing and exchanged ideas,” Kayal said.

“I have definitely gained more confidence and leadership skills throughout the program’s duration, which will benefit my career,” said Rebecca Arvin, WLI graduate and WEF technical program coordinator. “The WEFTEC workshop was the most memorable experience for me. I enjoyed seeing everyone present their reports that we had worked so hard on, and it was great to see the ideas that everyone else had come up with.”

The program was challenging but proved to be a memorable and beneficial experience, Arvin said. In addition to developing confidence and leadership skills, she learned about various water-sector topics and networked with other professionals in the water sector who share an enthusiasm and dedication to learning about these concepts, she said.

“WEF’s inaugural Water Leadership Institute challenged us to reflect on our own leadership roles within the water industry,” said Chris Peacock, WLI graduate and Westin Engineering (Rancho Cordova, Calif.) business services manager. “Since there was such great diversity represented in the group in terms of age, gender, nationality, and professional roles, we were able to see a variety of perspectives. We spent time looking holistically at the challenges facing the industry, creatively found innovative solutions to those challenges through collaboration, and learned from one another.”

Peacock plans to continue the discussion by posing any professional questions he may have in the future to his new WLI contacts and gain industry knowledge, he said. “I anticipate interacting with the participants of the inaugural class for years to come.”

The Water Leadership Institute class of 2012 graduates and mentors include: back row from left, Clint Rogers, Joel Kostelac, Jamie Eichenberger, Jonathan Ruff, Rebecca Elwood, Amymarie Corriveau, Gavin Patterson; middle row from left, Renee Kayal (WEF Education & Training program organizer), Grady Coomes, Naomi Jones, Gary Fournier, Phillip Pedros, Patrick Reece (mentor), Megan Yoo, Angela Chestnut, Heather Cheslek, Jennifer Roberts, Fiona Macdonald, Eric Leveque (mentor), Jimena Pinzon; front row from left, Sarah Ward, Dale Kocarek, Richard Dickinson, Chris Peacock, Ashley Dalton, Rebecca Arvin, Jason Graham. Particiapants not pictured include Adam Carpenter, Dave Oostindie, Lynn Spivey, Jason Tincu, Mike Hopkins, Charlotte Nytoft (mentor), and Michael Sevener (mentor). Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography.

The Water Leadership Institute class of 2012 graduates and mentors include: back row from left, Clint Rogers, Joel Kostelac, Jamie Eichenberger, Jonathan Ruff, Rebecca Elwood, Amymarie Corriveau, Gavin Patterson; middle row from left, Renee Kayal (WEF Education & Training program organizer), Grady Coomes, Naomi Jones, Gary Fournier, Phillip Pedros, Patrick Reece (mentor), Megan Yoo, Angela Chestnut, Heather Cheslek, Jennifer Roberts, Fiona Macdonald, Eric Leveque (mentor), Jimena Pinzon; front row from left, Sarah Ward, Dale Kocarek, Richard Dickinson, Chris Peacock, Ashley Dalton, Rebecca Arvin, Jason Graham. Particiapants not pictured include Adam Carpenter, Dave Oostindie, Lynn Spivey, Jason Tincu, Mike Hopkins, Charlotte Nytoft (mentor), and Michael Sevener (mentor). Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography.

“The most important thing I learned was that there is not only a need for innovative leadership in the industry but that there is a group of emerging professionals who will significantly move the industry forward together,” Peacock said. Those who want to make a difference in the industry should participate in WLI, he recommended, because the program enables participants to learn about broader issues in the water environment and helps them develop leadership skills.

Kayal is excited about the opportunities for alumni to get involved with WLI in the future. She said she looks forward to seeing how graduates will help improve the program, get involved at WEF, and help advance the water sector.

Those interested in participating in the program in 2013 can find applications at www.water-leadership-institute.org. Applications must be filed by Dec. 1.

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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