From the President: Resolving To Help WEF Grow

February 18, 2016


Paul Bowen, WEF President 2015–2016

Paul Bowen, WEF President 2015–2016

It’s hard to believe we’ve turned the page on 2015 and are well into 2016. As some of our New Year’s resolutions start to ramp up, others already have gone by the wayside. With the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) midway between last WEFTEC and this year’s coming event, leaders are working to prioritize objectives and meet goals. But all WEF members can contribute to the organization. There are numerous opportunities for each of you to help WEF grow.

WEF House of Delegates work groups have started their projects. The Program Committee will meet to select abstracts for WEFTEC 2016, which will take place Sept. 24–28 in New Orleans. The Board of Trustees meeting at the midyear event focused on keeping WEF on track to follow its strategic plan. We looked at the prioritized objectives as staff developed the 3-year business plan for meeting our long-term goals. We want to stay focused on the work that helps meet the critical objectives that move our organization forward.

I know WEF is important to each of our members. Your energy and participation are what drives WEF. You can make a resolution to help WEF achieve more. Participate in your local Member Association (MA). Work with your local leaders to strengthen the association and help meet the MA meet its strategic goals. Involvement at the MA level is critical to the overall strength of WEF.

Committee participation also provides a path to service. Committees and the work they do are the backbone of WEF. Think of an area of the water sector profession that you enjoy the most, such as management, design, operations, ecology, stormwater, collections, or industrial. Currently, WEF has 30 committees that provide you with an opportunity to improve our profession using your technical knowledge.

What’s your favorite project at work? Does it have a unique component that fascinates you? That part of the project may be of interest to other water professionals. Submit an abstract for your MA meeting, a specialty conference, or for WEFTEC 2017. Consider submitting your work as a technical paper for publication. Sharing your work and knowledge increases the breadth and depth of our profession. Your experiences help others in many ways. WEF was founded on the concept of sharing and communicating technical information about our profession.

Another way to help WEF is to get a colleague to participate with you. Think back to when you joined WEF, and ask yourself why you made that decision. Use your experience to help another water professional see the value in being a WEF member. Ask an associate to attend the MA meeting with you. Share your WEF experiences with a young professional. New members benefit from having a connection in the MA and WEF; it makes it easier to participate.

As 2016 rapidly moves through each month, the fervor behind our resolutions fades. Staying on track becomes harder. To implement our strategic plan, let’s continue to work together to create WEF’s future.

Paul Bowen, WEF President 2015–2016

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