AWWA/ WEF 2012 YP Summit at the Utility Management Conference
Brian Kooistra, Young Professionals (YP) Chair
Mission of the AWWA YP Committee: To encourage student and younger water industry professionals to take an active role in the Association.
This year the YP Annual Committee meeting and YP Summit were scheduled to coincide with the Utility Management Conference in Miami, Florida. Attendees to the Summit were offered discounted rates to attend UMC. The YP Summit is a collaboration between AWWA and WEF, bringing together Young Professionals from both ends of the pipe.
The YP Committee meeting occurred Saturday, the day before the YP Summit. David LaFrance spoke to the group about the "State of AWWA”, the status of the organization's membership, and offered some vision casting before the YPs undertook workshops to try and accomplish a year's worth of face-to-face planning and strategy. David's commitment to the YPs was evident as he stayed on to work with us through the entire session. As issues regarding an aging workforce continue to impact the country, industry, and AWWA, the importance of a well-run and effective YP organization is brought into sharp focus.
The YP Summit content included presentations from WEF and AWWA leaders (including David LaFrance, again) as well as local politicians and several young professionals. Highlights of the Summit were: Jim Ginley's presentation on networking; Section/MA program sharing; and one of the best panel discussions I've ever seen. Brian Shields (Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department Deputy Director), Dan Espino (City of Miami Springs Vice-Mayor), Ilene Lieberman (Broward County Commissioner) and Doug Yoder (Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department Deputy Director) came together to discuss the water business (with an emphasis on engineering projects because of the audience) each from their unique perspective.
All in all, it was a great Summit. Feedback on the event so far has been tremendously positive, and I look forward to attending next year's Summit. Thanks to David LaFrance and Nancy Sullivan for taking (and, most importantly, sharing!) pictures of the event.
Thirty-nine AWWA young professionals attended the committee meeting from 25 Sections. Sixty-six young professionals attended the YP Summit, with 43 of those attendees representing AWWA. The 2013 Utility Management Conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona March 10 -13, 2013. The YP Summit will take place on Sunday, March 10th. And the YP Committee Meeting will be held on Saturday, March 9th.