2018 marks the 52nd year MEWEA will represent water professionals across the state and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as president. I grew up in Lewiston and remember being told as a child to not go near the Androscoggin River because it was “dirty” and “smelly”. Today though, the Androscoggin is no longer considered one of the top ten polluted rivers in the country; in fact, the river is a destination site for many recreational activities including kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. It is through the direct work of water professionals that this could be achieved and I am truly proud to be amongst you.
Like many of you, I did not plan to work in the wastewater field. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural and Applied Sciences from the University of Southern Maine and upon graduation, was on the search for a job. I applied for the lab technician position at the Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority, and will celebrate my 10th year there this May. What I thought would be just a job has turned into a fulfilling career. While at LAWPCA I have been able to obtain a Grade level B-5 Waste Water Treatment Plant Operators license, as well as a Master’s Degree in Biology. I have also been fortunate enough to be involved with MEWEA, first by starting the Young Professionals Committee, and then the New Media committee. I’ve made many professional connections, and my experience continues to be very rewarding.
This year I look forward to reconnecting with association members I know as well as meeting new folks and hearing their stories, including learning about how MEWEA can help them. Our association is a strong one with an ever-growing base of knowledge and skill. I encourage members to get engaged and take advantage of the benefits. We will continue to grow through upholding our mission, and also through keeping the concept of “One Water” in mind. This concept encourages water professionals (e.g. wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, biosolids) to adopt a collaborative approach to achieving sustainable, reliable, and resilient water systems. Our newest committee, the stormwater committee, is a prime example of what can be gained when we collaborate. Our industry has realized that no matter what water specialty you are in, the goals and struggles are often similar, if not the same, and efforts are maximized when we work together.
Many of you responded with positive feedback about the weekly president’s message started by Matt Timberlake last year, so I am happy to continue that. It is a great way to stay connected to current and upcoming events, as well as to highlight the great work of our volunteer board and committees do. If you ever have something you would like included in the weekly message, please get in touch with me.
I am very much honored to be the President of MEWEA in 2018, and look forward to working with and for all members in our association. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.
207-782-0917 ext. 7
Weekly President’s Message