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From social media to infographics, YouTube to text messages, the way that we communicate has changed dramatically. The water industry is not immune to these changes, and across the country, companies are finding new and better ways to stay in touch with their customers.
In June, EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water launched a webinar series called “Tap Talks on Tuesdays” to share strategies that have been effective in communicating the importance of water delivery services and sustainable management.
NAWC will lead the July 29 “Tap Talks” webinar, which will feature four member companies sharing innovative ways that they are delivering important information to their customers, employees and other stakeholders.
During the July 29 webinar, presentations will be made by:
• Denise Venuti Free, Manager of External Communications, American Water
• Justin Pizzi, Director of Marketing & Communications, Aqua America
• Yvonne Kingman, APR, Corporate Communications Manager, California Water Service Company
• Richard Henning, Senior Vice President, Communications, Community Relations & Creative Services, United Water
One of the topics covered will be customer education. Free will present details of American Water’s Value of Water customer education initiatives. This is an ongoing research and education effort to help customers understand what it takes to bring water from source to tap, the importance of investing in the systems for continued reliability and quality, and the value of the service American Water provides to its customers for about a penny per gallon.
Kingman will share Cal Water’s program to educate customers by focusing on water professionals and the work they do. Because most people don’t think much about their tap water, Cal Water launched a series called “Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of…” during Water Awareness Month to educate viewers about the mostly unseen infrastructure and many water professionals it takes to get a reliable supply of clean water to their taps. Cal Water customers and other viewers were able to go behind the scenes and see the some of the many people who play an important part in getting water from the source to the tap. The company aired the story of a different employee and job every Monday and Thursday in May on its website and Facebook page, and the stories were also available through Twitter and YouTube.
If you would like to join the July 29 webinar please email Sonia Brubaker at email@example.com with the Subject Line “Tap Talks on Tuesdays” to be added to the stakeholder list.
On July 9, CH2M HILL announced Gary L. McArthur will join the firm as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective August 4, 2014.
“Gary brings solid finance and accounting experience and a great cultural fit for the next chapter in CH2M HILL’s journey,” said Jacqueline Hinman, CH2M HILL President and CEO. “As a well-known and highly respected leader, Gary will be a great addition to our leadership team and strengthen our ability to grow and deliver excellent client service around the world.”
Mr. McArthur joins CH2M HILL from Harris Corporation (a Fortune 500 international communications and information technology company) where he served as Chief Financial Officer since 2006, and in various other financial positions since 1997.
Read the full release on CH2M HILL’s website.
American Water recently announced that Michael Rose, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, has been chosen as the recipient of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) 2014 American Water Scholarship. The scholarship is an annual award of $5,000 presented to a graduate level student to assist with the development of professionals interested in service to the water industry.
Rose was selected for this scholarship due to his exceptional academic abilities, industry experience and leadership to contribute to the advancement of science in the field of drinking water. His current research focuses on iodine-containing disinfection byproducts that may be formed during treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater, which are generated during natural gas drilling. During this research, Rose hopes to shed light on iodine chemistry in conventional water treatment and the relationship between shale gas extraction and drinking water quality.
“American Water is pleased to present this prestigious award to Michael, who was selected among 33 outstanding applicants,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship and member of the award selection committee. “Not only is Michael an exceptional scholar, he is a dedicated engineer with leadership potential in the water industry and has a passion for learning and research. We are proud to help him advance his drinking water research studies.”
Rose received a bachelor’s degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Rose also studied at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and holds his Professional Geologist license in California.
Administered by AWWA, American Water’s Scholarship is currently the only one offered by a water utility among the 15 active scholarships. The 2014 American Water Scholarship was initially announced at the organization’s ACE14 event in Boston. For more information about AWWA scholarships, visit http://www.awwa.org/membership/get-involved/student-center/awwa-scholarships.aspx.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has just launched a new resource to help individuals, businesses, and communities find solutions to the problem of too much or too little water.
This new resource, branded “Rain Ready”, is centered around an action-oriented website and offers a suite of policies and practices to help residents, communities and states plan for weather events associated with global climate change.
Learn more on the Rain Ready website.
American States Water Company has received special recognition from two organizations.
American States Water Company ranked fifth in the UC Davis “California’s Top 25″ listing of companies with the highest percentage of women leaders. Approximately 43% of positions among the American States Water Company board of directors and five highest-compensated executive officers are held by women.
In recognition of their support of the growth and development of the Black Business Association (BBA) and providing equal opportunities for diverse suppliers, Golden State Water Company, the largest subsidiary of American States Water Company, received the BBA Utility Company of the Year Award.
“We are proud to be recognized by these two organizations,” stated Robert J. Sprowls, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our commitment to diversity in the workplace and the broader community remains steadfast.”
More information is available online.
American Water has announced nine recipients of this year’s James V. LaFrankie Scholarship Awards. The annual awards were distributed nationwide to college-bound children of full-time American Water employees who demonstrate an interest in water-related industry occupational fields.
The nine high school seniors were selected out of 32 applicants based on their outstanding high school records, academic honors, participation in extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations. The scholarships are awarded for a term of one year in individual awards of $1,000. Scholarship renewal is contingent upon the student’s academic progress and may be renewed up to three years.
The list of recipients is available online.
Twenty-two fire departments across Pennsylvania hope people “Like” them on Facebook. They are competing in Pennsylvania American Water’s “Keystone Firefighting Challenge,” a Facebook contest that allows the two top vote-getters to earn $700 and $300, respectively, to offset the cost of equipment and training.
“Local fire departments in the communities we serve are important partners, and we’re proud to help offset the cost of protective gear, communication equipment and training that can help improve fire protection for our customers,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape. “We encourage people to read about each of their important projects and to vote daily throughout the contest for their favorite fire departments.”
Read the full release on Pennsylvania American Water’s website.
excerpt from LTE:
“It’s important for all of us, locally and nationally, to recognize that water is the life and blood of communities, businesses, and ecosystems. Man-made and natural infrastructure that supports clean and safe water needs as much attention as the transportation and energy infrastructure, and soon. We also know that just about every infrastructure project is connected to water in one way or another, so even though it may seem expensive to invest in our water infrastructure now, we can’t afford to wait.
To find out more about this problem and what we can do about it, visit www.thevalueofwater.org.”
Michael Deane is the executive director of the National Association of Water Companies.
Read the full letter online.
Middlesex Water Company has announced its lead Director Jeffries Shein and board member Amy B. Mansue were recipients of recent honors.
Shein, a director since 1990, was honored when the New Jersey Institute For Disabilities (NJID) dedicated and named its new Adult Training Center Building on Route 1 in Iselin, NJ in his honor this spring. Shein is Managing Partner of JGT Management Company, LLC. Shein, who also serves as President of the Marion and Norman Tanzman Charitable Foundation, has been a longtime advocate and generous supporter of the NJID which serves more than 1500 infants, children and adults with disabilities throughout the state. The 6500 sq. foot training facility serves adults with disabilities ranging from ages 21-75 through development, vocational opportunities and community integration. Through NJID day programs, participants can enjoy state of the art accessible technology, life skills training, job activities training and educational excursions as well as cultural and volunteer activities.
Amy B. Mansue, a board member since 2010, was recently inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. Mansue is president and chief executive officer of Children’s Specialized Hospital, the largest pediatric rehabilitation hospital in the country. Mansue was recognized with the prestigious designation granted to New Jersey’s “ultimate role models” for her leadership in the social services and health care sector and for her tireless advocacy for quality healthcare.
Under Mansue’s guidance, Children’s Specialized Hospital was named the 2012 Hospital of the Year by NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes and holds the distinct honor of being the only pediatric rehabilitation system to be named to New York Magazine’s Top Hospitals Listing. Mansue also serves as First Vice Chair of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
“Community service, advocacy and leadership are values we embrace and encourage throughout the entire Middlesex Water family of companies and Jeff and Amy’s commitment at the board level sets an example for all of us,” said Dennis Doll, Middlesex Water President and CEO and current NAWC Board President. “We congratulate them on these notable achievements,” added Doll.
WeiserMazars LLP has released its 2014 US Water Industry Outlook which discusses issues ranging from operations to financial results and trends impacting the future of the water industry. Similar to the findings in the 2012 Outlook, this year’s survey found that the most significant challenges facing the industry remain aging infrastructure and capital needs. 95% of study respondents ranked aging facilities and infrastructure as one of the most significant challenges facing the water industry.
“The objective of this year’s Water Industry Outlook was to track the progress of the water industry over the past two years. The significantly larger number of participants gave us a clearer image of the state of the U.S. water industry,” said Jerome Devillers, Head of Water Infrastructure/Project Financing. “Seeing the same key challenges cited in both the 2012 and 2014 studies provides a wake-up call that the water industry remains at risk.”
Click here to read the study in its entirety.
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