CWEA Strategic Plan – A Message from the CWEA President


Connie Leonard,  CWEA President CDMSmith

The role of the CWEA Board of Directors is to set the vision and direction of the organization. To that end, we routinely undertake strategic planning at the same time we are continuing the programs and training our members have come to rely on.

Our current strategic plan focuses on the value of CWEA both to our members and to those who employ our members. Our goal is to offer our members certification, education and promotion of sound policies that will increase their effectiveness to do their jobs in protecting California’s water environment.

In other words, we want to do our best to help you do your best. To that end, we’ve set some priorities for this coming year to implement the goals outlined in our latest strategic plan.

You can find the strategic plan online at

We are making improvements to our certification program by outlining clear steps so that members understand how to become certified. We are working with committees and local sections to increase the number of educational events. Although these improvements will take time to roll out across all disciplines and levels, we are excited with the progress we’ve already made and are so grateful to the volunteers that have helped get the ball rolling.

A key goal of our strategic plan is to ensure that our education and certification offerings align with our members’ needs. We are also continually reaching out to increase our understanding of what the mission-critical needs of the agencies and firms that employ our members. We also want to make sure the benefits of CWEA membership and participation are evident as you make choices regarding where to spend your education and training time and money.

We have been working with CA-NV AWWA on an Advanced Water Treatment Operator (AWTO) certification that reflects the changing workforce requirements to operate the numerous water reuse projects in California.

Our annual conference and other workshops and seminars have been going through improvements over the last several years to update the way we deliver content. We are increasingly using brain-based learning techniques that engage the participant, thereby helping to retain and apply the content. When you can readily apply what you’ve learned, you retain that information much more effectively.

With all these improvements, we want to inspire members to step into leadership roles not only within their organizations, but also within CWEA. If CWEA is helping you learn and grow and helping you be more effective at work, then we as a board and as an organization are achieving our mission.

If this mission inspires and excites you, I personally want to encourage you to get more involved. There are opportunities at every level – at local sections and committees, state and regional committees and at the board level. I know from my own experience, that the opportunities to learn leadership skills and to meet and work with the dedicated professionals throughout California has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career. I could not have done it without CWEA and the opportunities I’ve found through my volunteer activities.

Please take some time to look through our strategic plan. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas.


Connie Leonard
CWEA President

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