CSWEA WEF Delegates’ Report


by Tracy Ekoloa, David Arnott & Rich Hussey
Updated 10/28/22

As your WEF delegates, we strive to keep you up to date and provide resources and connection to WEF.  Our update provides a recap and highlights of recent WEF events.


As this is my last communication as WEF delegate to CSWEA, I want to take this time to thank all of you for your work on behalf of Central States WEA.  As volunteers, we pour our passion into making our industry and our world a better place.  Central States is dear to me as I have spent many years in various roles throughout the MN Section, CSWEA, as well as WEF.  While I will remain active in CSWEA and WEF, I have truly enjoyed my time working with the CSWEA executive committee as a WEF Delegate!  CSWEA is true leader in this business, and it is a testament to all of you.  Best Regards, Tracy Ekola


This article is focused on updates from the September WEF Business and House of Delegates Meetings, WEF’s new Strategic Plan, a new MA Resource Center, the 2022/2023 HOD Workgroups, and the 2023 WEFMAX events.


WEF Business Meeting and House of Delegates Meeting – September 29, 2022
WEF’s financial status is healthy and growing.  While the pandemic had negative impacts on WEF’s financial health, the organization has rebounded and is working on setting new direction for the future.  WEF’s goal is to have 100% reserve funds available in order to better position themselves for future disruptions (e.g. pandemic). In addition to a new strategic plan, WEF has a new campaign focused on the circular water economy.  There will be more to come on this topic in future updates.  WEF continues to invest in leadership training programs, DEI initiatives, updating manual(s) of practice and other standard publications, and has increased MA grant program funds to $125k.

WEF’s incoming vice president is Howard Carter.  New board of trustee members are Stephen Sanders and Corey Williams.  New HOD Speaker-Elect and committee assignments were also announced at the HOD meeting. Donnell Duncan as the incoming 2022-2023 Speaker of the HOD, shared his vision for the HOD 2023 goals including addressing 1) improving delegate participation 2) changing member association needs, 3) WEF new strategic plan.  The HOD of the Future will be 1) structured and in alignment with the new strategic plan 2) 100% active delegate participation 3) relevant, visible and valued by the WEF community.

WEF’s MA Grant award program has 3 categories:  MA Operations, Seed Grants, and Planning and Training.  Grant applications and award summary is listed in the table below.  The monetary range of grant awards is $1,500 to $25,2700. Example grant awards are on the WEF website in the MA Resource Center section.  As noted previously, the Board of Trustees has approved an increase the 2023 MA Grant Award budget to $125,000.  The first round of applications is due January 2023.  The table below shows the progression of the MA Grant program since 2019.



WEF’s New Strategic Plan
WEF released its new Strategic Plan to the public at WEFTEC 2022 this October in New Orleans. Two new teaser videos discuss the upcoming debut of the plan. The first video features current WEF President Jamie Eichenberger and the second video features WEF President-Elect Ifetayo Venner.  WEF is setting its sights on new horizons in preparing to lead the journey toward a “Life Free of Water Challenges.”


Three main goals of the new WEF strategic plan include:

  1. Attract and develop a diverse and passionate water workforce
  2. Cultivate a purpose-driven community to sustainably solve water challenges for all
  3. Lead the transformation to the Circular Water Economy


As part of WEF’s Strategic Plan, they have clarified their values.  Below are the values that are the foundation to the plan.

  1. Collaboration – working together to improve our water environment
  2. Customer Service – keeping all stakeholders and customers in mind at all times
  3. Bold Leadership – being brave, trying new things, being growth oriented
  4. DE&I – continue to promote and live by this


MA Resource Center

The Nebraska Water Environment Association (NWEA) has developed a NWEA 101 Webcast that provides their members an overview of WEF and NWEA to encourage member engagement.  It focuses on mission, vision, organizational structure, history of the organization and where they are today, introducing their board and committee liaisons and future objectives and deliverables. NWEA offers this as a resource for all MAs.  If you have questions, please contact Nebraska WEA WEF Delegate Scott Aurit at Scott.Aurit@hdrinc.com.


2022/2023 HOD Workgroups
The 2022/2023 HOD Workgroups are set.  These were announced at WEFTEC in October. The new HOD workgroups along questions each workgroup will be focused on are:

  • HOD of the Future. How can the HOD be more relevant?  What, if any, structural changes are needed to the HOD?
  • Water Advocacy at State/Local Level. How can we as WEF members promote water advocacy and the state and local level?  What are the key action items and who are the key stakeholders?
  • WEF Strategic Plan Rollout. How can MAs implement the new Strategic Plan?  How do we carry this out?


Rich Hussey is on the Water Advocacy at State/Local Level workgroup.  Dave Arnott is on the HOD of the Future workgroup. The final objectives of each workgroup are being finalized.  Stay tuned for more details and activities from these workgroups.


The 2023 WEFMAX events dates and locations are set.  At these events, MAs come together along with WEF officials, to share best practices, exchange ideas, and network.  The dates, locations, and themes for 2023 are shown below.

  • April 12th-14th – St. Louis, Missouri – Improving MAs Through Collaboration and Partnerships
  • May 3rd-5th – Denver, Colorado – Improving MAs Through Engagement and Service
  • May 24th-26th – Charlottetown, PEI, Canada – Improving MAs through Leadership and Innovation
  • In addition, there will be a virtual WEFMAX in 2023. The date and time for this WEFMAX is still being finalized.


As WEF Delegates, we are here to support you and represent the interests of the CSWEA to the House of Delegates and WEF.  If something is on your mind, please feel free to call or e-mail.  We are here to serve you/CSWEA and be a liaison to WEF leadership. A sincere thank you from Tracy for allowing me to serve as your WEF delegate these past 3 years. 

tekola@brwncald.com   darnott@ruekert-mielke.com    rhussey@lai-ltd.com



Mission Statement

To provide a Water Environment Federation (WEF) organization (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin) offering multiple opportunities for the exchange of water quality knowledge and experiences among its members and the public and to foster a greater awareness of water quality achievements and challenges.