We are well into December and this month marks the end of my presidential term. Earlier this month, the chapter board met for the final meeting of the year and for strategic planning for the upcoming year. Gordon Munro, Tetra Tech, led the strategic planning session as the incoming chapter president. As we went through the things we accomplished and our plans for the coming year, I was able to reflect on the amazing people I work with and what a fabulous organization we belong to.
I want to thank our immediate past president, Russ Thomas, City of Newberg, for his tenure on the chapter board. Russ is a champion for public works. His enthusiasm for the Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation, took our conference fundraising to a new level with his unique style in promoting Gizmo. He has been a great supporter of fleet and utility coordination for our chapter. He is passionate about the chapter’s "Short School," and he led the effort for Oregon APWA's Equipment Roadeo in 2018. Thanks to his efforts, the chapter sent two operators to Kansas City this year to compete against other operators from across the nation. I look forward to the 2nd Oregon APWA Equipment Roadeo in Eugene this coming spring.
We also welcome a new face to the chapter board, Shannon Williams from WSP USA. Shannon has led the chapter’s Water Resources Committee for several years. She has been a speaker at conferences and a mentor to new members and first-time conference attendees. I am excited for the energy and expertise in public works that Shannon brings to the board.
As the year wraps up, I also want to thank the many of you who donated to the chapter’s scholastic foundation, gave to one of our sponsored community organizations, or supported the chapter through your financial sponsorship and volunteerism. It is all of the members of this chapter that make this a fantastic organization. To the new members, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, other board members, or one of the committee chairs if you have a question or a particular interest in public works or the chapter.
Thank you for a fantastic 2018 and best wishes for your new year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2019!
Jenifer Willer, 2018 Chapter President
2019 Chapter Board Selected
Gordon Munro, senior project manager at Tetra Tech, will serve as the 2019 president of the APWA Oregon Chapter. Mike Bisset, McMinnville Community Development director, was elected as the chapter's 2019 president-elect. Jenifer Willer, principal civil engineer with the City of Eugene, will serve as the chapter's 2019 immediate past president.
Also at the fall conference in Canyonville, Tony Roos, associate engineer with Kittelson & Associates, was elected chapter treasurer, and Shannon Wilson, project manager and lead engineer at WSP, was elected as a new member of the chapter board. Re-elected to two-year terms on the board were Doug Singer, civil engineer with the City of Eugene, and Tim Blackwood, president and principal engineer of Pali Consulting.
Nikki Messenger, Roseburg Public Works director, will continue to serve as board secretary in 2019, and Dan Boss, retired, will continue as the chapter's national delegate. Also continuing their two-terms on the board are Ashley Cantlon, water resources engineer at Otak, John Lewis, Oregon City Public Works director, and Russ Norton, senior engineer at Quincy Engineering.
The Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation also held its annual elections at the fall conference. Terry Song, roadway design manager at WHPacific, was re-elected to a three-year term on the foundation board, and Todd Watkins, operations and maintenance manager for Washington County, was newly elected to the board.
Wow, what a successful awards year for Oregon APWA! Our committee faces the challenge of trying to select awards candidates from a plethora of amazing public works projects and people. This year was no exception. These projects, agencies, engineers, and contractors were recognized at our awards banquet held at the 2018 Oregon APWA Fall Conference. This year we gave out a total of 13 awards during the banquet: five project-of-the-year awards, one sustainability award, five everyday hero awards, one young leader award, and one award for excellence in communication.
Congratulations to all the awards winners! The committee greatly appreciates the effort not only from your award submissions, but from APWA for the amazing projects and personnel! Thank you for all you do! In summary, we presented the following awards:
Nikki Messenger, public works director for the City of Roseburg, received the 2018 William A. Bowes Service Award at the fall conference in Canyonville.
"I met (Nikki) when she was an engineering technician, and I have watched her take on ever-increasing responsibilities," said Gregg Weston, the 2017 Bowes Award recipient, in announcing his choice of Messenger as the recipient of the 2018 award. "Outside of her Public Works responsibilities, Nikki is a respected member of the City’s management team and consistently provides great support and cooperation to other City departments."
Messenger has worked in both the private and public sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University (go Cougars!). Since 2008 she has served as Roseburg's public works director. Her community contributions include completion of the Ford Family Foundation’s Project Leadership Program, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley.
She has served on the Oregon APWA chapter board since 2013 and currently is chapter secretary.
The Bowes Award, the chapter's highest honor, was established in 1978 to recognize Oregon public works leaders for their far-reaching, positive impact on public works programs, services, and/or policies.
The award is named after William A. Bowes, a Portland City Commissioner who oversaw Portland's Public Works Department for more than 30 years. He also was a founder of the Oregon APWA Chapter.
Golden Knuckle: You Pay to Not Get It
By Tony "Nine Toes" Roos
The Order of the Golden Knuckle is honored to have Fred Wismer join us as our newest member, helping raise over $7000 towards our APWA Scholastic Foundation. Fred was steadfast in defeating stiff competition from Doug Singer. Doug is nearing the same bridesmaid status that only Wendy Marshall has risen to. Perhaps a Doug/Wendy runoff in the spring?
As co-consigliores of the Golden Knuckle, affectionately known as the Gizmo, Krey "The Mouth" Younger and I would like to acknowledge and thank the many firms who contributed to the fundraising at the fall conference:
3J Consulting (Chase Welborn is a great Gizmo candidate)
Hart Crowser (Allison Pyrch will add seismic retrofits to make gizmo safer)
Century West (Matt MacRostie…on the APWA Scholastic Foundation, yet hasn’t won Gizmo …)
GRI (Gene Tupper/Lindsi Hammond … who to pick to be the next candidate?)
AKS (Jason Wuertz would be a newcomer to the ballot)
GeoEngineers (Adrienne Lindsey … she is completely prepositioned to win Gizmo)
Ermerio Design (Shawn Mitchell … another marketing professional targeting Gizmo).
Kittelson & Associates (Tony & Fred have already ridden Gizmo home … Darren Hippenstiel?)
GeoDesign (Krey misses Giz and thinks John Gannon would make a great candidate)
As we look forward to the spring conference in Bend, we are accepting nominations for Gizmo candidates. Frank Ray, Wendy, and Doug are already nominated, but the rest of the slate is wide open. We are also accepting bribes for those who don’t want to be nominated; sign up early to bring gift baskets to be auctioned/raffled off.
Oregon APWA needs you! We are a member-driven organization that strives “to exchange ideas and information, promote education and training, and work as a team to meet professional and community needs.” You can help by sharing ideas and information with Oregon APWA members and by serving on one of the chapter's 15 active committees. Several committees are looking for volunteers right now. Check them out and contact the chair to join.
The Sustainability Committee had a productive meeting at the fall conference in Canyonville. Committee members reviewed some options for upcoming field trips (a tour of the Eagle Creek fire restoration efforts rose to the top of the list), brainstormed technical sessions, received an update on what the National Center for Sustainability is up to, and outlined some priorities for the upcoming year. One of the realizations we came to is that we need your help! Our primary activities over the next few months will be:
Working with our conference coordinators to increase our efforts to “green” our conferences. Have you ever thought that we could do a better job of sharing rides to and from the conference? Maybe you know of a good app we can implement for our attendees to use for just that purpose? Then we want to hear from you.
Coordinating the Sustainability Award. We have a lot of great members at APWA Oregon with great programs that improve our environment and help us build a sustainable and resilient future. Help us recognize those members by being involved in our sustainability awards.
Sponsoring some amazing field trips. We’ve toured the Elephant Lands Exhibit, the award winning Ridgewood View Pump Station and convened important meetings at the Lucky Lab. Next we want to check out restoration efforts in the Columbia River Gorge (i.e., go for a nice hike) and whatever most interests our members after that. Maybe a canoe trip in the Willamette or Tualatin Rivers to check out restoration efforts (when it is warmer of course). Help us sponsor interesting and educational field trips that also build relationships with your fellow members.
So if you have considered volunteering on the sustainability committee and/or have an interest in sustainable, resilient and climate-related issues, please consider getting involved. Don’t wait, now is the time! Call or e-mail Tim Blackwood at 503-502-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarship Committee - Leads the effort to advertise and select scholarship recipients for both university students and chapter members. The effort is definitely worth the reward when you see the recipients at the conferences and know you’ve played a small part in helping them achieve their goals. Contact Laurie Allen.
Communications Committee - Plans and shares information about public works services and serves as a resource for issues and training related to public information and involvement; provides Chapter publicity, including newsletter and web site; promotes access to APWA National and chapter information services and opportunities for involvement via the internet. Contact Eric Jones.
Water Resources Committee - Provides resource lists, technical and regulatory information, provides a point of contact for National APWA to comment on potential water resource legislation/regulation. Water Resources needs more committee members and a chair for 2019. Contact Shannon Williams.
Leadership & Management - Promotes and encourages development of leadership qualities for the public works community. Encourages diversity. Contact Katie Marwitz.
I am thrilled and humbled to have been selected for a scholarship through the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association. I recognize that making available these scholarships comes with a tremendous sacrifice on the part of the APWA, and for this, I am truly grateful.
I am an undergraduate student at Oregon State University studying Civil Engineering. Growing up in Corvallis, I attended Santiam Christian High School where I had the privilege of meeting many incredible mentors in both athletic and academic respects. My physics teacher, in particular, a former engineer himself, inspired me a great deal to explore the different branches of engineering. Having this influence, I determined that Civil Engineering was the discipline that I wanted to make the focus of my study while in college. Examining this extremely diverse field, I have become very interested in both road and bridge design and hope to one day have the opportunity to work in these industries.
The second half of 2018 was busy for APWA education including the fall conference, the fall short school and Public Works Leadership in Cannon Beach. We held all three events over the course of four weeks!
First up was the fall conference in Canyonville, which drew a record number of attendees. Canyonville is always a fun conference destination and the Ambassador Cheetah never disappoints! For all the statistics on the conference, please read the Post Conference Newsletter for more details. Conference presentations are also available online.
The following week we were in Ashland for the Fall Street Maintenance & Collection Systems Short School. The school had not been to Ashland since 1996, and things had changed a lot ... especially the Ashland Hills Suites where the school took place. If you remember the Windmill Hotel from days gone by, you would be amazed to see the transformation into the Ashland Hills Suites. The school had some popular hands-on trainings including flagger certification and the very well-received offsite Bucking Logs class at the ODOT yard in Ashland. During the "South of the Border" social the hotel even let us play the first game of the world series on the big screen. For more information on the school you may read the Post School News.
And finally, we had a wonderful time with gorgeous weather at the Surfsand in Cannon Beach for the Public Works Leadership class. Our attendance was at capacity and everyone had a terrific time networking and learning from the speakers and each other. Public Works Leadership is one of the “pearls” of the Northwest Public Works Institute, which includes Public Works Essentials and The Developing Leader.
We will be wrapping up Public Works Essentials in Wilsonville December 11-14, then on to the 2019 spring line-up.
Once the December 24 deadline has passed, the submissions will be reviewed by the Chapter technical and conference planning committees and you will be notified of the acceptance of your abstract in late January.
Don’t be shy in providing more than one presentation, it is great to have many diverse topics to consider.
If you have any questions, please contact JWiller@eugene-or.gov. The committees and I look forward to seeing your great technical session ideas.
If you have ever been interested in public service on a national scale, the opportunity for you to make that interest known is coming soon. The nominations process for national committees opens mid-January. President-Elect Bill Spearman will be looking for committed individuals with subject-matter expertise in the specific area of committee responsibility, a desire to contribute to the national education programs, or members who want to help carry the APWA message to other associations or organizations. Members who serve in a national capacity have the opportunity to contribute to the profession, network with colleagues from across the continent, and work to address the goals of the APWA strategic plan while learning more about the association structure.
Once the nominations process opens, members are notified via the weekly “In the Works” email, the APWA web site and through the Reporter magazine. Requirements for committee participation are varied. The nominations web pages will contain detailed information regarding expectations, commitment and desired experience for each committee, council or task force. The process to express your interest in serving at the national level is an easy one. Once you’ve reviewed the information on each committee, simply check the areas of your interest, rank them in order of preference, then provide biographical information to support your nomination for committee service. APWA members may also nominate another member. The nominated member is provided an opportunity to accept the suggestion and provide the information necessary for consideration. While expertise is of primary importance, several areas of diversity are also considered – not only of new appointees but also those members currently serving an unexpired term.
If serving on a committee is more commitment than you can take on at this time, there are still opportunities for you to contribute and be involved. Technical committee knowledge teams and subcommittees offer an opportunity for those that may be interested in contributing to a technical committee’s projects and technical discussions. Knowledge teams provide the flexibility for members to pick the specific project and time spent volunteering. Subcommittee membership requires a more regular time commitment and the work is focused on a specific topic area within the technical committee’s efforts. If you are interested in “testing the waters” of committee service, feel free to contact the technical committee staff liaison or chair for more information.
President-Elect Spearman will appoint committee chairs and members throughout late April and May. While expertise is of primary importance, several areas of diversity are also considered, not only of new appointees but also those members currently serving. Appointees will be contacted soon thereafter. Those not appointed will be notified in late June or early July.
Following is a list of open positions for 2019-2020. For more information on each committee, check their web page under Groups & Committees. We urge you to seriously consider serving your profession and sharing your expertise by volunteering to serve at the national level.
2019-2020 TECHNICAL COMMITTEES
Fleet Services - 1 open position
Leadership & Management - 1 open position
Solid Waste Management - 1 open position
2019-2020 STANDING AND PROGRAM COMMITTEES & COUNCILS
Accreditation Council - 1 open position
Audit Committee - 2 open positions
Awards Committee - 1 open position
Awards Committee: Public Works Project of the Year Awards - Seven open positions
Awards Committee: Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award - 1 open position (previous Top Ten Leaders)
Center for Sustainability - 2 open positions
International Affairs Committee - 1 open position
Professional Development Committee - 3 open positions
PWX Program Review Committee - 6 open positions (3 at-large members and 1 representative each from the Local Host Committee, the Canadian Public Works Association, and the Center for Sustainability)
Snow Conference Program Review Committee - 3 open positions
2019-2020 TASK FORCES & EXTERNAL REPRESENTATION
National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) - 2 open positions (1 member and 1 associate)
NEMA National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) - 1 open position
APWA BOARD NOMINATIONS
In 2019, terms for six positions on the APWA Board of Directors will expire. Of those six, three are eligible for nomination for an additional term by their regional nominating committee – Regions I, II and VIII. Directors representing Region V, Region VI and the Director-at-Large for Fleet and Facilities are term-limited and thus, not eligible to serve an additional term. APWA will be accepting nominations for all six positions. Additional information and details regarding the process for nomination and selection will be available after the first of the year. Watch the web site and your weekly “In The Works” email for more information. Questions regarding committee or board nominations can be directed to Teresa Hon or 816-595-5224.