What a strange and unusual “winter” we’ve had so far in the Pacific Northwest. Our unseasonably warm and dry weather is a far cry from the storms that have pummeled the East Coast for the past several weeks. However, no matter what the current forecast is, we all know that as public works professionals, we must always be prepared for unexpected events, circumstances, and emergencies. I commend all public works agencies across the state for always being ready to handle whatever is in front of them.
With the start of the new year, the chapter leadership has gone through its normal rotation of officer assignments. In particular, Terry Song is in his final year of service to the chapter and will be on the board as the immediate past president. Delora Kerber is now the president-elect and will be spearheading the technical sessions at each of our conferences. Russ Thomas is into his second year as secretary while Jenifer Willer has moved from her position as a director into the role of treasurer. Returning board directors include Gordon Munro, Nikki Messenger, Elizabeth Papadopoulos, Paul Shirey and Tony Roos. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, Dan Boss has returned to the board and is now the chapter delegate representing Oregon at National APWA with the Council of Chapters, and Mike Bisset has joined the board as our newest director.
This board and the chapter committees are comprised of high-performing professionals who are committed to serving the public works community in Oregon. In particular, the board focuses on accomplishing the goals and vision of the Strategic Plan and I encourage you to review the plan so you are aware of the direction we are heading. If there are any committees or programs you are interested in, please contact a board member to get connected with the appropriate person. Additionally, I have laid out my goals for 2015 which includes providing quality programs, remaining relevant to the industry, and continuing to support successful events and opportunities throughout the chapter. Both the Strategic Plan and the President’s Goals can be viewed on the chapter website.
I would also like to acknowledge our Audit Committee (Jenifer Willer, Delora Kerber, Peggy Keppler, Stephanie Reid, Mike Adams and Maggie Vohs) for completing the review of the chapter’s books well ahead of the April 15 deadline established by National. This is an important task and they did a fantastic job. I am pleased to report that the chapter’s finances are all in order and the audit was a collaborative and productive meeting which yielded positive suggestions to make future audits go even smoother.
And now for some additional kudos. Join me in congratulating Director Mark Shepard, Accreditation Manager Paul Jacobson, and all the staff at the City of Albany Public Works Department for receiving their first reaccreditation on January 15. And lastly, Eric Jones was selected as the Chapter’s nominee for the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year award. Eric’s long time service to the chapter and to the public works community culminated in an impressive application packet that has made us proud. Kudos to Adam Crafts and the UO's Allen Hall Public Relations for putting together the packet. On behalf of the board and the chapter, I want to wish Eric the best of luck as he competes against other candidates from across the nation. We all hope he gets invited to Phoenix to accept his award this summer.
Todd Watkins, P.E.,2015 Chapter President
Jones Nominated for Top 10 Award
By Mary Yeager, Allen Hall Public Relations
Eric Jones has been nominated by the Oregon APWA Chapter Board for the 2015 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year award.
The nomination credits Jones with excellence and personal dedication to public service in the Eugene, Oregon area. APWA members from both the private and public sectors have recognized him for his remarkable service achievements. Throughout his career in public works, Eric has strived to communicate important issues to the public.
To be eligible for the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year award, one must have a minimum of 10 years qualifying public works experience. Eric has 25 years of service at Eugene Public Works. He also is a past president of the Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has mentored a number of UO students.
By Katie Marwitz, Leadership & Management & Diversity Committee
The Leadership & Management and Diversity Committee made a number of sweeping changes and updates to the committee webpage during the recent chapter website migration. The updates were geared towards making the page user friendly and full of current information and resources.
The modernized webpage now contains feature boxes that connect visitors with upcoming chapter events, a quarterly book review, and resources for diversity and management topics. The new page also contains quick links that guide visitors to the committee work plan, information about the upcoming mentorship program, and chapter advocacy.
We encourage you to stop by and browse the abundance of local chapter and national APWA information. If you have any questions about the L&M committee feel free to contact any of the committee members directly from the committee webpage.
Educational Info Just a Click Away
Finding the educational classes on the Oregon APWA web site is as easy as clicking the Event tab and then selecting “training.” On the training page you will find the 2015 Oregon APWA training and event schedule, along with scholarships and other information. Classes open for registration (in blue) are linked so you can go to the event page. On the event page you will be able to select the online registration option and download the event brochure.
All three of the Northwest Public Works Institute (NWPWI) classes held in fall 2014 and winter 2015 had full attendance! Watch for the 2015 Public Works Leadership and Public Works Essential classes to open registration in the spring. Each NWPWI class is limited to the first 40 registered attendees, so be sure to register early. If you are a current APWA member, you should receive an email notification as each of these classes opens up for registration.
Our two largest spring events are approaching quickly - the 2015 Oregon Chapter Spring Conference kicks off on St. Patrick’s Day in Eugene, and the 2015 Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Spring School will be back in beautiful Central Oregon at the Riverhouse Hotel and Conference Center in Bend on April 7–9.
Mark Your Calendar for 2015 Fall Events
Street Maintenance & Collection Systems Fall School - October 6-8, 2015, Seaside Civic & Convention Center, Seaside
Oregon Chapter Fall Conference - October 19-22, 2015, Seven Feathers, Canyonville
Public Works Leadership - October 27-30, 2015, Surfsand, Cannon Beach
Public Works Essentials - December 8-11, 2015, Holiday Inn, Wilsonville
Advanced registration is required, and seats will be filled on a first-enrolled, first-served basis. Please register by Tuesday, March 24. Specific location information will be provided with your registration confirmation. There is no charge for this class.
To register, call 503-986-2855 or email with the names of each participant, the agency name, a phone number, and a contact email.
Scholarships Available for Spring School
If you are employed by a smaller, rural area agency or an agency that doesn't have much of a budget, if any budget at all, for continuing your career education then we encourage you to apply for a scholarship to attend the APWA Street Maintenance and Collection Systems 2015 Spring School.
The APWA Oregon Chapter offers two scholarships for each of the Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Schools, held in the spring and fall each year. To see if you or someone in your agency might qualify for a scholarship to the 2015 spring school (April 7-9 at The Riverhouse in Bend), please read the criteria and submit your application by March 24, 2015.
You don't have to be a nerd to find useful things to do on oregon.apwa.net and apwa.net. Here are five things you can do with the click or a tap:
1. Look up the current members of the Oregon Chapter board under the main tab called "chapter." If you really want to have fun, send one of the board members an email (the links are right there next to their photos).
2. See if there's a place for you on one of the chapter's committees. Just click on the "committee central" link under the "committees" tab.
4. Find a member's contact information. Under the "connection tab, click on the "members" link and follow the simple instructions.
5. Which brings us to the best tip - make sure you have an online account with APWA National. You'll need your membership number if you're creating an account. Once you're signed in, please go to the "member tools" section and be sure to include your email information in your member contact information on apwa.net (Oregon APWA saves lots of trees by rarely sending information via snail mail).