PNCWA 2017 Recap

The 2017 PNCWA Conference, held this year in Vancouver, Washington, was one of our best yet. Revisit the friends, networking, and training by browsing our photo album on Flickr. While we are still in the process of uploading conference proceedings, we have many already online, which you can access here. Here are some more highlights!

Record Turnout 
This year, the PNCWA conference had a record turnout. Over 900 attendees—a mix municipality-agency works, operators, consultants, manufacturers, regulators, researchers, and students—came to Vancouver, Washington, to participate in 128 technical presentations and five preconference workshops. The outstanding mix of attendees coupled with the fantastic programming—the backbone of our conference—made it one of our most successful gatherings. Plus, we had over 200 first-time attendees. Thanks to Conference Chair Lara Kammereck and Technical Program Chair Corinne DeLeon for their work.

Social Justice & Equity Track 
The theme of this year’s conference was Social Justice & Equity. Not only did this mean new keynotes and technical tracks, conference planners made sure that this theme ran throughout the conference. The social equity aspects of wastewater jobs were presented alongside more traditional technical presentations, and our second annual women’s networking event was a huge success.

“It’s something we need to talk about as an industry, as a nation,” said outgoing PNCWA President John Phillips. “But I listened to the conversations happening at the conference and I’m touched by people accepting that, owning it. Like ‘This is something we need to work on.’ It couldn’t have gone better.”

Awards Presentation 
Our awards ceremony celebrated everyone in the water industry. Among others, we honored Jack Bennion of CH2M (William D. Hatfield Award), Erik Coats of the University of Idaho (Arthur Sidney Bell Award), the City of Walla Walla (George W. Burke Award), and Steven Hall of the City of Salem (Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award). 

Jack Bennion, CH2M Twin Falls (William D. Hatfield Award)
Erik Coates, University of Idaho (Arthur Sidney Bedell Award)

 City of Walla Walla, Bud Ruther, CH2M accepting (George W. Burke Jr. Award)

Steven Hall, City of Salem (Laboratory Analyst Award)

This year we celebrated several new awards, including Woman of the Year Award, which went to Nicki Pozos of Barney and Worth, and the Innovative Stormwater Project Award, which went to the Ballard Natural Drainage Project (City of Seattle). For a full list of award winners, click here. 

Nicki Pozos, Barney and Worth (Woman of the Year Award)

Corinne DeLeon, City of Seattle for Ballard Natural Drainage Project (Innovative Stormwater Project Award)

We also passed the gavel from John Phillips to our new President, David Keil. Here, David presents John with his outgoing president’s plaque 

Ops Challenge Results 
Three teams competed at the PNCWA Ops Challenge. The Clean Water Services River Rangers, King County Poofighters, and the Oregon Region Cascadians faced off in multiple challenges over the course of the conference. “I was very impressed with all the teams,” said judge Ryon Kershner. “Just how fast they were and efficient. They were all very professional.” The River Rangers came out on top to win the challenge.



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