Summer 2023

HWEA will be the organization of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals
recognized for preserving and enhancing the water environment in the Pacific Island Region.

By Camille Gozum

My favorite type of professional development events are conferences – I get to be away from my screen for a little bit, I get to refine my technical skills, and I get to meet fellow young professionals who share the same interest as me, which is water. In March 2023, HWEA and AWWA Hawai’i gave the opportunity to attend the AWWA and WEF YP Summit in Sacramento, California. The conference was exciting, overwhelming, but also full of hope. At the end of this conference, I felt the heavy responsibility of solving our world’s water challenges, but the people I met and learned from have also given me the right tools to solve them.

The YP Summit is an annual three-day event filled with exciting activities. The first day was dedicated to a pre-summit activity, which are typically outdoors or community service type of events. This year, it was a tour held at the Echo Water Project. The second day was divided into two leadership workshops – the AWWA YP Leader Training Day and the WEF Emerging Young Professionals Leadership Workshop with a networking reception at the end of the day. I was assigned to attend the AWWA training while my co-chair, Shannon Black, attended the WEF training. I learned from the current AWWA CEO, David LaFrance, why I need to create my own personal marketing plan and how to do it. Mr. LaFrance shared anecdotes and lessons learned on why creating this plan is important to advancing my career – it gives a framework on how to reach my goals.

This plan will keep me focused on what steps are essential to grow my career to the direction of my intention. Since there are many paths to reach a destination, I learned that a personal marketing plan can increase my chances of reaching my next target. Next, I discussed with my fellow young professionals the characteristics of what we think a great leader should be. Some of the traits we agreed on are great communicator, empathetic, open minded, progressive, and able to engage in tough conversations. This activity made me contemplate the values I need to develop and nurture as an aspiring young leader. Lastly, I learned new ideas from other YP chairs on how to engage new members and retain existing ones. Some remarkable ideas include holding fundraisers to sponsor more YP’s to attend the YP Summit, themed networking events, and providing free valuable training to operators and students.

The last day of the summit was a day full of presentations and knowledge sharing from a variety of interesting, intellectual, and engaging individuals. All presentations were informative, but the summary of the three presentations that I enjoyed the most are as follows:

Mr. Mark Knudson PE shared with us a ‘Multi-Purpose Tools for Water Pros’ which are as follows: 



Contact Info

Hawai‘i Water Environment Association
PO Box 2422
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96804
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