Certification: CWEA Collection System Grade 3

CWEA networking really pays off. I believe effort and attitude are important. At the end of the day I want to be able to say I gave 100% to my community. – that’s going to help you get ahead. Get certified, get an education. Cities everywhere are expecting you to have a degree and your certifications.

Peter Martinez - City of Oxnard

Certification: Lab Analyst, Grade 4
CWEA Laboratory Person of the Year

I’ve been able to talk about the enormous benefits of membership, obtaining certifications and serving in leadership positions. CWEA allows us to really highlight the profession to future leaders.

My participation in CWEA for the past 7 years has allowed me to be involved with numerous professionals. It has been rewarding to be involved both as a member and local Board officer. I am very passionate about this industry and in particular about safeguarding the environment.

Jackie McCloud - City of Watsonville

CWEA Outstanding Young Professional of the Year


Jennifer Ku, P.E. - EBMUD

WEF Collection Systems Award Winner

Receiving the WEF Collection Systems Award recognizing my service to WEF and the WEF CSC was my proudest WEF achievement so far. Also sharing our OCSD regional approaches to solutions. I think this was an important part of why I was selected at that time.

Being a member of WEF is worth it. It’s also an excellent way to help serve others and learn and grow professionally as well as personally. I encourage others to seek opportunities beyond their “day jobs” and helping CWEA and WEF and other organizations are all personal growth opportunities. What you bring back and implement helps your employer too.

Nick Arhontes - OCSD

WEF Board of Trustees

I love WEF! It’s so important for professionals in our sector to make connections, and WEF enables me to establish a peer group that stretches across the nation.

I want to work to make WEF and WEFTEC a rewarding experience for everyone. Find a committee, find a connection – make a connection with your peers. I want to help people do the same thing I did when I was younger and make their first (of many) WEFTECs an exciting experience.


Karen Kubick, P.E. - SFPUC

WEF Past President

What gives me hope for the future is so many of the world’s young people I meet are choosing to become water professionals.  They want to play a role in creating a healthy global water environment.

Get involved in professional associations like CWEA and WEF early in your career. The professional and career development opportunities and benefits cannot be overemphasized.

As I travel the world on behalf of WEF, there is one trend that is crystal-clear – our water sector leaders almost all got involved in professional associations early in their career.

Ed McCormick, P.E. - West County Wastewater District

Past CWEA Board Member
Certifications: Environmental Compliance Grade 4; Lab Analyst Grade 4

I can say that personally you get back what you put in to an organization. I have put a lot of time into CWEA and I believe I have gotten back everything that I have put in. I believe that being part of CWEA is very rewarding.

Cassie Prudhel - Casandra Prudhel Consulting

Wastewater Superintendent, Grade 5

CWEA shows the broader platform of the water profession.  You get to meet people who have the same problems you do but have found innovative ways to solve these problems.

Being a part of CWEA, going to the conferences, made me realize “Water is a BIG thing.”  The other part was “You are not alone!”

I cannot overemphasize the importance of networking.  The better understanding you have of the broader picture, the more people you meet and talk to, the more opportunities will come your way.


Howard Brewen - City of San Luis Obispo

Certification Moderator
Certifications: Lab Analyst, Grade 4; Environmental Compliance, Grade 4

My supervisor started inviting me to attend CWEA workshops so I could learn all about the profession and laboratory techniques to hone my skills. Right away, I appreciated all the knowledge, along with the networking opportunities.

Being certified with CWEA is invaluable because it exposes you to a great resource of information to get the job done.

Visit and take a tour of your local treatment plant! Also, join CWEA and start attending events in your local area, even as a student!

Tara McClinton - Napa San

Grade 5 Wastewater Operator,
AWT Committee Member

Associations help water professionals stay in touch with the rest of the water community. Taking part in the regional events, reading publications, attending conferences, and obtaining training and certification, really helps agencies and employees stay in touch.

I would advise anyone who is interested in succeeding in this field to be inquisitive and helpful. Ask how things work and how they can possibly work better, and challenge yourself to find answers to problems.

Juan Guerreiro - City of San Diego

Certified Water Treatment Operator

Years ago we knew that there was going to be a mass of retirements. We were warned! Now we have more people retiring than entering the field.

I joined CWEA shortly after starting with Long Beach. Through my career I have taken advantage of the training courses and workshops.

Networking is so important in the water profession. Water treatment is becoming more interrelated and all water professionals need to take advantage of the opportunities to learn from others.

Richard Salas - Long Beach Water