ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER YPs
discussions, and presentations around the theme of The
Future of Water. The morning kicked off with introductions
by LaFrance and WEF CEO Eileen O’Neill, both of whom
delivered messages that particularly resonated with the
YPs in the room. LaFrance concluded his presentation by
saying, “The world is run by people who show up.” Every-one
in that room showed up that morning.
O’Neil’s takeaway was a challenge to be like Sir Joseph
Bazalgette, whose revolutionary engineering to create a
sewer network solved the cholera outbreaks and wastewa-ter
contamination of the Thames River in the 1850s. In addi-tion
to innovative engineering, his skill as a public speaker
helped him find success by crossing political boundaries, a
direct reflection of the importance of communication in the
engineering world today.
A workshop led by Pieter Van Ry, the Director at South
Platte Water Renewal Partners, titled May the (Work) Force
Be with You, was another day-two highlight. A mentor (or
industry leader) was assigned to a group of approximately
20 YPs to lead a discussion about various workplace chal-lenges
and the best way to deal with these inevitable situ-ations.
The mentor’s role was to impart some wisdom on
lessons learned after the discussion, but it was also helpful
to gain insight from other YPs. These thoughtful conversa-tions
with peers in the industry were arguably one of the
38 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER JULY 2019
most beneficial components of the Summit.
As a collaborative effort between AWWA and WEF, the YP
Summit demonstrated how valuable it is to share ideas
and experiences among peers and leaders, regardless of
the specific organization they belong to. Not only is there
a crossover between the water and wastewater industries
themselves, but it was clear that there are universal strate-gies
for self-improvement and for approaching challenges
in the workplace that are shared by all YPs. If you haven’t
participated in a YP Summit, we highly encourage you
to attend! It‘s an unforgettable learning experience, and
you’re sure to make many new friends along the way.
Kristin Schwartz has been involved with
RMSAWWA Young Professionals Committee for
three years and is its current Chair. She has six
years of experience in the water/wastewater indus-try
and currently works as a Civil Engineer for the
City of Thornton.
Robbie Staton has been involved with both WEF
and RMWEA YP Committees. He has seven years
of experience as a design engineer for Black &