THE SOURCE INTERVIEW
SOURCE: What are you most excited to dive into in your
new role as executive director?
MOSBURG: I am looking forward to working with staff and
volunteers to streamline workflow and upgrade the Section’s
technology. Last year, Section staff worked with volunteers
and a consulting firm to identify business operation pain
points and technology challenges. The Governing Board has
allocated funds to begin a technology improvement project. I
look forward to this project and the opportunities it will bring
to leverage technology to better serve our members.
SOURCE: What are you nervous about?
MOSBURG: Since the early 1980s, I’ve worked in the water
industry. During that time, I’ve seen the impact AWWA has
had on the water community and on the many individuals
who work every day to provide safe and sufficient water for
all. From the variety and number of members, to the quality
of major events we annually hold, to the caliber of engaged
technical volunteers that provide leadership on water quality
and operational standards, the Section is looked to for
information and industry leadership. In my new role leading
the largest AWWA Section, my responsibility will be to continue
this legacy. That’s a big set of shoes to fill. Fortunately, past
Section Executive Director Tim Worley will be around at least
one more year to provide insight, lend historical perspective
and assist on special projects.
SOURCE: The Section will commemorate its centennial
this year. When you think about the next 100 years,
what do you most want the Section to be known for?
MOSBURG: I’m excited that the Section will be celebrating its
100th anniversary in 2020. Planning is well underway to make
this a grand celebration at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. I
couldn’t be more excited to be joining Section staff at this time,
as we together look back and simultaneously wonder what
another 100 years will bring.
I think innovation will be at the core of the Section’s
strengths. It’s fitting that we’ll be celebrating at the happiest
place on Earth, because Disney has had innovation at the core
of its success since the beginning. Think of that journey from
animated movies that first synced sound and pictures to talking
robots using AI and advanced sensors to make them come to life
in reaction to a guest’s facial expression. In the water industry,
we see the use of telemetry and smart technology driving our
growth in the 21st century.
The Section’s role seems clear — to assist in the transfer
of knowledge by providing relevant education and networking
opportunities upon which innovation and the implementation
of new ideas can thrive and become reality.
SOURCE: You’ve been an active member of the Section
for decades. What has kept you not just involved, but
willing to step up to lead?
MOSBURG: Early in my career I was encouraged to go to
a Section conference and attend the committee meetings and
technical sessions on the certification of distribution operators.
It quickly became clear to me that this was the place to be to get
the latest information on water topics and to meet others in the
industry. In any volunteer organization, it doesn’t take long to
figure out that there is always more work than people to do it.
I enjoyed helping and realized how rewarding it was to share
with others what had been shared with me.
My transition to leadership came slowly: volunteering
to help on a subcommittee, then being asked take minutes,
eventually moving through the committee chair roles. Leading
committees gave me an opportunity to stretch and grow in
new ways. By volunteering as an AWWA leader (long before
I was employed as a manager) I created regulatory and
legislative summaries, negotiated service contracts, drafted
marketing brochures, was a published author and designed
and implemented effective, strategically aligned programs on
a stage much larger than my day‐job at a local water purveyor
allowed. I’m so grateful for these opportunities and thankful
now for the opportunity to use these skills to help the Section
support other emerging leaders.
SOURCE: Setbacks and adversity are part of life when
you’re in leadership. What lessons have you been taught
by being challenged or even failing at something?
MOSBURG: Life continues. As a child I was shy and reserved,
fearful of making mistakes and looking crazy — I missed out on
a lot of fun as a result. I’ve learned that the greatest feeling of
accomplishment often comes when I do things at the edge of my
comfort zone. As my daughter’s gymnastics coach said many
times, “If you don’t try, it takes a lot longer to get the skill.”
Each setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, and it’s better
to go with a buddy than go it alone. I think this is why I am such
a proponent of teams. I’ve also learned the value of taking time
to plan — and have a backup plan.
SOURCE: What do you do when you’re not on the job?
MOSBURG: I enjoy homecrafts, stitching, decorative painting
and gardening. Hobbies that will come in handy since I recently
moved to Rancho Cucamonga near the Section’s office and will
be spending time setting up my new home.
We lived in our last home for about 30 years. It’s easy
to acquire a lot of stuff in that period of time — and we did.
Fortunately, we moved into a house that has room to stage the
boxes as we continue sorting, sharing and stashing. S