Cari Campbell, Engineer
Utility Systems, Science & Software

The Cal-Nevada Section of AWWA was introduced to me through the student chapter on San Diego State University’s campus, as it was the most popular club for Environmental Engineering majors. After a couple of meetings with free lunches (how else do you persuade college students to stay?), we went on tours of drinking water treatment plants. Let me tell you – seeing and smelling these in real life was much more stimulating than the smell of textbooks. The student chapter was provided with the resources to create budgets to host events and travel for local conferences, which was mind-boggling. I had no choice but to get involved! A group of us entered the Student Research Poster Competition and it was a thrill to be further encouraged and recognized for our lab work! As our first time out of a classroom and trying our Bambi legs of young professionalism, CA-NV AWWA was the perfect home. We were quickly swept up and led around to be introduced to one impressive, intelligent water professional after another. 

My origins with CA-NV AWWA were a whirlwind, and I am grateful to have developed and maintained a large number of relationships with people that I consider my mentors and friends. The resources are available here to flourish, only waiting to be taken advantage of. Involvement is key! I went from student member, to president of a Student Chapter, to member of some committees, to Vice Chair of the Technical Program Committee and finally the Chair of the Technical Program Committee! They let me sit at the big kids’ table. 

CA-NV AWWA has an immense plethora of knowledge and experience across the board – and I am so glad to have gotten involved early on. This is my cornerstone as a young professional, and I look forward to being a part of its future.  


Emily Randig
Cal Poly Pomona Graduate , Kansas State University Master's Student (Water Resources Engineering)
AWWA Scholarship Recipient, Gannett Fleming Scholarship

During my first year at Cal Poly Pomona, I was encouraged to join the club CWEA-AWWA while walking around a club fair on campus. The club consists of students who are specifically interested in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. I learned so much by attending the biweekly meetings and listening to professionals speak on civil and environmental engineering projects from throughout Southern California. 

The following year I decided to join the board of the CWEA-AWWA to help grow and support the club. I served as Treasurer in 2018-2019 and Vice President 2019-2020. Being on the board allowed me to continue to network and learn more about opportunities including scholarships, internships, and future jobs.

Each year CWEA-AWWA leads the Environmental Team at the American Society of Civil Engineers Pacific Southwest Conference.  I was selected to lead the team in the 2018-2019 school year. We were tasked with researching, designing, constructing, and testing a water polishing system for agricultural effluent. Academically, I was able to use the principles learned in class to design the treatment system including controlling the flowrate, calculating the efficiency of the system, and applying conventional water treatment processes in a small scale. I also learned to be a better leader and communicator with my team. 

In the Fall semester of my last year at CPP, I learned about the national AWWA Scholarship through talking John Tucker, who we invited to speak at one of our meetings so our members could learn more about AWWA as a professional organization. I decided to submit an application and was so excited to be selected to receive the Gannett Fleming Scholarship to support me as I start graduate school in the fall at Kansas State University.

Being a student member of AWWA during my time at Cal Poly Pomona opened so many doors for me as a student and young professional and I would recommend all students join clubs and take advantage of all the opportunities they have to offer. You might be surprised at what opportunities come your way, just as I was. 



Stephanie Hearn, Senior Water Quality Specialist / Branch Manager
GEI Consultants, Inc.

I’ve worked in the drinking water industry for about 20 years and have been an individual member of the CA-NV AWWA Section for 15. Let me tell you…I have enjoyed and appreciated every single year! It’s through this membership that I’ve gained so much knowledge, experience, and valuable relationships. 

There are three things that I can say advanced me professionally: 1) hard work; 2) Chet Auckly; and 3) involvement in the Section. While the CA-NV Section of AWWA is third on my list, I must say that the three are probably equal. I attribute my career growth to the education gained from AWWA conferences, seminars and workshops. There is so much to learn during the technical sessions. I’ve always been impressed by members willingness to share their experiences, lessons learned, and even what they’ve done well. Members of AWWA must truly believe in learning by example because they are so willing to share their experiences.

More than anything, I value the relationships built with industry professionals. Through active participation in the CA-NV Section, I’ve been exposed to some truly amazing people, both personally and professionally. People who are dedicated to their work in the drinking water industry. People who have so much integrity and character. People who are not only willing to give back to their industry and communities but who are actively seeking ways they can give back. What better influences could than this type of people?

As you can see, working in drinking water is the most amazing and rewarding career. So much more than I ever imagined. It’s through my membership with AWWA that I have had these exposures and really see the quality, passion and leadership of this industry. 



Tommy Pearce, Plant Operations Supervisor
T-5 and D-4 Certified Operator
Helix Water District

(Pictured with Past Chair Kate Nutting)

As a young professional and a member of AWWA, I began attending conferences a few years ago with the goal of earning a few CEUs, maybe learning a thing or two, and potentially meeting a few people who share my interest in the water industry. What I found was a valuable resource for technical knowledge as well as a community of water industry professionals that are welcoming, engaging, and who truly have a passion for what they do.

In addition to attending conferences and technical sessions, becoming involved in the section by volunteering on the Operators Committee and giving presentations has been extremely valuable to my career development.  The CA-NV AWWA section has allowed me not only grow as an individual, but to interact with the other facets of the industry that I don’t normally work with day to day. This has been essential to increasing my knowledge, understanding, and perspective on the water industry as a whole. I truly believe this helped me to be a more effective in my role as a Plant Operations Supervisor, and also contributed to me receiving the section’s Exemplary Operations Supervisor Award this past spring. 

I have been able to see first-hand the benefits of being a part of the CA-NV section as my organization, and in particular my manager, has been actively engaged with the section for many years. His mentorship and involvement in the section has allowed me and our organization to access a network of water industry professionals and vendors that have many times assisted to quickly find solutions to operational and water quality problems. Inversely, our staff has been able to give back by giving presentations, volunteering, and most importantly helping others avoid the mistakes and hopefully repeat the successes that our staff has experienced over the years. 
Membership in the AWWA CA-NV section has been rewarding both professionally and personally. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to the mission of protecting public health through providing safe and reliable drinking water. In addition to professional development, I have begun to build relationships and friendships that will last for years to come. I highly encourage anyone with interest in the water industry to get involved and take advantage of all that AWWA offers!


Tarrah Henrie, Senior Scientist
Corona Environmental Consulting

When I began my career in the water community in 2000, I had a lot to learn.  From the beginning, AWWA has been part of my journey to continue to grow and develop both my technical and my leadership skills.  Early on I was encouraged to volunteer with a committee, which allowed me to understand how the California Nevada section of AWWA works.  It is very volunteer driven.  If you want something to be different, then you can volunteer and be the change.  If you have a great idea, then please step up and make it happen.

Beyond the wonderful technical programs at every conference there are networking opportunities.  My favorite part of attending conferences is seeing my friends from all over California and Nevada.  The hallway conversations and time spent at the vendor hall are chances for discussions about critical water topics and we often don’t have the time and space for during our normal workday.  A number of interesting projects have evolved from what started as chit chat at a conference.

I look forward to my continued involvement with the California Nevada section of AWWA for years to come.