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.

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