This marks my first official blog for Water and Wastes Digest as I take over the helm of WWEMA from past president, Dawn Champney. Dawn’s 35 years of dedicated service will be hard to match, but I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen and further grow the association. I bring to WWEMA 25 years of experience in the water sector, having worked as an environmental scientist for the state of Ohio drinking water program, as executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators for 10 years, and most recently for 13 years as a Principal at The Cadmus Group – an environmental consulting firm with mission contract support for EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
WWEMA has a strong foundation based on 105 years of service to the water sector representing water and wastewater equipment manufacturers—the solutions providers dedicated to solving the toughest water quality and public health problems facing water and wastewater utilities in the U.S. and abroad. It is a proud heritage and one that I am honored to carry forward into the future.
In addition to the traditional regulatory and legislative advocacy work that has been the hallmark of WWEMA’s efforts, I plan to further enhance communication and collaboration with our many partners in the water sector. This includes finding concrete ways to engage and support the efforts of utilities, states and local governments to increase funding for water infrastructure, promote the acceptance of innovative technology, and ensure open and fair competition for products and services here and abroad.
There is much to be done but also much that can be done when we join forces and work for a common cause. I can’t think of anything more important than providing safe drinking water and protecting our precious water resources. It is a noble task and one that WWEMA and its member companies take very seriously.
Water has always been my passion and I am excited about the opportunity to be back working directly with my many friends and colleagues in Washington, D.C., and the states. Together we can make a difference.
Vanessa M. Leiby is executive director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Assn., a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization that has represented the interests of manufacturers serving the water supply and wastewater treatment industry since 1908. Leiby can be reached at email@example.com.