Kristiana Dragash, P.E.
Setting up for a Successful 2018-2019!
I am thrilled to be the newest FWEA President following in a long line of dedicated volunteers going back to 1941. It is amazing to be part of an organization with so much history. For my first message to you I wanted to summarize and explain a few of the important changes and improvements the FWEA Board of Directors (BOD) implemented to start off the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
You may have noticed a couple more names than expected when the new Directors at Large (DALs) were announced at our Annual Meeting. That’s because the BOD added two new DAL positions to the Board of Directors this year—increasing the number of DALs from six to eight.
Why the increase, you ask? Well, in addition to the two new committees created last year (MARC and Contractors), we also saw the need to create new liaison roles to facilitate better communication between the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) and WateReuse Association. Having two additional DALs will make it easier to support the new committees, fill new roles, and give more support to our existing chapters and committees. For my part, I’m confident that increasing the number of DALs will lighten the load for everyone, improve overall communication, and increase support for chapters and committees.
The next change is especially important to me as it will benefit our association and Young Professionals in countless ways. The past chair of the Student and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), Tyler Semago, is now one of our DALs. She will support the eight student chapters and the Students & Young Professionals Committee.
In part, this change will support the continued success of the Student Design Competition (SDC). This annual event is one of the largest line items in FWEA’s budget and requires significant coordination between board members, the SDC organizers, universities and student chapters, faculty advisors, and even local chapters. Aside from its importance from a financial investment perspective, this competition gives students real-world experience and the opportunity to network with professionals and (hopefully) find the right fit in our industry. In fact, many of the participants in the SDC wind up becoming engaged leaders in the association on local and state levels.