July 28, 2020
Dear CWEA Team Members,
The purpose of this letter is to touch base.
As you know, by definition, a pandemic affects almost everybody, regardless of role, industry or location on the planet; this is a global issue. The pandemic has unfolded over many months, with no firm end date in sight. The coronavirus dramatically changed the way we live and work. Many of us had to quickly figure out how to work from home (WFH). Hopefully, when the pandemic wanes, WFH will remain popular.
Meanwhile, CWEA is working behind the scenes to create ways to provide opportunities for continuing our mission. I want to emphasize what is going well for the organization, like E-learning. CWEA will continue to look for creative ways to provide public education, exchange information, provide training, and offer expertise/advice.
I want to take this opportunity to share our strategies and planning for the future. The Board is looking into creative ways to use video communications, and fully integrate the member experience. You may just see CWEA with its own TikTok in the very near future. However, we realize that the status of in-person meetings and events is questionable.
As of today CWEA is suspending all in-person events through Friday, September 18, 2020. The status of the pandemic will continue to be closely monitored and the decision for in-person meetings will be re-evaluated. During the time between now and September 18, 2020, we will determine what platforms have been a success, what can be improved, and whether we will be able to hold events planned for the last quarter of 2020.
Many thanks to those who have gone the extra mile to continue CWEA’s efforts while helping others keep the momentum created prior to the pandemic.
We are in this together, and we do NOT have all the answers. Please reach out to me (and/or the Board) with your questions, concerns, or comments.
You are appreciated!
Aaron Z. Hughes
2019-2020 CWEA President
CWEA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association that provides technical education and training for Chesapeake water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment.
Vice President –
Cece Nguyen, P.E., Director, Condition Assessment and Buried Infrastructure
Ms. Nguyen, a Vice President and Director at RJN Group, Inc. has over 30 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry, working exclusively in the buried infrastructure arena. Ms. Nguyen’s focus has been providing planning, evaluation, and condition assessment of wastewater collection systems; provided oversight of inspection on over 1,000,000 lf of sewers and thousands of sewer structures; assessed and developed repair, rehabilitation, and replacement recommendations for systems ranging from 50 to over 6,000 miles; and delivered rehabilitation designs of gravity and pressure pipes. Ms. Nguyen, an active member of the Chesapeake Water Environment Association, is a member of the National and local Collection Systems Committee, has chaired several committees, is one of the initiators of the TriCon Women’s Networking group, and recently served as the Treasurer.
DE Trustee –
Hahns Hairston, has over 22 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry with over 16 years serving as the Plant Engineering Section Manager at Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Water. Mr. Hairston helped manage operations and maintenance at the Potomac Water Filtration Plant one of the largest conventional treatment facilities on the east coast rated at 300 MGD. Mr. Hairston currently manages all biosolids activities at WSSC Water along with Production Department Contracts that total over $40 million. Mr. Hairston holds Maryland State Licenses for Class 4 Water Superintendent/Operator and temporary Class 5A Wastewater Operator. Mr. Hairston is currently the Biosolids Committee Chairman for CWEA and serves as Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Well Drillers. Mr. Hairston was formerly a Public Health Engineer III with the Maryland Department of the Environment Water Supply Program and he holds a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Jegnaw Essatu has been working in the Laboratory Division of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission as a Senior Chemist and Support Section Manager since 2009. Jegnaw has a vast range of responsibilities, some of which are dealing with permits, special projects, budgeting, technical support, operating procedures, contracts, other associations, sales representatives, and regulatory practices. Before joining WSSC Jegnaw worked for Lockheed Martin contract under EPA Region III as an Environmental Engineer and Clean Harbors of Baltimore as a lead Environmental Analyst Compliance Specialist. Overall, Jegnaw has 14 years of experience in the Water and Wastewater industry. He did his BSc in Chemistry/mathematics from West Virginia University of Technology, MS in Environmental engineering and science from Johns Hopkins University and have graduate certificate in Water Engineering and management from University of Colorado Boulder. Jegnaw is passionate about his work and carrier. He supports professional organizations. Currently Jegnaw is the webmaster for MELA (Maryland Environmental Laboratory Association) and Laboratory practice chair for CWEA. Also, Jegnaw is member of American Chemical Society.
Rebecca Winer-Skonovd, CPSWQ
Rebecca Winer-Skonovd, CPSWQ, is a senior environmental scientist with Biohabitats and has 20 years of experience in stormwater management, watershed planning, and facilitation working with communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay Region and California. Rebecca’s project experience includes water quality monitoring and interpretation, TMDL planning and implementation, NPDES permit negotiation, facilitation, stormwater program implementation, new development stormwater quality guidance manual development, and grant writing and administration. She served as the Director of Capacity Building at the Center for Watershed Protection and provided training and technical assistance to local governments and small watershed organizations on watershed protection and restoration techniques. She has served on CASQA’s and Center for Watershed Protection’s Board of Directors and was chair of the CWEA Stormwater Committee from 2016 to 2018. She has her BS in Environmental Science from University of Maryland College Park and an MS in Community Development from UC Davis.
WEF Delegate -
Ellen Frketic, Chief, Water/Wastewater Engineering
Mrs. Frketic is the Chief for the Water/Wastewater Engineering Division at Maryland Environmental Service and has over 40 years of experience in the environmental field; the last 32 with MES. Mrs. Frketic’s experience includes management of the Agency's capital budget and oversight of staff and projects related to capital improvements planning, water and wastewater treatment facility and conveyance design, construction, and inspection, stormwater structure inspection, biosolids management, and facility operations and maintenance. She is the agency's representative to the Board of Public Works and the Maryland Legislature at budget hearings. Mrs. Frketic is a graduate of Clarkson University and a licensed Professional Engineer. She is an active member of Chesapeake Water Environment Association, where she currently serves as Past-President and chairs the Budget & Finance Committee.
Jim Shelton is a Vice President and National Technical Director for Buried Infrastructure for ARCADIS, focusing on condition assessment, rehabilitation, construction management, capacity assurance, operational assistance, and capital planning and management. He specializes in large program development and in the delivery of turnkey pipeline rehabilitation projects using Construction Manager at Risk and Collaborative Design-Build. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, is a licensed water and sewer contractor, and holds Professional Engineering licenses in Civil Engineering in 12 states.
To Committee Chairs, Co-Chairs, and Trustees:
This letter is to accomplish a few things;
1. Check in
3. Remember WHO WE ARE... The Chesapeake Water Environment Association!!!
If you haven’t checked in, please take a moment to do so.
We want to know how YOU are doing and how are things with your CWEA duties are coming along.
Remember … Please know we are here to help if you need assistance with anything!
Thank you very much!
Did your copy of the Ecoletter arrive at the office, but you’re working from home? You don’t need to miss out, we’ve got a digital version for you! Click here to access the Ecoletter digital version. You can also access it from the CWEA website.
If you would like to advertise your products and services in this awesome publication, the summer issue is coming together now! The deadline to reserve ad space is June 19th. Contact Dave Gill to reserve your ad space: 866-985-9791 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a great way to reach the CWEA 800+ members located throughout Maryland, Delaware, and District of Columbia!
Send in your ad reservation before the June 19th deadline!
Ad Size Price
Full Page - $1,050
1/2 Page - $775
1/3 Page - $650
1/4 Page - $500
1/6 Page - $425
1/8 Page - $350
During these difficult times and disappointing cancellations, we reminisce on years past, and look forward to the future.
Notice from Jay Kirk, 2020 Tri-Con Chair
After several weeks of thoughtful consideration and with great reluctance and sadness, we must announce the cancellation of the 2020 Tri-Association Conference (Tri-Con).
The planning committee had hoped that the pandemic would not be as severe as was first forecast, but we were finally faced with several issues that made this decision necessary. Among them:
Protecting public health is at the core of what we do. With the continued uncertainties associated with the coronavirus pandemic, it is hard to imagine gathering in our fantastic exhibit hall, or crowding into one of our top-notch technical sessions, or chilling on the beach at Seacrets without potential health risks. And that is compounded by the those uncertainties our attendees are facing with travel restrictions and budget cuts.
Although this postponement may be the right thing to do, we wish it were not the case. Many of you put a great deal of volunteer time, creativity, and passion into the effort that would have made the 2020 Tri-Con an outstanding event. Some have planned brilliant presentations to be shared in the technical program while still others have developed innovative technologies and services that should have been seen on the exhibit floor. Please know that we are so incredibly grateful for your efforts, and we will be back next year stronger than ever!
CWEA is seeking individuals who are interested in being nominated for election to, and serving on the CWEA Board.
We Need You!
The Chesapeake Water Environment Association is dedicated to improving water quality and protecting the water environment in Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The Association strives to do this through public education, the exchange of technical and scientific information among water quality professionals, the training of wastewater and water treatment plant operators, and by offering technical expertise and advice to the law-making and regulatory processes.