StarChapter of February: WEAU

The Water Environment Association of Utah’s (WEAU) mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of these professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and to provide a platform for water sector innovation. WEAU is comprised of diverse group of water quality professionals including public works staff, treatment plant operator, engineers, scientists, and planners working to preserve and enhance water quality and the global water environment. WEAU aims to connect Utah's water professionals by means of trainings, conferences, etc. to create a strong local network of dedicated experts.  See how they are harnessing the power of engaging their Young Professional’s (YP) group to better deliver the value of their chapter. 

1. What was Water Environment Association of Utah’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

WEAU is a 100% volunteer nonprofit organization. We rely on our members to volunteer their time to make WEAU successful. Our most successful strategy for engaging our members is to put on trainings and conferences that our members find interesting and valuable. We also have an active Young Professionals group within WEAU that actively participates in social gatherings, activities, design competitions to encourage and entice young professionals to engage in WEAU. These events are all advertised through our StarChapter site.  Allowing students to attend our conferences for free also helps encourage early involvement and adoption into WEAU.


2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.

We recently had a social event where WEAU sponsored a sky box for the Utah Jazz for our members and their family. It was organized by the Young Professional’s (YP) group of WEAU. StarChapter had features that greatly improved organizing the event. First, there was limited space in the sky box and therefore had to cap the attendance. Our old system was all done manually where an individual had to watch closely and turn off the registration when it was full. If we weren’t fast enough to turn off the website we had to make a call telling someone they can’t go – which is never fun. StarChapter made it easy by clicking the right button to limit registration automatically. Secondly, it was easy to give the YP chair access to meeting for this specific event without giving her access to everything. This allowed her to manage the registration and content herself without having to wait for others.


3. The Water Environment Association of Utah’s network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other chapters?

Our national parent organization Water Environment Federation (WEF) has a meeting called WEFMAX where member associations (MA) can gather annually to collaborate and get ideas about how to improve their local chapter. These annual meetings provide an opportunity for WEF and MA leaders to discuss issues affecting WEF and its MAs and offers an exchange of ideas and experiences.


4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

Get good food. Our members have appreciated good food at our WEAU sponsored events. Attendance increases when our event is known to have something good to eat. We strive to have a variety of keynote speakers that discuss latest trends and issues in the marketplace. We put a lot of thought into the speakers and event topics that will draw the widest audience to attend our conferences and training events.


5. What is in store for your members this year?

We put on several trainings throughout the year that teach and inform our members on topics in our industry. We also put on two main conferences annually. Three to five hundred people attend these conferences and they are a great success. In addition to the trainings and conferences we also have winter and summer social events for our members and their families. Our 100% volunteer organization spends a lot of time to make these events successful.

Our president has also put emphasis on why we do what we do, and the importance of the work that each and every member does in the waste water industry. Encouraging and promoting the #mywaterlegacy WEF initiative.


6. How have been able to utilize StarChapter to run Water Environment Association of Utah and reach its goals?  

Since WEAU is a 100% volunteer organization it is important to be efficient with the time each individual has to donate. StarChapter has made it easier to delegate tasks to other people in the organization rather than waiting on someone else’s schedule. The website design has greatly improved our member’s online experience. We have received a lot of positive feedback about how the new website has improved. We have recently started using StarChapter and only just scratched the surface of the potential upside we can do. StarChapter has made it easy to implement such a critical part of our infrastructure.




WEAU Engaging Young Members


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