Communications CommitteeChairwoman: Shannon Dean, California Water Service Group
As water continues to take center stage in conversations around kitchen tables, in press rooms and in the halls of state capitals, the need for accurate and reliable information about the U.S. water supply and our nation's infrastructure only increases. The NAWC is committed to serving as a credible and responsive resource for anyone seeking information about the water issues facing our nation and the solutions offered by the private water industry.
Made up of the industry's best community outreach educators and writers, our Communications Committee proactively develops and distributes clear and effective messages to lead the discussion about water providers, while reinforcing the positive reputation of our member companies. The committee meets monthly, while its sub-committees address topics that may include planning, research, branding and media relations as needed.
Customer Service CommitteeCo-chairs: Margaret Neafsey, American Water & Robert Daly, San Jose Water Company
Our Customer Service Committee highlights the importance of the relationship between the utility and its customers. Focusing on policies, technologies and training, members establish communications tools and procedures to promote efficient and consistent customer service. The committee meets quarterly by teleconference and frequently attends site visits to learn first-hand about customer service best practices.
Finance/Accounting/Taxation CommitteeChairman: Dave Smeltzer, Aqua America
Our Finance Committee provides advisement on key industry issues related to the business side of responsible water management. These issues may range from specific events of concern — such as changes in accounting rules or tax rules — to broader issues such as the impact of the economy on how member companies do business. A subcommittee of the group focuses specifically on taxation-related issues. The committee meets quarterly by teleconference.
Government Relations CommitteeChairwoman: Karla Olson Teasley, Illinois American Water
The Government Relations Committee (GRC) is one of our most active, meeting several times a year and overseeing the entire government relations portfolio. The GRC reviews legislation and legislative projects, and recommends positions, priorities and strategies to our Board of Directors.
The GRC also hosts a "Congressional Fly-In" each spring to help educate Washington decision makers about our organization and our legislative priorities. The NAWC Political Action Committee also falls under the GRC jurisdiction and allows the NAWC to fully participate in the political process by supporting candidates for federal public office.
Partnerships CommitteeChairman: Rich D'Amato, CH2M HILL
While public-private partnerships (PPPs) between municipalities and private water service providers have been innovative solutions helping US cities to lower costs and guarantee performance and safety compliance since the 1970s, only recently did these companies join the ranks of the NAWC. This "partnership" with the privately owned water utilities at the core of our organization since 1895 brings a powerful new voice to the private water service industry.
The Partnership Committee's mission is three-fold: to enable us to communicate the sustainable benefits enjoyed by the over 2,000 municipal facilities in partnerships today; to educate and join hands with like-minded organizations; and finally to hold up the PPP model as our industry's blueprint for growth. This advisory committee includes top executives from some of the nation's largest water companies. The committee convenes quarterly via teleconference.
Regulatory Law and Rates CommitteeChairman: Walton Hill, United Water
The Regulatory Law and Rates Committee is designed to afford our members with an opportunity to share ideas and exchange information on state, economic, regulatory and legal issues as well as best regulatory practices. The committee advises our Board of Directors regarding the need for regulatory research on specific issues of importance to members and regulators, and promotes sound regulatory principles and procedures. The committee meets three times a year by teleconference and at our Annual Conference.
Security & Safety CommitteeChairman: Nicholas Santillo, American Water
On security issues, the Committee provides a forum for members to discuss common areas of concern, including promoting tools or procedures that they have found beneficial. In addition the Committee provides input and guidance on specific security requests made by Congress, DHS, EPA and the WSCC.
The Committee also serves as a forum to share best practices on health and safety initiatives as well as a resource to members, keeping them apprised of regulatory requirements, safety developments and other issues pertinent to NAWC members.
In the area of Emergency Management, the Committee serves as a forum for members to share best practices in preparation, response and recovery from natural and manmade disasters.
Mid-sized Companies CommitteeChairman:
Matt Stanley, Beckley Water Company
Our Mid-size Companies Committee provides the opportunity for these unique companies to get together and address their particular needs. Committee members share information, and look for more efficient ways to manage their companies. Committee members share a desire to maintain their companies’ independence. The Mid-sized Companies Committee meets several times over the course of the year, in person and by teleconference.
Small Companies CommitteeChairman: Eric Olsen, Shorelands Water
Our Small Companies Committee provides a forum for idea exchange among companies serving fewer than 10,000 customers. These companies face unique management issues associated with small staffs and economies of scale. The committed managers and owners of these companies meet via conference call and at our Annual Conference.
We have been able to offer significant services to our small company members throughout the years. Through active committee volunteer participation, the committee was able to identify utility insurance coverage as a particularly trying problem for small companies and negotiate with an insurance provider to establish workable terms.