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State Affiliates Workshop

Calling all state onsite association leaders! This all-afternoon workshop is an idea factory. This is an interactive session where some of the best programs offered by onsite associations are showcased. You'll get lots of ideas for recruiting new members, engaging the public, setting direction for your organization, and win-win partnerships.

The workshop will be held Monday, October 22.

12:00 noon - 1:30 pm
State Affiliate Leaders Committee Meeting and Lunch


1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Panel: Lessons Learned to Make Associations Run Better
Moderator: Tom Groves
Transformation of a State Association (Tom Groves, Yankee Onsite Wastewater Association)
YOWA had a transformational last few years going from a struggling regional state affiliate (New England states) to a one state affiliate (MAOWP), then back to a regional affiliate focusing most of our efforts on our largest, most organized state (Massachusetts).  In doing so, the YOWA Board undertook an independent evaluation of our organization to better understand our needs and to assist us in focusing on how to grow our organization.  An Action Plan was developed for us to focus our activities on training, communications, and membership.  The recent release of NOWRA Online Learning Academy efforts fit in nicely with our new goals and we’ve been able to take advantage of those efforts to date for the benefit of YOWA and NOWRA.

Membership & Continuing Education (Tammy Trantham, Missouri SmallflowsOrganization)
MSO went through a membership evaluation in 2015.  With increasing costs to run an organization, it was decided to increase the membership fee.  This was not done for many years and the Board of Directors had to work through how to complete this fee increase without losing membership.  Missouri requires continuing education for onsite wastewater professionals.  With this requirement, MSO utilizes class attendance to encourage membership. 

Strategic Plan Success with VOWRA (Curtis Moore, Virginia Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association))
Prior to 2005, VOWRA was a relatively small organization whose relevance to Virginia’s onsite industry fluctuated significantly from year to year as the leadership changed.  In 2005, the leadership recognized that the lack of a long-term vision and the lack of a strategic plan to implement that vision was restricting growth and was a significant threat to the long-term viability of VOWRA.  A conscious effort was undertaken to change this dynamic which has resulted in VOWRA growing to be Virginia’s most influential onsite organization.  The steps that VOWRA took to remain viable and secure its relevance to Virginia’s onsite industry will be discussed.

Diversity and building a stable Board of Directors  ( Pat Martyn, Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association)
MOWA has focused a on a few items that have grown it’s organization.  Designing the volunteer experience to maximize the production of volunteers and ensuring their enjoyment has helped promote activities throughout the organization.  Insights on how to make a Board selection and development by focusing on professional diversity and training Board members; Using analytics to help direct the Board’s efforts. 

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Panel: Community Outreach Projects
Moderator: Karen Ferguson, Geoflow

STEM Trailer (Doug Disbrow, Arizona Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association)
 The Arizona OWRA is dedicated to home owner education about onsite wastewater system maintenance and operation.  We have developed a display booth that we set up at STEMFest functions around Arizona.The STEMFest's are intended to demonstrate to  elementary school age children (children are typically accompanied by an adult) the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in our every day lives. Our display illustrates how every part of STEM is part of the water RECYCLE process.

Outdoor Advertising (Larry O'Connor, Oregon Onsite Wastewater Association)
When O2WA started looking for ways to communicate why it’s important for homeowners to properly manage their septic systems, they discovered they could do so on a canvas measuring 14 feet and 68 feet wide. Highway billboards proved to be a surprisingly effective and cost-effective way to get the message out.

Finding Champions Within Your Membership (Bob Himschoot, Florida Onsite Wastewater Association)
While there is much that an association’s board and committees can and should do to build relationships with industry stakeholders, it’s important to not overlook your own membership. FOWA member Bob Himschoot is a prime example of the value your members can contribute to staying engaged with various stakeholder groups. Although Bob no longer serves on the FOWA Board, through his active membership in construction and real estate organizations, he is able to provide the association with useful intelligence on the activities of those groups – identifying initiatives and activities with which FOWA may wish to become involved, and also serving as an early warning systems about items which don’t serve FOWA well.

3:30 pm -5:00 pm
Panel: Partnerships to Help State Associations Succeed

Moderator: John Thomas, WOSSA

Joint Event with Related State Organization (Tony Mendes, Nebraska Onsite Waste Water Association)
The Nebraska Onsite Waste Water Association (NOWWA) was formed in 2000 with an early recognition that professional association management was essential for this group to succeed.  We were introduced to Lee Orton and his management group at the very beginning.  Their group had a long-established management relationship with the Nebraska Well Drillers Association (NWDA) and had developed and planned the annual NWDA conference, a primarily social/trade show event that had been in existence for 40+ years.  That group allowed the NOWWA to join the conference in 2007 and allowed the NOWWA to introduce continuing education into the schedule of events.  The NOWWA participates financially and this event has now evolved to offer 36 hours of Continuing education for both professions
Habitat for Humanity Project (Bob McKinney or Trevor Dickerson, IOWWA Onsite Waste Water Association)
 IOWWA engaged in a Habitat for Humanity project that enabled the organization to also utilize the facility for future training purposes.  This partnership helped Habitat for Humanity fill a need for an onsite wastewater treatment system as well as IOWWA needs for a training location.