NACWA's Utility Leadership Conference Focuses on Emerging Executive Leadership Challenges

(July 24, 2019) - NACWA’s 2019 Utility Leadership Conference drew more than 200 participants last week to Minneapolis, MN to discuss a variety of emerging utility leadership challenges – including workforce, rate setting and affordability, and community and customer engagement – and how today’s clean water utility executives can best position themselves to adapt to these challenges at both the national and local levels. 

The conference kicked off with a riveting keynote address from Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African America female combat pilot, who discussed how utility executives can recognize and utilize the skills and talents of all utility staff members and bring them together as a team where each person understands how they support the utility’s overall strategy.  This in turn will help the utility accomplish its mission and achieve desired results. 

The conference also featured compelling panel discussions on how to develop better community relations through improved customer service, the role of utility “Regional Water Architects” to drive innovation and more holistic clean water approaches from a regional perspective, how technology can be harnessed to better serve utilities and their communities, and insights on how clean water utility leaders can help shape and drive the water workforce of the future. 

A number of NACWA’s standing committees also met during the conference to discuss current hot topic issues impacting the public clean water sector including PFAS, emerging water quality regulations, new approaches to determining affordability, and the increasingly complex regulatory environment for combined sewer overflow (CSO) communities coming to the end of their long term control plans. 

NACWA thanks all of the participants who attended the conference for making it such a success, and especially thanks Association Member Agency the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services for being such wonderful hosts!  Please mark your calendars for NACWA’s upcoming conferences, including the National Clean Water Law Seminar in November 2019 and the Winter Conference in February 2020.