Raftelis is looking forward to playing a major role at this year’s Utility Management Conference (UMC). The conference will be held in Atlanta, GA on August 3-6. A number of Raftelis personnel will be attending, and several of our staff members will be giving presentations or moderating sessions at the conference. These presentations are listed below, and we hope that you will be able to attend if you are at the conference. For more information visit the AWWA website.
Tuesday, August 3
Samantha Villegas, APR, Director of Strategic Communication Services
Sam will be co-facilitating this half-day workshop. Utility leaders need to be prepared to respond to the increasingly visible and sensational communication challenges around water. Explore the psychology of risk communication and learn targeted tools and actions to respond before, during, and after a high-profile issue.
Wednesday, August 4
Melissa Elliott, APR, Vice President and AWWA Immediate Past President
Melissa will be offering a welcome to AWWA’s first in-person conference since March 2020 and focusing on the unprecedented optimism that is buoying the water sector at this time.
Peiffer Brandt, President and CEO and Birmingham Water Works Board
Like many utilities, Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) faces challenges replacing aging infrastructure, a customer base stressed by rising water service costs, and system growth needs to support the local economy. Unlike many utilities, they are burdened with more than $950 million in long-term debt. Peiffer will be sharing how BWWB’s commitment to reduce long-term debt by 25% in the next 10 years is unique.
Samantha Villegas, APR, Director of Strategic Communication Services and Daphne Utilities
Water and wastewater utilities are particularly vulnerable to public attack due to the critical role they play in protecting public health and the environment. Sam will be presenting with Daphne Utilities (Alabama), which suffered a swift and severe reputational hit after a reporting failure resulted in a Consent Decree, but they rebuilt public trust and their own credibility using strategic communication and public outreach techniques.
Melissa Levin, Vice President and Jon Davis, Executive Vice President with Gwinnett County
In recent years, Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (GCDWR) noted increasing numbers of customers that regularly have service locked off due to non-payment. Melissa and Jon will examine the relationship between demographics, water usage, leak adjustments, household income and age, home ownership, and lock-offs across the County to determine how best to assist customers.
Joe Crea, Vice President with Seattle Public Utilities
Joe will discuss how Seattle Public Utilities has incorporated considerations for household affordability into their long-range planning for the water, wastewater, and drainage systems.
Jennifer Tavantzis, Manager
Since 2011, jurisdictions within the Falls Lake Watershed in North Carolina have been regulated under the Falls Lake Nutrient Management Strategy (“Falls Rules”). Regulated entities found meeting the requirements enshrined in the Falls Rules to be difficult to infeasible, resulting in missed implementation deadlines. In this presentation Jennifer will demonstrate how a coalition of entities ranging from small rural towns to much larger cities and counties joined forces to improve water quality and influence water quality regulation from the local level.
Friday, August 6
Catherine Tuck Parrish, Vice President
Catherine leads our executive recruitment practice and she’s focused on getting the right people in the right positions because it is critical to a utility’s success. Her session will focus on identifying best practices in recruiting the best talent for C-level positions in your utility.