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Your Invited to the 97th Annual Conference

Tuesday, August 29, 2017   (0 Comments)
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You are invited to join us November 12-15, 2017 in Raleigh, NC for the 97th Annual Conference of the North Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association and the North Carolina Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA).

Gathering over 1,100 water professionals and 163 vendors from across North Carolina for four days of more than 120 technical sessions, forums, competitions, award presentations, meetings, meals, and other events takes the committees within our Conference Coordinating Council almost a year to complete. Once again, they have done an outstanding job, and have produced a conference you are sure to enjoy, with ample opportunities to learn, network, and enjoy the local atmosphere.

Returning conference attendees will notice a few changes to this year’s event, starting with the Sir Walter Raleigh statue outside of the Raleigh Convention Center. I don’t want to give away the surprise, but he will be welcoming attendees and letting everyone know that NC AWWA-WEA is in town. Our Students & Young Professionals Committee is helping our industry give back to the local community with a service project taking place on Saturday or Sunday. Keep an eye out for more information on the planned project at and in NC AWWA-WEA email notices.

We hope you can join us Sunday morning for the golf tournament at the Lochmere Golf Club located nearby in Cary. If you are not able to make it to the golf tournament on Sunday morning, we hope to see you at the Raleigh Convention Center Sunday afternoon. The Conference Registration Desk will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, so that you may check-in early to pick up your conference materials and be ready when sessions start Monday morning. The exhibit hall will open at 4:00 p.m., and will host a Welcome Reception starting at 5:00 p.m. This year’s class of 5S inductees will be recognized around 6:00 p.m.

The Opening Session keynote speaker will be Britt Sheinbaum who will discuss “Building Community Ownership of Water for Value and Resiliency”. Visiting AWWA Vice-President Kevin Bergschneider, and visiting WEF Board of Trustees member, Joan Hawley will also speak during the Opening Session.

The Wednesday forum will discuss “Alternative Project Delivery in North Carolina”. Presenters will include owner, engineering consultant, and contractor professionals with alternative delivery experience in North Carolina. Significant time for panel and audience discussion is planned.

The Program Committee has assembled an impressive array of technical sessions. The sessions are divided into five tracks that will run concurrently all day on Monday and Tuesday and include water, wastewater, collection & distribution, policy & management, and special topics. A Young Professionals track on Monday afternoon will feature presentations of interest to individuals new to the industry. On Tuesday after the afternoon break, the Water Resources committee will lead a discussion on dealing with major weather events.

To allow you flexibility and choice, lunch will be served as a buffet in the Exhibit Hall and will take place over an extended period of time. When you arrive at the conference, review the final technical program and choose when you would like to take a break from sessions to visit the Exhibit Hall and eat your lunch. If you’re worried about missing a session while you eat, relax, we have planned about an hour into the Monday and Tuesday schedules where no sessions are being held to ensure you can eat and network without missing any information.

Large enough to accommodate 163 exhibit booths, this year’s exhibit hall will be the center of networking and many conference activities. Make every effort to capitalize on the extensive learning opportunities our exhibit hall provides by planning time in your conference schedule to visit each vendor and learn about the current, new, and innovative technologies in our industry. We are shaking things up in the exhibit hall this year with a baseball theme! You’ll notice that the hall is laid out in the shape of a baseball diamond, and we are encouraging each exhibitor to get in on the fun and incorporate the theme into their display to add to the “ballpark” feel. While the exhibit hall will host a variety of activities – Sunday’s Welcome Reception & Awards, buffet-style lunches, breaks, conference registration, and the popular Pipe Tapping contest, and select Operations Challenge events – the biggest event will take place on Monday during the Hit One Out of the Park reception from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We are still finalizing the details, but plans include baseball activities, mascot visits, and more! As always, our supportive vendors will sponsor door prizes to be given away in the exhibit hall throughout the conference. We appreciate the continued support of our vendors and the contribution they make towards a successful Annual Conference.

Two silent auction fundraisers will take place during the conference to support two outstanding causes; the NC Safewater Endowment Fund and NC Water For People. We hope all members will participate in these fundraisers and take this opportunity to contribute to the development of our industry.

We invite you to join your industry peers and take advantage of the countless opportunities this annual event offers. If you are not a member of NC AWWA-WEA, you are encouraged to join and enjoy the wide array of benefits, including reduced conference registration rates. Membership opportunities exist through our national parent organizations (AWWA & WEF) as well as through our State Level Association Membership (SLAM).

We look forward to seeing you in November in Raleigh, NC, and don’t forget to share your conference experience on social media using #AC17NCSW!

Angela Lee
Charlotte Water
2017 NC AWWA-WEA Chair

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