APWA AZ Newsletter 2021 September

APWA AZ Newsletter 2021 September

Public works are the services and infrastructure required to sustain quality community life.

NEWSLETTER                                                                                                                                                                      September 2021


September 15, 2021
APWA September Meeting
More Info >

October 15, 2021
NAB Trap Tournament
More Info >


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Tolerance, Diversity, and Leadership

A few days ago, for the first time during the COVID pandemic, I joined an early virtual meeting in my pajamas.  I remained so focused throughout the day, at 4:00 p.m. I realized that I had skipped lunch and was still wearing them.  After my partner made a tongue-in-cheek comment about tolerance and business attire, I began to consider my own tolerances, and how I apply them at work.

No one noticed that I was working in my PJ’s.  What they saw and experienced was me contributing to the team.  I imagine that many managers have challenges with employees now, managing remotely, staff members wanting to continue to work from home, and many fearful of coming back to the workplace for obvious reasons.  These beliefs and choices, and many other circumstances require tolerance and flexibility from a manager.   Apprehension, COVID fatigue, fear and doubt can be felt by many employees.   Tolerance extended to a staff team member by a manager, especially within today’s uncertainty, is well worth it.

Great staff members can make a great team.   A great team member must contribute fully to the team for it to be successful, regardless of the individual quirks and habits that make them a unique person.   This requires tolerance, flexibility, and attention to detail from their manager.  We all may have traits that others don’t like, or find challenging to address, but since each person contributes equally to the team these quirks should not interfere.  Each person is accepted and valued, regardless of any personal characteristic.  To me this is the true definition of diversity in the workplace.  Those in leadership roles must set the work ethic example, support the team goals, clear the path, and appreciate and empower all team members equitably.    The universe displays wondrous diversity, and we can accept each unique individual for what they bring to the table, or team.   This is a good lesson in leadership.  So many biases exist today, and we as leaders must set the example to show others how important that acceptance and tolerance of human diversity truly is.  Managers who consider and fully utilize those that are different have a definite advantage.  We have a larger employee pool to choose from, we are appreciated by our staff, and with continued effort and diligence a lucky manager might witness a situation where the sum of the parts of the team is truly greater than the sum of the whole.  I love this—and this is my end goal whenever I am tasked with building new team.

Speaking of leadership, I’m happy and enthusiastic to congratulate our Arizona Chapter candidates Deirdre Brosnihan, Alana Lewicki, and Caitlin Brady for being accepted into the APWA’s 2021 – 2022 Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) Class XV!  This year-long program should pay big dividends for these attendees moving forward.  Great job, you three!  My hope is that this program will more than meet your highest expectations.

There is much going on this month in APWA.  Our Summer Series is winding down, our Adopt-a-Highway clean up event is eminent, and we have a super exciting program coming up in September.  This is in the form of a report on the recent disaster in Florida.  Many of my colleagues have followed this closely, so thanks so much for our Program Committee for being flexible, identifying a fantastic opportunity, and making it happen for our members.  It’s all about you.  Thanks all for all the hard work you do.  As I look toward PWX 21 and acceptance of the Arizona Chapter PACE award for yet another year, I find myself truly humbled by the efforts that so many of you make every day.  I could not ask for more.


Donna Sullivan-Hancock 

APWA September Meeting Co-hosted with ASCE, SEAoA, and GI
September 15, 2021
Topic: Champlain Tower Building Collapse 2021
Presented by: Fred Nelson, P.E., S.E. F. ASCE ; Vice President and Forensic Director at Gervasio & Associates

NAB Trap Tournament
October 15, 2021

New Members

John Todd Barlow, CFMDirector 
Shannon E. BlakeyManagement AnalystLake Havasu City
Mo El-Ali Town of Marana
Denise Lorena Garcia  
Dawn GholsonBudget and Accreditation ManagerN.Mohave County Road Dept
Joantha Guthrie City of Tempe
Roy HickenWastewater Liftstation SupervisorTown of GIlbert
Tony Humphrey Wood Patel
Boliver Jones, II  
Michael L. MaGill  
Mark M. Milstone, PETown EngineerTown of Carefree
Josh Newsham Town of Prescott Valley
David P. SabersArizona Area ManagerCA Group

New Member Spotlight

Name and Title: Joantha Guthrie, Contract Compliance Analyst

Agency: City of Tempe

With APWA Since: 2021

Describe your job responsibilities: I work on federally funded transportation contracts to ensure Tempe and its contractors are following all applicable requirements. I also work with telecom contracts ensuring companies are up-to-date on requirements with the City of Tempe.

Name one thing not many people know about you: I grew up riding horses.

I’ve been in public service for over 17 years 14 of those being in public works. I am passionate about providing quality services to the community I serve in.


Be the next new APWA member to be featured!  This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and to make new connections with potential clients and customers.

All it takes is to reach out to Suzanne Ledy at 480-644-3808 or Suzanne.ledy@mesaaz.gov

Who's Who in Public Works
If you work in Public Works and are interested in being spotlighted in our “Who’s Who in Public Works” Section, please contact Trace Baker at tbaker@logansimpson.com

APWA Southern Arizona Chapter Joins Sunnyside Foundation to Support STEM Grants

Kerri Lopez-Howell sees plenty of students in the Sunnyside Unified School District show interest in courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but too often watches graduates veer off in different directions on their way to higher education.

“There is interest at this level,” said Lopez-Howell, director of the Sunnyside Foundation. “but there’s fallout before they get to college.”

Knowing that opportunities abound for students entering the workforce with degrees or certificates in “STEM” related fields, Lopez-Howell sees a blossoming partnership with the American Public Works Association in Southern Arizona as an opportunity to keep more graduating Sunnyside students on that track.

APWA, with a mission of supporting current and future engineers who enter the public works field in both the public and private sectors, conducts annual fundraising to provide scholarships for aspiring engineers. To that end, the Southern Arizona Chapter has joined the Sunnyside Foundation in an effort to boost interest and opportunities for students in Southern Arizona’s second-largest school district.

The APWA Southern Arizona Chapter board of directors will provide funding to the Sunnyside Foundation to support grants to STEM course teachers for classroom resources, field trips, and overall enrichment in the areas of STEM as well as literacy, fine arts, and wellness in 2021.

Additional funds will be provided next year to support educational costs for students and families and APWA intends to recruit mentors for students interested in STEM careers.

While the scholarships providing funding for college-bound students is always welcome, Lopez-Howell believes having professional mentors will have a stronger impact on their choice of studies.

“One of the gaps we can fill is in getting students to expand their comfort levels and test the waters,” she said, noting that exposure to engineers and other public works professionals can provide that opportunity.

Bill Schlesinger, principle at SCE Engineering in Tucson and chairman of the local APWA branch board, said he is confident that both students and professional mentors will benefit from the partnership.

“We’re not only excited to assist potential future public works employees, but also excited to assist APWA members in getting involved in this great program, Schlesinger said. “I know that I speak for the entire board when I say that.”

The APWA Southern Arizona Chapter raised $10,000 through donations from firms involved in various aspects of public works projects and through annual events such as golf tournaments and membership luncheons.

Donations to help aspiring engineers, designers, planners and others who support public works projects in the region came from Granite Construction, PSOMAS, Tierra Right of Way, Tricon Construction, Atek Engineering, Tucson Asphalt, Borderland Construction, Hunter Contracting, Crest Insurance, Trafficade, SCE Engineering and Guardtop.

The APWA board will provide $5,000 this year and next to support Sunnyside students and programs and, with opportunities for fundraising event once again becoming possible, plans to continue with financial support in future years.

While worthy programs and causes abound, Schlesinger said the combination of the APWA mission and the needs of the Sunnyside School District made the decision easy on where to put the organization’s funds.

Especially in light of the challenging times for education, once we looked that the Sunnyside Foundation and the School District’s STEM program, it was a no-brainer to decide to work with them.

Professional Development

Annual SCRC Perspective on Enrollment (Sept. 2021-July 2022)
September 8, 2021

SCRC Perspective On Fleet Management
September 8, 2021

Public Fleet Management Certificate (09/2021)
September 14, 2021

Construction Inspection Workshop (September - October 2021)
September 21, 2021

Accreditation Open Forum
September 21, 2021

Idea Exchange Series: Leveraging APWA Resources
September 23,2021

Find these and other opportunities on the APWA CALENDAR.

Public Works Job Opportunities

This section allows agencies to advertise their open positions. Please provide your advertisement and/or link to tbaker@logansimpson.com or suzanne.ledy@mesaaz.gov. In addition, check out the APWA Work Zone site! Job openings on the site may be sorted by key word and location. 


Water Resources Specialist II – Groundwater Permitting and Wells, ADWR
Application Developer – ADWR


City of Avondale
Engineering Permit Technician
Planning Manager

City of Buckeye
Budget Analyst – Public Works
Engineering Manager
Traffic Signal Technician II
Utiltiy Electrician
Utility Locator
Wastewater Treatment Supervisor
Water Resources Environmental Manager
Water Resources Maintenance Lead
Water Resources Maintenance Mechanic
Water Resources Operator I – Collections
Water Resources Operator I – Treatment
Water Resources Operator II – Production
Water Resources Operator II – Wastewater
Water Resources Superintendent – Support Services
Water Resources Supervisor – Collections
Water Resources Supervisor – Distribution

City of Chandler
Water Resource Advisor

City of Douglas
Public Works Director

Town of Gilbert
Senior Project Manager – CIP Projects
Solid Waste Operator I
Utility Electrician
Utility Worker  & II – Water Distribution
Wastewater Recharge Utility Worker Senior
Wastewater Utility Worker Senior – Collections
Water Manager
Well Technician I & II

City of Glendale
Deputy Director, Field Operations – Public Works
ITS Technician
Service Worker – Airport
Senior Civil Engineer – CIP Management
Supervisor, Water Facilities – Water Treatment
Trades Worker – Public Works
Transit Operator: 30+ Hour Contract Positions
Water Plant Operator, Senior
Water Reclamation Facility Operator, Senior
Water Services Plant Operator
Water Services System Technician, Senior – Wastewater Collection

City of Goodyear
Civil Engineer
Senior Project Manager
Stormwater Inspector – Construction Inspector I

Town of Maricopa
Maintenance Worker I – Streets
Maintenance Worker II - Streets

Maricopa County
Water/Wastewater Program Manager - Treatment

City of Mesa
CIP Administrator
Civil Engineer
Solid Waste Equipment Operator II
Utilities Control Center Operator
Water Resources Maintenance Specialist I/II – Water Reclamation
Water Treatment/Reclamation Plant Operator/Maintenance Intern
Water Wastewater Utility System Crew Leader – Water Distribution

City of Peoria
Traffic Signal Specialist
Public Works Project Manager

City of Phoenix
Water Services Department Asset Management – Water Project Coordinator

Town of Queen Creek
CIP Finance Manager

City of Scottsdale
Solid Waste Equipment Operator I
Solid Waste Equipment Operator III
Transit Planner Senior
Water Conservation Specialist
Water Operations Supervisor – Utility Technology

City of Surprise
Civil Engineer – Associate
Fleet Technican II
Fleet Technician III
Wastewater Operator

City of Tempe
Transportation Worker I/II
Senior Solid Waste Equipment Operator
Street Maintenance Equipment Operator I/II
Solid Waste Equipment Operator I/II
Utility Services Technician I/II (SBP)
Management Assistant I/II (Transportation)
Engineering Associate/Senior Engineering Associate
Civil Engineer/Senior Civil Engineer (Traffic Engineering)


ACTI News 

The latest addition to the Chapter newsletter thanks to a partnership between American Public Works Association, Arizona Chapter and the Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation (ACTI).  If you haven’t heard about ACTI, it was formed in 2012 to facilitate innovation among transportation professional’s public and private to explore innovations and spearhead deployment in a State to ensure smart, efficient investment in Arizona’s transportation infrastructure. ACTI works to build and strengthen the “culture of innovation” in Arizona by helping to identify innovative strategies, develop applications and technologies, and integrate transformative ideas into routine practices. 

This month ACTI is highlighting FHWA’s Every Day Counts (EDC) Safety Summit Series.

These virtual presentations are open to everyone to view or share. This summit will highlight seven Every Day Counts (EDC) safety innovations and share how they can save lives. The series will benefit those who are just beginning to implement these innovations, those who are further along and could gain from peer-to-peer engagement, and those with success stories to share. It will include opportunities to discuss hot topics with peers and establish relationships that can boost success now and in the future.  

The summit will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET each day

Register here!

Safety Summit Schedule and Featured EDC Innovations

Annual Sponsorships

Your Arizona Chapter’s annual operations depend upon donations from our member organizations. Sponsorships pay for the resources required to provide Educational Workshops, the Public Works Leadership Institute, website support, weekly news briefs, monthly newsletters, and much more.

Newsletters are published monthly and posted on the Chapter website with notification sent electronically to over more than 3,000 recipients in the Public Works field.

Corporate Sponsors’ company logos are prominently displayed at the Chapter Monthly Membership Meeting, Chapter email notices, and on the website.

Sponsor Now!

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Public works are the services and infrastructure required to sustain quality community life.

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