APWA AZ Newsletter 2021 October

APWA AZ Newsletter 2021 October

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

NEWSLETTER                                                                                                                                                                      October 2021


October 15, 2021
NAB Trap Tournament - CANCELLED

October 20, 2021
APWA October Meeting
More Info >

October 23, 2021
Adopt a Street Clean-Up
More Info >


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Conference is in the air!

2021 Statewide and National PWX Conference were a BIG Success

I always love going to PWX (revised name of the APWA National Conference) at the beginning of Fall.  However, each time I go, it’s always the same; a few days before I go, I question whether I should take the time to attend.  The daily work demands and deadlines I’m responsible for try to guilt me into thinking I can’t take the time for professional development including the fear of “what might happen while I’m gone” OR the dreaded “Inbox” awaiting my return that I’ll spend hours reading, responding to, and deleting.  It can be too much to juggle, BUT that being said, I’ve spent the money; I’ve taken the time off; I’m getting on the plane and going; AND I’m always glad I made the commitment.

This year St. Louis, MO hosted PWX 2021 and it was awesome, delivering a variety of interesting educational sessions.  If you ever get the opportunity to attend, you will discover there’s no shortage of presentations on topics relevant to public works.   I spent much of my time attending classes on inter-office communication, cyber security, employee learning and development, ADA transition planning, community vision and communication, small cell basics, and public works leadership. I find there’s lots to glean from these classes, and overall, they make me a better public servant for my agency.

One of my favorite parts of PWX is the exhibition hall with all the emerging technologies at our fingertips. Who doesn’t love seeing what potential innovative gadgets are out on the market?  One of the newest additions to the conference is the “roadeo”.  Now a permanent feature of PWX, there is interesting fun to be had there.  I’ve always wanted to play on that big equipment, and I bet I’m not the only one who would like to experience crawling up into one of those large pieces of equipment and scooping up a load of dirt.  It is so impressive watching those operators perform specific and detailed actions with the big machines.  I’m amazed at their talent – these are our own agency operators who perform this intricate work, day in and day out.  Aren’t we lucky!

Another big attraction to the PWX conference is the keynote speakers they hire.  They never disappoint and this year my two favorites were “The Buried Life” and “Adventure Racing”.  If you have the time, browse the internet and learn more about them. You’ll find them uplifting and motivating.

I realize that it is these inspiring speakers that bring it home for me.  These sessions are the reason I come back rejuvenated and excited about being an engineer and a professional.  After twenty-five years in both public and private sectors I can still get excited about problem solving!

Another thing that reenergizes me are the volunteers that give their time for the AZ Chapter.  The National conference is great, but let’s not forget about our own local conference that took place in July and August.  How about those amazing weekly sessions!  Presentations on asset management strategies, a street apprenticeship program, and the Phoenix Sky Train were just a few of the interesting topics presented during the 8-week virtual conference.  ALL FREE OF CHARGE… Thank you Sponsors and the conference committee you ALWAYS HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Arizona’s best of the best construction project awards that were presented and highlighted at the conference.  Congratulations to all of you lucky winners!  Thanks to our awards committee who works diligently all year long to highlight the amazing work designed and constructed in Arizona.

Psst. Want to know a secret? There may be another big conference coming back to Arizona.  APWA National was so impressed with how the chapter hosted the 2015 APWA International Congress they are considering coming back for seconds.  Stay tuned, the chapter leadership will be discussing 2027 for PWX over the coming months.

In closing I’d like to recognize the following individuals. First, help me congratulate Larry A. Hanson, P.E. for being awarded LIFE MEMBERSHIP by APWA National for achieving 30 years of continuous membership with APWA.  Thanks for your dedication to APWA, Larry!   The next one is very special to me and others within the chapter.  I want to congratulate my good friend and beloved past AZ Chapter President and long-time industry servant, Loretta Flick. She is retiring this month.  Loretta best wishes for the next chapter of your life.  May you as find much happiness and success in your retirement as you provided this chapter through the many years of your involvement.


Donna Sullivan-Hancock 

NAB Trap Tournament - CANCELLED
October 15, 2021

APWA October Meeting
October 20, 2021
Topic: Proposition 400 Extension Update
Presented by: Paul Bentz and Jessica Blazina, Research and Political Strategists from Highground, Inc.

Adopt a Street Clean-Up on National Make a Difference Day
October 23, 2021

New Member Spotlight

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

Loretta Flick Retirement

Long time APWA Member and Past President, Loretta Flick, announced her retirement October 1st. Loretta spent 25 years in the A/E/C industry and most recently served as the Business Development Manager for Cardno. The Arizona Chapter of APWA recognizes and thanks Loretta for her contribution and leadership with APWA. Loretta was an APWA member for 14 years serving on various committees, as the conference and membership chair, as a Board member, and as Chapter President for 30 months. Thank you Loretta and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement!

Professional Development

Are you using data to make winter maintenance decisions?
October 28, 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. 

City of Avondale
Engineering Permit Technician
Water Distribution Operator

City of Buckeye
Construction Inspector I
Maintenance Worker – Facilities/Landscape & Streets
Management Assistant – Construction & Contracting
Plans Examiner I & II
Water Resources Operations Manager
Water Resources Operators I & II

City of Chandler
Airport Manager
Assistant City Manager/Deputy City Manager
Building Inspector
Grants Administrator
Streets Specialist – Asphalt/concrete/stormwater
Structural Engineer
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator I & II
Water Plant Operator I & II

Town of Gilbert
Environmental Compliance Inspection Technician
Plans Examiner I - Engineering

City of Glendale
Budget and Finance Analyst
Building Inspector
Deputy Director, Field Operations
Development Services Representative
Equipment Operator
Principal Engineer – Transportation
Sr. Traffic Signal Technician
Structural Engineer
Supervisor, Water Facilities – Water Treatment

City of Goodyear
Assistant Planner
Building Inspector I/II
Building Inspector III
Civil Engineer

Maricopa County
Environmental Health Specialist Senior – Onsite Wastewater
Water/Wastewater Program Manager – Treatment

City of Peoria
Senior Planner
Trails Maintenance Coordinator
Budget Analyst
Budget Manager
CIP Project Manager I-Fixed Term Benefited – Architectural Services
Solid Waste Equipment Operator

City of Scottsdale
Associate Planner
Bid & Contract Analyst
City Engineer
Community Grants Specialist
Facilities Service Area Manager
Fleet Technician Crew Chief
Fleet Technician I

City of Surprise
Civil Engineer – Associates
Fleet Technician II & III
Streets Project Coordinator

City of Tempe
Senior Planner
Planner I/II
Plant Operator (SBP)
Senior Civil Engineer

City of Yuma
Director of Engineering


2021 Statewide Conference Wrap Up 
Story by Conference Co-Chairs Christy Sipos, CPSM (Civiltec Engineering) and Scott Kirchhofer (Achen-Gardner Construction) 

Thank you to all the committee members, attendees, sponsors, moderators and speakers for making the second virtual Arizona Chapter APWA Statewide Conference a success. Although we were hoping to have the 2021 conference in person, the impact of COVID-19 was and is still very serious and unfortunately we could not provide members and attendees with the type of high-quality in-person conference you have enjoyed for many years. But the times they are a changin’ and our plan to have the conference in-person at the El Conquistador Tucson on August 3-5, 2022. 

The 2021 Free Virtual Summer Series was packed full of educational and entertaining presentations and we also provided several Agency Showcase sessions which was a new feature this year. The videos are available on the website and will never be taken down which we think provides our members and the public with opportunities to learn with no end date. 

Visit the website to view videos of the summer series presentations.


Thank you to our moderators for becoming Zoom webinar experts and engaging with presenters and attendees. It’s not an easy job to present, especially when you can’t see your audience. These individuals stepped up and learned some advanced features of Zoom and were able to broadcast and moderate the panel with style. 

  • Chris Simko, Stantec
  • Nancy Cole, Pima County
  • Amanda McGennis, Arizona Chapter AGC
  • Cindy Laughlin, Sundt
  • John Tuter, Wood
  • Scott Kirchhofer, Achen-Gardner Construction
  • Stew Waller, Rinker Materials
  • Al Field, Al Field & Associates

Now that it’s over, we are happy to say that we didn’t have any technical issues during the Virtual Summer Series and that’s in large part to the training and support from our chapter administrator and her staff. A big thanks goes to Sheila Hamilton and Nancy Lutey.   

We cannot thank our sponsors enough! As soon as we offered sponsorship opportunities, these firms signed up quickly and provided financial support when we needed it the most. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on software or a company to broadcast the presentations. Your sponsorship truly helped us provide a free learning path to industry professionals and has allowed the Chapter to continue to be sustainable during this interesting time. 

Awards Presentation 
Similar to last year we asked all award winners to produce videos to highlight their projects/awards and they exceeded our expectations again. The high-quality videos were compiled into one that you can watch on the website (click the image below). A special thanks goes to Chris Ewell with the City of Phoenix for producing the final product. Due to the high production quality of the submitted videos and the final video we plan to do something similar next year.  

Conference Committee  
Thank you to the conference committee for your hard work on the 2021 Free Virtual Summer Series. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we look forward to working with you on next year’s conference. 

  • Briiana Velez, Board Liaison, City of Phoenix
  • Chris Ewell, City of Phoenix
  • Chris Simko, Technical Program Chair, Stantec
  • April Victorino, Stantec
  • Aoife Malone, Stantec
  • Dana Varieur, GHD
  • Kristin Peck, Exhibitor and Sponsor Chair, HILGARTWILSON
  • Al Field, Al Field & Associates
  • Cindy Laughlin, Sundt
  • Deborah Parkins, Western Technologies
  • John Tutor, Wood
  • Nancy Cole, Pima County
  • Sheila Hamilton, APWA
  • Sheila Smith, Arrington Watkins Architects
  • Sydney Chan, HILGARTWILSON 

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to and/or attended the 2021 virtual conference. Feel free to contact us directly anytime with comments, feedback or to get involved in next years planning. Again, thank you all for your support and we look forward to next year’s conference at the El Conquistador Tucson.



Arizona Statewide Conference Co-Chairs

Christy Sipos, CPSM | Civiltec Engineering | csipos@civiltec.com
Scott Kirchhofer | Achen-Gardner Construction | skirchhofer@achen.com


2021 Project of the Year Award Winners

Congratulations to all the project teams for their hard work and dedication to excellence in our industry. Visit the conference website to view a video presentation of the award winners.


Environmental Category - Less Than $5 Million
Project Name: Raul M. Grijalva Canoa Ranch Conservation Park 
Managing Agency: Pima County
Primary Consultant: Kimley-Horn & Associates
Primary Contractor: Hunter Contracting

Environmental Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: Twin Peaks-Blue Bonnet Road Gravity Sewer
Managing Agency: Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department
Primary Consultant: Engineering & Environmental Consultants (EEC)
Primary Contractor: Achen-Gardner Construction

Environmental Category - More than $75 Million
Project Name: Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant
Managing Agency: City of Mesa
Primary Consultant: Carollo Engineers
Primary Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies

Structures Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: Festival Fields Park
Managing Agency: City of Avondale
Primary Consultant: J2 Engineering & Environmental Design
Primary Contractor: Haydon Building Corp

Structures Category - $25 Million to $75 Million
Project Name: Kino South Sports Complex
Managing Agency: Pima County
Primary Consultant: McGann & Associates
Primary Contractor: Haydon Building Corp

Transportation Category - Less Than $5 Million
Project Name: Baseline Road Improvements (24th St. to Consolidated Canal) 
Managing Agency: City of Mesa
Primary Consultant: Ritoch-Powell & Associates
Primary Contractor: Nesbitt Contracting

Transportation Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: La Cholla Boulevard (Overton to Tangerine)
Managing Agency: Town of Oro Valley
Primary Consultant: AECOM
Primary Contractor: Hunter Contracting

Disaster / Emergency Category - Less than $5 Million
Project Name: Valencia Road Manhole Rehabilitation
Managing Agency: Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department
Primary Contractor: Achen-Gardner Construction

Small Cities/Rural Communities (Transportation)
Project Name: Uptown Sedona Roadway Improvements
Managing Agency: City of Sedona
Primary Consultant: Kimley-Horn & Associates
Primary Contractor: Eagle Mountain Construction

Small Cities/Rural Communities (Environment)
Project Name: Wastewater Improvements Phases 3 – 5
Managing Agency: Town of Miami
Primary Consultant: HILGARTWILSON
Primary Contractor: KE&G Construction

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.

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

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