Exciting new format combines Monday kick-off event with the popular Great Water Cities Session
The Opening General Session (OGS) sets the tone for WEFTEC 2017, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 90th annual technical exhibition and conference. Scheduled for Monday, October 2 at McCormick Place in Chicago, this year’s kick-off event will feature an exciting new format that combines the traditional opening program with the popular Great Water Cities Session.
Today’s water sector reflects a diverse group of people who work together to protect public health, the environment, and our economy by recovering valuable resources and providing reliable access to clean water. They are forward-thinking leaders who share a dedication to securing a resilient water legacy by re-thinking how we manage, nurture, and develop our current and future assets — physical, financial, and human resources.
Building on the successful #MyWaterLegacy campaign that was launched at WEFTEC 2016, this year’s program will focus on the importance of mentorship with ties to workforce development, leadership, and innovation. The new and improved OGS will celebrate 90 years of WEFTEC and the accomplishments of the water sector while challenging and inspiring attendees to be creative, adaptable, and influential water leaders of the future.
Featuring WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill and 2016-17 WEF President Rick Warner, the program will include a keynote address from nationally-acclaimed STEM educator, Fredi Lajvardi and a series of informal, engaging “WEFTalks” representing different segments of the water profession.
As a leading STEM advocate and mentor, Lajvardi has directly and indirectly guided countless people into science-based careers by using his personal story to illustrate the need to embrace innovation and diversity while showcasing the societal rewards of investing in others to help them realize their full potential.
Moderated by Tom Ferguson, vice president of programming for Imagine H20, the WEFTalks portion of the program adapts the most popular aspect of the Great Water Cities dialogue series by giving water professionals the opportunity to learn directly from their peers.
Tying into Lajvardi’s big picture message, attendees will hear a series of testimonials about what led their colleagues into the water sector and the ways in which they have benefited from mentorship — both as a mentor and as a protégé – and how to join their efforts to create and support a diverse and unified water workforce.
Water professionals, industry experts, and the most innovative companies from around the world will gather in one place for the strongest educational programming and display of technology available today.
The Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.