Streamline - Spring 2012 - (Page 29)

Operations Challenge Team Spotlight on Western Virginia Water Authority’s Blue Ridge Brawlers WHAT MAKES A good team? Cooperation, dedication and commitment are a few of the ingredients. What constitutes a winning team? Perhaps it is a mixture of natural talent, practice and hard work with an attitude to succeed. However you define it, the Western Virginia Water Authority Operator’s Challenge team has achieved all the goals they set for themselves and then some. BY DONNA J. LAWSON, WASTEWATER TECHNICIAN II Since their small beginning in March of last year, the Brawlers have been able to compete at the state level and become one of four teams in the Virginia Water Environment Association. The Western Virginia Water Authority was established on July 1, 2004, from the city of Roanoke and Roanoke County. A little more than five years later, Franklin County joined the authority, which now provides water and wastewater services to more than 120,000 customers. This same type of cooperation and diverse background is the secret to the Western Virginia Water Authority Wastewater Treatment Facility Team, the Blue Ridge Brawlers. The Blue Ridge Brawlers began in the mind of the Authority’s Executive Director (Wastewater Services), Michael McEvoy. The team members are varied in their backgrounds and job positions – a plant operator, a lab technician, an IT specialist and a maintenance supervisor. Since their small beginning in March of last year, the Brawlers have been able to compete at the state level and become one of four teams in the Virginia Water Environment Association. The team qualified to compete in Division II at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition & Conference (WEFTEC’s) Operations Challenge in October 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif. An Operations Challenge Team is made up of four competing members with one alternate and a coach. Teams compete in several different events: The team members are (L-R) Randy Williams (coach and alternate), Lacy Burnette, Wayne Brown, Steve Lofaro and Tommy Shaver (coach). Process Control, Laboratory, Safety, Maintenance, and Collection. There are two separate divisions in Operations Challenge competition - Division 1 and Division 2. Virginia sent four teams to WEFTECH’s 2011 Operations Challenge. Terminal Velocity, the Virginia Water Environment Association Team, placed first in Division 1, and Western Virginia Blue Ridge Brawlers placed fifth out of 27 teams in Division 2. No small feat given that this is the team’s first year in competition. The team members are Randy Williams (coach and alternate), Lacy Burnette, Wayne Brown, Steve Lofaro and Tommy Shaver (coach). The team attributed their success to practice and support from the Authority. They also had an internal team to compete against on a regular basis. The experience gained from practice and competition helped them become better employees and increased their knowledge of wastewater treatment in general. The team was quick to point out that the events were not all about speed and strength, but involved a great deal of strategy and teamwork. The high morale of the team was evident and they were already making plans to compete in next year’s event as Division 1 hopefuls. One final note – in the front lobby of the authority’s main building is a trophy case that holds two trophies from competition events in Ocean City, N.J. The team brought home an award from Los Angeles that also shares the case. This award is by vote from the fellow teams and judges at WEFTECH. It is called the Spirit Award and it is given to the “Team with the Best Effort.” The Blue Ridge Brawlers definitely have the attitude and aptitude for success. www.vrwa.org 29 http://www.vrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2012

From the President
From the Executive Director
Where is Virginia’s Groundwater?
Basic Management Skills
Planning or Piecemeal?
CPEs and YOU
The Sludge Bag
Fracking Rapidly Becoming Unpopular
Amazing We All Learned English!
Springtime Safety – Outdoor Hazards
Spotlight on Western Virginia Water Authority’s Blue Ridge Brawler
Wastewater Math
VRWA’S 24th Annual Exposition Agenda
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Rural Water Review
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/Ad.Com

Streamline - Spring 2012

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