In the minds of many Suffield residents, sewage from their homes is simply piped to the sewage treatment plant where it is passed through some filters and then discharged into the Connecticut River. But like most things in life, nothing is ever that simple.
It therefore behooves the superintendents of such facilities to keep up-to-date on the many challenges and methods used in the management of their trade. That is why Jamie Kreller, Suffield’s Water Pollution Control Authority’s Superintendent, participated in the most recent Water Leadership Institute eight-month program. It is put together by the national Water Environment Federation.
The program is aimed at educating, training, and updating managers, as well as emerging leaders to build strong, lasting relationships within the water industry. It uses a blended approach that examines complex challenges facing the water and waste water industries, and promotes networking with public and private practitioners. (wef.org)
Participation in the program is determined by a competitive application process. For the 2021 Water Leadership Program, 137 people applied, from three countries, representing all areas of the water industry. Only 54 applicants were accepted.
Superintendent Kreller’s program included classes and group discussions on topics such as:
• Strength-based Leadership: learning one’s own strengths and applications of these
• Leading with Emotional Intelligence: how to lead more effectively
• Technology and Innovation
• Managing and Leading: what’s the difference?
• Time Management: control of time and saying NO at times
• Conflict Management
• Public Education
• Communication and Advocacy
• Leadership Experience
Outside of class, Superintendent Kreller’s work was not finished. He and his fellow attendees were sent off with homework: read the text: “Strength-Based Leadership”, develop “SMART Goals” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound), take an emotional intelligence test and track the use of time for one typical day.
The final project was to pick one of nine possible topics and create a positive change in their working environments. The next step was to use the result of that project to create and deliver a 35-40 minute “Ted Talk”-style video! Jamie’s team’s talk is entitled, “What to Do When You Can’t Keep Doing It That Way.” Here is the link: https://www.wef.org/resources/online-education/webcasts/Change.
As a member of the WPCA Board and an intrigued observer of its smooth operation, I can confidently say this: The demands of managing this vital town agency are being successfully met. Superintendent Jamie Kreller’s recent professional development has surely enhanced his expertise further.