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The Leadership Academy, an exciting VA AWWA | VWEA initiative, is an opportunity for industry individuals of all ages and experience levels to develop leadership skills. Topics include moral and ethical leadership, emotional intelligence, people styles, project management, and more. The Academy will have a limited number of participants to facilitate an intimate learning and networking atmosphere.
Please check back in early spring for details on the 2024 application period.  
The Leadership Academy is organized into a yearlong course that kicks off at JAM each year and concludes the following year.  The course entails:
  • VA AWWA or VWEA Committee Participation 
    • participants will join a committee and help plan an event or get involved in committee activities
  • A kick-off workshop at WaterJAM
  • Four (4) 2 hour virtual skills strengthening sessions 
  • Four (4) all-day in-person workshops
    • held at central or rotating locations in Virginia with the final workshop and graduation at WaterJAM
Program Cost and Inclusions
  • The VA AWWA/VWEA Leadership Academy requires a fee of $825 per participant.
    • This cost includes: A kick-off meeting at WaterJAM 2023, 4 virtual sessions, and 4 in-person workshops with breakfast, snacks, lunch, and WaterJAM 2024 Registration. 
    • Program costs do not include transportation costs, lodging expenses, or WaterJAM 2023 registration costs.
      • Participants may attend the kick-off meeting at WaterJAM 2023 without registering for WaterJAM 2023
    • Invoices will be sent to applicants after acceptance to the course and must be paid in full before the kick-off meeting at WaterJAM 2023.
Do you have questions about the Leadership Academy?
Reach out to Chelsea Bajek (baj001@henrico.us)
Here is what past participants have said about the Leadership Academy: 
 “In preparing for a recent interview, I reflected on some of my most rewarding professional accomplishments, and being accepted into the inaugural class of the VA AWWA/VWEA Leadership Academy is definitely one of them. To have the opportunity to network and learn from other water quality professionals from all over the state has been invaluable. Learning the different facets of leadership has been motivating as I have found that I have been able to quickly apply these new techniques to my workplace. During my time throughout the course, I was able to secure a leadership position within my organization as this program has given me the confidence and the tools to be able to become a successful leader.”
-Angela Kilgore (Pretreatment and Pollution Prevention Supervising Specialist, HRSD)
“Being a member of the inaugural class of the VA AWWA/VWEA Leadership Academy has opened my eyes to the amount of knowledge that is required to be a successful leader.  The Leadership Academy provides the opportunity to learn from and work alongside the rising leaders of the water quality field.  Through this experience, I was able to expand my knowledge of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership, which are the foundation of successful leaders around the world. I look forward to applying that knowledge both in my personal life and professionally at the Western Virginia Water Authority as I prepare myself to be a leader in the water quality field. I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in elevating his or her leadership skills to apply as a student of the Leadership Academy!”  
Lacy Burnette (Environmental Programs Specialist, Western Virginia Water Authority)


Chelsea Bajek


Karlyn Owens
Cynthia Barnes