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In 1989, a group of collection managers from various agencies around Southern California met to discuss their training needs. The exchange addressed the inequities in training between large, medium and small agencies. Charter member, past CWEA President and past SSCSC Chairman Denis Pollak explains, “we determined that large agencies had vast resources, while medium and small agencies lacked the resources, but often times had valuable experience to share.”

The idea emerged that all agencies should have the same access to training, no matter their size. The decision was made to form a committee, within the California Water Environment Association structure, that would offer training specifically for collection system personnel. Since the committee would serve all of Southern California, it was named the Southern Sections Collection System Committee (SSCSC).

The committee has been filling the training needs of collection personnel in Southern California since 1991 with at least two to three workshops per year. Rick Lewis, SSCSC past chairman explains, “we pretty much have workshops down to a science. Our database of speakers covers most any topic in the collections field with knowledgeable and effective speakers.”

Mark Chamberlin, past chairman adds, “we were not satisfied with just fulfilling contact hour requirement. We wanted to provide quality education that keeps our members on the cutting edge of new technology and best practices.” In fact, strict rules are given to speakers and abstracts are thoroughly checked out before hand to determine that presentations are generic in nature and are not just a “sales pitch.”

Over the years, SSCSC has strived to make their workshops exceptional. Every effort is made to provide an enjoyable and productive environment for the attendees. James Gusman explains, “our city, as do many others, see the SSCSC workshops as being the cream of the crop. In fact, our employees are eager attend their workshops.”

“The amount of planning that goes into these workshops is phenomenal” explains Bev Stumman, past SSCSC Chairman. “Every detail is looked at during the planning stages so that the actual workshop comes off without a hitch.”

In addition, the committee has helped a number of local sections initiate their own collections training programs. For an example, Duane Johnson, SSCSC Co-Chairman explains how the committee assisted the Colorado River Basin Section (CORBS) with a hands-on collections training workshop in 2007. “Having worked side by side with our committee, CORBS was able to hold their own workshop the following year. In fact, it was such a huge success that they plan on continuing the tradition for the foreseeable future.”

Today, the committee meets monthly to discuss ways in which it can best serve the needs of the Collection personnel throughout Southern California. Its primary focus are the workshops.

In addition, SSCSC participates in the annual Pumper/Cleaner Expo in Indianapolis by providing quality speakers and presentations on Collection topics.


Charter Members

Denis Pollak
Dave Badgley
Nick Arhontes
John McCormick
Henry Dove
Henry Williams
Rick Armou
Bill Haaker
Lisa Haller
Tony Henrich
Jackie Jacques




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