Words of Wisdom from NEWEA’s President

NEWEA’s President, Matthew Formica, AECOM will be completing his term on Wednesday, January 27 during NEWEA’s Annual Conference in Boston, MA. Newsletter Chair, Ashley Dunn took a moment to interviewed Matt about his evolution of experience with NEWEA.

Matt Formica 2015 NEWEA President

Matt Formica
2015 NEWEA President

Matt Formica – It has been more than fifteen years since a colleague first suggested Matt get involved in NEWEA, and he has never looked back. Matt volunteered to join the Program Committee soon after joining NEWEA, and has been active with the organization ever since. He has also served as chair of the Program Committee, volunteered on the Membership Committee, and led the 2013-2014 NEWEA Rebranding Task Force. In addition to his volunteer work, Matt currently works full time for AECOM and has a solid technical background. He has contributed to a number of NEWEA and WEF Journal publications and has presented over 15 papers at various conferences.

Matt finds the connections he has made through NEWEA to be invaluable in his career growth and admits he is better at his job for the time he has given to NEWEA on various tasks and projects. He puts particular emphasis on the value and perspective gained from the friendships and colleagues he has connected with through his involvement with NEWEA committees. These connections include many individuals who he may not have been able to spend regular and quality time with such as regulators, operators and public works officials from large and small utilities across New England, as well as engineering competitors. Matt considers the breadth of technical, political and leadership knowledge he has gained through his participation in NEWEA to be notable and an excellent complement to his own professional experience.

Marketing and public awareness is an important measure, Matt points out, and that is not often properly emphasized in our industry. He notes, as an industry, we have been the silent servants for many years, going about our work for the good of the people and the environment with little publicity. His experience with NEWEA especially on the Rebranding effort, has given him invaluable insight and expertise in this area. He points out that as the years have passed, the significance of our work has not remained at the forefront of the public news stream. We need to actively connect with the public and governing bodies to inform them on the value of our work and the infrastructure we are tasked with designing and maintaining. Involvement in NEWEA and WEF offers a conduit for this connection; representatives of the organization meet annually with elected officials at the state and federal level to discuss the importance p and funding needs of our critical industry.

As professionals, Matt recommends, we seek volunteer opportunities that allow us to share our knowledge with others especially the next generation; young people are often unaware of the career possibilities in and the valve of our field. Matt recommends we volunteer, however we can, to pass our passion and knowledge onto the next generation. He feels strongly that the volunteer opportunities he has participated in, be it for NEWEA or others, have made him a more complete, balanced, and well-rounded person. He invites all members to volunteer for the organization. Volunteering is what you make it; on average a NEWEA committee member donates approximately 2 hours per month, but if you have more time to give, the sky is the limit. Within NEWEA there are more than 44 committees, there is something for everyone’s interest and expertise.

Outside of his career contributions to AECOM and NEWEA, Matt enjoys sailing and spending time outdoors. Much of his free time is spent with the family these days as he and his wife have two young boys at home, under the age of 4. The environment and water resources are part of their family’s core values, as Matt’s wife also works in the environmental field, for the National Marine Fisheries Service. They both enjoy spending quality time with the kids outdoors. Matt is looking forward to introducing the boys to hiking and camping as they get older and perhaps someday, they too will be water professionals.

Thank you Matt for your dedication and many years of service and leadership. We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference.

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