West Coast Branch - District VI

2017-18 Officers

Mr. Ray Boler, Chair
Mr. William Anderson, Vice-Chair
Ms. Wei Liu, Treasurer
Mr. Marcello Tavernari, Secretary
Mr. Shane LeBlanc, Past Chair
Mr. Robert C. Nowak, District Representative

History of the West Coast Branch
The West Coast Branch (WCB) was the first Branch to be established Florida.  The WCB covers seven counties (Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk & Sumter), and has the largest membership in the state with current numbers just under 300. The branch began in 1984 with only $400.00 in the treasury. The Executive Board would conserve the Branch resources by holding its quarterly board meetings at the home of one of it’s board members. Now, the Branch executes a budget of approximately $45,000 annually, with funds going to events, education, scholarships, awards and more.

Newsletter
The WCB has had a newsletter for about 10 years, published quarterly just prior to the Chapter’s Executive Boards meetings. This is a full color information publication that is posted on the Chapter web site. The branch also uses email “blasts” on special events to keep members informed of current happenings.

Education
The WCB has held Technical sessions which have included the following topics: pavement management, maintenance of traffic, soil erosion control, ADA guidelines, management and leadership training, trip hazard remediation, RCC hurricane proof buildings and more. The branch has averaged one session a quarter but as many as once a month, depending on training available. The Branch also provides technical tours. Tours have included the Hillsborough County Jail, Underground Disney World and Infrastructure, the Florida Aquarium, the Bill Young Reservoir, MacDill Air Force Base Facilities, Tropicana Field, Hardee Pipe Manufacturing Plant, Howard Curren Advanced Waste Water Treatment Plant, Asphalt Emulsion Plants, Pinellas County Waste to Energy Plant and much much more.

Trade Shows
West Coast Branch has hosted six Chapter Annual Meetings and Trade Shows beginning in 1983, 1994, 1998, 2005, 2012, and 2016. These shows are now held in the Tampa Convention Center in downtown and continue to draw a great amount of professionals and exhibitors.

Academies
With a strong focus on education a WCB APWA committee put together the foundation of the first APWA Academy in Pinellas County (PTEC) in 1978. Thirty-eight years of success stories have graduated from the academy. This academy still exists to this day and supports the WCB through funding and personnel.

Scholarships and Financial Aide
The West Coast Branch has consistently given scholarship money to worthy students that are planning a career in the Public Works Arena. Students at the local APWA academies have had their tuition paid for as well, based on financial need. There is no set amount that is given out annually but rather the scholarships are awarded based on available dollars in the Fund. The Executive Board maintains a strong fiduciary responsibility with regard to the branch’s resources. In the 1980’s the scholarships were $350.00. Most recently we have had the good fortune to award scholarships of $1,000.00. In 2017, five scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded, along with three $500 Professional Certification awards.  The Scholarship Program has taken on the name of the “Ed Burkett Scholarship Program”. Mr. Ed Burkett taught at the Hillsborough County Public Works Academy for almost 20 years, and is a large supporter of the program.

Branch Business
The Branch meets bi-monthly. However, primary business is performed by the Executive Committee. These individuals are selected by the Branch at the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. The monthly meetings travel around the various counties of the Branch and occur on the second Wednesday on odd-numbered months. The meeting in March serves as the Awards Banquet.

Branch Annual Fundraiser
The scholarship fund is supported by profit from the Annual Golf Tournament and Equipment Rodeo. The Cleveland Heights Golf Club, in Lakeland hosted this year's tournament after several years in Lutz, at the Heritage Harbor Golf Club.

Equipment Rodeo
Each year, the Branch hosts an equipment rodeo and invites front-line personnel from all of the communities within it's District. This event has been held at England Bros. Park in Pinellas Park, Florida and draws a participation of roughly 70-80 each year.  Over the last two years this event has grown to 120 in 2015 and 190 in 2016.

For more information on the West Coast Branch, feel free to contact the executive committee at apwa.wcb.florida@gmail.com!

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