Interview with Charles W. Wulff Jr.
AWWA Director (CA/NV Section)
What do you love about your career in the water industry?
My career in water has afforded me the opportunities to not only provide a living for myself and my family, but has also allowed me to do something that provides a significant amount of pride in what I do. To me, it is somewhat similar to the sense of accomplishment I get every week when I have completed my lawn mowing and yard duties at my home. Pride in work, accomplishment, and self esteem. And it does not hurt that what all of us do in the drinking water field is essential to community and society in general.
What are some of the benefits of working in the water industry?
Working in the water industry not only brings with it the professionalism many of us foster and pursue, but also in many cases provides for a high degree of employment security not found in most other endeavors. People always need clean, reliable water. Additionally, the cadre of people that we all work with and deal with in our industry are interesting and knowledgeable professionals with many common bonds including pride in our work and a sense of critical service provided to our customers and the general public.
What skills and training from your military career have you transferred into your current career?
Honor, duty, and service, all paramount in military circles, are highly valuable in any job, but especially in our water “thing.” Also leadership training and its implementation has helped highly in my professional development from one as an operator to district manager (over the course of a 30-year career), to my current status as a consultant. In addition to people and leadership skills learned and honed in the military, I also received specialized training in hydraulics and fire suppression which not only helped me get a leg up on the operations aspects of the water industry but also my employment after military discharge and prior to working in the water industry as a fire fighter (two years) and as an ice plant operator.
Why should veterans consider working in the water sector?
I am a big proponent of veterans considering employment in the water industry because their training and character is something that, as a former supervisor and manager, I always considered a positive attribute in consideration when hiring. I believe many others in the industry share this view.