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Susan MacFarlane

STAFF DIRECTOR

Susan MacFarlane

How long have you been on the Board and what position do you currently hold? I have been on the OMWA Board for one year and I am a Staff Director.

What municipality or organization do you represent? I work for Lambton Area Water Supply System located in Sarnia, Ontario. We supply water to about 100,000 people in Lambton County.

What is your educational and professional background? I am a Professional Engineer specializing in Environmental Engineering. I spent 10 years in University and received a Master’s of Science in Biological Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil (Environmental) Engineering.

The OMWA is a not-for-profit organization and all Board positions, including yours, are all volunteer, what inspired you to become an OMWA Board Member? OMWA is the voice of municipal water supply and if we as Board Members can affect change to make municipal water supply better or fairer or safer then it is worth the time and effort.

What do you hope to see in the future for OMWA? I hope to see changes in terms of opening up the industry to new graduates and especially engineers and scientists who can use their skills to excel in a municipal water supply setting and face the challenges of aging infrastructure.

What would you say to a 16-year-old student considering a career path, in water? Facebook and Twitter are fine but you can’t live without water!

What advice would you give to a new graduate considering a position in the water industry? You may have to travel to get your first job but the experience will be worth it.

What's your hometown? Tillsonburg, Ontario.

What brought you to Ontario? Born here.

What was your first job? Priming (picking) tobacco.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your career? Challenges spring up in places that you least expect them. Moving from consulting to private industry to municipal has been a learning experience for sure. Each has its own culture and way of doing things.

What is something quirky about you? I was an award-winning Baton Twirler in my youth.

What was your most prized toy as a child, and why? My baton. Practice makes perfect.

If you could have a t-shirt printed with a message, what would it be?  If they give you ruled paper write the other way. (This was my high school yearbook message and I still like it)