Technical Director Cheryl Beam


Cheryl Beam

Wendi MannerowHow long have you been on the Board and what position do you currently hold?
I joined in winter of 2020 and am a Staff Director.

What municipality or organization do you represent?
The City of Greater Sudbury.

What is your educational and professional background?
I hold a degree in Chemical Engineering and Society from McMaster University. I worked for 4 years doing environmental projects with Vale (formerly Inco). Since then I’ve been at the City of Greater Sudbury. My first 10 years as the Manager of Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection, and currently I am the Program Lead for the Water and Wastewater Task Force. I am a P.Eng and currently hold a class 4 license in Water Distribution, a class 3 license in Wastewater Collection and a class 2 license in Wastewater Treatment.

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?
I would like to give back to the water community. I love working in a municipal environment where the members of our community are free to share and learn from one another. I am also very passionate about protecting the environment and providing a great service to our community. I’ve always been someone who plays by the rules, but I love to challenge them and change the rules so they will better serve everyone. The political nature of the board and the connections with our regulators is of particular interest to me with this board in comparison with other industry organizations.

What do you hope to see in the future for OMWA?
I hope that the board continues to find ways for members to see great value in the organization and that the board continues to be positioned well to advocate for member municipalities with our regulatory bodies.

What would you say to a 16-year-old student considering a career path in water?
Go for it! This is a service that will always be needed, so it can be a lifelong career. Within the water career path there are so many exciting things you can do and learn. It is rewarding to know exactly how your actions contribute to the improvement in your community.

What advice would you give to a new graduate considering a position in the water industry?
This is a great career choice. Make sure to volunteer with the industry associations so that you can network with people in your field and call on them to ask questions when you need help.

What’s your hometown?
Grafton, Ontario

What brought you to Ontario?
The stork.

What was your first job?
Blockbuster Video. I used to challenge other team members to give away as many balloons on sticks that we could to people over 40 during a shift and have them walk out the door holding it. Around the same time I also worked as a junior engineer in a plastic injection moulding company called Horizon Plastics where one of my jobs was to try and break parts they had manufactured and understand how they break to assist in designing new packaging.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your career?
Constant change and changing rules. While I love change, it is challenging to change as a team and as an organization, and it takes a tremendous amount of energy.

What are some of your hobbies or how do you spend your free time?
I have a large vegetable garden where I try and grow enough food to last me a few months of winter. My husband always has a major renovation project somewhere at home that I’m helping out with. When there’s snow on the ground I’m normally skating or skiing with the kids, otherwise we’re biking, swimming and boating.

What is something quirky about you?
I trained the family cat to walk on a leash on public trails and he’s also been tent camping.

What was your most prized toy as a child, and why?
My GT Snow Racer. I had a good tobogganing hill in my back yard and I would hand out “drivers licenses” to kids who could successfully control their toboggans on the slippery ice at the base of the hill.

If you could have a t-shirt printed with a message, what would it be?
Everything happens for a reason.

Back to OMWA board

Print Friendly, PDF & Email