President's Message From Marie Marston

President's Message From Marie Marston







It is quite an honor and privilege for me to serve all of you in the Southern California Chapter this year!  I thank you for this opportunity and hope to offer continued betterment for what is already an outstanding chapter.  I have been a member for over 25 years and have served on our Chapter board for the last 10. 

What do you think of when you hear the acronym APWA?  Let me offer some basics that you may or may not be aware of.  American Public Works Association traverses two countries (Canada and USA) and has over 30,000 members as well as partnerships internationally with Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.  The Southern California Chapter has over 1,300 members and it was launched in 1937, so now is 85 years old. Geographically the Southern California Chapter covers a large area including the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino.  In addition to the Chapter, we have three active Branches – High Desert, Inland Empire and Coachella.

 APWA has established goals, a vision, and a mission statement.  APWA’s Goals are to:

  • Define the value of public works
  • Enhance public works visibility
  • Serve as the voice of public works to government leaders
  • Provide education and credentialing
  • Offer a dynamic membership and chapter model

APWA’s Vision are:  Advancing Quality of Life For All

APWA’s Mission Statement: Support those who operate, improve and maintain public works and infrastructure through advocacy, education and member engagement.

There are many professional organizations that could be of benefit to those in public works.  What makes APWA special is that it is the only one that I’m aware of that provides so many benefits to every potential career related to public works, for example: city and county engineers, consulting engineers, public works directors, superintendents and managers, directors and managers of operations and operations personnel, public fleet directors and managers, city managers, administrative support, and well you get the picture.  It also supports every level of a career from entry to senior-level, and even post-retirement.   There are education and credentialing opportunities for career advancement.  There are regular programs for networking and collaboration opportunities.  There are local and national conferences (Complete Streets, PWX, Greenbook, and Snow Conference) for learning, networking, and camaraderie.  We provide outstanding education sessions that address current public works issues as well as ongoing challenges in the following areas of interest:

  • Career and Personal Development
  • Emergency Management
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Environment/Sustainability
  • Facilities
  • Fleet Services

And there are social opportunities at all meeting events, in particular, the golf tournament and installation dinner event.  APWA also supports students through the scholarships program and young members through the Young Professionals (YP) group by providing opportunities to network with peers, hone leadership abilities, and learn new job skills.  Basically, if you work in public works, then APWA is for you!

In support of the overall goals, vision, and mission of APWA, the Southern California Chapter has a wide range of committees just waiting for YOUR involvement.  These include:

  • Membership
  • Mentor program
  • Programs
  • Newsmagazine
  • Young Professionals
  • Community Volunteer
  • Scholarship
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Complete Streets and Technology Conference
  • Greenbook
  • Public Works Institute Awards
  • Audit
  • Golf
  • Sponsorship
  • W.A.T.C.H.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering, please step forward and join us!  There’s always a committee that could use additional help.  Volunteering will be beneficial for you as well as the Chapter!  Feel free to reach out to me directly if I can offer any ideas for you to participate at or (714) 665-4561.

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