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Monica Heil Thanks Chapter for Stipend to Attend Congress

September 14, 2015

For the last few years, the APWA-Minnesota Chapter has been recognizing the contributions of some of its young members by providing them with a stipend in the amount of $1,500 to attend the APWA National Congress. The chapter awarded the 2015 stipend to Monica Heil, operations and maintenance engineer with the City of Lakeville.

Attendance at a National Congress provides many benefits, including the opportunity to learn at technical and professional development sessions, participate in technical tours, and network with peers. The stipend provides an opportunity for a young member of our organization, who works for an organization that may not have the resources to send this person to Congress, and who has demonstrated their commitment to public works and the Minnesota Chapter, to attend an outstanding national event.

Monica shared her thanks and experiences in a letter to APWA-MN Vice President Sue Mason following the 2015 Congress:

I want to again thank the Chapter Executive Committee for the opportunity to attend Congress this year. Attending Congress offered opportunities to learn from top industry professionals, develop professional relationships with my peers, and most importantly, prepare me for the volunteer positions I will be undertaking when PWX comes to Minneapolis in 2016.

From the keynote speakers, to the general sessions, to the Expo floor; everywhere you went there were opportunities to learn more about the public works profession and the resources available to us.  Learning about how different regions of the country were addressing some of the same issues we are challenged with here in Minnesota provided me with insight as to how I might think differently about solving these issues at home.

Beyond the educational development opportunities, there were also daily opportunities for me to create and build upon professional relationships within our Chapter and beyond.  I met several individuals from the Minnesota Chapter for the first time in Arizona at Congress this year. I’ve spoken with some of them since, and value that I can reach out to these individuals and utilize them as professional resources to help me address situations that may arise in Lakeville.

As a part of the Workshop and Technical Tour Planning Committee for PWX in 2016, I was especially excited about being able to participate in a tour of the ASU solar panel system on the final day of Congress. Participating in the tour helped me to understand what would be expected of me in planning a tour event, and also helped me to think about what I may want to do differently as a hostess leading a group through a tour next year.  

Attending Congress was a very positive experience for me, and has made me even more excited about participating in PWX next year. I would recommend to any young professional within the Chapter to consider applying for this stipend in order to gain a better understanding of the true wealth of public works knowledge available to you through both the national organization and the Minnesota Chapter.

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