President's Message

It was back in 1999 when Jeff Mazanec told me to get involved with APWA. As a hardheaded young engineer, I was too busy for this and couldn’t see the value in the organization. That is until Jeff told me that I could play golf at the Fall Conference in Sturgeon Bay.

Not only did I play golf, I joined the Water Resources Committee and learned a lot from the conference educational program. In fact, I saw a presentation by a professional hydrologist, which inspired me to get my hydrology license in Wisconsin. I met Mike Dailey from the City of Madison, who encouraged me to continue in the Water Resources Committee and introduced me to other professionals in my field. Eventually, I became Vice Chair and then Chair of the committee.

Fast forward a few years and I got calls from Mike Lemens and John Edlebeck asking me if I would be interested in being a Director for APWA-WI. I accepted and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Chapter in each step from director to president. My favorite responsibility in the in the Chapter has been event planning. I enjoyed selecting and hosting the Chapter dinners at PWX, as well as leading various conference planning and programming efforts over the last few years. This includes the 2018 Fall Conference in Sturgeon Bay, where it all started.

My point in mentioning this to you is to show you my appreciation for all those who have helped and encouraged me along the way. More importantly, I want to show you that relationships matter and many opportunities in the organization exist; please take advantage of them. See me or any board member, if you want to get involved. We can point you in the right direction and perhaps in time you’ll be in the same position I am today.

So how can we get you involved in 2020? First, look for our ice fishing event in February. If that’s not your thing, join us for our Spring Conference in Waukesha. We’ll have the educational sessions, a vendor program as well as evening activities. Over the summer, you can look forward to some potential salmon fishing as well as our summer golf outing. The outing raises funds for our scholarship program. You can finish out the summer and join me at the APWA Public Works Expo, PWX, in New Orleans. If you are looking for something a little different, check out the Snowplow Rodeo in early fall in Green Bay. You know I’ll be at the Fall Conference in Wisconsin Rapids in November.

All these events will give you the relationships and education you need to succeed in your job and in APWA. I say attend them all, join a committee, and get involved!

I look forward to serving you and working with the officers and committee chairs in 2020.


Bob Givens
APWA-WI Chapter President 2020


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