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043: Talking Leadership with 2018 PNCWA Woman of the Year, Chanin Bays

Chanin Bays is the Administrative Services Manager for Clackamas County Water Environment Services.  She began her career with Clackamas County in 2007 in the Elections Division, before joining Water Environment Services (WES) in 2010.  As the Administrative Services Manager she supports business activities of Department leaders and technical staff, manages administrative support staff, policy analysts, and customer service specialists.  Oversees coordination of human resource activities and leads development and implementation of performance measure methods and tracking procedures. She also manages the department’s procurement and records management activities. Chanin is currently the Chair of the Utility Management Committee and was recently awarded Woman of the Year from PNCWA. She holds an MBA from George Fox University.

Top Takeaways:

You don’t need support from everyone to start strategic planning. Some people may want to wait and see and that’s fine. But don’t let it stop you from starting. “Waiting for 100% buy-in is a recipe for disaster.”

“I think as a leader it’s my job to talk to my team about what their dreams are.” This is awkward for some people. But it’s about what’s the big idea? If I had “this” I would feel successful in my job, in life, in career, etc? How can we connect that nugget of passion to your daily job? That’s how we stay young…to continually stay motivated.

“What we need as a nation is for women to begin dreaming again and to step up and start claiming those moments. We have to find a way to connect to our communities and I really believe that getting more women into the water industry is the game changing idea.”

Show Notes:

[5:28] “When you can throw your passion behind your work, it has an amplifying effect.” Chanin’s rise at Clackamas County Water Environment Services.

[6:57] NASA had the janitor. Clackamas has Harvey Clark, the plant operator. So what do you do? “I save lives.”

[9:50] Chanin talks about how Clackamas handles their strategic planning efforts.

[13:50] How do you overcome the naysayers? Why it’s important not to let them stall your efforts.

[17:15] Learn how informational interviews are important not only when changing careers but also to continually grow in your career. They are also the secret weapon for the introverted networker.

[21:38] Find out why sharing dreams and sharing stories are essential to effective leadership. “As leaders we need to allow ourselves to dream and share those dreams because that’s what inspires others to do the same. This also translates over to storytelling and idea sharing. We need people to share their story or their ideas because you never know who needs to hear it. You never know the next idea that could be a break through if we don’t voice those ideas.”

[28:20] Listen how Chanin and her team are using the value of water narrative to engage with the community.

[36:40] Chanin was recognized as the 2018 Woman of the Year by the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association. Hear her advice for the rising female water professionals in the industry. “We need you. What we need as a nation is for women to begin dreaming again and to step up and start claiming those moments.”


Courage by Gus Lee

National Opinion Survey About Water by Blue Drop


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