Clackamas County's Chanin Bays honored as Woman of the Year
Water Environment Services Administrative Services Manager Chanin Bays received the Woman of the Year award from the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association, the association of utilities dedicated to water resources in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Bays, who lives and works in Oregon City, received the award Oct. 23 at the association's annual conference in Boise, Idaho.
The award recognizes women who have advanced clean water issues and made significant industry achievements; served as role models and mentors for other women and girls; advocated for closing the leadership gap and creating a more equitable society; and contributed to their communities.
"I'm grateful and honored beyond words to be acknowledged with this award," Bays said.
"The truth is, there just aren't enough women in leadership roles. It is, therefore, vital that those of us who are in positions of leadership support other women who are trying to develop their skills and grow into leadership roles."
Bays' achievements include implementing an innovative energy conservation program, leading the transition of Clackamas County's Biosolids Program, negotiating intergovernmental agreements with other districts, producing unprecedented agreements with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and introducing a new program to address retirements, knowledge transfer processes, and the recruiting and retaining of a future work force.
In addition to routinely assisting other women transitioning to leadership roles and providing career guidance, Bays works with her daughters to create and distribute basic feminine hygiene care packages she calls "comfort packages" for homeless women.
"This award recognizes the values and work ethic that Chanin brings to WES and her community," said WES Director Greg Geist.
"Chanin is a rare gem and we are so happy to have her at WES. She is as passionate about helping people in need as she is about our industry and making WES a premier utility. Her dedication, intellect and focus on 'doing what's right' are an inspiration to me."