Donor Spotlight

Phillip Holderness

Water Treatment Specialist
Seaco Technologies, Inc

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. —Brian Tracy, motivational speaker.  

AWWA Board Director Phil Holderness has integrated this philosophy as a Water Treatment Specialist with Seaco Technologies (based in Bakersfield, CA) and in various roles within the California/Nevada Section. As an 1881 Society member in AWWA’s Water Equation fundraising program, Phil asserts, “While giving generously, I am also proud to be a beneficiary of the water industry. I now feel a responsibility to pay it forward by giving back to others.”

Phil reflects on the evolution of his career in water:
“During my first eight years as a water treatment plant operator, I focused on my operational skills and was well regarded in my role. But I knew if I didn’t step away from my comfort zone, I would never advance.

“I felt very uncomfortable talking to an interview panel for a promotion and did poorly. So I applied and interviewed for jobs I did not even want—just to overcome that discomfort. Within one year I was a General Manager. This led to career and volunteer opportunities. At one point, I found myself leading AWWA’s largest Section as Section Chair."

Phil began serving on the AWWA board of directors in 2015. “On the AWWA board, I benefitted early from my Advisory Committee work with the Community Engineering Corps (CECorps), which—as most know—is supported by the Water Equation. This role connected me with many small and underserved communities to show them how CECorps could help them find solutions,” said Holderness.

Mr. Holderness first became an AWWA member back in 1990 with the California/Nevada Section. In 1996, he began working on the water distribution certification committee and was soon elevated to Chair. At AWWA, he has been active on the CECorps Advisory Committee for two years. “I have accomplished a great deal by providing financial assistance to help individuals with education in a formal classroom setting, workshops and water group meetings,” he affirmed.

As a dedicated AWWA stakeholder and generous Water Equation donor, Phillip remains passionate about giving back and believes strongly that education and training will help make a positive impact. He concludes: “It benefits everyone in the industry and our communities to provide support to water professionals seeking to enter the industry and improve the knowledge of current water professionals.”