Erica Solum is the new IWN Champion for Wannon Water, where she works part-time. Erica is passionate about collaboration as well as using data to make informed decisions.
Read below as we dug a bit deeper to see what makes her tick.
Can you give us a bit of your personal background?
I grew up in central Victoria, studied and worked in Melbourne, then moved to the Goulburn Valley, near Shepparton in 2006. In 2017, my husband took up a volunteer position in north-western Cambodia, where we lived with our daughter for seven delicious, hot and sticky months! We moved to Hamilton in June 2018, and are really enjoying our new community, and the lifestyle here, including the south west coast and mountains!
And what is your professional background?
I started my career in the private sector, while I was studying my commerce degree, then moved to the water industry with Goulburn Murray Water in 2006. I have been fortunate to work across a range of operational areas, as well major projects. I established and managed the Program Management Office of the GMW Connections Project (a $2B infrastructure modernisation project), which was a challenging and rewarding leadership role.
I am now employed part-time at Wannon Water where I manage our Dam Safety Program, and spend my days off entertaining a 3 year old!
What inspired you to want to become a champion?
I want to raise the profile of innovation within our organisation, nurture big ideas, and leverage opportunities to get great outcomes for our stakeholders. I am committed to high performance and championing great ideas to do things better – something we need continually have our attention on in the water space. I was excited by the opportunity to connect and collaborate with smart people across our industry.
What IWN program interests you the most?
I can see value for Wannon Water across all of the programs, therefore am to learn about all of the active programs. I’m particularly drawn to Big Data, because I’m a total data geek – and love data driven decision making! I’m also keen to join the Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing program (there’s some nice links with some work we are doing in the Victorian dams collaboration space).
What are you hoping to get out of your new role?
Aside from the obvious leadership development opportunity, I’m excited to be learning a whole lot about innovation in the water industry, contribute to programs and ideas, and enable my organisation to be actively involved in the IWN.
And if anything, what do you want to give back to IWN?
I hope I can make a meaningful contribution to the IWN by creating opportunities for collaboration and leadership, and facilitate Wannon Water’s engagement with the program.