TT029 – The Power of Persistence

Tammy Helms has been a certified water operator for 27 years because she refused to be told ‘no.’ Today she also manages Alaska DEC’s technical assistance program. In this episode you’ll not only hear Tammy’s story but other examples of persistence and resilience when it comes to protecting public health in rural Alaska.

Topics Discussed

I completely love that I get to pay back all of the support and training that I received when I was a rural operator living in the village.

Tammy Helms

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About the Guest

Tammy Helms has been the Technical Assistance programs manager for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) since 2019. The Technical Assistance programs consist of the Operator Certification Program, Capacity Development Program, and the Remote Maintenance Worker Circuit Rider Program. All programs provide training and technical assistance to water and wastewater utilities throughout Alaska in an effort to build the local capacity required to successfully operate and maintain the systems. Prior to her position with DEC, Tammy was a Local Government Specialist for the State of Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Rural Utilities Business Advisor Program, assisting rural communities statewide to improve the financial and management capacity of rural water and sewer utilities. She has been a certificated water operator for 27 years and previously worked as a water treatment plant operator for the City of Larsen Bay for 14 years. During those years, she also served as the Larsen Bay city clerk. She has held a seat on the Governor’s Water and Wastewater Advisory Board since 2014.