Officer Candidates 2017

President-Elect Candidate
Vice-President Candidates
Service Provider Director-At-Large Candidates
Director-At-Large Candidates


PRESIDENT-ELECT CANDIDATE


David Rager
DAVID E. RAGER – KENTUCKY/TENNESSEE SECTION AND OHIO SECTION

David is the Principal of Rager Management Consulting, LLC, following 40 years of experience at the local government level. Prior to consulting, David was the CEO of SD1, the wastewater and storm water utility for the three counties of Northern Kentucky. Preceding his position at SD1, David served for 17 years as the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works. While at Cincinnati, he worked to create a high performance organization using strategic business planning processes that included employee work teams, regular customer surveys, and focus groups for insight into service delivery. The result has been an organization with a strong customer focus and a highly motivated workforce.  

In addition to serving as the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works, he has served as city manager, deputy city manager, and planning commissioner for Cincinnati, Ohio. Previous to assuming responsibility for utility services for Cincinnati, David spent ten years overseeing police, fire, emergency medical, and emergency communication services for the city.
 
David has served on the Board of Directors for the American Water Works Association in a variety of roles. From June 2012 to June 2016, David served as AWWA Treasurer. He has also served as chair of the Water Utility Council, chair of the Board of Trustees for the Water Research Foundation, a member of the International Council, and President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. He has also served on the board of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and is a member of the Water Environment Federation.

David has been a speaker at numerous forums and conferences during his career, including various utility industry conferences about strategic planning, public affairs planning, creating a customer service focus, and creating change leaders. Most recently he spoke at the Australian National Water Conference in May 2011, discussing operational issues for water utilities in today’s challenging economy.  

David received his BS from University of Cincinnati and his MBA from Xavier University. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Susan. Their daughter Theresa is a biology and premed student at Boston College.

1. As the President of AWWA, you will have an opportunity to apply your leadership skills. Please describe your leadership philosophy, and how you plan to guide AWWA to continued membership and program growth?

A leader’s role in any organization is to help the members see the possibilities and arrive at a consensus decision. As a leader your job changes from advocate for a particular position to one of collaboration and consensus builder. Because no one person has all the knowledge, you have a responsibility to insure everyone involved has an opportunity to provide input. One person’s life experiences give them insights to contribute. Someone else’s life experiences provide additional or different insights. If we can tap everyone’s knowledge in an inclusive way, the quality of our decisions improves exponentially. Sometimes the process is messy and chaotic. But in the end the decisions and direction of the organization are based on a solid thoughtful foundation.

2. Over the last three years AWWA has initiated a number of new and major programs. An important responsibility of the POET’s is to provide continuity of vision and direction for AWWA. Which one of these new programs do you believe would most benefit from your attention and influence to “take to the next level”?

A valuable lesson we have learned from recent water industry events is the importance of skilled front line operators and employees. They have to have confidence in their knowledge and the conviction to do the right thing. AWWA President Jeanne Bennett-Bailey has asked me to lead a committee to explore how AWWA can encourage people to enter the water industry and become significant contributors to the future. Our committee has some of the best and brightest AWWA volunteers and staff. With this committee’s help, the assignment Jeanne has given me will remain a focus through my term as president.

3. Mostly due to a number of widely reported recent water quality issues, we appear to be suffering from a loss of public confidence in our drinking water. How do we best address this problem?

Ask any doctor what are the three most important developments that have increased life expectancy and they will say – public water supply, public sanitation, and refrigeration. AWWA members provide two of those services to over 330 million people in North America. Because of excellent work by the AWWA Public Advisory Council and staff, AWWA’s profile in the water industry has increased dramatically –one billion media impressions this year. But with greater awareness comes greater responsibility. People listen and follow individuals because they are respectful, trustworthy, and inclusive. If AWWA and our members focus on these traits, while delivering services in the communities, AWWA will maintain and grow the public’s trust.

4. AWWA has increased its participation in the global water community with the opening of its new office in India. As the future unfolds, what do you think AWWA’s role should be in the international market and what should be our next step to get there?

During my service on many boards and committees, I’ve had the opportunity to see how utilities in other countries provide safe drinking water. How Israeli utilities use simple video surveillance technology cost effectively. How Australians manage extreme drought. How Germany’s comprehensive watershed management protects their source waters. I also discovered they are interested in learning from U.S. utilities. We are all doing the same thing – treating a raw water supply for human consumption. At its core AWWA is about sharing knowledge. Our international efforts should continue that role. Knowledge we can share to improve public water supply around the world and knowledge we gain and share with U. S. utilities to improve the effectiveness of utilities at home.

5. It is commonly agreed that we face a workforce problem. What will you propose as new or expanded programs to bring more talent into the water profession and into AWWA?

The water industry is made up of many different professions – engineers, accountants, customer service reps, chemists, backhoe operators, public communications specialist, plant operations, information technology, and many more. Many utilities and service providers have partnered with local trade schools and universities to grow locally their applicant pools. By sharing their knowledge and experiences, AWWA can help other utilities and service providers as well. Through existing training programs and communications efforts, AWWA can help individuals recognize that they can pursue their chosen professional interests while providing a rewarding valuable service – protecting public health.


VICE-PRESIDENT CANDIDATES


Ray Baral
RAYMOND E. BARAL JR. – CONNECTICUT SECTION

Ray Baral is the Assistant Manager of Water Treatment at the Metropolitan District Commission, in Hartford, CT where he has been employed since 2002. Ray has been an active member of the Connecticut Section of AWWA since joining in 1994.

Thomas Loto, Chair of the Connecticut Section, commented that, “Throughout his 20 years with CTAWWA, Ray has served on the Board from 2008-2014 (Chair 2012-2013), Past Education Co-Chair, and member of Education/Program, ATCAVE and WTP Operations & Maintenance Committees. As a leader within the water industry, Ray has been the driving force in developing the Water Quality and Treatment Symposium, initiated development of the WTPOM committee, and coordinated the Water Boot Camp at MDC through an EPA grant. Ray’s approachable demeanor and leadership qualities are highly respected in the water industry. For these reasons, Ray would be a valuable asset to the Board enhancing AWWA in its’ endeavors.”

Ray received the Operator’s Meritorious Service Award in 2000 and the Connecticut Department of Public Health Educator of the Year Award in 2015. He holds a BA in Public Administration from Southern New Hampshire University and an Associates in Science degree from Charter Oak State College.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

The biggest challenge facing the water profession in 2017 will be the tremendous brain drain each utility will experience due to the retirement of highly qualified employees. The majority of high school and college graduates never think of a career in the water or wastewater industry. We have to focus more on programs that introduce these students to the vast career fields while at the same time developing succession planning standards that each utility can employ to ensure that the institutional knowledge is transferred to the next generation of employees.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in Section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thoughts on this challenge, and possible solutions.

Every Section is offered the same amount of support and resources from AWWA no matter the size. The Sections must align with the goals, programs and initiatives developed by AWWA and communicate such to their membership. A great majority of the AWWA members never visit the website or take advantage of the tremendous amount of topic relevant and timely information provided by this organization. This can be greatly improved at the local level, through the Sections. We must task the Sections with communicating to their membership the value AWWA adds to their profession.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

The Association does a great job communicating with the AWWA Directors via the Weekly Letters and various Status Reports. The unknown variable is whether or not the Directors are sharing vital information with their Sections. The Association can create a task list that Directors must report monthly as incomplete, completed or in progress. This task list can include promoting upcoming events and seminars as well as educating the Section on important goals such as the Water Equation Campaign. This will enhance the collaboration and aid in developing more effective communication between Director and Section.

4. How will you work with the Board and the Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

As someone who started his career as a Water Treatment Plant Operator “In Training” and now managing infrastructure greater than 100 years old, I understand how important this initiative is. By working with utility leaders, colleges and high schools and demonstrating how financial assistance through this program can attract students into water related career fields, we can fill the void left by skilled water and wastewater professionals. Focusing on a global initiative is imperative to this goal.  I will work collaboratively in driving this message forward and upward both home and abroad.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

Benefits of becoming an AWWA member far surpass any other organization. Over 135 years, they have established themselves as leaders in protecting public health and the environment. Members receive relevant and informative monthly publications such as Opflow and the Journal AWWA. They offer a tremendous amount of training opportunities via online, webinars and at conferences held throughout the country, most notably the Annual Conference & Exhibition. You will become more educated and valuable to your organization by volunteering and joining one of the many committees. Being a member of AWWA has made a difference in my life as it would yours.

Stephen Blankenship
STEPHEN BLANKENSHIP – NEW JERSEY SECTION

Stephen Blankenship is the Executive Director/Chief Engineer for Hamilton Township MUA in Mays Landing, N.J., where he has been employed since 2000. Stephen has been an active member of the New Jersey Section of AWWA since joining in 2000.

Michael Furrey, New Jersey Section Chair, commented that, “Mr. Blankenship, an active member of New Jersey’s water and wastewater community with over 23 years of experience, represented the Section at AWWA Workshops, RMSOs, and DC Fly-Ins and developed relationships with other Sections. He’s served on Conference, Technical Program (past chair), Operator and Strategic Planning committees and currently services on Infrastructure Management (past chair), Membership and the WUC. Stephen is actively involved with the NJ Water Professionals Association, NJ Water Environment Association and Association of Environmental Authorities of NJ and serves on a Community College Science Advisory Board, NJ Water Supply Advisory Council and previously served on Township Council and Boards.”

Stephen holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, professional engineering licenses in three states, a professional planner license in NJ, a Certified Municipal Engineer certification and all 5 NJDEP operator licenses.

1.Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

What is the value of water? Without full cost pricing, many utilities are going to struggle with the multiple challenges they are facing. Without adequate funds, utilities will not be able to meet increased drinking water standards, move forward with asset management plans and invest in employee training. AWWA can address the problem by:

  • Continuing its outreach to the public concerning the value of tap water;
  • Completing the Buried No Longer software that will assist utilities in forecasting their future capital needs; and
  • Continuing the outreach to federal, state & local officials on the funding needs faced by utilities.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thoughts on this challenge, and possible solutions.

The challenge is to develop a process based on member input to quantify variations on member experiences and value are among sections.

Possible solutions include developing surveys based on member participation (i.e., minor, somewhat engaged and totally engaged) and using the data to develop resources to:

  • Identify the positive factors for members reporting high experiences and values;
  • Convey the positive experiences and values received by active members on a personal basis to those that aren’t;
  • Mine the RMSOs and reports from visiting officers that attend Section conferences/events for additional data;
  • Develop regional or shared services to increase resources/staff; and
  • Develop and encourage personal outreach.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

Develop closer interpersonal ties by creating sub regional groups, comprised of five to seven Directors and one Vice President, to provide a more personalized interaction with the governing body. These informal groups would meet in between the winter and summer meetings, either in person or online, to discuss ongoing topics of concern.

4. How will you work with the Board and the Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

In order to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Program, I think AWWA needs to do a better job in detailing how donations will be utilized within the three programs. The web page gives a 30,000-ft view, but most donors want to know exactly where their money is going. With regard to scholarships, how will that impact scholarship offerings on the Section level? What will donations to the Community Engineering Corps and international program(s) be spent on?  Develop program “FAQs” to help prospective donors clarify where their donations are going. Finally, focus on a person-to-person request.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

Not to sound like a cliché, but I would tell a prospective member that AWWA and its Sections are the only way you’re going to be able to interface with a full contingent of water professionals!  If you want to grow your professional network and knowledge base, AWWA provides you with opportunities to meet with utility, regulatory, vendor, consulting and technical professionals on an ongoing basis, something few other organizations offer. AWWA and its Sections offer opportunities to give back to your profession by serving on local and national committees covering a wide range of topics. It’s people to people!

Mark Coleman
MARK COLEMAN – MICHIGAN SECTION

Mark Coleman is a Senior Vice-President with Wade Trim in Detroit, Mich., where he has been employed since 1979. Mark has been an active member of the Michigan Section of AWWA since joining in 1981. Mark is currently a Life Member.

Barbara Marczak, Michigan Section Chair, commented that, “Mark has been a leader in the Michigan Section for many years. He has worked as a consulting engineer for his current firm for more than 35 years in municipal engineering and is well versed in all aspects of water. He has served on the Section Board of Trustees and served in all the officer positions except Director. Mark has been a leader in the Michigan Section, developing and implementing our Section’s strategic plan. He is also an excellent public speaker and communicates well in many different social and public settings. Mark has also served at the Association level and is well versed in AWWA issues and its strategic goals.”

Involved in many of the Section’s committees, Mark has served as Chair and Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Michigan Section Chair, and Co-Chair of the Management and Leadership Division. For AWWA, he is currently the Michigan Section Director. Mark is also a member of the Water Environment Association, American Council of Engineering Companies and Society of American Military Engineers. Mark has received several awards including the George Warren Fuller Award in 2013. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

Regaining complete customer confidence in the safety of their tap water. News reports showing customers being provided bottled water because of treatment or system delivery failures has tarnished the image of utilities being the provider of safe drinking water. This, coupled with ongoing improvements in the ability to identify elements contained within drinking water, has shaken the public’s confidence. Effective outreach to the public and the media is essential to turn this perception around as well as our active involvement in the need to identify/quantify health impacts, if any, of the emerging “contaminants” in drinking water.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in Section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thoughts on this challenge, and possible solutions.

The very nature of Section differences in terms of membership size and their diversity in geography and density suggests that member experience will be different among the various Sections. For this reason, one size doesn’t fit all in terms of what constitutes a meaningful and valuable AWWA experience. An approach to assess how the Sections are doing in this area is to expand the Association Section Services representative communication with the Sections to include the development of a Section vision for member experience and value and collaborate with them to achieve it.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

AWWA Directors are the conduit between the Sections and Association. Directors currently tend to operate this as a one-way informational conduit transmitting Association news relative to ongoing initiatives and programs to their Section. An approach to kick starting the return loop would be to have each new director perform an assessment of the two organizations collaboration, develop a work plan on ways to improve it, including metrics and action items, and report on their progress over the course of their three-year term.

4. How will you work with the Board and the Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

AWWA’s philanthropic Water Equation Campaign is designed to address the workforce needs of the industry through an increase in scholarships for education and training as well as develop approaches to tackle its aging workforce and difficulties in recruiting, training and retaining skilled employees. Workforce issues are local, which is where the Sections operate. Campaign success depends on their active involvement. Our focus needs to be outreaching to the Sections on ways to partner with and augment existing workforce, scholarship and fund raising programs and assist in the development of additional Section initiatives advancing the objectives of the campaign.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

The breadth of the AWWA experience is unparalleled. Other options are singularly focused on a particular skill, trade or activity. AWWA’s reach is into every aspect of the water industry. AWWA activities are tailored to address needs in operations, maintenance, laboratories, finance, management, suppliers and engineers. It is the leader in the development of Manuals of Practice and Standards used throughout the industry providing the opportunity to actively participate in their development and update. Its large, diverse membership provides an extraordinary network for members to learn from each other and develop the leadership skills to succeed in their chosen field.

Alan Forrest
ALAN FORREST – ARIZONA SECTION

Alan Forrest is a Senior Manager in the Water Business Group at CH2M, where he has been employed since 2015. Alan has spent a majority of his career managing public water utilities, most recently as the Director of Tucson Water. He has been an active member of the Arizona Section of AWWA since joining in 1994.

Marie Pearthree, Arizona Section Chair, commented that, “Alan is a hardworking, dedicated, and talented individual and has a passion for public service, particularly with the water industry.  I have no doubt he will bring this same commitment and attitude of service to AWWA as a Vice President.”

Involved in many of the Section’s committees, Alan’s service has included Chair of the Technical Program Committee and he is currently the Arizona Section Director. Alan is also a member of the Water Environment Association and AWCE. He has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Arizona in 2014 and holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

Our biggest challenge is the loss of experienced water system operators. 30-50% of our workforce is expected to retire by the year 2020. So yes, this is a “now” problem and our industry needs to respond quickly and strategically. There are no perfect solutions, although AWWA has taken a good first step in helping to educate the public on the value of having a competent/dedicated workforce operate and maintain our vital water systems. But we need to do more to increase the stature and compensation of water operators, or we will continue to lose out to other professions.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in Section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thoughts on this challenge, and possible solutions.

There may be some validity to this suggestion – the larger Sections may be in a better position to provide value added services to members than the smaller ones. This may be because many of the larger Sections have paid staff, where the smaller Sections have to rely solely on volunteer resources. It strikes me that AWWA might be able to help supplement some of these smaller Sections by providing resources in a focused way. Another possible solution would be to connect neighboring Sections and have them sponsor joint events that hopefully increase the value of all members in those Sections.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

I think the structure is in place to accomplish this – with each Section having one of their own serving as an AWWA Director. As Director’s, we probably need to do a better job of making sure the lines of communication between the Sections and the Board are robust and utilized to their fullest extent. I really believe that it is our responsibility to make sure all of our members are aware of the resources AWWA possesses and that are available to them, as well as making sure they know who to contact at AWWA for assistance in accessing these resources.

4. How will you work with the Board and the Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

I have already been a champion for the Water Equation and the One AWWA Operator Scholarship within my Section. Actually, the Arizona Section was one of the early adopters of AWWA’s Operator Scholarship program and I spearheaded our fund raising efforts in this area over the past year.  I truly believe in these programs and have a passion for seeing them be successful. As an AWWA Vice-President (if elected), I will continue to advocate for Section participation because I think maintaining a competent, dedicated workforce is critical to future of our industry, and the health and welfare of the public.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

I would tell him/her that AWWA is committed to the health, safety and welfare of the public we serve and that there is no higher calling than that. AWWA is dedicated to making sure that all of our members have the tools and skills needed to meet the daily challenge of providing safe drinking water to millions of people every day. I would also tell them that AWWA is a collection of like-minded, dedicated and passionate individuals that have come together for the greater good and because they want to be part of something much greater than themselves.

Mike Hooker
MICHAEL HOOKER – NEW YORK SECTION

Michael Hooker is the Executive Director of the Onondaga County Water Authority in Syracuse, New York, where he has been employed since 1993. Mike has been an active member of the New York Section of AWWA since joining in 1982.

Jenny Ingrao of the New York Section commented that, “Mr. Hooker has been an active member in the Section and Association for over 30 years. He has been a valuable source of knowledge for AWWA and an excellent leader for his utility and community. He is passionate, confident and is an effective communicator, all qualities that a Vice President of AWWA should possess. He exemplifies what every member of AWWA strives for and makes others around him excited to be a part of the water industry.”

Involved in many of the Section’s committees, Michael serves as representative on the Water Sector Coordinating Council and has been the Chair of the Water Utility Council, Water Research Foundation Trustee, and New York Section Chair and is currently the New York Section Director.

Michael is also a member of AMWA, National Rural Water Association, Central New York Water Works Association, Water Research Foundation and Manufactures Association of Central New York. Michael received the George Warren Fuller Award in 2008 and the Public Works Leader of the Year in 2004. He holds an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, an MBA Upgrade from Syracuse University, and a BS in Management Science from Montclair State University.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

Our major challenge lies with the development of the next generation of water professionals at both the Utility and Association level. Success on this front is paramount to the future success of the water profession and the industry as a whole. I believe the best way to address the challenge is to embrace the way younger professionals approach business and adapt the workplace and the Association to make it theirs. All too often we chase away future leaders and Association members through efforts to make younger members conform to our way of handling matters.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thoughts on this challenge, and possible solutions.

Depending on the Section size and Geography, joint Section events are worth the investment. Also support joint meetings with other Associations to allow for finite resources to be stretched to better serve members of the participating organizations. Further, joint endeavors can build new alliances and expose participants to new or different ways to meet member and Association needs. It is more about collaboration, not consolidation.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

Every Director should be assigned a task the day they take office. Tasks should be geared toward addressing the needs of the Association and the membership and ultimately the water profession as a whole. Given the broad spectrum of each Board member's qualifications, experience and past volunteer efforts at the Section level, tasks could be assigned to take advantage of the Director's skill set. Further, tasks should have a start and end date that works within the term of the Director. Some tasks could be done in a year; others could stretch over a term. There should also be opportunities for Director's to volunteer for additional duties, where their interest goes above and beyond expectation.

4. How will you work with the Board and the Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

Self-awareness of the existence of the Water Equation is the first step toward increasing awareness and participation in the Water Equation. Engaging with the people in your workplace and engaging with people you volunteer with is the next step. If you know someone with a child headed to college or looking to enter the profession, share information about Water Equation opportunities and suggest they share with others as well. It's not just enough to be aware of the Water Equation, you must be aware of the needs of others and then being able to bring the two together.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

AWWA is an Association composed of members drawn from all corners of the water profession. Systems of all sizes and ownership are represented, as are manufacturers, vendors, consultants, and all are engaged. Additionally, local, state and federal officials and regulators are equally engaged. I've asked a lot of questions over the years and I've found the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. I've learned that If you can't find what you are looking for (with respect to the water profession through AWWA), you simply aren't looking, as I've found AWWA members to be open and accessible.

Matt Stanley
MATTHEW STANLEY – WEST VIRGINIA SECTION

Matthew Stanley is the President, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Beckley Water Company, Beckley, W.V., where he has been employed since 2007 and an active member in the West Virginia Section since he joined in 2007.

Jeffrey McIntyre, West Virginia Section Chair, commented that, “Matt Stanley’s strong leadership has helped shape the future of WVAWWA. Serving in all the chairs as well as participating in regional meetings gives him a sound knowledge of AWWA. He is responsible for bringing back the Water Utility Council, the Tapping Competition, and Meter Madness to WVAWWA. His company’s Tapping Team and Meter Madness participants finished in the top ten this year.”

Matthew has served in the West Virginia Section as AWWA Director as well as Past Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Water Utility Council. He is a member of the Raleigh County Chapter-American Red Cross Board of Directors, United Way of Southern West Virginia Board of Directors; Chairman of the Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce; Raleigh County Memorial Airport Authority Board of Directors; Marshall University Graduate College Alumni Association President; Founder and Chairman of the National Association of Water Companies-Mid Size Independents; Beckley Police Department—Police Commissioner; and a member of the Theater West Virginia Board.

Matthew holds a BA in Business Administration, a BA in Communications and an MBA from Marshall University. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Marshall University and Concord University. He received the Fuller Award in 2014 and was also listed in the Who’s Who West Virginia Business-West Virginia State Journal in 2005.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose is the best solution?

The biggest challenge today and tomorrow is aging infrastructure. All ailments in the water industry are symptoms of the underlining disease of neglected and aging infrastructure. Many water companies throughout the country are 100 years old or older. Much of the infrastructure for water utilities was put in service after World War II and is past its normal and expected life span. The symptoms are lead in the water, cyan toxins, Cryptosporidium, E-coli, chromium 6, water loss and the list goes on and on. The AWWA and the Water Research Foundation has estimated that $1.7 billion is needed by 2050 to fix the problems. We must educate legislators, rate payers and rate makers of the “true value of water” through campaigns like “Buried No Longer”.

2. It has been suggested that the member experience and value may vary due to differences in Section size and available resources, among other factors. Share your thought on this challenge, and possible solutions.

Diversity makes the experience unique and has value for the local members. The training needs in a small chapter may not mirror those of a larger Section. With that in mind, National Directors, Executive Committee members, and staff attendance at Section conferences helps insure that the mission of AWWA is translated into the goals and objectives of each Section. In some areas of the country, The Rural Water Association seems to be the association of choice with local lobbying, circuit riders, and operator training. We can learn from their model and incorporate best practices in our model.

3. Describe any suggestions you may have to more effectively engage the AWWA Directors in furthering the work of, and enhancing the collaboration between, the Association and Sections.

Directors are already sharing the ideals, mission, goals and objectives of AWWA with their Sections. Perhaps if Directors were given two minutes to speak at national meetings to share best practices, progress reports and innovative ideas, each and every National Director would be inspired and challenged to “raise the bar” to enhance the membership experience. Also, the National Directors should receive a one- on- one call from a Membership Staff member every quarter to discuss challenges and opportunities of their respective Section.

4. How will you work with the Board and Sections to increase the awareness and participation in the Water Equation and the programs it will benefit?

AWWA staff and Executive Committee members should give annually to the Water Equation. 100% participation is necessary on the national level in order for the Sections to be inspired to commit time and money to such a worthy cause. Every Section should be educated as to the goals and objectives of the Water Equation and how they benefit each member. We need the best and the brightest to lead the water industry in the next 20 to 50 years. We need chemist, engineers, and plant operator who can protect our most vital resource (water) to insure its safety and reliability.

5. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

AWWA is the largest water organization in the world. We are the leader with over 50,000 members. Our membership includes scientists, operators, equipment manufacturers, students, professors, engineers, etc. throughout the world. Our annual conference and trade show, ACE, is second to none for technical sessions, vendor’s displays, and networking. Our publications such as Opflow and the Journal AWWA provide in-depth, peer reviewed current information. Our online library contains training books, articles, videos, and video conferences to educate and inform of the challenges and opportunities in our industry. AWWA provides “Total Water Solutions” and “One Water” leadership.


SERVICE PROVIDER DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE CANDIDATES

Jennifer Elms
JENNIFER L. ELMS - TEXAS SECTION

Jennifer Elms is a Senior Project Manager for EHRA, Inc., in Houston, Texas, where she has been employed since 2006. Jennifer has been an active member of the Texas Section of AWWA since joining in 2003.

Daniel Nix, Texas Section Chair, said, “Ms. Elms has been an extraordinary leader in the Texas Section for many years including her service through the Officers positions in the Section. Her innovative ideas have helped draw the membership closer, increased membership and member value, and helped the Section become the leading water association in the state. We believe she will provide the same leadership and passion to the Association as the Service Provider Director-at-Large.”

Involved in many of the Sections’ committees, Jennifer presently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Texas Section and Chair of the Texas Section Lone Star Leaders. She is also a member of the Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 71 Board of Directors where she serves as Assistant Secretary. Jennifer holds a BS degree in Mathematics from Eastern New Mexico University and a MBA in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

The biggest challenge is the end of life water sector infrastructure. Prior generations developed and installed clean water systems for the future. It became an “out of sight – out of mind” issue and now the future is here. Educating the general public that water systems and protection of public health is an essential part of any thriving community and needs to be financed and renewed. It is time for a well-funded “in your face” campaign. Not just a clever tag line or a once-a-year emphasis; but, an appealing message to engage rate payers where they are – on social media.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

AWWA has introduced me to a vast pool of knowledge and information through its most important asset – its members. Through the contacts I have made, I know how to find answers when issues arise. As part of the Section Leadership, I have honed my leadership skills with a diverse group and have been able to bring that cooperative spirit back to my day job. My most valuable member experience has been our Section Annual Conference, where I can connect with vendors, see new products, and connect with colleagues across Texas.

3. The vast majority of AWWA service provider member are engaged in providing equipment, products or design services to the public water sector. What segment of the much larger North American water industry is under-represented in AWWA membership and how would you propose to engage them as members?

The most under-represented segment of the industry is the every-day, in-the-trenches operator. We all talk about the free memberships that go with a utility membership, but those memberships end up with managers and supervisors. The Association needs to build on the “One AWWA” concept partnering with Sections, to fill operator training gaps and draw operators into AWWA. Most importantly, educational opportunities need to be local and at a price point palatable for utilities and operators.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

Simple, AWWA is the oldest and largest “Total Water Solutions” Professional Association in the world. AWWA represents all sectors engaged in the management of the hydrologic cycle, not just engineers or managers; but all from source to tap. The information and opportunities are varied and diverse. As an AWWA member, you have access to the largest treasure of water resources plus knowledgeable experts skilled at finding solutions to the widest range of issues facing water professionals today. Easy access to this extraordinary body of information allows me to be the best water professional I can be.

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan as five Core Principals, one of which is Inspire Innovation. How can we do a better job of bringing new and innovative products and services to market quicker and with less risk?

There is a fine line in the water industry between wanting new technology, processes and products and our very real requirement to protect public health. Our industry is always going to have to meet strict standards and protocols to protect public health. By approaching new products and processes with a diverse stakeholder group to help reach an initial consensus on changes and then methodically conveying those ideas to regulatory bodies and standards writers we can maintain our stringent requirements but in a more streamlined process. Collaboration will bring innovation to the market quicker.

Mark Kelly
MARK KELLY - FLORIDA SECTION

Mark Kelly is the Director of Business Development with Garney Construction in Water Garden, Fla., where he has been employed since 2002. Mark has been an active member of the Florida Section of AWWA since joining in 2010.

Kimberly Kunihiro, Florida Section Chair, said, “Mr. Kelly is an active member of AWWA since 2010. Mark has served as the Section’s Contractors Council Chair from 2010-2012. He is currently serving as a Section Trustee. In addition, Mark stays involved in the Section’s Contractor’s Council by helping develop workshops for contractors at our spring and fall conference. He is an active volunteer in the Section’s membership committee and a vice chair of our mentor program. Mark also participates in numerous FSAWWA regional social and training events. He participated in several AWWA Fly-ins in DC. He would make an excellent Service Provider Director-at-Large.”

Mark presently serves as Vice Chair of the FSAWWA Mentor Program and is a current FSAWWA Trustee. He is also the past chair of the FSAWWA Contractors Council.  Mark is a member of the Water Environment Association and Florida Design-Build Institute of America. Mark holds a BS degree in Building Construction & Contracting from Purdue University.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

It seems that the frequency and magnitude of water infrastructure pipe failures increases with each passing year. The challenge will be to address the growing gap between water infrastructure repair and replacement needs, and discovering the actual action/funding needed to get the programs moving. Now that WIFIA is heading towards implementation, AWWA could spearhead developing a program/plan that each state could use to educate and assist utilities to access and prioritize their current and future needs in order to ensure that a continual supply of safe water is available to their customers.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

AWWA has helped me appreciate the magnitude of effort that goes into providing clean, safe drinking water to the public. Seeing the work done on legislative issues, and the training and education provided, has broadened my view on how I relate to our clients. Our role is not just as a construction company. Our role is to provide an overall solution for our client without losing sight of their future needs. With that being said, having had the ability to interact with utilities through legislative fly-ins, and supporting them on water-related issues, has influenced my career the most.

3. The vast majority of AWWA service provider members are engaged in providing equipment, products or design services to the public water sector. What segment of the much larger North American water industry is under-represented in AWWA membership and how would you propose to engage them as members?

Construction costs make up more than 80 percent of the total cost of capital improvements, yet the involvement by contractors and subcontractors in the AWWA is limited. There are many firms that specialize in water infrastructure work on a regional and national level, and building relationships with these companies could be beneficial. Who better to offer insight from a hands-on perspective than the companies who build the project. AWWA could engage these companies to participate in national and state conferences where they can exhibit their company and experience. I would also recommend MAC committees create a contractor sub-committee to solicit participation.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

I would tell them that if they have an interest in water and if they have an interest in the environment, they should have an interest in the AWWA. AWWA affords them a “think tank” atmosphere where they would find like-minded people who are passionate about water. Through their participation in groups, programs, and committees, they could expand their knowledge and be given the tools to further assist their clients, thus enabling them to grow their business.

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan has five Core Principals, one of which is Inspire Innovation. How can we do a better job of bringing new and innovative products and services to the market quicker and with less risk?

Like most everything else new and innovative, not many want to be the guinea pig. That’s the biggest hurdle and one that could possibly be cleared if the AWWA could develop a “Directory of Interest.” This list would contain Utilities who have expressed interest in assisting the advancement of technology, whereby streamlining the process between the end user and the innovator. AWWA is known as one of the leading sources for all things water, and this recognition could help in alleviating the end user’s concern over the new product.

Randy Moore
RANDY MOORE – MISSOURI SECTION

Randy Moore is Vice President of Market Development for Pure Technologies, Ltd., in Columbia, Md., where he has been employed since 2015. Mark has been an active member of the Missouri Section of AWWA since joining in 1982.

Curt Skouby, Missouri Section Director, said, “Mr. Moore has over thirty years of experience in the water industry as a service provider. He is active at both the Section and National level giving generously of his time and support. He willingly shares his knowledge and experience as is typified by the numerous AWWA committees he has served on, articles he has written for Opflow magazine and webinars he has participated in. Mr. Moore has served on the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Commission and as an Elder of his church. The Missouri Section believes Mr. Moore is the ideal candidate for this position and proudly supports him.”

Randy has been very involved with the Missouri Section having served as Chair of the MO Section Safety/Emergency Preparedness Committee and delegate to DC Fly-In(s). On an Association level, he has been the MAC Vice chair, Innovation Initiative Co-Chair, TEC Liaison and TEC CPC member, CPC for WIC and WQTC, regular creator/moderator of webinars and regular contributor to Opflow, member of the Distribution System Water Quality Committee, Distribution System O&M Committee, Asset Management Committee, Manual of Practice Committees for M42, M68 and M44, Steel Elevated Tanks/Standpipes/Reservoirs Standards Committee. He was also appointed by Gov. M. Blunt to the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Commission. Randy holds a BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering and an MS in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what would you propose as the best solution?

Rebuilding public trust and image post Flint, while simultaneously addressing the issue of lead in drinking water, lead service line replacement and the ongoing long term revisions to the Lead & Copper Rule. There has been a loss of trust and damage to our industry’s image that will need to be repaired and rebuilt that will involve a public education program in addition to the development of all the related resources AWWA has quickly pulled together. It will require involvement from all Councils as they each do their part addressing the public’s concerns and interest in learning about the issues.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

My career has been impacted significantly over 30+ years in the industry primarily through the relationships I have developed first within the MO & IL Sections where my career in the water industry started. Then, over the years, I have been privileged to work on a national level, recently including Canada, attending many Section conferences. It’s at those conferences I have been able to really learn about our industry’s issues by working in the exhibit hall, attending/presenting technical sessions and most importantly just networking and developing personal relationships with other AWWA members.  I can’t imagine a successful career without AWWA.

3.The vast majority of AWWA service provider members are engaged in providing equipment, products or design services to the public water sector. What segment of the much larger North American water industry is under-represented in AWWA membership and how would you propose to engage them as members?

The general contractors and subcontractors building, rehabbing or replacing the water sector’s aging infrastructure. We currently have only two members serving on the MAC representing the contractor’s perspective. There are hundreds of contractors and their subcontractors serving our industry that don’t seem to be engaged with AWWA. As we continue to expand and deploy alternative capital project delivery methods we need input from the contractors. I would propose we further develop our relationships with the AGC and the DBIA. This could involve an idea we tried before around forming a joint AGC/DBIA committee to explore topics of mutual interest/benefit.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

I would talk about my personal career impact discussed above. Also, AWWA uniquely offers the ability to learn about important issues in the “total water solutions” sphere and develop a network either at the local Section level, or throughout all of North America. AWWA’s technical educational resources along with the wide array of delivery vehicles are unparalleled by any other industry association. The ability to serve on a local and/or North American committee of peers all volunteering to develop technical content from standards, manuals of practice, guidance documents, webinars, conference presentations, Opflow/Journal/Section newsletter articles provides very unique learning opportunities.

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan has five Core Principals, one of which is Inspire Innovation. How can we do a better job of bringing new and innovative products and services to market quicker and with less risk?

I have been involved in the effort to “inspire innovation” within AWWA, and beyond, since ACE13 where I created and launched the Innovation Initiative.  AWWA, via the MAC, has since supported the development of the Innovation Initiative which cuts across many silos in our industry by involving multiple stakeholders; AWWA, USEPA, WWEMA, ASDWA, WaterTap Ontario, WRF and North American utilities/vendors/consultants. The mission statement of the Initiative offers the best response to the question; “Create a coalition from within the water industry to develop and implement strategies to overcome the top five barriers to the acceptance of innovation and new technology”


DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE CANDIDATES

Richard Anderson
RICHARD T. ANDERSON – FLORIDA SECTION

Richard Anderson is the System Operations Manager for Peach River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., where he has been employed since 2010. Richard has been an active member of the Florida Section of AWWA since joining in 1998.

Kimberly Kunihiro, Florida Section Chair, commented that, “Mr. Anderson is an active member of AWWA since 1998. Richard has served in numerous positions within the Florida Section including Section Chair, Chair-elect, Vice Chair, Trustee, Public Affairs Council Chair, and Region IV Chair. Richard did not stop being involved in the Section after his tenure as Section chair. Because of this enthusiasm and passion for AWWA, he is still actively involved in the FSAWWA. He is currently serving as the Section’s Finance Committee Chair reporting to the Executive Committee. In addition, Richard is an active volunteer in the Section’s Operators/Maintenance Council, assists in his region’s training activities, and leads the MAC’s fall conference committee’s yearly BBQ challenge. In the association level, he is serving as an AWWA Management & Leadership Division Trustee from June 2016-2019. He is a recipient of the Fuller Award and the Section’s prestigious Allen B. Roberts Award. Other awards bestowed are FSAWWA MAC Robert L. Claudy Award and Region IV Outstanding Operator of the Year.”

Richard holds an International Relations/Government degree from the University of South Florida. He is also a Licensed Water Plant Operator in Florida and Georgia.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what you would you propose as the best solution.

Communicating the value of water to the general public and elected officials. In recent years, AWWA has done a fantastic job leading efforts to secure infrastructure funding and delivering the message on utility needs to our policy makers. Now more than ever we need to drive that message home to the public by communicating the value of safe, quality water that is produced every day by utilities around the country. The events in Flint, Mich., this year highlight how important disseminating the right message is to combating what the public perceives due to misinformation or lack of factual details.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

My involvement in AWWA and the Florida Section has opened doors throughout my career. Volunteering at the Section level has provided me advanced training, the opportunity to represent my utility on water issues, and actively serve on the Florida Board for over 15 years. Through my volunteer service I’ve had the pleasure of networking with what I consider to be an elite group of industry professionals who truly believe in, and are passionate about this business. Through my association with AWWA, my career has advanced beyond my expectations, and more importantly I feel I’ve influenced others in the process.

3. It is commonly agreed that we face a workforce problem. What will you propose as new or expanded programs to bring more talent into the water profession and into AWWA? As a Director-at-Large, what will you do to help AWWA achieve these goals?

AWWA and industry professionals should consider expanded outreach to more non-traditional roles within the water industry such as chemist, scientist, lab tech, and even career paths with construction and industrial backgrounds. This can be accomplished through partnering with other associations, career fairs and an enhanced advertising/outreach campaign. In addition, Community Colleges and Technical schools are an untapped resource of talent which I believe are largely unaware of career opportunities in the industry. A concerted effort to reach out to guidance counselors and job placement professionals within the schools could yield a tremendous influx of talent into the water profession.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

In one word, opportunity. Regardless of a person’s particular passion, AWWA provides an opportunity for personal fulfillment and career success. AWWA has an organized and effective Legislative and Regulatory program, we offer Educational opportunities in virtually all areas of the water profession, AWWA is the leader on Technical issues through AWWA Standards and technical manuals, our efforts on Environmental stewardship are key to a global water solution, and if Member engagement and networking are important to your career growth, AWWA involvement builds bonds that last a lifetime.

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan has five Core Principals. Which one do you feel to be the most important, and why?

As a water professional for almost 25 years, protection of public health has always been of utmost importance and in my opinion it will continue to be in the future. As a utility manager, supervisor, and treatment operator throughout my career I have always considered our core mission as protecting the public by providing safe, affordable, quality water to our customers and constituents. This includes hiring talented, well trained staff and employing the latest technologies available. The American public expects safe and pleasing water 24/7. Anything less should be unacceptable to water professionals everywhere.

Andrea Putz
ANDREA HOLTHOUSE PUTZ - ILLINOIS SECTION

Andrea Holthouse Putz is a Water Quality Manager with the City of Chicago Department of Water in Chicago, Illinois, where she has been employed since 2004.  Andrea has been an active member of the Illinois Section of AWWA since joining in 1998.

Ted Meckes, Illinois Section Chair, commented that, “Andrea is a truly exceptional water professional who will bring a vital and informed perspective to AWWA Board activities.  She works on the frontline of today’s challenging water issues at one of the nation’s largest water utilities, while raising her children. Andrea’s ongoing commitment is reflected by her Illinois Section service a s former YP Chair, Trustee, and ACE16 Local Host Co-Chair. Her impressive academic and professional accomplishments are further compliment by her warm interpersonal style and zest for life. Andrea’s vibrant posture is best reflected in her joyous involvement as a member of the Land of Lincoln Ladies Tapping team.”

Involved in many of the Sections’ committees, Andrea presently serves as Chair of the ISAWWA Young Professionals Steering Committee and a member of the ISAWWA Water Trailer Committee. She is also a member of the Project Advisory Committee and Department liaison for the Water Research Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the ISAWWA Thurston E Larson Award and the ISAWWA Young Professionals Excellence Award. Andrea holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois and a MBA and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what you would you propose as the best solution.

Public perception! Flint induced a nationwide panic that is difficult to manage. The water industry will spend 2017 proving to consumers that we are responsible and that tap water is safe. What is the point of sourcing good water, treating it, distributing it, only to have a consumer refuse to drink it? The only solution is to prove it. Provide an option for easily-requested, free testing and post results online. Whether they’re worried about lead, or they just think their water smells funny, test it. Give consumers the well-justified confidence that their water is safe and it’s our mission to keep it that way 24/7/365. Good operations are the solution, not filters or bottled water.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

I had wanted a career in water before I could even legally drink (no water, no beer!). Part of that career choice was joining AWWA. Twenty years later, I can firmly say I would not be as effective of an engineer and manager without AWWA. Many moons ago, a colleague suggested I join the ISAWWA Young Professionals committee. I did. I listened, I learned, met fabulous people, and eventually became Chair. Being Chair was pivotal to my career. I ran meetings and honed my project management skills. I could ask fellow YP’s those “stupid” questions without worrying I’d look foolish. I met people that became my fiercest friends to whom I still turn today.

3. It is commonly agreed that we face a workforce problem. What will you propose as new or expanded programs to bring more talent into the water profession and into AWWA? As a Director-at-Large, what will you do to help AWWA achieve these goals?

The solution is getting the word out that the water industry even exists! We are still the “silent service”. Young people need to know how amazing careers in water are. These jobs are stable and you can leave at the end of the day feeling proud about your work. AWWA should expand outreach to two groups: high schools and veterans. When ISAWWA found out that the biggest hurdle to getting kids to tour a water plant was affording a substitute and bus, they created a program to cover those costs. As Director-at-Large, I would find funding to do this nationally. I would also expand outreach to veterans before their transition to civilian life.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

This is a common choice for those of us in utilities. Limited budgets mean spending your resources wisely. But it’s an easy choice. AWWA is comprehensive and inclusive. Why choose an organization that just covers water, wastewater, or stormwater when you can have access to them all? That’s getting the most from your membership. And you won’t find people more passionate about water anywhere else. AWWA also offers a variety of membership levels that cater to students and operators. Student membership is so affordable that many of us have sponsored membership for students we were mentoring!

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan has five Core Principals. Which one do you feel to be the most important, and why?

An impressive amount of energy was put into producing the 2016 Strategic Plan. The result is a focused call to action with strategic goals and objectives. By their nature, all five core principals of the strategic plan are important. However, I believe protecting public health defines the intent of the water industry since the time of John Snow and his removal of the Broad Street pump handle. If we cannot protect consumers from unsafe drinking water, we have failed. However, two of the other core principals, sharing best practices and inspiring innovation, are what drive the water industry’s ability to protect public health.

Marshall Thompson
MARSHALL THOMPSON – PACIFIC NORTHWEST SECTION

Marshall Thompson is the Director of Operations for SUEZ Water Idaho, in Boise, Idaho, where he has been employed since 2012. He is also an active member in the Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA since he joined in 2006.

Lacey Goeres-Priest, Pacific Northwest Section Chair, said, “Marshall’s personal experience and range of specialties distinguish him as a unique professional in our industry and AWWA Section.  He is a valuable leader on technology, finance, and veteran’s causes. He came to his role as Director of Operations for Suez Eater Idaho via a non-traditional path. As a military veteran employed for his IT specialty at a large Washington utility, he leveraged AWWA involvement and operational exposure to succeed in a management training program that lead to his current role. Marshall is also the co-founder of a national veteran’s resource group, where he personally commits to raising thousands of dollars annually for related scholarship efforts.”

Involved in many of the Sections’ committees, Marshall serves as chair of Water Information Technology Committee and is past member of the Public Affairs Committee, Board of Trustees and Training Coordination Committee. For other professional organizations, Marshall is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard Reserve and a SUEZ World Technical Committee Plant Asset Management delegate.

Marshall holds BA’s in Geography and Earth Science from Central Washington University. Also from Washington State University, Marshall holds an MS Arch – Design Build Management, a Masters Engineering and Technology Management and a Masters Certificate in Construction Management. Marshall was awarded the PNWS-AWWA Heart and Soul Award 2007, PNWS-AWWA Trustee Service Award 2012 and the SUEZ Bergis Mamudi Diversity and Inclusion Community Award 2014.

1. Describe what you feel will be the biggest challenge for the water profession in North America in 2017 and what you would you propose as the best solution.

In the water operation I manage, we have three missions: Provide customers with exceptional service, maintain your personal safety above all else, and meet every regulatory requirement without exception. To do this sustainably, we must find the most effective means of recruiting, training, and retaining a workforce to share in these mission critical commitments. AWWA can help by advancing its member engagement and development initiative to include a world-class recruitment effort to bring veterans and student volunteers in to our workforce. Utilizing AWWA’s robust catalog of educational programs, would provide resources where most needed.

2. How has AWWA made a positive impact on your career? What member experience(s) has influenced your career the most and why?

Without AWWA involvement, my life would be very different. The most positive impact from my AWWA membership has been a chance encounter at a section board-meeting that lead me to contemplate a career change from technology to operations. Eventually this lead to a family relocation to the great state of Idaho, and the opportunity to direct utility operations for a global leader in water resources. AWWA membership has provided exposure to an incredible network of professionals, and learning opportunities that are unmatched. I feel privileged to help other AWWA members find the same success!

3. It is commonly agreed that we face a workforce problem. What will you propose as new or expanded programs to bring more talent into the water profession and into AWWA? As a Director-at-Large, what will you do to help AWWA achieve these goals?

Workforce Problem? I only see a great opportunity for AWWA to recruit and train tomorrow’s leaders. I came to this industry from an outside profession, and only later became a “true” water professional. From firsthand experience, I know that AWWA network and resources can provide what is needed to make the most of this opportunity. As DAL, I would propose that AWWA create resources to help members recruit great people from additional diverse backgrounds. We will find success by offering Veterans, experienced service workers, and student volunteers an opportunity to serve and develop through AWWA’s exceptional training and professional development offerings.

4. How would you answer a prospective member’s question on why they should become a member of AWWA over other options, if they can only join one organization?

Easy question! AWWA offers a professional network unlike any other organization. Who else can point to a global reach for training, professional contacts, or development of industry standards. Add to this the opportunities for leadership and philanthropy around one of life’s most important resources. AWWA is simply unmatched! If your prospective member wants to make a difference in how the world views and interacts with water, AWWA is the clear choice of organizations to join.

5. The newly revised AWWA Strategic Plan has five Core Principals. Which one do you feel to be the most important, and why?

Public health protection is clearly central to the five core principles. Clearly, professionalism dictates that we provide service in the most responsible and effective manner possible. Efficiency with resource, time, and labor is crucial. It is also important that we inspire growth of an incredibly diverse workforce with innovations and best practices. If we fail to safeguard the health and well being of our customers, none of that matters. As water professionals, we ultimately provide a service that sustains human life. Any of us who fail to deliver on this core principle will quickly discover that everything else is secondary.