| “5 Under 35” demonstrate capabilities of Water 2050 leaders
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“5 Under 35” demonstrate capabilities of Water 2050 leaders

Five young professionals who go above and beyond in service to the American Water Works Association and their Section were honored as AWWA’s 2022 class of “5 Under 35” during today’s opening session of ACE22. The recipients are Chelsea Boozer, Ashley Evans Kent, Renee Lanza, Lauren Schuld and Tom Woodcock. Highlighted below are summaries of their water sector leadership, as well as their thoughts on Water 2050 – AWWA’s “visioneering” effort to imagine the water future we want to create. 

Chelsea BoozerChelsea Boozer, Southwest Section

  • Government Affairs Manager, Central Arkansas Water, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Member, AWWA Young Professionals Committee; YP liaison, AWWA Water Utility Council; member, ad-hoc YP/AWWA Social Media team
  • Published articles in Journal AWWA and Opflow 
  • Presented at three AWWA national conferences and several other regional and local water conferences
  • 2021-22 YP Chair of the Arkansas Water Conference; co-founder of the Arkansas Water YP Network in 2021
  • B.A., Journalism, University of Memphis; Executive MPA, Syracuse University 

“We’ve got to consolidate an industry where 90% of our water utilities serve fewer than 10,000 people. Larger, regional utilities can better address the dynamic challenges our industry will continue to face such as increased regulations and the associated cost, climate change, water supply, infrastructure maintenance and replacement, and affordability. The economy-of-scale benefits of larger, regional utility districts will result in increased efficiency in utility management, better water quality, and more affordable water services. I hope by 2050, the industry has made a real stride toward consolidation because everyone, everywhere deserves access to clean, safe, affordable water.”

Ashley Evans KentAshley (Evans) Kent, Texas Section

  • One Water Practice Leader; Biological Drinking Water Treatment Discipline Leader, Arcadis, Austin, Texas; PE
  • 2021 AWWA Golden Spigot recipient; Member, AWWA Source Water Protection and Water Resources committees; Member, AWWA University Student Activities Committee, 2014-2017
  • Chair, AWWA Biological Drinking Water Treatment Committee; Co-chair, new AWWA Manual (M80): Biological Drinking Water Treatment for Surface Water, Groundwater and Reuse Applications
  • Planning Committee Vice-Chair, AWWA 2020 International Symposium on Biological Treatment; published articles in Journal AWWA and AWWA Water Science
  • Founding member, AWWA Student Chapter, University of Texas at Austin; recipient of AWWA scholarships including the Larson Aquatic Research Support (LARS) Fellowship, 2012-2013
  • B.S. and M.S., Civil Engineering and Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

“In my vision of a sustainable, thriving water future, our communities welcome innovative solutions utilizing every piece of the water cycle as a potential water supply, our water systems implement advanced technologies and data governance approaches to gain efficiencies and build trust, and we all embrace a culture of watershed-wide collaboration. These strategies will protect our natural resources for future generations and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Renee LanzaRenee Lanza, New England Section

  • Project Manager, Water Infrastructure, Woodard Curran, Andover, Mass.; PE
  • Member, AWWA YP Committee; vice chair, AWWA Water Treatment Facility Design & Construction Committee; member, AWWA Capital Project Delivery Committee; chair, vice chair and social media chair, NEWWA YP Committee; member, Section Networking Committee
  • Recipient, NEWWA Volunteer of the Year and NEWWA Younger Member of the Year awards; graduate and mentor, NEWWA Mentoring Program
  • Published June 2021 column in Journal AWWA
  • Presenter at AWWA conferences and events, including ACE19, Virtual Summits and webinars; Section Spring and Annual Conferences
  • B.S., Environmental Engineering, M.S., Civil Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; MBA Candidate, Yale School of Management

“Many of our challenges in the water industry come down to who pays for it. Most everyone wants to do the right thing, but it’s a challenge of the magnitude of cost and the financial responsibility. A sustainable, thriving water future is one where public-private partnerships and regionalization can result in providing better service to customers while giving water utilities the resources they need to deliver the highest quality water.”  

Lauren SchuldLauren Schuld, Illinois Section

  • Assistant Infrastructure Department Manager, Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers, Chicago, Ill.; PE
  • Chair, Illinois Section Young Professionals Committee, 2019-present
  • Member, Section “No Water No Beer” Committee; Section Water for People fundraising, YP representative, ISAWWA Veterans Initiative
  • Recipient, ISAWWA Young Professionals Excellence Award
  • Presenter, Section Conference (WATERCON)
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Bradley University; M.E., Engineering in Public Works, Illinois Institute of Technology 

“Future leaders must be good stewards of water and promote the public awareness of the social, economic, and ecological benefits of water. We must strive to create an equitable water future that provides all people with reliable access to clean, safe, affordable water services.”

Tom WoodcockTom Woodcock, Ontario Section

  • Senior Associate, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited; London, Ontario, Canada; P. Eng.
  • Member, AWWA Young Professionals Committee, 2017-2020
  • Chair, OWWA Section YP Committee, 2016-17
  • Elected member, OWWA Board of Directors, 2020
  • Vice Chair, 2018 YP Summit, San Antonio, Texas; chair, 2019 YP Summit, Nashville, Tenn.
  • B.E.Sc. Chemical Engineering, Western University

“A key strategy for a sustainable, thriving water future is to tell our water stories to communicate the value of water to the communities we serve and the career opportunities available for future generations to become the next stewards of the world’s most vital resource.”