| AWWA Board elects new officers; Melissa Elliott selected president-elect
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AWWA Board elects new officers; Melissa Elliott selected president-elect

Melissa Elliott, a 15-year member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and recent chair of the Public Affairs Council, is the Association’s next president-elect.

Elliott was among six new officers elected by AWWA’s Board of Directors at its annual winter meeting Jan. 26 in Vancouver, B.C., including four vice presidents and a director-at-large. The new officers will begin their terms in June after AWWA’s Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE19) in Denver, Colo. 

“Telling our value of water story is more important than ever,” Elliott said. “I will focus on elevating the conversation about water to reflect the commitment, service and value our members bring to their communities every day.”

A well-respected public relations practitioner in the water and wastewater utility profession, Elliott is a manager at the consulting firm Raftelis, where she oversees strategic communication and community engagement services. Prior to her current position, she was director of public affairs at Denver Water, which included leading public engagement strategies for large infrastructure projects, a nationally-recognized lead service line replacement program, and the popular “Use Only What You Need” water conservation campaign.

“In just the last five years the water industry has seen an upsurge in public attention; water quality crises, affordability concerns, massive droughts and failing infrastructure have brought a mostly underappreciated service to the forefront of public attention,” Elliott added. “At this moment our members need each of us to advocate for the value of the essential service we provide.”

In addition to chairing the Public Affairs Council, Elliott’s AWWA involvement includes chairing the Strategic Planning Committee, co-chairing the Affordability Symposium Conference Committee, and serving as a member of the Lead Technical Advisory Workgroup. She also served as trustee and chair of AWWA’s Rocky Mountain Section. She will serve a one-year presidential term beginning in June 2020.

The four vice presidents elected by the AWWA board are:
•    Elizabeth Carter, a 15-year AWWA member who is director of the Rocky Mountain Section and a principal engineer at Aurora Water in Colorado.
•    Richard Hope, an AWWA member for nearly 30 years who is a member of the International Council and director of the Wisconsin Section; he is a senior vice president at AECOM in Stevens Point, Wis.
•    Lee Anne Jones, an AWWA member for more than 25 years who is a member of the Finance Committee and director of the Ontario Section; she is a senior project manager at Jacobs in Toronto, On.
•    Greg Lukasik, an AWWA member for more than 10 years who is director of the Montana Section and an associate principal at Great West Engineering in Billings, Mont.

Elected to the director-at-large position is Cheryl Porter, an AWWA member for nearly 15 years who is on the Michigan Section’s Government Affairs Council and is chief operating officer for Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit, Mich.