| AWWA recognizes rising stars in water sector with 5 Under 35 Award
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AWWA recognizes rising stars in water sector with 5 Under 35 Award

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recognized the five recipients of its 5 Under 35 – Outstanding Young Professional Award at its recent ACE24 event in Anaheim. The award, which debuted in 2021, recognizes and honors AWWA members under the age of 35 who have demonstrated outstanding service to their Sections or the Association through leadership and active participation in young professional (YP) programs.

The 2024 award winners are:

Jessica Agsalda, Hawaii Section

  • Project Manager, The Limtiaco Consulting Group, Honolulu County, Hawaii
  • 2020 recipient, Outstanding Section Member                 
  • Past Section At-Large Trustee
  • Past Section YP Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary
  • Past Section Chair, Youth Education Committee
  • Section Chair, Newsletter Committee
  • Member, Section Water Conference Committee
  • Past Chair, Section YP, Community Service Committee
  • M.S. and B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Lillian Meighan, Virginia Section

  • Communications Specialist, Western Virginia Water Authority, Roanoke
  • Past YP Trustee, Section Board
  • Past Chair, Section Water Awareness & Outreach Committee
  • Co-creator, award-winning educational video series for City of Lynchburg’s Water Resources Department
  • B.S., Natural Resources & Conservation, Virginia Tech; M.S., Agricultural & Environmental Education, University of Georgia

Lily Lopez, California-Nevada Section

  • External Affairs & Sustainability Director, Walnut Valley Water District, California
  • 2023 Graduate, Transformative Leadership Water Academy
  • 2023 Young Professional of the Year (Section) 
  • Vice Chair, Section Inclusion & Diversity Committee
  • Member, Section YP Committee
  • Founder, Young Professionals Development Program for regional water agencies
  • Board Member, Water Education Foundation 
  • B.A., Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Lindsay Anderson, Atlantic Canada Section

  • Research Engineer and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Water Resources Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Section Board, Technical Director
  • Past Section Board, Member Involvement Director
  • Past Section Chair, YP Committee
  • B. Engineering, MASc. and Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Dalhousie University

Pooja Chari, New England Section

  • Water Infrastructure Engineer, Woodward & Curran, Canton, Massachusetts
  • Member, AWWA YP Committee (YPC) and Co-Chair, YP Leader Training
  • Past Chair, YPC Student Outreach Subcommittee
  • Past Chair, Vice Chair, YP Summit Programming 
  • Past Chair, Vice Chair, YP Summit Planning
  • YP Liaison, International Council; Past YP Liaison, Technical and Educational Council
  • Member, New England YP Committee
  • Past Ohio Section Chair, YP and Communications Committees
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology; M.S., Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati

“AWWA is lucky to have such incredible talent and passion in our Young Professionals community,” said AWWA President Cheryl Porter. “The future of water hinges on their dedication, innovation and leadership, and we're proud to recognize their achievements and support them as they blossom into the next generation of water leaders.”

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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most vital resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.