Young Professionals Summit

The AWWA/WEF Young Professionals (YP) Summit is the premier water and wastewater industry workshop for young professionals. Join other young leaders by exploring your role in water and discussing how you can best serve the water sector at large.

Save the Date

Join us in Anaheim, California for the 2020 YP Summit on Tuesday, February 25th. More details to come.

Need to convince your boss? Use the YP Summit Attendance Justification Toolkit



2020 Program Coming Soon! 

Please check back for programming details for the 2020 YP Summit in Anaheim, California. 

2019 Program

Thank you to everyone who came together in 2019 to learn, create and share ideas that will help shape the future of water. The 2019 program recap is available below for reference - stay tuned for 2020! 

2019 Keynote Speaker - Dr. Mark LeChevallier

Dr. Mark LeChevallier is the principal and manager of Dr. Water Consulting LLC, a part-time consulting business, after retiring from American Water at the end of 2017.  Dr. LeChevallier received his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in Microbiology from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Montana State University.  

Dr. LeChevallier has authored over 300 research papers and has received awards from the American Water Works Association for outstanding contributions to the science of water treatment.  He was the recipient of the George Warren Fuller award in 1997 from the New Jersey section of the American Water Works Association, the Abel Wolman Award in 2012 and the A.P. Black award for research in 2015, both from the American Water Works Association.  He currently serves on the Water Science & Technology Board for the National Academy of Science and is a member of the NAS Legionella workgroup. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  

May the Work(Force) Be With You

This is an interactive, management/leadership 101 workshop with small group facilitation lead by industry leaders regarding team and project development.
Pieter Van Ry Moderator: Pieter Van Ry, PE
Title: Director
Company: South Platte Water Renewal Partners
Manager: Matt Bond, P.E., WEF Fellow
Title: Chief Engineering Officer
Company: KC Water
Alan CranfordManager: Alan Cranford, PO
Title: Water Treatment Plant Manager
Company: Murfreesboro Water Resources Department
Manager: Michael W. Grimm, P.E.
Title: General Manager
Company: West Slope Water District 
Michelle HatcherManager: Michelle Hatcher, P.E.
Title: Director, Water Management Department
Company: City of Franklin, TN
Jim HorneManager: Jim Horne
Title: Sustainability Program Manager
Company: US EPA

Jeanne JensenManager: Jeanne M. Jensen, MPA, PE
Title: CIP Projects Supervisor - Utilities 
Company: Town of Gilbert
Gene KoontzManager: Gene Koontz, PE
Title: Senior Vice President
Company: Gannett Fleming 
Cynthia LaneManager: Cynthia Lane
Title: Assistant District Manager
Company: Platte Canyon Water & Sanitation District 
Matthew ManchisiManager: Matthew J. Manchisi, PE, PMP
Title: Senior Principal Engineer
Company: Hazen and Sawyer
Randy MooreManager: Randy Moore
Title: Director of Sales - Agency Development & Industry Affairs
Company: Tnemec Company, Inc.
Tim MoranManager: Tim Moran
Title: Product Manager
Company: NIBCO Inc.
Bri NakamuraManager: Bri Nakamura
Title: Senior Manager, Water Science and Engineering Center
Company: Water Environment Federation
Jennifer OsgoodManager: Jennifer Osgood, P.E., PMP, BCEE
Title: Project Management & Commercial Leader
Company: CDM Smith
Doug KimblerManager: Doug Kimbler
Title: Superintendent of Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant 
Company: Bowling Green Municipal Utilities
Jackie JarrellManager: Jackie Jarrell
Title: Operations Chief, WEF's President Elect
Company: Charlotte Water
Manager: Chi Ho Sham, Ph.D.
Title: Vice President and Chief Scientist
Company: Eastern Research Group, Inc. 
Candace VannasdaleManager: Candace Vannasdale
Title: General Manager
Company: Harriman Utility Board
Manager: Jeff Zdrojewski, PE
Title: North Region Business Development Director
Company: Pure Technologies

Making an Impact: A Local & Global Perspective

Hear from a panel of local and global water aid organizations including Community Engineering Corps, Vera Aqua Vera Vita and Water for People, regarding the water crisis and what you can do to make a difference.
Moderator: Barb Martin
Title: Director of Engineering and Technical Services
Company: American Water Works Association

With over 20 years of experience in water and wastewater, Barbara Martin is currently Director of Engineering and Technical Services at the American Water Works Association, where she previously managed the Partnership for Safe Water.  She has a BA in chemistry from Boston University and an MS in geochemistry from Colorado School of Mines, where her thesis research focused on the effect of constructed wetlands on disinfection by-products and their formation.  Barbara has an MBA from Colorado State University and is a licensed drinking water operator in the State of Colorado.
Vera Aqua Vera VitaAt Vera Aqua Vera Vita we aim to tap into the physical and spiritual nature of water to empower people and communities in developing countries to generate clean water and sanitation solutions that bring "True Water True Life." We are focused on empowerment of the people we serve in developing countries to ensure the implementation of best practices, WASH education curricula, and water & wastewater infrastructure solutions that result in generation-over-generation long-term and sustainable solutions. We work with communities in need to inspire, engineer, and implement solutions to their specific water, sanitation, and hygiene issues!
Jacob NiemeierPanelist: Jacob Niemeier, P.E.
Title: Founder & Executive Director, Water Resources Civil Engineer 
Company: Vera Aqua Vera Vita, Stantec 
Jacob, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, is the Founder & Executive Director of Vera Aqua Vera Vita and a part-time water resources civil engineering consultant at Stantec, Inc.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture & Biological Engineering from Purdue University. He majored in Environmental & Natural Resources Engineering and minored in Environmental & Ecological Engineering. While at Purdue, Jacob, also, recognized the needs and suffering of people in developing countries when he took mission trips to both Haiti and Africa which he credits as his inspiration for starting Vera Aqua Vera Vita.

Jacob has a great passion for problem solving and adventure whether it is with water, the environment, travel, or people.  After graduation in 2012 from Purdue, Jacob moved to Dallas, Texas, for a job with Stantec, Inc. working as a water resources consulting engineer. He is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) with over 6.5 years of design experience in both public and private projects focused on water, wastewater, and stormwater conveyance, distribution infrastructure design, and water & wastewater system modeling.

Jacob currently serves as a YP Co-Chair for the North Central Texas Chapter of the AWWA Texas Section.
Water For PeopleWater for People
A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water and sanitation services. Water for People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. 
Vicky BhogalPanelist: Vicky Bhogal
Title: Community Engagement Manager
Company: Water for People
Vicky Bhogal joined Water For People in 2012, as an integral member of the organization’s business development team. When she began with Water For People, Vicky brought with her many years of experience with nonprofits focused on human and environmental services. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Vicky spent 10 years working in various roles within corporate law with an emphasis on immigration, mergers & acquisition and intellectual property. 

As Water For People’s Community Engagement Manager, Vicky supports more than 50 volunteer groups across North America that perform outreach and host fundraisers in their local communities. These volunteer Committees have existed since Water For People was formed in 1991 by the American Water Works Association and provide crucial unrestricted funding for the programming. 
Vicky is also responsible for maintaining strong relationships between Water For People and sector associations including AWWA, WEF, NAWC, NACWA, and the US Water Alliance. In addition, Vicky manages Water For People’s technical volunteering arm – the World Water Corps, as well as the organization’s donor tours to the field. While Water For People is headquartered out of Denver, Vicky is based in the California Bay Area, where she has spent most of her life. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. 
Community Engineering Corps
Community Engineering Corps’ is an alliance of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, and Engineers Without Borders USA. We bring more than 200,000 technical professionals and students members of our organizations together to serve communities across the United States. These individuals volunteer their time and expertise to assist communities that do not have the resources to access engineering services. With a strong commitment to community-driven projects, our volunteers work alongside community members to design solutions to identified problems.
Stephen BarrPanelist: Stephen Barr
Title: Community Engineering Programs Manager
Company: Community Engineering Corps - American Water Works Association 
Mr. Stephen Barr is the Community Engineering Program Manager for the Community Engineering Corps (CECorps), employed by AWWA in Denver, Colorado. Steve has 10 years of experience in the international development and environmental engineering industries, having received his B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and his M.Sc. in Science, Technology, and International Development from the University of Edinburgh.
Throughout his career, Steve has balanced his experience both domestically and abroad, most recently managing business development efforts for Tetra Tech’s International Development Services division, primarily focusing on the fields of local governance, environment, and water and infrastructure for US Agency for International Development prog. 
Prior to this, Steve worked for various consulting firms throughout California and the west coast performing environmental site investigations and construction oversight on behalf of Department of Defense, State, and local agencies. During and in between consulting, he volunteered for Engineers Without Borders – USA and other international non-profit organizations to conduct water and wastewater projects in Cameroon, Honduras, Thailand, and the West Bank, wrote his dissertation on decentralized wastewater treatment options in Benin, and performed USAID business development scoping in the West Bank and Nigeria. 
As AWWA’s representative to and program manager for CECorps, Steve works with AWWA Sections and members to provide volunteer opportunities for short-term engineering and technical services to underserved communities across the US.

Workshop: Communicating the Value of Water

This workshop will teach attendees about communication and public outreach efforts focusing on the value of water with Melissa Essex Elliott (Raftelis), Sonia Allman and Jenn Harrman (Metro Water Services).
Presenter: Melissa Elliott
Title: Manager, AWWA's President-Elect
Company: Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. 

Melissa Elliott has a 20+ year public relations career spent almost entirely with water and wastewater utilities and municipalities. She oversees communication planning, stakeholder engagement and risk communication strategies for Raftelis where her focus is on helping utilities tell their story to connect consumers to the value of water. Prior to joining Raftelis, Melissa directed the public affairs efforts at Denver Water. 
She has extensive experience working with elected officials, stakeholders and the public on issues as diverse as drought, water quality, potable reuse, affordability, rate structure change, impactful construction projects, customer assistance programs and demand management. She has an M.S. in technical communication and a B.A. in journalism and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America. 
Highly active in the water industry nationally and regionally, Melissa is the incoming AWWA President-Elect, the former chair of AWWA’s Public Affairs Council and a regular volunteer for The Water Research Foundation. 
Sonia AllmanPresenter: Sonia Allman
Title: Manager of Strategic Communications
Company: Metro Water Services
Sonia Allman, is the Manager of Strategic Communications at Metro Water Services (MWS), a member of the Emergency Management Support staff for the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Nashville, TN and Past Chair of the KY/TN Section of AWWA.  Sonia manages all media communications and public messaging strategies for MWS and is part of the MWS emergency response team.  Sonia is a University of Tennessee graduate and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. Her personal interest in the environment led Sonia to a career in the water industry.  
Jenn HarrmanPresenter: Jenn Harrman
Title: Public Information Representative
Company: Metro Waste Services
As the Public Information Representative for Metro Water Services, Jenn works with digital communications and public outreach to share the utility’s story. Jenn believes that the power of social media and digital communications is essential to building trust and sharing the value of water message. She has worked in public relations and public education for over 7 years and is passionate about finding creative ways to engage new audiences. Jenn has also trained extensively as a professional tour guide both in Chicago and Nashville, which has helped inform many of her communications strategies. Jenn holds a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and a master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Sponsor Opportunities

Support the future of water! The Young Professionals Summit offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities to enhance your company's impact and visibility throughout the conference. 

Co-hosted by AWWA and WEF, The YP Summit is the premier water and wastewater industry workshop for young professionals. 

Show your support of these future industry leaders by taking advantage of the sponsorship opportunities listed below. Being a conference sponsor is a great way to leverage your presence at the conference, increase your brand awareness, and put your organization’s name in front of these up and coming YPs! 

For 2020 sponsor inquiries please visit

Thank you to all who attended the 2019 Program! 

YP Summit Presentations
AWWA Leadership Training Slides
What You Missed: AWWA YP Leadership Training and AWWA/WEF YP Summit

Links to photos:
Sunday 3/3/19
Monday 3/4/19: AWWA YP Training
Tuesday 3/5/19: Water YP Summit



2019 YP Summit Sponsors

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