YP Committee Members

Young Professionals Committee Members

The Young Professionals Committee is committed to actively pursuing the advancement of students and younger professionals in the water industry by outreaching to local sections to promote younger members to take an active role in the Association.


Meet the Committee Vice Chairs

Jihyon Im

YP Committee Chair


jihyon

Job: Environmental Engineer
Employer: CDM Smith
Years in Water: 5

Why I Work in Water: I've always wanted to work in water because of its importance as a valuable resource in our everyday life and the engineering challenges that come with it. I truly appreciate how water professionals very practice issues all over the world, working with people as well as working for people. Also, I was lucky enough to develop so many relationships with some amazing mentors, colleagues, and friends. There’s no doubt in my mind that working in the water industry is all about the people!

Larry Latour

YP Committee Vice Chair

Latour Photo Job: Project Engineer
Employer: Hazen & Sawyer
Years in Water: 7

Why I Work in Water: L’eau est la vie, water is life. 

I chose the water industry to make a difference in the world’s most precious resource. The passion of everyone I meet in this industry makes me proud to have chosen this career.


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Meet the Committee Members

Pooja Chari

Photo of Pooja Chari

Job: Water and Wastewater Engineer
Employer: Fishbeck
Years in Water: 4

Why I Work in Water: Traveling to and from my undergraduate college in India, I used to cross a river, and every morning the river would be extremely polluted with trash and oil. The view used to upset me a lot. The polluted creek made me realize that I wanted to give back to the community by becoming an Environmental Engineer. This led me to being a Water and Wastewater Engineer. I absolutely love my job and it gives me the satisfaction that in some small way, I get to make a difference.


Chelsea Boozer

Chelsea Boozer

Job: Government Affairs Manager
Employer: Central Arkansas Water
Years in Water: 3 

Why I Work in Water: You don’t hear kindergarteners saying they want to be a water worker when they grow up. But that’s because we don’t really describe what we do very well. Every single day, water workers protect public health; ensure the economy continues by keeping businesses, schools, and hospitals running; provide convenience to consumers by delivering water for coffee, showers, cooking, and play; save people money (tap is 300x cheaper than bottled water!!!); protect the environment; and increase quality of life in the communities they serve. How many of you have ever had your electricity go out? (Everyone, right?) How many reading this have ever been without running water? (Probably just a handful.) 

Water workers ensure top-notch treatment, dependable delivery, and abundant access to the world’s most precious and valuable resource at a really low price. That’s something to brag about! 

I work in water because I’m passionate about the value and service our industry provides. Water is crucial to economic development and quality of life. I want to help better tell our industry’s story so we gain consumer trust and turn customers into ambassadors who in turn tell our story for us. 


Ryan Hanson

Job: Graduate Engineer
Employer: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)
Years in Water: 4

Why I Work in Water: As a child, I was always drawn to the outdoors. My love of the environment grew as I got older and started to look at college tracks. It was pretty evident to anyone that knows me that I fit the mold of having an "engineer" brain. It only made sense to put two and two together. 

As I started my Civil Engineering education, I didn't expect to end up in the water industry. However, during my time at the University of North Dakota, several professors motivated me to pursue the Water field. 

With the goal to leave my stamp on my community and the world we all live in, I truly believe that the Water industry is a fantastic avenue to do so. As I  have progressed in my career, I have found it inspiring to work with people who are as passionate about this precious resources that we all take for granted as I am.


Stephanie Hubli

Job: Engineer
Employer: Woodard & Curran
Years in Water: 4 

Why I Work in Water: The need for clean water is universal and consistent. We are accustomed to daily lives that use mass amounts of water and expect that when we turn on the tap it will flow. My awareness of the infrastructure and resources required to bring clean water to my tap was extremely limited before I joined the water industry. 

Now I feel like I am finally behind-the-scenes of a movie that I’ve watched dozens of times. It is my purpose to open the curtains to let others in. 

Water is truly the most precious resource on the planet, and we must educate the communities around us to value water as such so that we may preserve it for generations to come.


Pranjali Kumar

Job: Water/Wastewater Engineer
Employer: Carollo Engineers
Years in Water: 6

Why I Work in Water: Water is finite. And precious. I work in the water industry because I am passionate about the importance of access to clean water. 

As a society, we tend to take water for granted: turn the tap on and voila! There is value in having conversations with people about why water is so important to our livelihood and success. I think the best way to influence people to conserve water is to become a knowledgeable voice. This is why I’m building a career in the water industry, and look forward to a future where water gets the respect it deserves.


Renee Lanza

Renee LanzaJob: Project Engineer & Associate Principal
Employer: Woodard & Curran
Years in Water: 8

Why I Work in Water: After taking an environmental science course in high school, I looked at undergraduate programs specifically with the intention to pursue water/wastewater. From my first day working in the industry, I’ve never looked back.

Water is something that impacts everyone, and getting to work in the industry is really rewarding. You can feel the passion from everyone in the water industry and its infectious. It’s a great feeling to know how many people are benefitting from the work we do to provide clean, safe drinking water.


Wyatt Robinson

Job:  Sales Engineer
Employer: American Cast Iron Pipe Co.
Years in Water: 2

Why I Work in Water: Like most people outside the water industry, how we get our water never crossed my mind. I thought I always wanted to be in the space industry, but after learning more about the water industry I knew it was the right path for me. Everyone in the industry is so passionate about what they do and the difference they can make, it really drives you towards success. At the end of the day, you are able to have a significant impact on one of the most valuable resources on the planet.

Brian Van Nortwick

Photo of Brian Van Nortwick

Job: Environmental Engineer
Employer: CDM Smith
Years in Water: 8

Why I Work in Water: By the end of my first summer internship working in water resources, I knew I wanted to be a water resources engineer and help protect the world's most precious resource. Having grown up in coastal New Jersey by a river and the ocean, I've always been attracted to water so it just seemed like a natural fit. 

The work we do as water professionals is so frequently taken for granted but is so vital to the communities we serve. Through my involvement with AWWA, I have met some of the most incredible people who share my passion for water. It is incredibly rewarding to know that with that shared passion, we can make a real difference and help provide our communities with safe drinking water – the most essential resource for life.


Jordan Walker, P.E

Jordan WalkerJob: Project Engineer
Employer: Kimley-Horn and Associates
Years in Water: 9

Why I Work in Water: I’ve always been drawn to the water. From an early age, you could find me anywhere from surfing in the ocean to building mini steam-powered boats. My first set of mentors had a similar passion for water that drew me into the industry. I love going to work every day knowing that I get to tackle tough technical problems, design new infrastructure, plan for future growth, and restore broken systems. I believe in what we do, making clean water.

Kathryn Yoshimura

Job: Engineer Support Technician
Employer: Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Years in Water: 3 years

Why I Work in Water: Growing up in Hawaii we were brought up with Hawaiian culture and values. Water was a precious resource to ancient Hawaiians so much that they had laws (kanawai) for water and it was often referred to as wealth (waiwai).  

It was easy to pursue a career with the Board of Water Supply, who brought order to a man-made water panic less than 100 years ago. Living on an island surrounded by salt water, I am conscious about conserving drinking water for today and for future generations.

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