YP Committee Vice Chair
Employer: Woodard & Curran
Years in Water: 6
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.
Sally Mills Wright
YP Board Liaison
Job: Assistant Director – Water Production
Employer: City of Dallas Water Utilities (DWU)
Years in Water: 24+
Why I Work in Water: I would say my upbringing led me to water. My father was a career military man who gallantly fought for our country and who, still to this day says, “Best Job I Ever Had!” As I was embarking upon my journey to find my place in this world, I too wanted to find a career that would resonate with me as the Army had with my dad. I stumbled into water. I started working in the Pacific Northwest assisting small, rural, and tribal water systems come into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. I got to see first-hand how I was making a difference in the lives of those in the communities I served. Twenty plus years later, I still wake up each morning, armed with a heart full of purpose and meaning, knowing that today is the day I get to make a difference in my community. I’d say I’ve found the best job I ever had and each day, it gets better!
Job: Government Affairs Manager
Employer: Central Arkansas Water
Years in Water: 5
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.
Job: Water and Wastewater Engineer
Years in Water: 6
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.
Job: Water/Wastewater Engineer
Employer: Carollo Engineers
Years in Water: 8
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.
Job: Graduate Engineer
Employer: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)
Years in Water: 6
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.
Job: Engineering Project Manager
Employer: New Jersey American Water
Years in Water: 7
Why I Work in Water: Water is essential to life, and contributing to the water industry brings me purpose. I’ve been water-obsessed since I was a child and that obsession has stayed with me through adulthood and my career. From swimming in the (not always clear) ocean at the Jersey Shore to tasting tap water in different cities around the country, water has kept me curious. My appreciation for the environment brought me to the water industry, and the vision and community of my water colleagues have validated my place here.