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.

View the current list of Section YP Committee Chairs

Meet the Committee

Jihyon Im

YP Committee Chair


Job: Environmental Engineer
Employer: CDM Smith
Years in Water: 6

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!


Stephanie Hubli

YP Committee Vice Chair

Stephanie Hubli

Job: Engineer
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

Sally Mills Wright 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!

Chelsea Boozer

Chelsea Boozer

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. 

Pooja Chari

Photo of Pooja Chari

Job: Water and Wastewater Engineer
Employer: Fishbeck
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.

Pranjali Kumar

Pranjali Kumar

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.

Ryan Hanson

Ryan Hanson

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.

Maddie Spinner

Photo of Maddie Spinner

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.

Ari Copeland

YP Board Representative

Photo of Ari Copeland

Job: Senior O&M Specialist
Employer: Black & Veatch
Years in Water: 19

Why I Work in Water: I love working in operations and understanding how treatment processes work. I love giving back to many different communities and training people to be the best they can be.

Renee Lanza

Renee Lanza

Job: Project Engineer & Associate Principal
Employer: Woodard & Curran
Years in Water: 10

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.

Brian Van Nortwick

Photo of Brian Van Nortwick

Job: Environmental Engineer
Employer: CDM Smith
Years in Water: 10

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.

Kathryn Yoshimura

Kathryn Yoshimura

Job: Engineer Support Technician
Employer: Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Years in Water: 5

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.

Jake Phillips

Photo of Jake Phillips

Job: Sales Engineer
Employer: American Cast Iron Pipe Company
Years in Water: 3

Why I Work in Water: Growing up with an agricultural background, I often got to see firsthand the importance of water. Water plays a critical role in our food production across the world, and if we did not possess accessibility to meet our demands, that is an intimidating thought. Water is one of the world’s most critical resources and it is imperative we continue our ability to not only meet the demands of agriculture, but the immense demands required by society.

When transitioning into my career after college I knew it was always going to be important to me to be able to define purpose in my work. I define purpose as my ability to positively impact society, ability to help others and being genuinely interested in my work. Working in the water industry exemplifies all of those things. The water industry is packed with innovative and driven people who make me excited to continue my career in water.

Aidan Cecchetti

Photo of Aidan Cecchetti

Job: Water Resource Control Engineer
Employer: Water Resource Control Engineer
Years in Water: 10

Why I Work in Water: I have always felt connected to water and the environment. Growing up in rural New Hampshire, I had what seemed like limitless access to the outdoors. I spent countless hours swimming and playing in local lakes, ponds, and streams, and going to the ocean for seafood and recreation.

Although my family always had access to high quality drinking water during my youth, our proximity to the high-profile leukemia cluster in Woburn, Massachusetts and local fights over a proposed USA Springs groundwater pumping and bottling facility in Nottingham, NH both made it clear to me at a young age that protection of water quality and supply is not guaranteed.

I joined the water industry because I wanted to protect those resources, and I was drawn to engineering because I wanted to help develop new technologies to achieve that goal. Everything I have experienced as I have advanced through my career has continued to reinforce that water is fundamental to everything we do and is worth fighting to protect.

Terrian Tyler

Photo of Terrian Tyler

Job: Project Engineer
Employer: Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority
Years in Water: 5

Why I Work in Water: I understand that water is key to our future. While it may take a while to become more mainstream, I’m starting the improvements early because every drop counts.