YP 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 Members

Jeff BlakelyJeff Blakely
YP Committee Chair
 Senior Sales Engineer
Employer: American Cast Iron Pipe Co.
Years in Water: 8

Why I Work in Water: A family friend was the local utility operator and introduced me to an industry that, much like most of the public, I took for granted. Throughout my career, I have gained a strong appreciation for the people and processes that allow for the quality of life citizens of the U.S. enjoy. The AWWA has allowed me to get more involved in protecting what is truly “The World’s Most Important Resource.”


Jihyon Im
YP Committee Vice Chair
 Environmental Engineer
Employer: CDM Smith
Years in Water: 4

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!


Photo of Pooja Chari

Pooja Chari
Job: Water and Wastewater Engineer
Employer: Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber. Inc (FTCH)
Years in Water: 1

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.

Rebecca HamelRebecca Hamel
Job: Water Quality Supervisor
Employer: Gilbert, Arizona
Years in Water: 6

Why I work in water: When I think of water, I always think of the photograph, “The Blue Marble” taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft looking back on earth on their way to the moon. When I see that picture, I see more than just our planet and our home… I see water. I see oceans and lakes and ice and clouds, and I realize that our water is not going anywhere. The water that we have is the water that we’ve always had and always will have, and that makes it so precious. I’m excited to be a part of preserving our most vital resource.

portlockDan Portlock
Job: Project Engineer
Employer: Moore Engineering
Years in Water:  7

Why I Work in Water: I have always wanted to work in the water industry, growing up I was introduced to water projects that helped people in need. I was involved in several small projects that helped communities disinfect water that didn’t have access to treatment systems. That is what really got me interested in the field. As I progress through my career in water I will know that I have made a difference in many people’s lives.

Tyler Tedcastle Photo

Tyler Tedcastle
Job: Regional Sales Manager
Years in Water: 10  

Why I Work in Water: Too many people take having clean, potable water for granted; however, water is essential for maintaining life. Working on projects that continually enhance the quality of life of people is a great feeling. One that I personally am proud of.

Photo of Ashley WaldronAshley Waldron
Job: Water Treatment Engineer
Employer: CH2M/Jacobs
Years in Water:  4

Why I Work in Water: I grew up in a wooden area with a creek in my backyard, so I’ve always been around water. In high school, I took engineering technology classes that clicked with me and then I knew I wanted to be an environmental engineer. I love that my career allows me to give back to my community and provide the public with safe drinking water. I’ve met so many passionate people in the water industry and that’s contagious. I’m excited to help other young professionals get connect to the water industry.

Tom WoodcockTom Woodcock
Job: Associate, Lead Controls & Instrumentation Engineer
Employer: R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
Years in Water: 8

Why I Work in Water:  When I graduated from university, I wanted to enter an industry where I could apply my engineering knowledge and have a positive impact on the people in my community. Without readily accessible clean and safe drinking water, our daily lives would be much more difficult. I enjoy getting up every morning to face a new challenge and knowing that the work I do helps provide a vital resource for my community.


Suzanne DeLorenzo, Ph.D.
Job: Water Quality Manager/Conservation Specialist
Employer: Clackamas River Water
Years in Water: 3

Why I Work in Water: I came to the drinking water industry after spending a number of years conducting oceanographic research. Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water, yet this resource is often overlooked or taken for granted. As drinking water becomes an increasingly coveted commodity the industry will become an exciting field encouraging advancement of knowledge, growth and outside-of-the-box thinking. I’m excited to be a part of this future.

Latour PhotoLarry Latour
Job: Project Engineer
Employer: Hazen & Sawyer
Years in Water: 6

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.

Spitzer-LondonJordan Spitzer-London
Job: Production Supervisor
Employer: New Jersey American Water
Years in Water: 6

Why I Work in Water: The water field is a diverse and ever expanding industry rife with opportunities. It has offered me a chance to work in different treatment plants, different departments and with a large number of consummate professionals who are all passionate about their jobs. I absolutely love that the day-to-day is never the same, and how problem solving is done through a mix of mechanical know-how, creativity and chemistry backgrounds. This industry is fast coming to the forefront of public education, and I can’t wait to see what challenges lay ahead.

Photo of Brian Van Nortwick

Brian Van Nortwick
Job: Project Engineer
Employer: H2M architects + engineers
Years in Water: 6

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 WalkerJordan Walker, P.E.
Job: Project Engineer
Employer: Kimley-Horn and Associates
Years in Water: 8

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.

Renee LanzaRenee Lanza
Project Engineer & Associate Principal
Employer: Woodard & Curran
Years in Water: 7

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.