On Tuesday, August 16, 2012 the results of the election for 2013 AWRA officers were confirmed. There were 582 valid ballots returned for the election of the President-Elect and two Directors’ positions for the 2013 AWRA Board of Directors. The results of the election were as follows:
- President-Elect: C. Mark Dunning, CDM Smith, Fairfax, VA
- Secretary/Treasurer: David Watt, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, FL
- Director: Rafael E. Frias III, Black & Veatch, Sunrise, FL
- Director: Noel Gollehon, USDA-NRCS, Beltsville, MD
The bios of the newly elected officers are provided below.
Mark Dunning is currently a senior project manager with CDM Federal Programs, responsible for providing support to federal agencies in water resources planning, strategic planning, and socioeconomic evaluation and assessment. Prior to joining CDM, Mark served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for more than 30 years. As Chief of Future Directions in the agency’s civil works directorate he led the development and implementation of the Corps’ civil works strategic plan that first established integrated water resources management as an agency priority. He also led the Corps’ involvement with AWRA in planning and conducting the highly successful and influential National Water Policy Dialogues in 2002 and 2005 and served as a consultant to AWRA for the third policy dialogue held in 2007.
Mark also led a partnership with the Universities Council on Water Resources to create a masters degree program in water resources planning for the Corps of Engineers and received the 2003 “Friend of UCOWR” award for this achievement. Mark holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mark is active in the AWRA National Capital Region section and is currently the section’s vice president and program committee chair. He has been active in AWRA for nine years. He is committed to AWRA’s mission of advancing water resources education, management, and research and to the strong interdisciplinary environment of “communication, conversation, and connections” that the AWRA culture promotes. Mark believes that the AWRA national policy dialogues have had a significant positive influence on the quality and direction of debate about the nation’s water resources.
David Watt has acquired over 26 years of experience in regional water management while working for the St. Johns River and South Florida Water Management Districts. He received his B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida in 1984, has been a licensed Civil Engineer since 1990, and has been active in AWRA since 1985.
Currently, David is responsible for managing the Engineering Division at the St. Johns River WMD. His responsibilities include management of 40 staff, including 20 licensed Professional Engineers, and require expertise in hydrologic and hydrodynamic modeling, design, construction management and operations. He has provided engineering direction for the restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands and numerous water quality treatment projects throughout Florida. His efforts include leadership on such internationally recognized projects as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration, Lake Apopka Restoration and the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project. At the South Florida WMD, David supervised numerous regulatory programs. His achievements include development of electronic staff reports, development of training programs for new permit reviewers, co-founding the Water Quality Section and review of surface water management designs for hundreds of urban and agricultural developments.
David is a certified facilitator who has led planning and collaborative problem solving events for civic groups, stakeholders and government organizations, tackling a broad range of water resource and other issues. David was part of the facilitation team for the 2002, 2005 and 2007 AWRA National Water Policy Dialogues, and he was a co-facilitator for the 2006 AWRA Wetlands Restoration Dialogue in Ft. Lauderdale.
David’s involvement in AWRA includes Florida Section Member Services Chairman from 1997 to 2005, Florida Section Board of Directors since 2000 (including Secretary from 2007 to 2008, Vice President in 2009 and President in 2010). David has participated on many conference committees for AWRA, including chairing the January 2003 and July 2010 Florida Section Conferences, and the 2008 National Annual Conference. He served on the National AWRA Board of Directors from 2004 through 2006, and was Chairman of the National AWRA Finance Committee from 2007 through 2010.
David believes AWRA is the leading multi-disciplinary organization for water resource professionals, and he is committed to continuing his enthusiastic support of the national organization and the Florida Section. His vision includes helping AWRA continue to provide cost-effective water resources education opportunities, and continuing to host the dialogue that will lead to implementation of improved water resources policies.
Rafael Frias is a senior project manager with the global water business of Black & Veatch Corporation. In this role, he specializes in the management of water resources projects in the United States and internationally, including water supply, water quality, water treatment, and stormwater planning and design.
Frias’ career in the field of water resources commenced as a water resources engineer in Kansas City, Missouri, where he performed water supply, watershed studies and comprehensive stormwater management plans throughout the Midwest. During this period, he completed numerous hydrologic and hydraulic evaluations for watershed management and modeled these processes to quantify and minimize flooding and develop water quality improvements through the implementation of best management practices.
Later in his career, Frias transferred to lead the company’s water resources efforts in Florida, while supporting water resources projects throughout the Americas and Caribbean. In Florida, he was involved on his career-highlight project in support of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which was intended to restore the Everglades ecosystem by providing the environment with the right amount of water, of the right quality at the right time.
For the Everglades Restoration Project, Frias completed a hydrologic water balance model used to optimize the design of a 190,000 acre-feet surface water storage reservoir and, together with stormwater modeling performed in Ocala, Florida, led to his being named a 2007 U.S. Trendsetter by Public Works Magazine. In 2010, he led the technical efforts in a feasibility study to evaluate reuse supply augmentation with stormwater in Ocala. He is currently developing water resources master plans and energy efficiency studies that focus on the development of hydropower as a renewable energy source.
Frias has been an active member and a strong advocate of AWRA since shortly after joining Black & Veatch in 1999. In 2006, he received AWRA’s “A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional Award.” Frias has performed as the Chair of AWRA’s Summer Specialty Conference on “Tropical Hydrology and Sustainable Water Resources in a Changing Climate” in Puerto Rico. He has presented, moderated, and served on committees at numerous AWRA conferences. Frias is currently supporting the students and young professionals activities committee for the upcoming 2012 AWRA National Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Along with his national involvement, he has been a strong local supporter of the Florida Section of AWRA, for which he served as membership services coordinator.
Frias puts a priority on young AWRA members – the building blocks of the organization – and on the organization’s influence not only in the U. S., but also internationally. AWRA is an organization with a vast reach, and as we develop the future leaders of the organization, we also need to exhibit our organizational thought leadership in the international forum. As a Board member, I will use my problem-solving skills with innovation, integrity, perspective and trust to develop the talent and potential of young members for the future, while raising the status of AWRA as a domestic organization with strong international ties and leadership. I will also place a priority on keeping the organization fiscally sound to maintain its competitive position and ensure that it is well positioned for future success.
Noel Gollehon is a Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, and would like the opportunity to serve as a representative on the AWRA Board of Directors. He will bring a national view of water resources to AWRA, just as he has done in his 25-years with USDA’s Economic Research Service and Natural Resource and Conservation Service. Trained as a resource economist with a water policy emphasis, Noel has developed a strong appreciation for multidisciplinary analysis and the many facets of water resources management. He brings that perspective to his work, which is primarily advising senior policy officials on the interactions between agriculture, water, and production agriculture. Noel’s areas of expertise span both water quantity (irrigation water use, water use efficiency, water valuation and pricing) and water quality (nutrients) from an economic and policy perspective.
He would bring strength to the AWRA Board of Directors in several areas. First, that of technical competency in the area of agricultural water use, incentives, and quality from a national policy perspective. The relationship between agriculture and water is of critical importance because irrigation is the largest consumptive user of water and agricultural nutrients are a significant cause of water impairment. Almost any conversation about the future of water will involve agriculture. Second, he will bring the perspective of a team player that can adapt to a wide range of roles. Third, working across disciplines, agencies and stakeholders has helped him develop the skills to focus resources on the important topics in conducting integrated water resources analyses and policy recommendations. Noel has been an active member in the National Capitol AWRA Section (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) and a participant in national AWRA conferences. At both the national conferences and the local meetings, he has appreciated the nonjudgmental environment for the exchange of information about all aspects of water resources within and across the many disciplines involved. The enhancement of this environment for information exchange and furthering the advancement of interdisciplinary water resources science and management will be a priority topic for him if elected to the AWRA Board of Directors. In the era of limited travel budgets and too much e-mail, how AWRA will maintain and enhance the positive, multidisciplinary perspective to information exchange is a critical issue. He believes that AWRA will need to expand the use of effective electronic media delivery to both entice professionals to face-to-face meetings and serve as an important mechanism to inform the membership. Noel would like the opportunity to work on these issues and other areas as your representative on the AWRA Board of Directors.
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