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Among more than 60 nominees from across the globe included a few Water Environment Federation (WEF) members, including Lisa McFadden, Brianne Nakamura, and Morgan Brown, who was given the award for Industry Advocacy. The other award winners were: Mary Frances Klimek (Mentor of the Year), Heather Wootton (Marketer of the Year), Angel Wileman (Leadership in STEM), Erika Houtz (Innovator of the Year), Caitlin Bell (Engineer of the Year), Allison Blake (Emerging Leader of the Year), Martha Barton (Saleswoman of the Year), Jennifer Cisneros (Leadership in Manufacturing), Heather Hey (Leadership in Reliability & Operations). You are invited to watch the surprised award winners accept their honors in this video.
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Christine Barger -Snyder

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

With more than 30 years as a business development professional, Christine is currently a leader of Strategic Sales Support and Marketing with Hydro Inc. She connects with people across the business spectrum to cultivate long-lasting corporate relationships. After attending Texas Christian University and ultimately receiving her bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University of Chicago in 1984, Christine went on to serve as an American Airlines flight attendant and flight service supervisor for 15 years, and has been in the highly competitive pump aftermarket industry since 2005.

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Karen Barrios

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM, Leadership in Manufacturing, Engineer of the Year

Karen Barrios Buechel is a New Parts Design Manager at Sulzer Turbo Services with 4 years of experience in product development and manufacturing. She earned her degrees from the FH Aachen in Germany and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and mechanical engineering, as well as a Master in Engineering in Product Development. Her current role is to manage the development of new products and improvements to existing products or product lines, specifically for Gas Turbine Components. Part of this consists in evaluating and ensuring design feasibility and design optimization by understanding fit, form and function of the components, as well as to serve as an interface between the design team, production and sales.


Martha Barton

Nominated for: Saleswoman of the Year

Based near Houston, Texas, Martha Barton has served as the Exhibitor Services Director for the Turbomachinery Laboratory since 2003. Having received her Certification for Exhibition (CEM) in 2016, Martha’s current professional role is solidly in her ‘wheelhouse’. In this role, she creates strong professional partnerships with her exhibitors - coordinating, selling, and providing onsite management for the Turbomachinery and Pump Symposias as well as for all of the events organized through the TurboLab all over the world. Martha loves building relationships and organizing events in her personal, religious, and professional life.

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Caitlin Bell

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Leadership in STEM, Engineer of the Year

Caitlin H. Bell, P.E., is a Principal Engineer and 1,4-Dioxane Lead for Arcadis North America at Arcadis. Ms. Bell focuses on subsurface treatment of soil and groundwater using in situ techniques. Specifically, she focuses on in situ bioremediation applications for a variety of chemicals of concern, including emerging contaminants. She serves as a technical resource to clients on topics such as molecular biology tools, bio-augmentation, and compound specific isotope analysis. Ms. Bell has helped author various publications, including those through the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council, and most recently, the Emerging Contaminants Handbook published by CRC Press.

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Sue Benes

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

The Director of Product Management and Execution at FS-Elliott near Pittsburgh, PA, Sue Benes is a driven leader and mentor in her company. Benes currently serves on the CEO staff, delivering comprehensive product portfolio management along with results-driven project execution. Beginning her career as an Environmental Chemist for an environmental remediation company, she spent 15 years in that field before transitioning to Product Life Cycle Management. In her time with FS-Elliott, Benes has improved communication to break down silos across departments, and globally, she has brought FS-
Elliott channel partners (especially in South East Asia) closer to grow mutual business. Sue thrives in change management and working with others to improve processes, mentoring both direct reports and peers. Outside of work, Sue dedicates her time to closing puppy mills and educates others about animal rescue through Ratbone Rescues.

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Heather Berger

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

Heather Berger is the director of program management for LIXIL Americas. She oversees a team of approximately 20 project managers across North America and China. With team members across the globe and different cultural communication styles among her direct reports, Heather ensures project milestones are met while monitoring the developmental needs of the teams she mentors. Heather earned her Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University and has over 23 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. Since joining LIXIL in 2012, her courageous ability to set goals has made for a more robust, rigorous and successful new product development process than ever before. Dedicated to the development and management of her team, Heather leads with a genuine passion for empowering her team members to gain confidence, grow and develop, while constantly sharing knowledge and devoting one-on-one time to nurture each individual in her group.

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Allison Blake

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year, Leadership in STEM, Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Allison Blake is a Professional Engineer in Dallas, Texas, with Freese and Nichols in the Water Purification and Resource Recovery group. She received her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Southern Methodist University in 2013. Ms. Blake has worked on water and wastewater treatment plant design and studies, treatment plant construction phase services, and treatment plant asset management. Allison is actively involved in her industry organization, the Water Environment Association of Texas.  She has served as the WEAT Student Design Competition Chair since 2013, a competition where university students design engineering solutions based on a wastewater treatment plant problem statement. She is now the WEAT Student Chapter Representative where she is a liaison for active student chapters and assists in developing new student chapters in Texas. Allison enjoys being a part of WEAT to help the growth of students and young professionals in the engineering industry.


Sarah Bradley

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

Sarah Bradley is Editor-in-Chief for Valve World Americas journal and oversees a number of industrial publications. Joining KCI Publishing in 2011, Sarah has had the opportunity to pursue her passion for writing, interviewing and event planning through her work with a number of magazines and also her role as conference coordinator organizing educational programs for the Valve World Americas Expo & Conference, Hose & Coupling World Conference and Fugitive Emissions Conference, among others. Based in Toronto, Sarah is a graduate of Humber College’s Media Foundation program and Sheridan College’s Print Journalism program. In her spare time, Sarah loves to travel, experience live music and foster cats through the Toronto Cat Rescue.


Stephanie Villars

Nominated for: Emerging Leader of the Year

Stephanie Villars, an Applications Engineer with Applied Flow Technology, graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Computational and Applied Mathematics. Stephanie has been an active member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2013 and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers since 2014. Over the course of her professional career, she has served as a judge for the AIChE Rocky Mountain Regional Student Conference and sits on AFT’s Young Professionals team. Working across several industries, including oil & gas, nuclear power generation, and water / wastewater, Stephanie has helped engineers find hundreds of solutions for a variety of small and large systems including creative aerospace modeling, mining, pipelines, and a large range of gas systems. She works to troubleshoot piping and ducting systems and consistently consults on projects for Purple Mountain Technology Group.


Morgan Brown

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Morgan Brown is a Technical Programs Manager at the Water Environment Federation, within the Water Science and Engineering Center. She is the staff manager for both the Water Reuse and Municipal Resource Recovery Design committees. She also supports a number of WEF’s initiatives regarding resource recovery, nutrients, innovation, and diversity and inclusion in the water workforce. Earlier this year, Morgan was accepted to participate in the WEF Water Leadership Institute and graduated at WEFTEC 2019. Morgan has a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Environmental Sciences and Policy at Johns Hopkins University.

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Mary Bunzel

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

As a General Manager at Intel Manufacturing Industry Solutions Group, Mary is a market maker and thought leader in world of the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. With 30 years serving the manufacturing industry through the lens of Reliability and Asset Performance, Bunzel is an expert in Best Practices in the areas of Maintenance & Operations. She has worked with large global manufacturers to operationalize enterprise strategies designed to support reliability in production fleets at optimal cost investment and fuels leadership founded on pragmatic expertise in real world situations. Mary’s close work with customers gives insight on industry trends and special requirements to development teams, analysts and others who seek information on how industry applies the Internet of Things solutions across their enterprises. As a charter member of the Women in Reliability and Asset Management organization, she is an active contributor, supporting women professionals working in manufacturing enterprises.

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Jian Cao

Nominated for: Leadership in Manufacturing, Leadership in STEM, Engineer of the Year

Dr. Cao (MIT’95, MIT’92, SJTU’89) is the Cardiss Collins Professor, Director of Northwestern Initiative for Manufacturing Science and Innovation, and an Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR) at Northwestern University. Professor Cao is an elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ASME, SME, and the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). Her major awards include Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow (2019) from US Department of Defense, Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (2017) from ASME and Pi Tau Sigma, SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal (2016), ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award (2012, 2018), and NSF CAREER Award. Prof. Cao is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Materials Processing Technology, has served as President of the SME North America Manufacturing Research Institute and Chair of ASME Manufacturing Engineering Division. As an AVPR, Prof. Cao fosters collaborations across and beyond Northwestern, and is also a Board member of mHUB. 


Cassie Carlson

Nominated for: Emerging Leader of the Year

Meet the stylin’, profilin’, limousine ridin’ marketing heavyweight champion – Cassie Carlson, Marketing Manager at DEKKER Vacuum Technologies. A graduate of Purdue University, Cassie has worked in many capacities throughout her career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Currently, she is the Marketing Manager at an industrial vacuum pump manufacturer that provides solutions for over 40 industries. She believes in a team approach with integrity, transparency and enthusiasm. Cassie brings a strong, proactive attitude and prides herself on strategic marketing that focuses on the voice of the customer; ultimately amplifying credibility and growing profitability. She is a rare find that takes the bull by the horns and isn’t afraid to shift her perspective to gain better results in any venture she tackles.


Amy Chetcuti

Nominated for: Tradeswoman of the Year

Amy Chetcuti is an Expedition Mechanic/Diesel Fitter, currently based at Australia’s Davis research station in Antarctica. Excelling in her trade, she is currently the only female mechanic in the Australian Antarctic Program. It took years of determination and persistence to acquire the skills required to win this position - it was no easy feat. Working across 3 continents, in industries such as earthmoving/construction, material handling and mining, she has been responsible for fixing everything from chainsaws to 600 tonne excavators and everything in between. Amy worked​ as a field service technician, which would mean taking on jobs on her own. This drove her determination to excel, and to prove she could do it just as well (if not better) than the guys, and that she did! No job was too big a challenge. With over ten years in the trade, and only having once worked briefly alongside another female tradesperson, Amy is determined to be a role model and encourage other women to follow in her footsteps.​


Jennifer Cisneros

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year, Leadership in Manufacturing

As Vice-President of Marketing, Mrs. Cisneros manages the marketing for BioMicrobics, its subsidiaries, and supports 120 distributors' across 13 languages. As a 2017 "STEP Ahead" Award recipient, the Manufacturing Institute launched the “STEP women’s initiative” to support women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production careers and award those making a difference in their companies and communities. Mrs. Cisneros works with water process engineers, Technical Practices Committees, and was the Marketing Chair of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) for 6 years. She has proven vital to the company’s growth by integrating the marketing of two corporate acquisitions and five technology acquisitions over the years, while managing the Company’s Social Media presence.  Her efforts have been paramount to achieving recognition for BioMicrobics with Kansas Exporter of the Year (2011), President’s “E” (2012) & “E Star” (2016) Awards; and the most recent 2019 Top 10 Wastewater Management Solutions Provider Award.

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Minoo Dadman

Nominated for: Saleswomen of the year, Leadership in STEM, Leadership in Manufacturing

A sales and research engineer at BioMicobics Inc., Minoo has worked there since 2007, having started her career as a lab technician and progressing into her current role. She holds two college degrees in biology and Bio-Technology and has been an environmentalist throughout her life. Dadman maintains a healthy work-life balance through prioritization, organization, and planning along with determination, devotion, and dedication. Migrating to the US at age 27, she believes all women have potential to succeed in their careers, especially after overcoming tough times while adapting herself to a ‘new’ society. While holding positions as sales associates and customer assistants, Minoo learned the differences and similarities between two cultures and discovered how to become a successful career woman, never losing sight on what helped her to get to this point in her career.


Shonali Ditz and Tiernan

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM, Emerging Leader of the Year

Shonali Ditz and Tiernan Murrell are the founders and directors of the non-profit, SparkShop. For 4th and 5th grade students who aren’t aware of the opportunities in engineering and manufacturing, SparkShop is an immersive engineering education program that empowers them to see their futures as engineers. Unlike standalone or afterschool programs, SparkShop meets student where they live and learn and collaborates with their teachers to continue learning beyond their program. They both graduated from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and went on to develop laser machinery and automotive components. After working in industry, they were inspired to make engineering an approachable and attainable future for more students.  


Beatriz Dongell

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

Beatriz has spent more than 14 years designing and managing the construction of pump station and conveyance projects in Texas. She has worked on pipelines of various sizes up to 72-inch diameter and pump stations delivering up to 250 MGD. She focuses on the needs of the clients and how to best implement them into the design. Through clear team coordination, Beatriz prevents any conflicts between design leads and disciplines, allowing for a smooth design process. With water being such a valuable resource, she enjoys developing solutions to the challenges municipalities face today and the challenges associated with moving water for the benefit of the public in a sustainable manner. She builds her teams with the right expertise and skill needed to support the client’s vision from conception to construction. Beatriz strives to provide sound engineering solutions with efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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Julie Duryee, P.E.

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM, Leadership in Reliability & Operations, Leadership in Manufacturing, Engineer of the Year

Julie Duryee, P.E. is the Nuclear Engineering and Technical Services Manager for Sulzer Pumps Rotating Equipment Services – responsible for the design, technical support, and refurbishment of centrifugal pumps installed in Nuclear power plants. Her 14 years of experience working in engineering have given her many embarrassing funny stories, lessons learned, and a desire for a long nap. She began her career as a metallurgical engineer in the Metalcasting industry playing with fire and molten metal before joining Sulzer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University. She's a licensed Professional Engineer and an active member of the Executive Committee of the local chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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Julieta Enriquez

Nominated for: Tradeswoman of the Year, Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Having joined Sulzer in October 2008, Julieta is the Import-Export and International Trade Compliance Manager. She obtained her certification as a U.S. Export Compliance Officer and started supporting Trade Compliance for her company. Prior to living in the USA, and during her tenure as an MBA student, she worked in the Financial Risk Division for 7 years in México. She is from a small town in México and has been living in the USA since 2008.

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Gabriela Espinoza

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Innovator of the Year

Gabriela Espinoza is Legal Counsel for Sulzer RES and an alumna of the University of Houston with a Master’s Degree in Law.  Gabriela has at this time 15 years of experience in legal counseling, contract management, and law related services - ranging from domestic to international issues. Espinoza has great expertise in contract drafting and negotiation for the Pumps and Turbo Machinery Industry. 


Sylvia Flegg

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

As the Marketing Manager at Triangle Fluid Controls Ltd., Sylvia is innovative, dynamic, and tenacious.
For more than 20 years, she has pioneered industry-changing and transformational business initiatives that propelled revenue growth, brand exposure and market expansion for corporate, agency, educational and manufacturing industries. As a double graduate of Mohawk College, with diplomas in Business Administration/Marketing and Graphic Design Production, Sylvia has used her knowledge and experience in web, marketing, graphic and visual set design to create a healthy balance between functionality and visual impact in all her work. Throughout her career, Sylvia has successfully developed new technical skills derived from her well-established qualities of being a creative thinker, multi-tasker, and someone who understands that behind every great marketing campaign is an important business objective.

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Natalie Fontana

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

As the Brand Leader for FS-Curtis and FS-Elliott in the Americas, Natalie has a laser focus on growing brand awareness through creative initiatives that emphasizes products being Trusted and Dependable, which are critical attributes learned through extensive customer voice analysis. In this position, Natalie has leveraged the positive brand attributes of each distinct brand to provide customers an easier path to purchase. Her focus on the customer experience, relationship building with team members, and the drive to deliver results have consistently allowed her to take on bigger and more complex roles within the organization. Natalie began her career at FS-Curtis as a front-line customer experience representative and in less than eight years has moved through to customer experience, project management, marketing, and is now on the organization’s executive leadership team. Natalie thrives on demonstrating consistent Servant Leadership across the organization which results in those around her elevating their performance.

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Mary Frances Klimek

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

Mary-Frances Klimek is the Superintendent at the City of Racine Wastewater Utility in Racine, Wisconsin, which provides wastewater treatment to the city and the outlying communities. Prior to becoming Superintendent in 2015, Mary-Frances was the utility Operations Supervisor for ten years. She is a past Local Arrangements Chair and committee member for the Central States Water Environment Association conferences.  Mary-Frances graduated from the University of Wisconsin Parkside with a BS in Biological Sciences. 

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Jennifer Gaines

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year

Jennifer started her career at Sulzer in the Fall of 2014 after completed her graduate research work at the Turbomachinery Lab at Texas A&M University. Jennifer was a production engineer for the Gas Turbine rotors division where she assisted with project management, reverse engineering, and design and analysis of shop tooling and new repair methods. After her time in Big Bay, Jennifer transferred to the centralized engineering department to become one of the lead Rotordynamic Engineers. In addition to her engineering responsibilities, Jennifer also runs the Engineering Internship Program.


Marie Getsug

Nominated for: Inventor of the Year

Marie Getsug is a Program Manager in the Strategic Consulting - Asset Management division of Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. As an experienced Asset Management subject matter expert, Marie has 30+ years of experience in multiple industries including serving as the Maintenance & Reliability Manager for four Fortune 100 Companies before her tenure in consulting. Formally trained and certified in Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM2), Project Management (PMP), Certified Asset Management Assessor (CAMA), Certified Pharmaceutical Industry Professional (CPIP), vibration analysis, ultrasound, lubrication, thermography and Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Marie is a passionate teacher of reliability concepts, Design for Reliability (DfR) and RCM. As an industry thought leader for DfR, Marie has supported several organizations with developing their DfR Programs and toolkits to provide value by significantly reducing the overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Marie is a passionate and successful change agent who creates a culture of inspiration, ownership, and high performance.


Sherry Heinly

Marketer of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Tradeswoman of the Year, Industry Advocacy, Innovator of the Year

Sherry Heinly is the Marketing Manager for Weidmuller, Inc. and has a love for helping companies promote, brand and optimize their selling strategies to the market. She spent the majority of her career in the Industrial pumping equipment industry as the Marketing Manager at KSB, Inc. Her passion and spirit is what allowed KSB to be named as the key supplier for the Water Environment Federation Operations Challenge Maintenance event.  While Marketing is her primary job function by day, Sherry also enjoys spending time with her family and DIY projects.


Heather Hey

Nominated for: Leadership in Reliability & Operations

Heather Hey is the Director of Operations for FS-Curtis in St. Louis, Missouri.  Originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Heather graduated from Indiana Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering where she was a member of the women’s college soccer team and graduated as the Top Student of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.  Heather has used her industrial engineering background to lead and improve multiple departments at FS-Curtis including Manufacturing, Production Planning, Aftermarket, and Supply Chain.  Heather is also passionate about implementing and improving ERP systems to improve and standardize processes and identify operational efficiencies.  Prior to FS-Curtis, Heather was an Industrial Engineer for two major automobile manufacturers. 

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Erika Houtz

Nominated for: Innovator of the Year, Emerging Leader of the Year

Erika Houtz is a senior engineer at Arcadis who holds a BS in chemical engineering from Ohio State University and an MS and PhD in environmental engineering from University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Arcadis, Erika conducted research on the environmental fate of persistent organic compounds and has developed new tools to detect these compounds. She extended this work to investigating human exposure to persistent chemicals while working for the state of California after completion of her PhD. At Arcadis, she is a technical resource for evaluating chemical signatures in the environment and works on the development and evaluation of new technologies for the management and treatment of environmental contaminants. She has worked as an environmental consultant for private and public entities, including the U.S. Army. Erika has authored or co-authored nine peer-reviewed publications since 2012, working to advance the science in her area of practice.

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Marcy Huey

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year, Emerging Leader of the Year

Marcy Huey, Ph.D., CCEP, is the Executive Director for Institutional Compliance at The University of Alabama. In this role, Marcy serves as the primary contact for issues related to compliance, privacy, ethics, and regulatory affairs for the campus, and works closely with administration and various subject matter experts to craft efficient and effective compliance and privacy programs. Prior to obtaining this position, Marcy created the first divisional level compliance program for the Division of Finance and Operations at UA, and served as the Assistant Director for Compliance at Environmental Health and Safety at UA. Marcy received a Ph.D. from The University of Alabama in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on the culture of compliance in higher education.

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Charlene Jones

Nominated for: Leadership in Reliability & Operations, Engineer of the Year

Charlene Jones is a global business leader at W.L. Gore & Associates, leading a team that delivers high performance filtration solutions for gas turbines in the power generation and oil & gas markets.  She graduated from Widener University with top honors and a BS in Chemical Engineering.  Early career, Charlene was a process engineer at Kimberly-Clark, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, and AmerGen Energy Company.  In 2006, Charlene joined W.L. Gore & Associates to apply her engineering skills to develop, manufacture, and sell innovative products.  Prior to her current role, she supported production of Elixir Guitar Strings and the sale of Gasket Solutions.  During this time, supporting Gasket Solutions, Charlene had the opportunity to join the Fluid Sealing Association and contribute to the publication of the Gasket Sealing Handbook.  Charlene empowers others to contribute to achieve business results. She has spent her career creating new futures through collaboration and partnerships.


Priyanka Komala

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Leadership in STEM

At age five, Priyanka gave an impromptu speech about an airplane that catapulted her into becoming the distinguished speaker she is today. Although she had followed the cultural expectation of getting a Masters to become an engineer and technologist, Priyanka knew she wanted to make a bigger impact, so she earned her MBA. Priyanka is passionate about using technology as an enabler to help scientists communicate effectively to varied audiences. She enjoys sharing insights on STEM, the potential of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), happiness, and personal growth, Diversity & Inclusion. At the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, she is responsible for creating and delivering the web strategy and future technological direction for a $30M division.


Silje Langhelle

Nominated for: Saleswoman of the Year

Silje Langhelle has been working with Technical sales since 2006, with the last 4.5 years at Easy-Laser AB, a Swedish company that specializes in laser alignment systems. In her role as Area Sales Manager, Silje has budget responsibility for more than 25 countries and is responsible for the company’s largest key-account. She travels worldwide and meets all kinds of different industrial applications. Silje is Norwegian and was educated in her home country. She specialized in International Shipping, and during her first years as a professional, she pursued this career – completing many short courses, various sales trainings, and GWO “work at heights”.  Currently, Silje is contributing to the rapid growth of Easy-Laser. Within the past year, the company has grown 30% compared to growth rates evaluated in 2017.


Rachel Lin

Nominated for: Emerging Leader of the Year

Rachel Lin is the Engineering Project Manager for American Standard Brands under the LIXIL Americas division. In her role, Rachel spearheads new product development, aggressively working under tight deadlines and driving growth for her group. She also optimized the development process to bring down cost and improve delivery rates. Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in Electromechanical Engineering from Guangdong University of Technology in China and worked for LIXIL in its Guangzhou office starting in 2010 before moving to the United States in 2017. She was instrumental in facilitating communication between LIXIL China and the Americas team, bridging the communication of two teams speaking different languages in two different time zones to yield successful outcomes. With 17 years of experience in the faucet industry, Rachel leads with passion and continues to have a tremendous impact on her team and those she mentors. 

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Miquel Williams

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

Miquel Williams is the Advertising & Marketing Manager for Proco Products, Inc. She started working for the company in 2006, and since then has been responsible for a variety of duties ranging from Social Media to Tradeshow coordinating to all around brand recognition. Coming from a background that was not at all affiliated with the piping industry, Miquel has taken on the challenge of learning the ‘ins and outs’ of marketing to help keep Proco Products, Inc. visible.


Kelly Mahoney

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM

Kelly Mahoney has dedicated her career to STEM education. Kelly has taught high school chemistry for five years in low-income communities, and currently teaches at the ITW David Speer Academy, Noble Network’s STEM campus. Kelly encourages her students to think critically about chemistry and how it can be used to explain the world around them, solve issues in society, and innovate new technology. Kelly supports her students in STEM internships and programming outside the classroom as well. Kelly is a member of the 100Kin10 Teacher Forum, the National Science Teachers Association, and serves as a teacher mentor through the Chicago Foundation for Education. Kelly’s students are her passion and priority, and she works each day to build foundational STEM knowledge in young people so that they may go on to succeed in STEM majors in college and in their careers.


Lisa McFadden

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Mentor of the Year, Leadership in STEM

Lisa McFadden is the Director of Integrated Technical Programs, the Associate Director of the Water Science and Engineering Center for the Water Environment Federation, and serves as the subject matter expert for safety, security, and resilience activities for the Federation, as well as intelligent water systems and technology.  Ms. McFadden serves as staff to the Water Sector Coordinating Council, and other security-related projects in collaboration with federal partners. Lisa provides management and technical oversight for multiple WEF grants and agreements. She manages the WEF Utility Management Committee, Intelligent Water Technology Committee, and the Safety and Security Committee.  Ms. McFadden offers 25 years of IT, program management and development experience, with an emphasis on environmental work focused on Water, Superfund, and Clean Air. She has occupied numerous positions including IT Director, Webmaster, Business Process Manager, and Sr. Program Manager.  Her areas of expertise include program management, technical design, development and implementation.


Dianne McMaster

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM

Dianne McMaster is currently a Manager for Water Automation Solutions Business Development at Emerson Automation Solutions. Having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Duquesne University, Dianne began her career at Westinghouse and continued after her division was acquired by Emerson. Based in Pittsburgh, Dianne is a Regional Lead for Emerson’s Women in STEM group, supporting outreach opportunities, professional development and mentoring. As an Ovation Users Group Executive Board Member since 2014 and a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2017, Dianne is an active volunteer, working with the Penn State New Kensington COMET program (sponsored by Emerson) to guide middle school girls with STEM capabilities. Dianne also supports the University of Pittsburgh Etiquette Dinner, the University of Pittsburgh Women’s Student Networking Conference, is a panel moderator for the 5th Annual Women in STEM Conference, and volunteers with the P3R Pittsburgh Marathon and American Lung Association.

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Brianne Nakamura

Nominated for: Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Bri is a Senior Manager in the Water Environment Federation’s Water Science and Engineering Center since 2015.  At WEF, she primarily works with the volunteer technical committees, along with planning and managing the WEFTEC Innovation Pavilion Programming. Recently, she helped develop and manage the WEF InFLOW (Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water) Program, a scholarship program that introduces underrepresented minority students to a potential career in the water industry. Prior to WEF, Bri worked for an engineering consulting company in the DC metro area; mainly focusing on municipal wastewater projects.  She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University and is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia.


Andrea Odegard-Begay

Nominated for: Engineer of the Year

Having an interest in every phase of the water cycle, from source through treatment and reuse, Andrea has devoted her 19 year career to developing sustainable design alternatives for our water resources.  Her work has included groundwater supply, drinking water and wastewater treatment, and resource recovery. Given her understanding of the importance of water management, she has made the protection of sensitive water bodies a fundamental part of her career. Andrea’s love of problem-solving has enabled her to consider different perspectives and find leading-edge alternatives to address water challenges. She approaches projects with long-term sustainability in mind and aims to gain an understanding of each project’s specific nuances to create a customized approach to meet client needs.  Andrea strives to engage clients throughout each project for collaborative input and maintenance of project vision and goals. Through this work, communities are provided opportunity for growth and improvement of quality of life via the safeguarding of reliable water for future generations.

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DeIla Ray

Nominated for: Tradeswoman of the Year

DeIla Ray is a combo pipe welder who travels the country with her three dachshunds and husband, who complements her work as the pipe fitter. Delia began her welding journey in 2014 as a firewatch. From there, she worked as a helper all while learning every chance she could get on how to acquire the skills needed to pass tests. Deila practiced early in the morning, before work started, through lunchtimes, and after 10 and 12 hour workdays. Deila appreciates working with those men who were willing and wanting to help her succeed. With her relentless drive and completely newborn passion for welding, Deila has no problem admitting she failed tests but still bounced back holding her head high, practicing more, and succeeding. She is a woman doing work that most men can't do and pushes herself with daily reminders that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

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Anabel Rojas

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

Anabel Rojas is a dynamic and result driven Global Marketing and Communications management professional with more than 17 years' experience managing large corporate markets, and particular focus in the manufacturing area. Her work has supported companies such as Littelfuse, John Crane, and most recently, PolyScience. An early love of photography fuels her strong visual sense and passion for creative design and helped her earn her Bachelors in graphic design and Masters in marketing. She’s a gifted problem solver with visual information design and communications strategies, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues and clients to achieve a marketing vision. She enjoys taking photographs of family and friends and lends her problem-solving and marketing skills to support many public and private initiatives. Rojas has led a fundraising team for the American Cancer Society in the past and raised awareness of a referendum to increase youth and family services in Hanover Township this past November.

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Vivan Ruehlman

Nominated for: Leadership in Manufacturing

Vivian Ruehlman is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) with more than 18 years of global procurement experience. Currently, she oversees more than $530MM and procurement activities for Boyd Group – a publicly traded company in Winnipeg, Canada. Vivian’s 18 years of Procurement experience have been within manufacturing settings, with more than half of her manufacturing experience being in the Pump Industry. With the ability to speak Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and English, she has managed all project components including collaborating with internal clients on cost savings project plans and progress. She has worked with team leaders to plan, implement, and complete tasks while monitoring expenditures, projected costs, scheduling, and data security. Vivian’s diverse background offers multiple perspectives when taking a deep dive into the manufacturing process and her attention to detail ensured successful implementation and delivery of staffing arrangements, subcontractor performance, quality control, data files and reports.

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Jacelyn Saling

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year, Leadership in STEM, Emerging Leader of the Year

Jackie Saling has approximately 17 years of professional experience in environmental consulting industry and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. At Arcadis, Ms. Saling is the engineer of record for several large accounts where she develops technical project strategy, communicates complex technical concepts to clients, regulators, and stakeholders, and builds strong technical project teams to execute complex technical solutions to meet the needs of clients.  Ms. Saling is the Remediation Community of Practice Leader in North America. In this role, she manages and mentors the national resources within Arcadis that provide expertise and innovation associated with in situ remediation technologies.  In addition to her technical responsibilities, Ms. Saling serves as program manager and pursuit leader for a large chemical sector client, where she has developed a strong client relationship to be their go-to consultant and trusted advisor.


Angela Spadoni, AIA

Nominated for: Leadership in Manufacturing, Innovator of the Year, Emerging Leader of the Year

Angela Spadoni, AIA, who currently serves as vice chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Local Chicago Product Council, is the Director of residential architecture at Skender, a Chicago-based construction, design and manufacturing firm. With 10+ years’ experience, Spadoni has an impressive background in multifamily, condominium, retail and mixed-use high-rise design. Prior to Skender, Spadoni was a director at bKL Architecture in Chicago, and oversaw the design of numerous large-scale apartment high-rises in Chicago, including three towers on North Lake Shore Drive and East Wacker Drive; Union West, comprising two 15-story apartment towers in the West Loop; and was a member of the design team for Wolf Point West, a River North 48-story LEED Silver luxury tower. Spadoni also helped oversee The Selby, a 49-story luxury apartment in Toronto. Spadoni earned a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in design from Arizona State University.


Christine Spella

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year

Christine Spella is the Director of Global Marketing & Communications at Rockwell Automation. After graduating from Marquette University with a Public Relations Degree, Christine honed her storytelling skills in public relations, leadership communications and marketing for dozens of clients at several agencies. She delivered strategic thinking and business growth during her tenure as Director of Global Communications at Kimberly-Clark, with experience on both the B2B and B2C sides of the business. After rejoining Rockwell Automation, Christine continuously raises the bar for her team of nearly 100 marketing gladiators. Her most recent accomplishment is the development and creation of a dynamic, forward-looking new brand for Rockwell; giving the 115 year old company a modern, approachable look and a more human story to tell that stands out from the competition and leads the way for B2B.

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Lee Ting Ting

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM, Engineer of the Year, Industry Advocacy, Innovator of the Year

Lee Ting Ting is currently a research scholar at the UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab and the co-founder and CTO of Turing Chain. Previously, she worked at Microsoft as a Data and AI consultant. She is a technical writer on Medium and HackerNoon. She also co-organizes the Taipei Ethereum Meetup. Ting Ting has published three blockchain papers in the authoritative forum ACM, IEEE, and international journal CPE. She was awarded the 2018 Best Paper at CryBlock in Munich, Germany for her paper Hierarchical Interactions Between Ethereum Smart Contracts Across Testnets.


Jennifer Tilton

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year, Leadership in STEM

Ms. Martin Tilton is a Principal Hydrogeologist with Arcadis U.S., Inc. She obtained her B.S. in Geology from Beloit College and M.S. in Geology from Washington State University. Her career is focused on the implementation of innovative remediation strategies for soil and groundwater contaminants. Her professional expertise includes site characterization, remedial technology evaluation, and remedy design, performance, and optimization. Ms. Martin Tilton’s primary technical specialty is in situ biogeochemical-based treatment of organic and inorganic contaminants in groundwater. She functions in a technical lead role driving remedial strategy, implementation, and optimization of remedial technologies and approaches. She co-leads Arcadis’ national Biological Treatment Focus Area and provides technical leadership to remediation projects across the United States. She took a 5-year career break to focus on parenting full-time, and since returning to the industry, works to be an active mentor to staff through all phases of their professional career. 

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Ellen Voie

Nominated for: Mentor of the Year, Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Voie is an internationally recognized speaker and authority on gender diversity and inclusion for women in non-traditional transportation careers. She has spoken to audiences in eight countries. Voie serves as President/CEO of the Women In Trucking Association. She has a MA in Communication from the UW- Stevens Point, where she completed her Thesis research on the complex identities of women married to professional drivers. She has a Class A Commercial Driver’s License and is a licensed private pilot. 
Ellen was honored by the White House as a Transportation Innovator Champion of Change, was the “Distinguished Alumna of the Year” award from her alma mater, Supply & Demand Chain Executives “2016 Pros to Know,” Fleet Owner’s Dozen Outstanding Women In Trucking. Insight Success's  “30 Most Inspirational Leaders in Business” and "30 Most Innovative CEOs To Watch, "Beyond Exclamation" as one a "Top 10 Shepreneurs," and Aspioneer's  “2018 Flying High Women Leaders." 

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Lanette Wickham

Nominated for: Leadership in Manufacturing

Lanette M. Wickham is a Vice President at Smith & Loveless, Inc. with 27 years at the company. She manages the manufacturing of custom built, highly engineered water and wastewater equipment and has overseen production capacity increase 25% since 2017. She is responsible for two subsidiaries: Kalsep UK and Schloss Environmental Equipment. Lanette has served as the Team Leader of the TITAN Product Development Team (a Membrane BioReactor) and Corporate Legal Counsel. She is a firm believer in community service and has served as the diversity chair for the KS AWWA, a Trustee for the Johnson County Law Library, and a board member of CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte County Kansas.  Lanette attended the University of Kansas where she earned her BS and JD.  She was a member of the Kansas Law Review and has held numerous leadership positions with the Johnson County and Kansas Bar Associations.   

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Angel Wileman

Nominated for: Leadership in STEM

Angel Wileman leads the Fluid Dynamics section at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. The daughter of two engineers and the sister of two more, Wileman has always been keenly aware of the challenges facing women in STEM. In addition to being a key contributor to programs requiring experimental design, testing and support, she manages several research facilities focusing on fluid dynamics. Recognizing that a key challenge to women in STEM is the lack of female mentors and role models, Wileman hosts tours of the SwRI campus, gives presentations to undergraduate students on behalf of the Society of Women Engineers to encourage them to pursue careers in engineering and frequently mentors engineering students at the college level. She has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Heather Wootton

Nominated for: Marketer of the Year, Leadership in STEM

From Balsa Goddess to Business Planning Manager, Heather Wootton’s roots are planted in both the engineering and STEM worlds. Her primary focus at Garver is on executing strategic business plans across the state of Texas and the development of materials to convey project and program messages effectively. Heather is passionate about promoting the importance of clean water across the State. She volunteers with the local Project Lead the Way program providing training and mentorship of future engineers, through support of their senior design projects. Heather’s technical background - combined with her formal business development training - allows for easy transfer of information and effective messaging to internal and external audiences. She serves as the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) – North Texas Section Secretary and Programs Chair and serves on the WEAT Operations Challenge Committee as Event Coordinator.


Michelle Wu

Nominated for: Tradeswoman of the Year

Michelle Wu is a VP of China Business Development with BioMicrobics. In this role, Michelle sets up and manages a team of distributors providing all aspects of on-site waste water solutions, including sales& marketing, technical support, and customer service. Michelle holds an MBA from University of Iowa and BA in International Trade & Finance from China and has worked for a diverse range of organizations, including Sprint, Staples and Qingdao Textiles & Garments Industrial Company. Michelle has more than 15 years of experience doing business between U.S and China. In this current role, Michelle is responsible for providing environmental solutions for the China Wastewater treatment market. Wu is a strong believer of “Earth is what we have in common”. Although there is currently a tense relationship between the U.S. and China, Michelle continues to spearhead efforts to promote BioMicrobics’ products to China and help solve the environmental challenges there. 

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Maria Zambrano

Nominated for: Tradeswoman of the Year, Industry Advocacy, Emerging Leader of the Year

Based in Houston, Texas, Maria Zambrano is the Customer Services Manager for International Sales at Sulzer Turbo Services Houston. Maria is an engineer with a background of over 15 years and has hands-on experience, including with the turbomachinery industry. She leads a team that day-to-day manages all of the company's international sales. Maria is from Venezuela and earned her degree in 1999 in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidad del Zulia.

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