Friday, December 2, 2022
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m. Door Opens, Networking Registration, Exhibitor’s Table
10:00 a.m. Welcome and Kickoff
10:05 a.m. Greetings: Mark McDonough, NJ American Water
10:10 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Building and Strengthening our Water Leadership Pipeline
10:30 a.m. Plenary: Ramping up Capacity and Strengthening NJ’s Water Workforce
11:30 a.m. Lunch and Networking
12:00 p.m. General Session
12:50 p.m. Plenary: Accelerating Water Infrastructure Projects: Moving Money to Projects
2:15 p.m. Workshops/Breakout Sessions
3:30 p.m. Conference Adjourns
Thursday, December 8, 2022
Tapping into the Water Assistance Program for Low Income Households
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Three sessions have been approved for Certification Maintenance (CM) credits from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
Plenary and Workshop Descriptions
Keynote: Building and Strengthening the Water Leadership Pipeline
Across the country, utilities are confronting big challenges, from a significant number of people retiring, to a new workforce that is difficult to attract and retain. How do we build a water workforce leadership pipeline? How do we strengthen the water sector workforce and ensure a qualified, innovative, and diverse workforce? Valoria Armstrong, Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice President of External Affairs of American Water, will address these questions in her keynote. Val is a results-driven professional with broad-based experience in negotiation, conflict management, diversity management, strategic planning and partnering, training program development, and customer support. Gather inspiration and ideas for approaching the water workforce challenges.
Keynote Speaker: Valoria Armstrong, PHR, SHRM-CP
Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice President, External Affairs, American Water
Plenary One: Ramping up Capacity and Strengthening NJ’s Water Workforce
New Jersey has over 500 municipal and private water utilities providing both drinking water and wastewater operations, maintenance, and management. These systems don’t function without the frontline people working day in and day out at our drinking water and wastewater utility. These essential services require dedicated staff and provide well-paying, career-oriented opportunities. How can we coordinate efforts to bolster education and outreach to make water a career of choice to bring more people to the pipeline? How can utilities develop internal candidates to grow in their career? Learn from leaders in the field working on solutions to these challenges.
Drew Curtis, Senior Equitable Development Manager, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC)
Nicole E. Brown, Client Development Manager, Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc.; SISTEM (networks of women of color in water), Emerging Leaders Project
Matthew J. Maffei, Apprenticeship Coordinator, NJ Water Association
Stephanie Staub, Director of Infrastructure & Energy Sectors Strategy & Workforce Partnerships; New Jersey Community College Consortium of Workforce and Economic Development
Brian Valentino, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Western Monmouth Utilities Authority (WMUA), Academy Director of Environmental Professional Development Academy
Plenary 2: Accelerating Water Infrastructure Projects: Moving Money to Projects
We want to see effective and financially sustainable water infrastructure systems. For that to happen, funding is required to make appropriate capital investments and ensure proper operation and maintenance. The process of tapping into new and existing funding is challenging and waiting for approvals takes a significant amount of time. While state offices are increasing assistance, solutions to streamline the process that are worth exploring may exist. This plenary will include an overview of New Jersey Department of Protection (NJDEP) technical assistance program, an introduction to New Jersey Future’s Funding Navigator initiative, and a presentation from construction representatives about the challenges they face waiting for project approvals. In the spirit of collaboration, we’ll share resources and explore solutions together.
Tenisha Malcolm, Director of the Urban Mayors Policy Center at John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University
Patricia Ingelido, Director, Division of Water Supply & Geoscience, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Diane Schrauth, Policy Director, New Jersey Future
Dan Kennedy, Senior Director, Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA) of NJ
David Zimmer, Executive Director, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank
Communicating Water Issues and Creating Outreach Plans
Do you ever wonder what the best way to present ideas is to persuade an audience to move to action? Want to learn about strategies and examples of how experts communicate water issues and create outreach plans? Effective communication and storytelling regarding New Jersey’s water issues is more important than ever as we look for ways to find fair and equitable solutions to today’s challenges. This discussion will provide lessons learned and action steps to inspire people to act.
Rosana Pedra Nobre, Water Quality Manager, Hudson River Foundation and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (moderator)
Matt Carpenter, Co-Founder and Partner of Beard and Bowler
Jason Ellinger, Commercial Filmmaker and Storyteller, Beard and Bowler
Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Director, Clean Water Action, New Jersey
Jeanne Herb, Executive Director, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Rutgers University
Financing Lead Service Lines Replacement: Learning from Peers
The New Jersey statute (P.L. 2021, c.183) enacted on July 22, 2021 requires a series of compliance deadlines for action by public water systems pursuant to the removal of all Lead Service Lines (LSLs) within 10 years. There are more than 400 water systems that must now replace their lead service lines, both utility and customer-owned. Planning, executing, and troubleshooting are all parts of project management. Some utilities have already implemented projects to advance this goal while others have yet to begin planning. The law sets forward an aggressive timeline and a funding challenge. Learn about replacement of Customer-Owned Lead Service Lines and Cost Share Policies from experts who are doing the work. The session will focus on informing utilities of various cost-sharing options by exploring replicable examples.
Richard Calbi Jr. P.E., P.P., Director, Ridgewood Water (co-moderator)
Mike Furrey, President, Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services (co-moderator)
Kareem Adeem, Director of Water and Sewer Utilities, City of Newark
Jan Chwiedosiuk, P.E., Director of Distribution, Middlesex Water Company
Kristin Epstein, Project Manager, Northeastern U.S. LCR Compliance Coordinator, CDM Smith
Amy Goldsmith, State Director, Clean Water Action
Sandra Kutzing, Vice President/ Vice President/Lead and Copper Strategy Leader, CDM Smith
Stephen D. Marks, Town Administrator, Town of Kearny
Engage, Target, Act: An ETA for Building Resilient Water Infrastructure
In the 10 years post-Sandy, New Jersey has seen several flood events that have drastically impacted the way of life for residents throughout the state. This has led to the state’s strongest commitment to date to address the root causes and impacts of climate change. Through a collection of new policies and programs, the state is focused on building capacity at local levels to manage the transition to a resilient future. This session will highlight how New Jersey has developed a process to identify climate impacts; how municipalities can best advocate for their most vulnerable residents; how the state, municipalities, and utilities can work together to maximize federal funding support to resiliency assessments and implement projects; and why this needs to happen now.
Carly Foster, Principal Resilience Lead, Arcadis (moderator)
Nathaly Agosto Filión, Deputy Climate Resilience Officer, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Dominic DiSalvo, Director of Engineering, Bergen County Utilities Authority
Christopher Testa, Hazard Mitigation Unit Manager, New Jersey State Police
Tapping into the Water Assistance Program for Low Income Households
This evening workshop is intended to reach the broader community and is connected to JWW’s affordability goals. The workshop will focus on expanding awareness on NJ’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program for communities and residents. Join the conversation with grassroots organizations and organizations that touch more deeply with consumers. This part two of the LIHWAP webinar series is focused on getting more people aware of this program, how to navigate the application process and discuss the opportunities around more long term solutions.
Larry Levine, Director, Urban Water Infrastructure and Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, Moderator (moderator)
Fidel Ekhelar, Director, Office of Home Energy Assistance, NJ Department of Community Affairs
Evelyn Liebman, Director of Advocacy, AARP NJ