Emerging Leader Awards

Recognizing and supporting the next generation of water leaders

WaterNow is committed to celebrating and elevating local leaders who do the hard work of advancing innovative, sustainable, equitable, and climate resilient water solutions in their communities. We believe that exceptional leaders can be found at every level within cities, towns, utilities, and water resource agencies, and that their professional development is key to ensuring our best water future. For these reasons, WaterNow has developed the Emerging Leader Awards to recognize and support Next Gen water leaders and help them further their careers. 

The Emerging Leader Awards recognize mid-level water utility professionals poised to take on leadership positions in the coming years. These individuals have demonstrated promise and creativity in advancing meaningful cultural change in the areas of sustainability, equity, or community engagement. Emerging leaders awardees will receive a $1,500 stipend to support their leadership training and professional development.

 

Nominations for the 2023 Emerging Leader Awards are currently open and will close on February 17, 2023. If you have any questions please contact: [email protected]

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Who is an "Emerging Leader"?

Emerging leaders are mid-level utility and municipal staff of diverse backgrounds, poised to take on leadership positions in future years, with a particular focus on those who are underrepresented in the utility space. By supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and people of marginalized genders who will become the water utility leaders of the future, we support efforts to recruit and retain water leaders who reflect the communities they serve, and who represent a diverse array of perspectives and experiences.

Who is eligible for nomination?

Eligible Emerging Leader nominees include mid-level staff from a utility, city, town, special district, or other entity with responsibility for drinking water, wastewater, and/or stormwater services.

When are nominations open?

We typically open nominations once a year, usually early in the calendar year (i.e., January - February timeline). Join our email list and keep an eye on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for the official announcement.  

Can I nominate myself?

Yes! We welcome both peer and self nominations.

Can I re-nominate someone (or myself) if they (or I) were not awarded previously?

Yes! We often receive many strong applications in each application cycle, and re-nominations are welcome.

Past Awardees

Meghan Hazer

Meghan Hazer

City Planner, Department of Public Works, City of Baltimore, MD

2022 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Rebecca Wright

Rebecca Wright

Assistant City Engineer, Department of Public Works, City of Chelsea, MA

2022 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Elizabeth Gillitzer-Gallardo

Elizabeth Gillitzer-Gallardo

Revenue Supervisor, Aurora Water, CO

2021 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Lily Lopez

Lily Lopez

Director of External Affairs, Walnut Valley Water District, CA

2022 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Maura Jarvis

Maura Jarvis

Community Outreach Specialist, Philadelphia Water Department, PA

2022 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Breanne Piler

Breanne Piler

Sustainability Manager, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI

2021 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Mora McLaughlin

Mora McLaughlin

Communications Project Manager, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, PA

2022 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Meagan Williams

Meagan Williams

Stormwater Program Manager, City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, LA

2021 Emerging Leader Awardee

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Cathleen Chavez Morris

Cathleen Chavez Morris

Environmental Supervisor, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, CA

2021 Emerging Leader Awardee

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This program was made possible by Spring Point Partners