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2017 AWRA Board of Directors

Rafael Frias


Rafael Frias is a Client Director with the global water business of Black & Veatch Corporation, responsible for the Company's operations in Florida and the Caribbean. 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. In 2010, he established Black & Veatch's South Florida operations and is currently delivering multiple infrastructure projects in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties, as well as in Puerto Rico.

Rafael 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." He also served on AWRA's Board as a Director in 2010 and during the period of 2013-2015, and as President-Elect in 2016.

Rafael 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 President, he will lead with integrity, perspective, innovation 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. AWRA is about its members and how they can leverage the organization for their professional development and growth. AWRA is not the voice of the water resources Industry; instead, it's the means for its members to have a voice and lead the Industry.

Brenda Bateman


Dr. Brenda Bateman is the Technical Services Division Administrator for the Oregon Water Resources Department, where she serves a key role in the development of Oregon's Integrated Water Resources Strategy (first adopted in August 2012; updates scheduled for 2017).

Dr. Bateman chaired the Policy Committee of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) from 2005 to 2013. In this role, she led the development of a series of water resource policy statements (adopted and posted on-line by AWRA's Board of Directors), as well as a 2012 set of case studies focused on Integrated Water Resources Management, and a 2013 set of case studies focused on the status of drought and flood policy in the United States . She serves as the General Co-Chair of AWRA's Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon (2013 and 2017) and has served as Vice-Chair of AWRA¹s Oregon Section. In 2008, she received AWRA's Ivan A. Johnson Award for Young Professionals, and in 2013 the Henry P. Caulfield, Jr., Medal for contribution to national water policy.

Our circumstances in water resources are constantly shifting and AWRA needs to be prepared to respond. With an ongoing wave of retirements in the water industry, AWRA must help ensure this institutional knowledge is not lost. With constantly improving technological tools, AWRA must help its members make the most of new technologies. In an ever-changing climate and environment, AWRA must ensure that the professional disciplines are communicating with each other. And, with an active membership in the forefront of water resources management, AWRA must provide the tools to document successes and share lessons learned. AWRA has already demonstrated strengths in these areas. My vision for the Association is to build upon these strengths and ensure that AWRA provides strategic leadership in the water resource arena.

Martha Corrozi Narvaez


Martha Corrozi MarMartha C. Narvaez is a Policy Scientist at the University of Delaware's Water Resources Center (DWRC), a unit of the Institute for Public Administration. Martha is responsible for providing regional watershed technical, policy, and research support to state and local governments; University staff and faculty; and nonprofit organizations in Delaware and the Delaware Valley. These responsibilities include research in water resources issues and policy, development and coordination of public education and outreach initiatives, advisement on State and local water resource issues, assistance with graduate courses at the University of Delaware, and advisement of graduate and undergraduate students. Prior to becoming a University of Delaware staff member, Martha was employed by the Chesapeake Research Consortium at the USEPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office in Annapolis, Maryland; the Public Works Department in the City of Wilmington, Delaware; the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples, Florida; and Environmental Consulting Services Inc. (ECSI) in Middletown, Delaware. Martha received her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology from Lehigh University and her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Delaware where she specialized in watershed management.

Martha has been a member of AWRA for over 15 years, both as a student and professional, and served on the Board of Directors (2008-2013), and as President-elect (2014), President (2015) and Past-President (2016). Martha was the charter president of DEAWRA and is currently a DEAWRA board member. She has served on numerous local and national AWRA conference committees, including Co-Chair for both the 2010 Annual Conference and the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Sections Conference. Martha received AWRA's A. Ivan Johnson Award for Young Professionals in 2007.

When I initiated my AWRA membership more than 15 years ago I did not realize the importance AWRA would play in my professional and personal development. The benefits and opportunities that have come from my association with AWRA are numerous. This is an organization that I believe is critical to the water resources field both nationally and internationally. Building on the integrated and multidisciplinary approach of AWRA I hope to help lead the organization whose mission and actions are such an important part of our dialogue about a critical resource.

Noel Gollehon


BODNoel Gollehon is a Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, and looks forward to the opportunity to serve as a representative on the AWRA Board of Directors.

He will bring a nationalview 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.

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.

In the era of limited travel budgets and too much email, how AWRA will maintain and enhance the positive, multidisciplinary perspective to information exchange is a critical issue. Noel 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.

Lisa Beutler (2014-2017)


Lisa BeutlerLisa Beutler has dedicated the last 13 years of her career to water resources. As the Associate Director of the Center for Collaborative Policy, Sacramento State and during the last three years as a Principal and Executive Facilitator at MWH, my duties have included service on the multidisciplinary leadership teams for the three California Water Plan updates, federal-state-regional-local planning to integrate land use and water quality goals at Lake Tahoe, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. I have been fortunate to work with the executive teams of regional sanitation and water agencies, supported development of Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, and assisted state and regional water boards in creating a better regulatory alignment and strategic plans and approaches for water quality goals. My projects often tackle wicked, complex problems at massive scales.

While the tasks vary, the focus is creating sustainable water management and policy. We do this through application of good science, solid decision making processes, technology, and collaboration. I am particularly passionate about making technical information accessible to decision makers and those impacted by their decisions. As an AWRA Board member, I would hope to leverage my career in the public sector, the university and private industry along with experience working across disciplines, to support the AWRA goals for a National Water Vision and to promote IWRM.

While I am relatively new to AWRA, becoming a member in 2008, I immediately jumped in. I have spoken at conferences and took on special tasks such as assisting with the Collaborative Modeling Symposium at the 2011 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference. I am now supporting the IWRM webinar series.

My passion for resources began as a child growing up outside of Yosemite National Park with a soil scientist father. I became a State Park Ranger, then a manager at the State Lands Commission. I oversaw management of 1/2 million acres of grazing, forestry, and mineral lands, and supported negotiations for issues ranging from dredging policy to restoration of the Bolsa Chica wetlands, to off-shore oil leasing. Over my years in state government I had the opportunity to work in special offices of two Governors, and one Lt. Governor, and as an Agency Undersecretary. In my personal life I have volunteered to mediate religious disputes. A highlight was co-leading a special track at the 2004 World Parliament of Religions, where we asked 400 of the world¹s religious leaders to articulate their role in ensuring the provision of safe, clean water to all people.

Wayne Wright (2015-2017)


Wayne WrightOver the course of a career, many professional organizations become part of your network of information, interest and colleagues. Water is the driving force of nature – Leonardo da Vinci made this observation so many years ago. Jacques Cousteau astutely noted in a similar quote that “We forget that the water cycle and life cycle are one.” These quotes resonate to me the importance of water and how our future depends on how we respond to the issues facing us. Society sits at a 5-way intersection of supply, demand, climate change, pollution, and sustainability. At no greater time in history does America - and the world - need comprehensive leadership to guide the changes that are necessary to secure future generations with adequate water resources. In 2014, it was very rewarding to help prepare the 2013 Proactive Flood and Drought Management Report with the AWRA Policy Committee. The recent mudslide that wiped out the town of Oso here in Washington demonstrates the HUGE importance of water resource management and disaster preparedness. I have driven by and stopped at that town many, many times over the years.

For me, AWRA is the ONE organization that matches my personal and professional interests best. Since joining AWRA in 1994 I have been involved with the Fish Ecology (now Flowing Waters Committee), Policy Committee, worked with students as a resource and mentor, and have assisted with several conferences – servicing on the planning committees, presenting papers, or coordinating panel discussions. It is my sincere desire to assist the AWRA Board and AWRA organization with making a positive difference regarding water resource issues. I ask for your vote to serve on the AWRA Board of Directors.

My professional career started in 1977 working with the U.S. Army as a Forest, Fish and Wildlife Technician. That job carried me through my first years of college, providing great insight to habitat protection and restoration. As a research and teaching assistant at the University of Washington (UW) in the later years of college, I learned the power of youthful minds and ideas. To this day I return to UW to provide guest lectures and help students with career planning. After earning a BS and MS at UW, I worked as a hydropower biologist for Seattle City Light. Learning the FERC process for hydro relicensing and working with federal agencies to work out river management issues was one of my career highlights. In 1984, I entered private consulting working for a small firm focused on fish hatcheries and habitat management gaining national and international experience. In 1992, I formed my own firm focusing on aquatic habitat management – wetlands, streams, rivers, and shorelines. I joined GeoEngineers in 2003 to expand our role as leaders in water resources. Today, after over 30 years of working in a field I dearly love, I still wake up excited to go to work each day and meet the challenges a career in water resources provides. Much of my work today involves western states’ water management issues at the 5-way intersection noted above. Human demands (agriculture, hydropower, drinking water, etc.), endangered species habitat requirements, water quality, and a changing climate offer a plethora of problems that must be solved to achieve a sustained balance to our future.

Laurel E. Stadjuhar (2016-2018)


Laurel StadjuharLaurel E. Stadjuhar, P.E., is Principal and Water Resources Engineer with West Sage Water Consultants, a consulting firm located in Denver, Colorado. Laurel has over nineteen years engineering and project management experience including many facets of western water including water rights evaluations, hydrological and watershed analyses, surface water and ground water hydrology and modeling, augmentation plan preparations, historical use investigations, long-range planning and reservoir optimization modeling, statistical analyses, hydraulic and structural analyses, model and database development and analysis, project management, and field investigations. She has served as an expert witness in hearings before the State Engineer and in water court proceedings. Laurel is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado.

Laurel is the committee chair for AWRA’s Annual Conference in Denver in November 2015. Laurel served as Director on the National Board of Directors for AWRA from 2011-2013 and in various capacities on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Section of AWRA since 2002. Through her past involvement, Laurel has fostered the development of water resource education and cooperation within the water resources fields in Colorado and nationally. She initiated the Colorado Section’s Finance Committee and annual budget, and helped to increase the section membership through membership drives, improved marketing, and cooperation among organizations, and continues work to as Scholarship Chair to increase awards from the Section’s Scholarship Fund to university students studying in the water resources field. The Colorado Section was awarded the Outstanding State Section Award from National AWRA immediately following her tenure as President.

Betsy Cody (2016-2018)


Betsy CodyCody is a specialist in natural resources policy at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), U.S. Library of Congress, where she specializes in western water resource policy issues and national water resources policy generally. In her 25 years with CRS, she has worked on multiple water resources issues and engaged with numerous professionals from federal, state, tribal, and local agencies and entities in conducting research for Congress.

Cody has been an active participant in AWRA activities throughout her career at CRS. She first served for four years on the National Capital Region Section (NCRS) Board in mid-1990s, including President of the chapter, and next served for two years as Finance Chair for the national AWRA board of directors. When the local NCRS chapter was reconstituted several years ago, she again joined the local board, serving another three-year term, including President. Her involvement with AWRA over the years has helped her grow as an analyst and widen her sphere of knowledgeable colleagues from academia as well as from multiple governmental agencies and the private sector. The opportunities afforded to professionals who are part of the AWRA network are invaluable. Being able to contact experts in multiple scientific fields, as well as policy specialists and key policy decision-makers at every level of government makes working in a fast-paced high-pressure environment possible.

Jerad Bales (2017-2019)


Jerad BalesI have spent most of my professional career with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), first in Raleigh, North Carolina, and now at USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia. I have been a scientist, supervisor, Water Science Center Director, all in North Carolina, and currently am the Chief Scientist for Water at headquarters. In North Carolina, I developed and conducted water data collection activities and studies to address a variety of issues locally, nationally, and internationally, with a focus on rivers, lakes, and estuaries. This work included regular engagement with land and water managers facing complex water resources issues and in need of solid data and science to identify solutions. In my current position, I am the Senior Executive responsible for the planning and development of USGS research related to the hydrologic environment, as well as implementing technology transfer, training, and quality assurance programs in water. I also oversee research efforts conducted by universities under the mandates of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. I serve on a number of national committees, all of which have given me a new appreciation for the complexity of the science, management, and policy issues we face in protecting and enhancing the Nation's water resources.

Over the last several years, I have grown to increasingly value the role of the AWRA in the water-resources community. AWRA provides a setting in which hydrologists, water managers, social scientists, planners, and other groups can have informative conversations through the newsletter, journal, conferences, and other AWRA sponsored dialogues. AWRA is attracting more students and early-career professionals of all backgrounds to AWRA events, and I want to help en-courage that. The leadership of AWRA in activities such as the Open Water Data Initiative and the AWRA National Leadership Institute is having a noticeable impact on the way leaders think about and address water issues, as has AWRA's support of Integrated Water Resources Management. As we have seen from recent national events, water issues are gaining increasing visibility and importance in the U.S. and abroad. AWRA is poised to provide continuing leadership in this arena.

Sharon Megdal (2017-2019)


Jerad Bales Dr. Sharon B. Megdal is Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, an Extension and research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She also holds the titles: Professor and Specialist, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science; C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor; and Distinguished Outreach Professor. Sharon, who has long enjoyed interacting with AWRA leadership and members through conferences and through workshop planning, is excited to be serving on the AWRA Board of Directors. AWRA's work as a bridging organization is needed more than ever.

Sharon's work focuses on water policy and management, about which she teaches, writes and frequently speaks. Current projects include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in growing, water-scarce regions; groundwater management and governance; groundwater recharge; and transboundary aquifer assessment. Her work integrates the academic and real-world of water management, with the geographic scope ranging from local to international. In addition to her full-time position as Director of the University of Arizona (UA) Water Resources Research Center (since 2004), she is serving a second six-year term as an elected member of the unpaid Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District. This board is responsible for overseeing operations and for setting policies, taxes, and charges associated with delivery of Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project (CAP) to cities and towns, industries, agriculture, and Tribal Nations. She is a past president of the National Institutes for Water Resources and President- Elect of the Universities Council for Water Resources Board of the Directors.

Sharon grew up in New Jersey, where she received her undergraduate degree in Economics from Rutgers University and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

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