The Water Council's Leadership

A Cross-section of Leaders Representing All Aspects of the Water Cycle

Rich Meeusen_2015

Rich Meeusen
President/CEO/Chairman, Badger Meter, Inc.

Rich Meeusen is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter, Inc, a Milwaukee-based company that is a leading manufacturer and marketer of flow measurement solutions, with a primary focus on the water industry. He co-founded The Water Council in 2007 (formally incorporated in 2009) and currently co-chairs the organization’s board of directors. Rich is a pioneer of the water industry and has received many awards, most notably, the 2010 Business Leader of the Year award from the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin.

Paul Jones_2015

Paul Jones
Retired Executive Chairman, A.O. Smith Corporation

Paul Jones is the retired chairman, chief executive officer and president of A.O. Smith Corporation, (AOS-NYSE), a leading global supplier of water heaters and water treatment products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company, with annual revenues of $2.0 billion, employs approximately 11,400 people and has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, The Netherlands, China and India. Paul co-founded The Water Council and currently holds a seat on the board of Rexnord Corporation.

Julia Taylor_2015

Julia Taylor
President, Greater Milwaukee Committee

Julia Taylor was appointed as the first woman president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee in December 2002. The GMC fosters public-private partnerships and is a catalyst for economic revitalization, education and quality of life. Of particular interest to the GMC is promoting collaboration on regional issues and opportunities.

Todd Adams_2015

Todd Adams
President & CEO, Rexnord Corporation

Todd Adams serves as the chief executive officer and president at Rexnord Industries, LLC, a leading worldwide industrial company with approximately 8,000 employees worldwide. Todd has been the chief executive officer and president of RBS Global Inc., Rexnord Corporation and Rexnord Holdings, Inc. since September 11, 2009 and its subsidiary Rexnord LLC since September 14, 2009.

Kirk Allen_2015

Kirk Allen
President & CEO, Sloan Valve Company

Kirk Allen is the president and chief executive officer of Sloan Valve Company, a 105 year-old family owned commercial plumbing products manufacturer in Franklin Park, Illinois. In 1992 Kirk established the joint venture office between Sloan Valve Company and Moen Faucet in Mexico, which has provided one of Sloan’s largest export markets.

Tom Barrett_2015

Tom Barrett
Mayor, City of Milwaukee

Tom Barrett was elected Milwaukee’s 40th Mayor in 2004, and won reelection with more than 70% of the vote in both 2008 and 2012. Mayor Barrett continues to boost the City’s economy by working with businesses to create family-supporting jobs, help spur local development and provide assistance to Milwaukee’s entrepreneurs. He creates hope in the lives of young people with workforce initiatives such as his Earn & Learn program which, to date, has placed more than 22,000 students in summer jobs.

Steve Booth_2015

Steve Booth
President & CEO, Robert W. Baird & Company, Inc.

Steve Booth is president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Baird Financial Group and affiliated entities including Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. Steve joined Baird’s Investment Banking group in 1994, went on to lead its Industrial and Global M&A teams and, in 2004, became head of Investment Banking, a position he held until January 2014. Over his investment banking career at Baird, Steve helped shape and implement strategies enabling Baird to become a leader in middle-market M&A and equity financing that now leverages more than 250 bankers across its global platform. Steve was named Chief Operating Officer of Baird in early 2013, became President & COO in 2014 and President & CEO in 2016.

Preston Cole_2016

Preston Cole
Commissioner, Department of Neighborhood Services, City of Milwaukee
Member, Wisconsin Natural Resources Board

Preston D. Cole holds a senior level appointed position as Director of Operations for the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works. This position acts as the Deputy Commissioner of Public Works. His span of control covers approximately 2400 employees, $300 million O&M and Enterprise budgets, along with a $108 million capital budget. Additionally, Preston serves on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, which sets state policy for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regarding, Forestry, Fisheries, Wildlife, Air, Water, and Stewardship programs.

Glen Daigger_2015

Glen Daigger
President, One Water Solutions LLC

Dr. Glen Daigger was formerly senior vice president and chief technology officer for CH2M HILL where he was employed for 32 years. Glen is a recognized expert in wastewater treatment, especially the use of biological processes, and is the past-president of the International Water Association. As the author or co-author of more than 100 technical papers, four books, and several technical manuals, Glen has contributed to advancing practice within our profession.

Katherine M. Gehl

Katherine M. Gehl is an American business leader and policy activist. Katherine was the fourth-generation President and CEO of her family owned company, Gehl Foods, Inc. where she led the company’s aggressive growth strategy. In 2010, Katherine was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and was confirmed by the US Senate in October 2011. Katherine is on the board of the Marcus Corporation, The Centrist Project, The Water Council, The La Follette Board of Visitors, Gehl Foods, The Milwaukee Repertory Theater and a former board member of The Joffrey Ballet, Public Allies, the Faye Gehl Conservation Foundation and the Golden Apple Foundation. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1988 and holds an MA in education from the Catholic University of America and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Mary Jean Huston_2015

Mary Jean Huston
State Director, The Nature Conservancy

Mary Jean Huston is the director of the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin where she leads and manages the Conservancy’s state program. The organization has conserved 160,000 acres (64,000 hectares) of Wisconsin’s most ecologically important lands and waters. Mary’s recent accomplishments include a 64,000 acre (25,000 hectares) forest project, a $31.7 million conservation campaign, and launch of the North America Regional Initiative of the Alliance for Water Stewardship based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dennis Klein_2015Dennis Klein
CD Smith Construction

Dennis Klein is the chairman of KBS Construction, a Milwaukee-based company responsible for more than $1 billion in Milwaukee and Madison real estate projects over the past 15 years. Projects include the Global Water Center headquarters, Cathedral Place and extensive renovation and historic preservation projects at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University and the historic Marriott Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. As president and owner of Klein Development, Inc., Dennis developed the GE Medical Education Center in Pewaukee and Landmark on the Lake.

Michael Lovell_2015

Michael Lovell
President, Marquette University

Dr. Michael Lovell is the 24th president of Marquette University and the first lay president in the university’s 134-year history. Prior to joining Marquette in July 2014, he was the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earlier was the dean of its College of Engineering and Applied Science. Prior to coming to Milwaukee in 2008, Michael held leadership and faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Kentucky. He earned three degrees, all in mechanical engineering and including his PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh.

John Matthews_2015

John Matthews
Principal, Matthews Strategic Services, LLC

John Matthews operates Matthews Strategic Services and is chief strategy officer for American Gene Technologies in Rockville, Maryland. John was global senior executive at Diversey Inc. from 2002 until late 2011. At Diversey, now a part of Sealed Air, he was chief of staff to the president and CEO and senior vice president for strategy, corporate affairs and sustainability. Prior to joining Diversey, John led the national Public Affairs Practice Group for the Foley & Lardner law firm, serving a diverse set of clients.

Mark Mone_2015

Mark Mone
Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Mark Mone was named the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s ninth Chancellor on December 15, 2014. A Professor of Management in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business, Mark also served UWM as the Chancellor’s Designee for Strategic Planning and Campus Climate from 2011-2014. In that role he worked with campus senior leadership, governance groups, and all stakeholders to develop the University’s 2020 strategic plan, and campus-level programs to improve the organizational climate.

Puo-Penn-Headshot-Web-2Puon Penn
Executive Vice President/Co-Head, Technology Banking Group, Wells Fargo

Puon Penn is Executive Vice President/Co-Head of Wells Fargo’s Technology Banking Group which assists innovative companies focused on advancing new technologies and business models to solve some of the most complex problems facing humanity. Puon started Wells Fargo’s Global CleanTech Group in 2009 to provide expertise, financial services, and resources to help companies focused on decreasing the use of fossil fuels, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and other activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions or other harmful environmental effects. Wells Fargo financed over $50 billion for green business, renewable energy projects, green buildings, and clean energy customers from 2005 to 2012.

Kevin Shafer_2015

Kevin Shafer
Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

Kevin Shafer is the executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million people in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area, and is responsible for its overall administration, leadership, and direction. Kevin previously worked in private industry and for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He holds degrees in civil engineering and is a past president of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Jim Stern_2015

Jim Stern
Executive Vice President, A.O. Smith Corporation

Jim Stern joined A.O. Smith Corporation as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary on June 1, 2007. He is responsible for overseeing the corporation’s legal, governance, compliance, securities law, and government relations functions. Jim currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jason Industries, Inc. and currently services on a number of charitable boards, including the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Fleck Foundation. He also served as a Board Member of Polar Ware Company, a privately‐held manufacturer of restaurant wares and beverage dispensing machines from 2007 until its sale in 2012.

Deon-van-As_web_headshotDeon van As
Vice President, Global Supply Chain Excellence, MolsonCoors

Deon began his career in South Africa working for SAB Limited in Johannesburg. In 2005, Deon relocated to join SABMiller in the USA. From 2009-2013 he led the development of a collaborative enterprise, consumer-led, demand-driven value chain strategy; commercialized new product innovation initiatives; led the development and implementation of a manufacturing strategy; and was responsible for contract brewing operational leadership of raw material manufacturing plants. In 2013 Deon was appointed as VP of Technical & Packaging Services to head up engineering; capital; environment, health and safety; and technical excellence for MillerCoors. In 2016 he was appointed as VP of Supply Chain Excellence for the newly created MolsonCoors.

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Dean Amhaus
President & CEO

Dean has served as the president and CEO of The Water Council since March 2010. His diverse, thirty-year background in multiple sectors encapsulates a wide-range of expertise in government relations, branding, fundraising, economic development and non-profit management in Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin. Dean has also served as the president of The Spirit of Milwaukee which is dedicated to enhancing Milwaukee’s image, as well as the president of Forward Wisconsin, the state’s economic development organization, and executive director of the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Commission.

Taylor Baseheart
Communications Manager

Taylor manages and coordinates email marketing campaigns, social media and website content. She uses her organizational and communications skills to promote The Water Council’s news, events, and accomplishments. Taylor joined our team with prior communications experience from another Milwaukee-based non-profit and a previous BREW II company. She graduated with a BBA in Integrated Science-Business with Water Emphasis from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


img_2069-1a-webColin Flanner
Intern & Student Chapter Liaison

Colin started with The Water Council as a high school intern in 2014 and has grown to serve The Water Council team in assisting with various projects: from database projects and assisting at events, to building tours and helping coordinate talent-related activities. As Student Chapter Liaison, Colin serves as the point of contact between The Water Council and our network of student chapters. Colin is studying Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is the Professional Development Coordinator for the School of Freshwater Sciences’ Student Water Council.

Karen Frost
VP Business Development

Karen is responsible for program development, implementation and oversight of The Water Council’s U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Innovation Cluster Contract. She is an experienced program/project/grant manager and strong relationship builder and collaborator with the small business community, project partners and funders. She runs The Water Council’s Small Business Channel to promote the growth and development of small businesses operating in the water technology sector in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions; and expanding throughout the U.S. Karen brings prior experience in program management, grant management and marketing and holds a degree in Business Marketing.

Dr. David Garman

David leads The Water Council’s research and commercialization initiatives, while continuing his role as associate vice chancellor for water technology research and development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). At UWM, he is responsible for strategic water visioning, stimulating interdisciplinary research and translation of research for industry, major funding acquisition in this area, and new water technology development. Previously serving as president and chairman of the International Water Association, David now serves as a director for them. He is also founding dean of UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Dr. Garman’s career has covered the full range of environmental management—from water resources and pollution control, to commercialization of new environmental technologies.

Matt Howard
VP Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America

Matt oversees The Water Council’s sustainability and stewardship initiatives which focus on rolling out the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s International Water Stewardship Standard in North America. Matt has ten years in sustainability program development and management including five years as Milwaukee’s Sustainability Director. Matt came to Milwaukee from Washington, DC where he worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce and spent time as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has an MA from George Washington University and a BA from Valparaiso University. He is a LEED and Lean Six Sigma accredited professional and currently serves on the EPA’s National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology.

Amy Jensen

Amy oversees the financial and operational activities of The Water Council, bringing over twenty years of non-profit management experience to her role. She is a CPA and earned her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Amy was recognized as a “CFO of the Year” by the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee in 2008. She is currently a member of Rotary, Tempo, the AICPA, the WICPA and has served on the boards of Tempo, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Historic Third Ward Association.

meghan_jensen_headshot_2017Meghan Jensen
VP Marketing & Communications

Meghan leads The Water Council’s strategic marketing platform including branding, public relations, global communications, annual Summit, events, and membership. One of Meghan’s early accomplishments was her leadership in the development of a proposal to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a Regional Innovation Cluster contract, which TWC received in 2014. Meghan also led the re-brand, from the development of an award-winning website to an overhaul of its membership program. She came to the team in 2013 having worked with the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance, Badger Meter, and Alliant Energy Center. Meghan has an MBA in Marketing & Management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she developed the first Water Council Student Chapter and grew the model to other universities in the state.

Angela May
Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Angela is responsible for supporting Dean Amhaus, President & CEO, with day-to-day tasks and projects within The Water Council. Angela also serves as the Office Manager, assisting with the operations and aiding in tenant services for the Global Water Center. Angela joined The Water Council in late 2013, after two years as the Executive Assistant with another Milwaukee-based non-profit. She graduated from Marquette University in 2010 with a B.A. in Criminology & Law and double-minor in Psychology and Human Resources.


Isaiah Perez
Membership Manager

Isaiah coordinates and conducts the membership experience for The Water Council and serves as the point of contact for current members, future member organizations, and anyone interested in learning more about our work. He utilizes his writing skills in pursuit of grant and award opportunities to build and support additional programming initiatives. Isaiah began his career with The Water Council as a marketing intern, assisting with the grand opening of the Global Water Center and helping to organize Milwaukee Water Week in 2013. Since then his role has evolved from communications to development and membership.

Elizabeth Thelen
Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent

Elizabeth comes to The Water Council with a wealth of experience in leading, supporting and driving business goals for over twenty years. Known as the “BREW Master,” she leads the BREW Accelerator, Pilot Program, Talent Campaign, and overall mission of growing the water generation. She has a Master’s Degree in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, numerous certifications in business and leadership courses, and is a Board Trustee at Waukesha County Technical College.

img_2067-1a-webDylan Waldhuetter
Graduate Intern for Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America

Dylan is responsible for the implementation of the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard at the Global Water Center through his Graduate Internship with the Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America. Once Dylan completes the implementation, the Global Water Center will become the first commercial building in the world to effectively implement the AWS Standard. Dylan graduated with a BBA in Water Science/Business from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Water Policy and Management at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.

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 “We have an opportunity to develop technologies that can help save lives and solve the world’s water problems.”
– Rich Meeusen, Co-Chair of The Water Council

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