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Water Summit 2018 speakers

Eric Bashaw, MS MBA CHMM
Director, Environmental Compliance, Gundersen Health System

Eric joined Gundersen Health System in 2012 as the Comprehensive Waste Coordinator, and since has taken the role of the Director of Environmental Compliance. In this role he coordinates the safe handling, classification, packaging, budgeting, training, disposal, regulatory compliance and reporting regarding all hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated throughout the system. He also manages the sustainability program. He serves as the laboratory’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and works closely with the Safety Department, Emergency Services, and Pharmacy specifically with hazardous material handling. In 2014 he coordinated the creation of a pharmaceutical take back program for Gundersen that has collected over 18,000 pounds of medication in three years.

Bonny Bentzin
Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, University of California, Los Angeles

Bonny is a key member of the leadership team for sustainability at UCLA, helping manage sustainability across the university and working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to create a world class living laboratory for sustainability. An experienced sustainability expert with a focus on developing and executing sustainability programs in the field of higher education and complex organizations, she has over 12 years of leadership, management and consulting experience, both within large‐scale organizations and as an outside consultant.

Patrick Cardiff
Senior Environmental Manager, Grande Cheese Company

With over 40 years’ experience in the cheese industry, Pat is the senior environmental personal responsible for compliance and also continuous improvement efforts reporting to the Senior Vice President of Trademark Products. Before joining Grande in 1991, Pat worked for Kraft, Bongrain S.A., and Dairyland Products. He is a past board advisor for the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. Pat has been on the board of the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association (LSRWA) for six years and is a past Vice President. As a member of the LSRWA Science team, he implemented and oversees the stream monitoring program.

Charles Fishman
Author & Fast Company Contributor

Fishman is a former reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman’s work has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism. Fishman’s book, “The Big Thirst: The secret life & turbulent future of water,” has become the best-selling water book in a generation, and is changing how people think about water, and how they manage it. “The Big Thirst” does something few water books do — it restores a sense of wonder about water, along with a sense of urgency.

Jack Gavin
Associate Director in the Environmental Sustainability Center of Excellence (CoE) at Merck

Jack has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having previously worked in several roles in biologics R&D for over 20 years before assuming his current position in environmental sustainability.  He has a BA degree in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University, and a MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business.  Jack is located at Merck’s corporate offices in Kenilworth, NJ.


Joan Giuliani
Environmental and Sustainability Engineer, MillerCoors

Joan began her career with MillerCoors in 2005 as an intern in corporate before transitioning to the brewery as the Environmental Coordinator in 2007.  While at MillerCoors, Joan has helped install the green roof on building 35 in 2009 with grant money from MMSD.  In 2013, she was the leader of the Brewery Fuel, Energy, Water, Emissions, and Reduction Team (FEWER) and helped the brewery reduce its water usage by 13% and energy reduction by 4% from 2012. The Brewery became landfill free in the end of 2014 and reduced the trash by 62 tons from 2013 to 2014.  Joan is currently working on the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification for the Milwaukee Brewery which will make MillerCoors the first brewery in the world to accomplish this certification.

Jeff Hanratty
Applied Sustainability Manager, General Mills

Jeff Hanratty is an Applied Sustainability Manager at General Mills, based in Minneapolis. He is accountable for creating a path to reduce the company’s GHG footprint, the company’s water footprint, collaborating with others to see the sustainability improvements in priority watersheds and integrating eco-design into the go-to-market process for their products. He began his career at General Mills in 1999. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in environmental, health and safety management from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Dale Hensen
Construction Manager, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Dale has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial building industry holding various titles and roles from Vice President of Construction to Project Manager. He joined Kalahari Resorts in 2013 as their Construction Manager responsible for leading the development team in new construction and renovation projects. Dale’s most recent project was the new Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Pocono Pennsylvania consisting of approximately 1.5 MM square feet of water park, theme park, hotel, convention center and restaurant facilities. He is actively involved in working with municipalities in the design and development of utility systems, road construction and meeting regulatory and legal requirements.

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.

Lisa Johnson
CEO, BioForward Wisconsin

Lisa Johnson is CEO of BioForward Wisconsin and admits that managing a nonprofit has an entire new set of challenges vs. private industry. A finance major out of UW-Madison who was fortunate to work with brilliant scientists in starting the life science reagents company Novagen back in 1989 and travel the world working for Merck KGaA/EMD. She has a passion for building Wisconsin’s biohealth ecosystem and will support those that are action-oriented, and exhibit positive energy in driving our state’s economy. Her expertise lies in general management, operations, business development and leading results-oriented teams. She likes to dance to her own beat, demonstrate results and applaud those that put the community before themselves.

Alexis Morgan
Water Stewardship Lead, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Alliance for Water Stewardship Board Member

Alexis leads WWF’s global efforts on water stewardship. This includes oversight on the Water Risk Filter (a leading tool for companies to explore, assess, value and respond to water risk), leading WWF’s work on water in standards, developing the concept of context-based water targets, and generally supporting WWF’s global Freshwater practice. He has worked on partnerships with multiple Global 2000 companies on water, including H&M, Heineken, Mondi, Ecolab, and Nestle. Alexis helped to establish the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), where he currently sits as a board member.

Jennifer Nowlin
Principal Consultant, Accredent LLC

Jennifer is a Principal at Minneapolis-based Accredent and works with business leaders on connected data driven business success. With over two decades in the wireless communications industry, she is an Internet of Things industry veteran and expert in both the business and technology of IoT. Having grown up in Wisconsin digging ditches to successfully launching connected infrastructure solutions leveraging emerging technology, Jen has a long history of connecting innovation into the water industry.

Eileen O’Neill, Ph.D
Secretary and Executive Director at the Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Dr. O’Neill was appointed WEF’s executive director in January 2014. She had previously worked with the Federation for more than 20 years in a variety of positions, including overseeing WEF’s technical, international, and communications programs, and serving as the organization’s chief technical officer before becoming deputy executive director in late 2011. She also serves as an officer of the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation. Before joining WEF, Dr. O’Neill worked as an academic and in environmental consulting in the U.S. and in Europe.

Ed Piñero
President of The Piñero Group LLC

Mr. Piñero is President of The Piñero Group LLC, providing consulting services to clients in areas of sustainability. Over his 36-year career, Mr. Piñero has worked in the private and public sectors as a consultant to many clients on sustainability, environment, and energy. Until recently, he served as Senior Vice President for Sustainability for Veolia North America (VNA), and liaison to Veolia’s worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs departments. In this role, Mr. Piñero oversaw all efforts related to sustainability, in regard to outreach, client issues, and internal practices, including the water, energy, and waste business lines.

Bill Rohret
Semi-Retired & Past Golf Course Superintendent, Legacy Golf Club in Las Vegas

Bill has 47 years of experience working on golf courses, which has involved construction of courses, converting turf grass back to desert landscape, and maintaining hundreds of acres of turf in Las Vegas using reclaimed water. Bill became a certified golf course superintendent in 1990 and has held superintendent positions in Southern Nevada at Desert Rose Golf Club, Stallion Mountain Country Club, Angel Park Golf Club and The Legacy Golf Club. In 2016 Bill was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame. He served as president of the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association. He is now semi-retired, serving as a spray tech at Highland Falls Golf Club in Summerlin.

Dave Stangis
Vice President-Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for Campbell Soup Company

Dave designs Campbell’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies, goals, policies, and programs. He leads the Company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. In 2008 and 2013, Dave was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine. Trust Across America named Dave one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior for 4 years in a row.  He serves/has served on the boards of Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan, Net Impact, The University of Detroit Mercy College of Business, Sustainable Brands, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Dr. P. Kim Sturgess, C.M, DSc., P.Eng., FCAE
CEO and Founder, Alberta WaterSMART

As a professional engineer and CEO of several technology based companies over her career, Kim has extensive experience in technology start-ups and technology management, as well as in oil and gas, pipelines, and industrial products and services.  In addition to serving on the boards of her own companies, she serves on the boards of CCI Thermal Technologies, the Alberta Chamber of Resources and the Alberta Land Institute.  Formerly she served as a director of the Alberta Water Council, the Calgary Airport Authority, the Council of Canadian Academies, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the National Research Council, APEGA, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, and Queen’s University.  She also served as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Emilio Tenuta
Vice President, Corporate Sustainability at Ecolab

Emilio Tenuta’s 30-year tenure at Ecolab, includes 25 years of technical and marketing management experience in various industries including Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Lodging, Healthcare, Primary Metals and Automotive. He is actively involved in advancing global sustainability practices, with a significant focus on water stewardship. In partnership with Trucost – and a multi-stakeholder advisory group – Tenuta led development of the Water Risk Monetizer, the industry’s first financial modeling tool to assess water-related risks. Over the past four years, Tenuta has forged strong partnerships with a number of NGO’s to support management of water and energy risks in the industrial sector, including the World Wildlife Fund, Alliance for Water Stewardship, UN CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy and World Economic Forum.

Sven Vetter
Corporate Environmental Sustainability Manager, Nestlé USA

Following a 27-year career at Eastman Kodak in the Health Safety and Environment Organization, Sven joined Nestlé in 2015 as the Environmental Sustainability Manager. While at Kodak, Sven directed the Social Responsibility, Responsible Sourcing and Governance Programs. Since joining Nestlé, Sven has provided leadership and oversight to Nestlé’s environmental sustainability programs. These programs include significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste reductions, as well as the implementation of the AWS standard at three California factories and one factory in Utah.

Luke Yoder
Senior VP of Business Development for the Southeast Region of DuraEdge Products, Inc.

Luke has been an impressive member of the Sports Turf Industry for more than two decades, while succeeding at the highest level. After graduating from Clemson University with a degree in Turf Science, he went on to have a distinguished career as a head groundskeeper for the Iowa Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the San Diego Padres. During his tenure with these organizations, he proved to be an innovator and industry leader within his peer group and is frequently credited with helping set the standard for how a modern professional baseball field is viewed, as well as for training many of the head groundskeepers currently serving in various positions around the country. During his MLB career he had opportunity to consult with professional fields in Korea, Sweden, and the Dominican Republic.

Dean Amhaus
President & CEO, The Water Council

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.

Rich Meeusen_2015

Rich Meeusen
Chairman & CEO, Badger Meter, Inc.
Co-Chair, The Water Council
*Summit Emcee

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.

“The format of conversations around topics was fantastic.  Each panel member brought knowledge and perspective from varied experiences.  Charles did a wonderful job evoking thoughts and connecting the stories.” – 2017 Attendee

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