How We Work

The Mentoring Connections Program selects “Rising Professionals” and pairs each with a well-regarded One Water leader, or “Changemaker,” in the US water sector. Rising Professionals work directly with Changemakers through virtual mentoring sessions, peer learning exchanges with other emerging leaders, regular support from US Water Alliance staff, and opportunities to meet and work with all Rising Professionals and Changemakers at One Water Summit. The program is open to all US Water Alliance members.

Meet the 2023 Mentoring Connections Cohort:

Cory McCullough—Rising Professional
Program Administrator, Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities; St Paul, MN
Kevin Shafer—Changemaker
Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Milwaukee, WI

“More people are becoming aware of the scarcity of water resources and how they could impact people in the future. I’m hopeful about greater visibility and resources for One Water so that there are constant reminders of One Water benefits, allowing it to be utilized in everyday work.” –Cory McCullough

Maura Jarvis—Rising Professional
Program Manager, US Water Alliance; Philadelphia, PA
Karyn Riley—Changemaker
Vice President, Water Equity and Social Impact, Arcadis; Hanover, MD

“I see my work in water being a catalyst for change in many quality-of-life areas for communities—beyond water treatment and stormwater management. From advocating for community benefits associated with infrastructure investments to reconnecting residents to their environment through education and stewardship, I’m excited about addressing the needs of marginalized communities while providing a critical service and protecting the most vital resource for life.” –Maura Jarvis

Shelby Lockhart—Rising Professional
Community Benefits Administrator, Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District; Louisville, KY
Mami Hara—Changemaker
Chief Executive Officer, US Water Alliance; Seattle, WA

“In my work with community benefits, I am witnessing the tremendous impact occurring in nonprofit organizations, schools, and contractors through the lasting partnerships that are created. It’s amazing to experience firsthand how this One Water approach builds and strengthens community. I appreciate seeing an increased focus on creativity, using arts and culture to cultivate community relationships while bringing awareness to a natural resource that’s so critical to our survival: water.” –Shelby Lockhart

Jacquelin Mutter (Reed)—Rising Professional
One Water Planning Lead, HDR; Los Angeles, CA
Calvin D. Farr, Jr.—Changemaker
General Manager/CEO, Prince William County Service Authority; Woodbridge, VA

“One Water encourages collaboration and bringing together various cities, departments, water districts, and stakeholders to create more holistic solutions meeting both community and ecosystem needs. By applying a One Water lens, we can enable everyone to think differently about how we can more effectively use all types of water as a resource and answer what, why, when, where, and how to focus limited funding and resources to plan, design, and build sustainable and multi-beneficial watershed-based solutions.” –Jacquelin Mutter (Reed)

Jen Kader—Rising Professional
Senior Planner, Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities; Minneapolis, MN
Albert Cho—Changemaker
SVP, Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer, Xylem; Washington, DC Area

“I believe that a resilient, equitable, and integrated One Water future is possible—now more than ever. There is increased interest in moving in that direction timed with an increasing need to holistically pursue solutions to complex water challenges. This isn’t a zero-sum game—when we take a systems approach to looking at water and get creative in collaborative problem solving, the opportunities abound. I’m hopeful about the One Water approach because it inherently embodies a truly active and aspirational understanding of what “hope” means to me.” –Jen Kader

Edward Barca—Rising Professional
Director of Finance, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority; Pittsburgh, PA
Terry Leeds—Changemaker
Missouri Water Business Team Leader, Garver; Kansas City, MO

“It can be argued that the water and wastewater industry is in its most rapid period of change in over a century. Advancing the One Water approach will capture different perspectives from stakeholders, resulting in new, innovative solutions to solve the challenges currently facing the industry.” –Edward Barca

Ashley Kent (Evans)—Rising Professional
One Water Practice Lead, Arcadis; Austin, TX
Jennifer Walker—Changemaker
Director, Texas Coast and Water Program, National Wildlife Federation; Austin, TX

“One Water complements critical initiatives underway that are focused on diversity, sustainability, affordability, and equity. We are shifting the mindset in the water industry where we are not only solving technical but also social challenges with our engineering solutions. These holistic solutions will allow us to overcome increasing challenges such as climate change and workforce development.”  –Ashley Kent (Evans)

Ross Cooper—Rising Professional
Environmental Specialist, Alexandria Renew; Washington, DC Area
Karri Ving—Changemaker
Managing Principal, Brown and Caldwell; Newport, RI

I am hopeful for the addition of scientific innovation and automation. Scientific innovation paired with innovation can free up wastewater utilities’ capacity to thoughtfully evaluate their community impact, allowing them to construct an atmosphere of trust and education, attract a more diverse workforce, and potentially create a positive feedback loop of equitable change.” –Ross Cooper