Awards Committee Highlight

The Goal of the PNCWA Awards Committee is to recognize the excellence and dedication of water professionals in our area by soliciting nominations and presenting the PNCWA and WEF Awards at our Annual Conference.  

The Committee highlights the achievements and commitment of people in this industry, and we continue to need your help.  Each year, we rely on your nominations, and when awards are given, we appreciate you spreading the word, within the Association membership and externally to local media, governance, and the public. Our award recipients deserve to be celebrated for their hard work! 

The PNCWA Awards Committee accepts and reviews nominations, and based on the criteria for each award, selects award winners. For 2022 the Awards Committee received 27 nominations (down from 28 last year). Thank you for submitting 2022 nominations.  Please consider submitting a nomination in 2023 when we will be presenting the Awards live at the Awards Banquet on September 12th in Tacoma.

The PNCWA Awards Committee was created in 2016. Committee activity continues throughout the year. A sincere thanks to the current Awards Committee for their time and efforts in support of this year’s Awards Program.

2023 PNCWA Awards Committee:

  • Amy Dammarell, HDR, OR, PNCWA Board Liaison & PNCWA Vice-President
  • Scott Duran, Water Systems Consulting, Inc., OR, Collections Committee Liaison
  • Scott Kindred, Kindred Hydro, WA Stormwater Committee Liaison
  • Craig Prosser, City of Albany, OR, POMC Liaison
  • Layne McWilliams, Parametrix, ID, Sustainability Liaison
  • Jamie Hughes, Clean Water Services, OR, Student & Young Professional Liaison
  • Victoria Boschmans, Carollo, Resource Recovery & Woman of the Year Liaison
  • Andrew C. Degner, City of Gresham, Committee Chair
  • Matt Noesen, Jacobs, Washington, Member
  • Shawn Moffitt, Jacobs, Idaho, Member
New Committee Members This Year:
  • Bobby Hammond, Jacobs, Vancouver
  • Jacob Corum, City of Gresham
  • Rhiannon Sayles, Parametrix, Washington 

The 2022 award recipients were recognized during the Awards Baquet presentation MC’ed by Vice President, Layne McWilliams on September 13, 2022, in Spokane. Those in attendance acknowledged and celebrated the achievements of our colleagues. 

The program began with the recognition of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Awards recipients. WEF awards are extraordinary since these national awards highlight northwest achievements and contributions to our industry.

WEF Quarter Century Operators Club Award 

The Quarter Century Operators Club Award acknowledges those who have been a member of WEF or a WEF member association for 25 consecutive years. 

  • Mr. Robert Dillard 

Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winners - Idaho Representatives: 

  • Taryn Godfrey – Grangeville High School
  • Microplastics Filter for the outfall of a washing machine 
  • Shaun Bass - Science Teacher

Oregon Representatives: 

  • Grace Sato – West Linn High School 
  • DRINC Water – Design to remove impurities and noxious chemicals from water. 
  • Danielle Schroder - Science Teacher 

Washington Representative: 

  • Monisha KrothapalliTesla STEM High School, Redmond, WA 
  • Engineering a surface flow constructed wetlands to evaluate efficiency for combatting water scarcity. 
  • Katie Allender - Science Teacher   

WEF-PNCWA Awards: 

The following awards are WEF awards that are common to all member associations and reflect the efforts and achievements of water quality professionals within the Pacific Northwest: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. 

Arthur Sidney Bedell Award Winner: Mark Poling

The Bedell Award was established to acknowledge extraordinary personal service to a WEF Member Association. The award is named for Arthur Sidney Bedell, WEF’s second president for his long devotion and service to the New York Sewage and Industrial Waste association, now the New York Water Environment Association. He was Chief of the Bureau of Sewage and Waste disposal of the New York State Department of Health. The 2022 award was presented to Mark Poling, Senior Consultant, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark has provided significant APNCWA leadership by influencing policies, being a long-term advocate of the Operations Challenge, initiating the Mentoring Program, and the Government Affairs Committee.  His service to the Association includes being PNCWA President from 2012 – 2013, a Board Member from 2010 – 2014, and Chair of the Leadership Development Committee from 2014 – 2016.  He also served as a WEF Board member from 2017- 2020 and a Delegate at Large, House of Delegates from 2012 – 2024. 

Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award Winner: Kayla Brown

The Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the water quality analysis profession. Kayla Brown, a laboratory analyst for Jacobs, Vancouver, WA was selected as the 2022 recipient because of her outstanding efforts in wastewater analysis, and broad experience in a variety of lab-related work. She also had significant involvement in community-related activities in the Vancouver Metro Area with many contributions to the clean water industry, Jacobs, and the City of Vancouver.  

William D Hatfield Award Winner: Justine Abrook
he Hatfield Award is presented to operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism. The 2022 William D. Hatfield Award recipient is Justine Abrook with the Clean Water Services AWTF, OR. Justine has been a WW professional with CWS for 20 years as an Operator and Process Specialist.  For 10 years she was one of the “River Rangerson CWS’s Operations Challenge team and she is the current Vice-Chair for the Oregon DEQ Wastewater Operator Certification Program Advisory Committee. Justine’s passion is working alongside Operators to solve issues at the plant and ultimately protect Tualatin River water quality.

George W. Burke, Jr. Award Winner: City of Vancouver/Jacobs Wastewater Reclamation Facility, WA

The Burke Award recognizes a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program.  This year’s George Burke Award recipient is the City of Vancouver/Jacobs Wastewater Reclamation Facility, WA. The facilities are administered, operated, and operated, by Jacobs Engineering.  The 9-person Safety Team has established a “beyond Zero Safety Champion Program to minimize/eliminate on-the-job lost time injuries, conducts and documents monthly Safety Meetings and daily safety moments during operational briefings, meetings, and prior to starting PM work.  Quarterly facility safety inspections are conducted and tracked online along with safety incidents, follow-up, and safety training. The facility's Emergency Response Plan is fully integrated with the City of Vancouver to allow for a coordinated rapid response to any emergency that may occur.  

PNCWA Awards: 

The following awards are PNCWA awards that reflect the efforts and achievements of water quality professionals within the Pacific Northwest, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. 

Individual Distinguished Achievement Award Winner: Aaron Camp 

The Individual Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to a PNCWA member who is most deserving of special recognition because of the distinguished service rendered in the interest of pollution abatement or resource recovery, and who has contributed fundamentally and practically to the advancement of the industry. 

The 2022 recipient is Aaron Camp, who is a Wastewater Division Mechanic for the City of Coeur d’Alene, IDAaron demonstrated ingenious equipment repairs and modifications as needed to keep critical process equipment online while reducing utility costs and optimizing the life cycle.  His innovation and commitment have been imperative to the mechanical, electrical, and acquisition of materials required for the conveyance, treatment, and biosolids composting provided to the citizens of Coeur d’Alene. 

Congratulations to the 2021 PNCWA Individual Distinguished Achievement Award winner Aaron Camp!

Outstanding Young Professional Award Winner: Jamie Hughes 

This award recognizes the contributions of young water environment professionals for significant contributions to WEF and to the wastewater collection, treatment, and stormwater industry. The 2022 recipient, Jamie Hughes, works for Clean Water Services, ORJamie has had significant involvement as a leader in PNCWA. She has also shown unwavering dedication and commitment to promoting and improving the overall knowledge of the clean water industry.


Lyman Ketcham Award Winner: Jeff Schmidt

This award is established to honor members who have made outstanding contributions in the field of wastewater collection system maintenance and operation. Jeff Schmidt, with Jacobs, WA was selected for the 2022 Lyman Ketcham award for outstanding contributions in the field of wastewater collection system maintenance and operations. Jeff is a former group leader for the Jacobs Conveyance Practice in Bellevue, WA, and former Chair of the PNCWA Collections Systems Committee (2019-2020). He also was the Lead for the 2021 Collections Webinar “Infiltration and Inflow Coast to Coast” in conjunction with the New England Water Environment Association.  Jeff has also presented and written numerous collections system s papers and presentations over his professional career. 


Stormwater Professional Excellence Award Winner: Ron Wierenga

This award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the stormwater profession. The 2022 Stormwater Professional Excellence award went to Ron Wierenga, Environmental Services Manager for Clackamas Water Environment Services, OR. Ron implemented a new commercial/industrial stormwater inspection process with WES and was a key player in developing their Strategic Plan which included an ongoing adaptive management process to allow the plan to be adjusted over time. He also oversaw staff implementation of a large, constructed wetland to treat stormwater runoff which won a

2019 PNCWA Award. Ron was also extremely adaptable and provided valuable assistance to WES staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Innovative Stormwater Project Winner: Clean Water Services Butternut Creek Enhancement Project

This award recognizes and encourages projects that showcase innovative stormwater elements, habitat/ water quality enhancement, and public education/outreach.

The 2022 Innovative Stormwater Project Award recipient is Clean Water Services, OR for the Butternut Creek Enhancement Project. The project provided a multi-function solution to manage runoff from 20 acres of the new impervious roadway for an underserved community. It combined stream corridor enhancement actions with a pair of water quality treatment swales and an expanded riparian corridor. The local community and a nearby school were engaged during the design, and construction phases of the project to provide learning opportunities for residents and school children. The project delivers flood storage, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and open space benefits for the community.

Municipal Water Protection Award Winner: Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station, King County, WA

This award provides a means for the Association to encourage improvement to practices of municipal waste disposal and reporting thereon and publicly recognizes a municipality or group of municipalities which have contributed to the control or prevention of water pollution problems. The 2022 Municipal Water Protection Ward recipient is the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station, King County, WA. The facility is expected to process 69 MG of wastewater annually to control CSO discharges and provide water quality benefits to the Duwamish River and Puget Sound. Innovative stormwater infrastructure design and a photovoltaic system resulted in the project receiving Envision Platinum certification.


Sustainability Award Winner: WES Solids Handling Capacity Improvements Project

The Sustainability Award is presented to a municipality or a group of municipalities that have made significant contributions to the sustainability of the wastewater industry. The 2022 Sustainability Award recipient is the Clackamas Water Environment Services, OR for their Solids Handling Capacity Improvements Project. A 600kW cogeneration unit covers nearly 50% of the facility's energy consumption which resulted in savings of $319,000 in electrical and $99,500 in heating costs during the first year of operation. WES partnered with the Energy Trust of Oregon and Portland General Electric on the project and collaborated with the local community college art department to design and install an educational mural on the project’s bio-tower.


Excellence in Resource Recovery Award Winner: Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) Renewable Natural Gas Project

This award recognizes resource recovery programs (nutrient, energy, water, or carbon recovery) that demonstrate outstanding performance in moving the concept of resource recovery forward in the Pacific Northwest region. The 2022 Excellence in Resource Recovery Award recipient is the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) Renewable Natural Gas Project. In 2021 construction of the biogas purification facility at the MWMC’s WWTP was completed along with NW Natural’s receipt point facility. MWMC first injected gas into the NW Natural pipeline in November 2021, becoming the first public agency in OR to do so. The majority of biogas that MWMC produces will be converted into RNG and then injected into NW Natural’s pipeline system. Previously, MWMC utilized 60% of its biogas to power the treatment plant and the remaining 40% was flared.


Watermark Award Winner: City of Boise, Watershed Vision Book

2022 was the inaugural year for the Watermark Award. The award recognizes PNCWA members who have produced top-quality education and communication programs or projects. Effective internal and external education and communication are essential to an organization’s success in developing an informed and engaged community. The Watermark Award recognizes efforts to improve awareness in PNCWA communities and organizations about the value of water and wastewater management across the region.

The Watermark Award recognizes activities in any of the following categories:

  • Communications programs: internal campaigns, external campaigns, crisis communications
  • Publications: annual reports, water quality reports, brochures, postcards, etc.
  • Digital Content: websites, social media, infographics, logos, etc.
  • Community Outreach and Education Programs: events, curriculums, programs.
  • Op-Eds and Features: guest editorials or columns, feature stories or series
  • Multimedia: video and photography

The 2022 Watermark award recipient is the City of Boise, ID, Watershed Vision Book. The Vision book is part of the nation’s first Water & Climate Science Center. It shares the goals of engaging visitors with exhibits, programs, and conservation on water and climate change. New exhibit themes are determined with stakeholder involvement. Vision Book Team members from the City of Boise Public Works staff include Steve Burgos, Colin Hickman, and Cindy Busche, along with Council Exhibit Design: Byron Folwell, AIA, and numerous local and regional stakeholders.

PNCWA Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards

Sections in Idaho, Oregon, Western Washington, and Eastern Washington nominate to their Region an outstanding Operator and Collections System Operator to be recognized by PNCWA. The Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards for 2022 were as follows:


  • Treatment: Philip Carl Shaul, City of Idaho Falls
  • Collections: Brian Bates Bruno, City of Blackfoot


  • Treatment: Spencer Goodro, City of Eugene
  • Collections: Ryan Wood, City of Sandy

Western Washington:

  • Treatment: Borek Busta, LOOT Clean Water Alliancey

Eastern Washington:

  • No Nominees

Woman of the Year Award Winner: Laurie Pierce

This award recognizes women who are members of PNCWA and who have excelled in their careers, have forwarded water issues, and/or have made significant achievements in the water industry. The essence of this award is to discover and reward exceptional women for their leadership, mentoring skills, and/or ideas that stand out from their colleagues. Nominees should exhibit leadership skills in their field of expertise; have been a role model and/or mentor to other women and students; advocate for positive social change that helps close the leadership gap and create a more equitable society; have garnered respect within the community; are dedicated to helping women achieve their goals; exhibit qualities of teamwork, integrity, and dedication; and/or give back to the Association and community through their time, talent, and/or resources.

The 2022 recipient of the Woman of the Year Award was Laurie Pierce, Wastewater Operations Manager, Pierce County Planning and Public Works, WA.  Laurie has been a Clean Water professional for 30+ years. She has been heavily involved with public education focusing on underserved communities and encouraging the pursuit of career paths in the clean water utility industry. She has facilitated a sustainable and positive workplace cultural shift in Pierce County that will ensure the Sewer Division stays a regional leader within the industry for years to come. Her ongoing dedication to our industry is an inspiration to all of us!

Pacific NW Region Scholarship Winners:

 Recognition of Conference Chair: Vicky Hollingsworth, Washington Local Leader, Brown & Caldwell, Seattle, WA

Recognition of Technical Chair: Jeff Schmidt, Project Manager, Jacobs, Bellevue, WA

Recognition of Outgoing Board Members

Service Award for Outgoing President: Rob Lee

Passing of the Gavel

Finally, outgoing President Rob Lee passed the gavel (IN PERSON!) to incoming President Lara Kammereck, who shared some kind words regarding Rob’s leadership of our Association during 2021-22 and some insight into her vision of PNCWA in the year ahead. 

Thank you and congratulations to Rob for his dedication and service to our Association during this unorthodox year and congratulations to Lara for taking on the role as our President of PNCWA in 2022 - 23. We are in great hands with Lara at the helm. 

The 2022 PNCWA IN PERSON Awards Banquet and ceremony was a great success. Please consider submitting nominations in 2023 so that we can continue this great tradition of recognizing the incredible achievements of our peers.  The 2023 PNCWA Awards Banquet will be held on Sept. 12, @ 7:00 PM at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center! 

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