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Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President Carl Thompson has been working in the onsite industry for 17 years at Infiltrator Water Technologies. Infiltrator is the manufacturer of onsite products including drainfields, tanks, risers, controls, and remediation devices. While at Infiltrator he has held technical, regulatory, marketing, and sales roles and currently serves as Vice President for Sales and Marketing. . Prior to joining Infiltrator he spent 9 years with a large manufacturer of site construction products. He has completed masters degrees in engineering and business and have been a licensed professional engineer (civil) for more than 20 years. In his role on the NOWRA Board, he wants to assist all commercial NOWRA members to grow their businesses through an effort to increase the overall market size on the onsite/decentralized industry. He believes that effort will be best accomplished through lobbying at the federal level to develop legislation or policies that will appropriately and favorably position the onsite industry for growth. 

President-Elect, Vice President, Dr. Sara Heger is an engineer, researcher and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department. For over 18 years, she has been providing education and technical assistance to homeowners, small communities, onsite professionals and local units of government regarding onsite wastewater treatment.  Sara coordinates the research program at the UMN and is currently, serving as the principle investigator on grants to create online owner’s guides and evaluate rest stops served by septic systems.  She presents at many local and national training events regarding the design, installation and management of septic systems and related research. Sara is Education Chair of the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.  Sara serves on the NSF International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.  She is also the chair of the Minnesota State Advisory Committee on Decentralized Systems.  She has BS in Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering and a MS and a PhD in Water Resource Science.

Secretary-Treasurer, Curtis Moore was elected in the Installer category and currently serves as NOWRA’s Secretary/Treasurer. He is a native of Virginia where he has worked in the onsite industry for over 25 years.  He is licensed as both a Professional Soil Scientist and Alternative Onsite Soil Evaluator in Virginia.  Curtis is the co-founder and managing partner of M&M Soil Consultants, Inc., a design and consulting firm specializing in onsite wastewater systems.  He is also a founding partner and principle of Ecoseptix Alliance which provides operation and maintenance services to onsite wastewater systems.  Curtis graduated from Virginia Tech in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy, Soil Science concentration.  , Curtis has served on numerous professional boards, including.  President of the Virginia Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, President of the Virginia Association of Professional Soil Scientists, and gubernatorial appointee to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group.  Currently, Curtis serves as a Board Member and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman for VOWRA and is an appointee to the Virginia Department of Health’s Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee. He is interested in helping NOWRA continue its efforts to become indispensable to both the state affiliate organizations as well as the individual practitioners that constitute the bulk of our membership. Curtis thinks the most critical issue to NOWRA members is a lack of consistency across our industry. Inconsistency creates different problems for different industry sectors. For example, manufacturers may be allowed to sell products in some states and not in others; installers and designers deal daily with regulatory requirements that change radically from locality to locality.

Past President, Jim Bell is Executive Vice President of Bio-Microbics, holds an M.S. in Sanitary Engineering from the University of Missouri and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kansas, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri in Rolla, Missouri.  Mr. Bell has worked for 35 years as a Process Engineer for Smith & Loveless, Inc. designing wastewater treatment systems. In 2008, he joined Bio-Microbics as Executive Vice-President to provide process engineering and regulatory expertise. Mr. Bell is currently Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Wastewater for the NSF, which develops the NSF standards for small onsite wastewater treatment systems. As an active member of the Small Community Committee for WEF (Water Environment Federation) and NOWRA (National On-Site Wastewater Recycling Association), he continues to pioneer the future of the onsite wastewater industry. As Chairman of the Captains of Industry (COI) - an affiliate organization of the State Onsite Regulators Alliance (SORA) and SORA member, Mr. Bell assists the promotion of States’ onsite solutions.

Board of Directors

Dr. Sergio Abit is the State Specialist for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) for Oklahoma. He works with various stakeholder groups of the OWTS industry in the state to develop and administer professional development courses, produce extension publications, and conduct septic systems-related research. He organizes and serves as conference chair of the annual Oklahoma Onsite Wastewater Conference and attends annual OWTS conferences in other states as a resource speaker. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Soil Science Teaching and is responsible for a total of eight courses at the Oklahoma State University (OSU).  Dr. Abit earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture from the Visayas State University (Philippines) and later studied Soil Science (Environmental Soil Physics) at North Carolina State University, earning an M.S. in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2009. He also worked as research soil scientist for the USDA-ARS in Bowling Green, Ken., before joining the faculty in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at the OSU. As an Educator/Academic reresentative on the board, assisting the NOWRA board with the education side of the organization’s mission greatly appeals to Abit. He is eager to play roles in planning the annual Mega-Conference and in enhancing the online learning program. Term expires December 2022.

Dr. Bryan Brooks
is the distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies at Baylor, and Director of Baylor's Environmental Health Science Program. He's an Internationally recognized leader in topics related to water, environment and health. As Director of Baylor's Pioneering Environmental Health Science Program, Brooks works with students and International stakeholders in transdisciplinary research to address issues related to urban growth and water resources, chemicals, public health and more. Brooks serves as principal investigator and as the lead author on influential papers examining key environmental health issues in the UNCOVER EH program launched by Baylor in 2017 along with the National Environmental Health Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Brooks has published estensively on a range of water and environmental health issues and has been a featured speaker at conferences around the world. He represents the Education/Academic sector on the NOWRA board. His term expires in 2020

Kate Carney, P. E., is a licensed professional engineer and the owner of Church Onsite Wastewater Services, LLC. CHURCH Onsite Wastewater Consultants offers services for residential & commercial properties, including single residence, county permitted systems as well as large state permitted systems. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines.  Her term expires December 2020.

A recognized regulator in wastewater management, Tom Groves brings a history of engagement and leadership positions with New England-area and national organizations. Since 2000, Groves has been director of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission’s wastewater and onsite programs, overseeing wastewater management, regional environmental training, environmental professional certification, and onsite/decentralized wastewater. In 2013, the EPA New England branch recognized him and a colleague for work on wastewater management schools. He was NOWRA president from 2009 to 2010, a critical time for the association. Groves has played a leading role in many organizations, including the WEF Small Community Outreach Committee, New England Water Environment Association, plus delivered numerous presentations. Groves is especially interested in the NOWRA Online Learning program, which he considers a growth area for NOWRA and state affiliates. “I can bring a historical perspective to my board tenure, Groves said. “I’m excited to see new affiliate groups join, federal level lobbying, the Caucus, and educational activities,” Groves said. “I’d like to see NOWRA continue to increase educational programs and individual memberships from regulators.” Now serving as the Regulator representative, his term expires December 2020.

Josh Gunia is Vice President and Co-owner of A Advanced Septic of Sumner, WA. The company is a full-service onsite systems provider with about 30 employees. The company was co-founded by Josh's father Andrew, Josh and his wife Michelle. They offer a wide range of services, including drainfield restoration, installation, service and repair, and pumping for both residential and commercial properties. Josh is also active in WOSSA (Washington On-Site Sewage Association), and recently completed a term as president of that association. Josh serves as an Installer representative and his term expires December 2020.

Chris Kumnick is the Deputy EH Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta, and he was elected to the board in the Regulator category. Kumnick’s public health career in environmental health began 17 years ago, and he has served at county, district, and state levels. He manages implementation and operation of both the on-site sewage management and non-public water supply programs and is responsible for implementing statewide rules and regulations. Workforce development interests Kumnick because workers are aging while the building sectors are growing. Meeting this new labor demand with a qualified workforce requires tools for recruitment, credentialing, and focused training opportunities. Kumnick wants help raise awareness about the need for federal funds for decentralized infrastructure, especially grants and affordable loans for system maintenance and repair. Term expires December 2021

Chris LeClair graduated in 1995 with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota. Starting in 1993 as an intern, Chris began his career inspecting restaurants in Anoka County MN. In 1996 he left Anoka County and started with Washington County, MN doing restaurant inspections. In 2002, Chris was moved to the septic program of Washington County. Chris is an Advanced Inspector of SSTS, and Service Provider. As a Service Provider, Chris operated a number of mid-sized and large-sized septic systems as part of his duties with Washington County. He was the primary operator and Service Provider for the Afton River Road collector system (flow of 2500 gpd) from 2004-2012, the St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park (flow of 4800 gpd) from 2013-2018, and was a secondary operator for three large systems in the north part of Washington County from 2002-2018. Chris was elected to the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association in 2009 and still is a member of that board. He also serves on the MPCA SSTS Advisory Committee. In 2018, Chris packed up his family and moved north to Otter Tail County, where he is the Director of the Land & Resource Management office. There he oversees the County’s Shoreland Management regulations, septic program, AIS program and the Wetland regulation program. . His term as a Service Provider representative expires December 2022.

Tom Schimelfenig owns Tom Schimelfenig excavating in Bowdon, North Dakota. He also serves as President of the recently formed North Dakota Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association. Tom has been in the water and sewer industry for 43 years. He and his father started a water well business in 1976. In 1978 he went to into the water and sewer underground. He has been an onsite water and sewer contractor in the state since 1987. He serves on a Tech Review Board in North Dakota with regulators and contractors in onsite wastewater systems. In his role as the President of NDOWRA, he has been closely  involved in making changes to health departent codes to make it statewide and fair for all. He serves as an Installer representative on the NOWRA Board and his term expires in 2022

Kevin Sherman was appointed to fill an open board seat in early 2017, and was subsequently reelected to serve a full term in the Industry/Manufacturer category. He has Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Civil Engineering, Masters Degrees in Biology and Public Health and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography.  Before becoming technical specialist for Presby Environmental, Inc., Kevin was Vice President of Engineering for Clearstream Wastewater Systems.  Dr. Sherman was also formerly the Director of Engineering for Quanics, Inc., executive vice president of the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association and before that worked for 14 years at the Florida Department of Health.  Kevin is past president of the Florida Environmental Health Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.  He is a professional engineer in twelve states and a registered sanitarian.  He has achieved the distinction of being named a diplomat of Water Resources Engineering. His term expires December 2020.

Morris Smith, P.E. is the sole proprietor of Morris Smith Engineering. He opened that company in 2007, but began a specialty of designs for onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) in 2001. His first introduction to designing an OSTDS to meet Advanced Secondary Treatment Standards was with Kevin Chaffee, PE through his company Earthtek Environmental LLC which manufactures a system named the EnviroFilter. He has designed performance based and aerobic treatment unit based ODTDS  utilizing HOOT Systems products, BioMicrobics products, Consolidated Treatment Systems products, AquaKlear, Inc products and FujiClean products. He has also designed low-pressure dosing systems utilizing Infiltrator Water Technologies products and I routinely specify Netafim, Polylok, Tuf-Tite, ADS, Salcor UV and may other specialty OSTDS products for these designs. He has an Associates of Science degree in Physics from Middle Georgia College, Cochran, GA and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Florida International University, Miami, FL. He received his Florida Professional Surveyor and Mapper license in July 1987 and his Florida Professional Engineers license in March 1992. He worked in private practice from 1976 until 1987, then worked for the City of Vero Beach from 1987 until 1999, returned to private practice in 1999. He was also the Engineering Coordinator for North Baldwin Utilities in Bay Minette, AL. He hasbeen married to his wife Dianne for 41 years; they have a daughter age 35 and a son age 30. They have lived in Florida all of their married life. He serves as an Engineering representative and his term expires December 2022.

Bruce Stowe is the Technical and Regulatory Affairs Manager for Roth North America in Syracuse, NY. With more than 10 years at Roth, Stowe offers his time, interest, and curiosity to NOWRA board service. He would like to help create a state affiliate for New York. Stowe, who is vice chair of NOWRA’s Lobbying Board of Governors, supports federal government relations activities. He advocates continued relationship-building with onsite and decentralized organizations. Stowe appreciates the work and the working environments of state environmental health regulators in the onsite and decentralized industry. I can identify members of the industry sales channel who might benefit from NOWRA. Stowe believes in building NOWRA’s reputation as the professional growth leader. Training and education initiatives are vital to building the reputation and viability of the industry as a whole. He serves as a Vendor/Manufacturer representative, and his term expires December 2021.

Jessi Wood is the VP of Operations for Residential Sewage Treatment Company in Grandview, MO. She serves as a Service Provider representative. A 23-year veteran of the onsite wastewater field, Wood is committed to taking on responsibilities associated with board membership. She is well-versed in state affiliate affairs, having served in multiple capacities with the Missouri Small Flows Association. She advocates helping state associations stay up-to-date on current activities and actions. Areas of particular interest to Wood are the association’s federal legislative work, the partnership with EPA and how the International Private Sewage Disposal Code might be improved. She has often volunteered at NOWRA Mega-Conferences and the Roe-De-Hoe®. Term expires December 2021

Eric Casey has served as NOWRA's Executive Director since June 2010. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of NOWRA, and works with NOWRA's volunteer leadership and committees, coordinating the association's advocacy, education and training, product development, external relations, communications and marketing activities. Eric's background is in association management and he has held senior executive positions for several membership-based organizations. Immediately prior to taking his current position, Eric ran an association management and marketing consulting firm. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and his MBA from The George Washington University.