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Speaker Bios

(From 2020 Mega-Conference, 2021 info to be posted when available)

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Dick Bachelder

Dick has been in the plastic leaching chamber business for 30 years. He onsite career started when he joined PSA, Inc., the company which developed the BioDiffuser line of plastic leaching chambers. He joined Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) in 2000 and worked for 13 years on ADS's Arc line of chambers before joining Infiltrator Water Technologies (Infiltrator) in 2013. Dick's primary focus over the years has been on product approval development and management, as well regulation development. Dick's industry involvement includes three years of service on the Ohio Department of Health's initial Technical Advisory Committee. He is a founding member of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) and is presently a voting member of the Canadian Standards Association's (CSA) B65 Technical Subcommittee on onsite wastewater system design and installation, as well as a Director of the Yankee Onsite Wastewater Association (YOWA).

Marie-Christine Belanger

Marie-Christine Belanger is the current Product Director and Government Relations at Premier Tech Aqua (PTA), a Canadian company and world leader in the Onsite Wastewater Treatment industry. She accumulated over five years of professional experience as a Project Manager for the development and implementation of decentralized wastewater treatment systems for GSI Environement before pursuing a career as Project Development Director at Group Celdex, a firm specializing in the development of integrated Waste Management programs in emerging countries. Ms. Belanger joined PTA in 2002. Her functions at PTA have brought her to play key roles on several steering and advisory committees throughout North America, namely with the BNQ, CSA, NOWRA, NSF, local provincial and state organizations, etc. where she has taken part in the development and advancement of industry-wide regulations and standards leading to better protection of the environment and the public's health.

Allison Blodig

Allison has been in the onsite wastewater treatment industry since 1997, first as a regulatory official and then in the wastewater treatment manufacturing industry participating in sales, regulatory affairs, design reviews, and training for a national treatment system manufacturer. Currently she is an Engineered Systems Specialist with Infiltrator Water Technologies, a leading developer of decentralized wastewater treatment technology. Along with a degree in Biology from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, she has been a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and member of the National Environmental Health Association since 1996. She is also very active with the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) and is the current chair of the Conference Committee.

Michael Broussard

Michael G. Broussard has a BS in Chemistry / Bio-Chemistry and is a 10 year military veteran with 12 years' experience in New Mexico's liquid waste program with the Environmental Health Bureau (EHB). He has instructed hundreds of staff, installers, and realtors in liquid waste disposal and treatment regulations over the past 6 years. He currently serves as the state's liquid waste program manager providing support to the bureau's 75 field staff and management. Michael has conducted technical reviews for advanced wastewater treatment systems structural reviews on treatment tanks for 5 years. He currently serves as a member and technical committee member for the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). He is member of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO).

Philip Brown

Philip Brown is the Extension Specialist in Soil Science and Septic System Education at Virginia Tech. He obtained a PhD in soil physics from Clemson University, specializing in water movement in porous media. He also has an MS from Clemson University and a BSc from The University of Bradford in the UK.

John Buchanan

Dr. John R. Buchanan is an Associate Professor and is on the faculty of the Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee. He has 30 years of teaching, research, and outreach experience in the areas of onsite and decentralized wastewater management, water supply, water quality and storm water engineering. Dr. Buchanan has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, all from The University of Tennessee. John is a member of the Water Environment Federation, Soil and Water Conservation Society, NOWRA, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee.

Ryder Bunce

Ryder Bunce is a Technical Services Engineer for the Virginia Department of Health where he oversees Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow project, a program that injects highly treated wastewater into the Potomac Aquifer. Previously, he worked as a Class I water plant operator for Chesterfield County and as a principal engineer with Hazen and Sawyer. Ryder is a licensed professional engineer with an MS in Environmental Engineering from Old Dominion University.


Anthony Creech

Mr. Creech has over 30 years' experience in regulatory program oversight, environmental health management, and risk management. In his role as Environmental Technical Programs Manager for the VDH Office of Environmental Health Services, Division of Water and Wastewater Services, Mr. Creech leads efforts for training of Environmental Health Specialists in Virginia's onsite sewage and private well programs; leads stakeholder workgroups responsible for regulatory development (e.g., Private Well Regulations update, Rainwater Harvesting Regulations); participates in the Virginia legislative processes; and participates in a wide variety of waste, wastewater, and drinking water initiatives. Over his career, Mr. Creech has provided general environmental consultation in solid, hazardous, and medical waste; environmental due diligence, petroleum storage and management; groundwater/surface water management and conservation; and groundwater withdrawal permitting. Mr. Creech has a B.S., in Geology.


Victor D'Amato

Victor D'Amato is a registered professional engineer with over 26 years of water quality engineering, wastewater process design, and applied environmental research experience. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Penn State and an MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Vic has extensive experience with decentralized water infrastructure planning and implementation. He routinely works with public and private sector clients to develop wastewater management plans and programs, design systems and provide ongoing operational support. He has experience reducing nutrient pollution at multiple scales ranging from individual sites to large watersheds, including the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Vic is currently Vice Chair of the Small Community Committee of the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

Leopold Dobelle, Seungkyeum Kim

Leopold Dobelle is an Assistant Research Engineer at Linde Robinson Lab in Pasadena, CA. Seungkyeum Kim is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Michael R. Hoffmann's laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. His research is concerned with the development of commercially-ready water and wastewater treatment system for individual home use in the developing world. He has specifically focused on testing the prototype of onsite treatment system and designing more efficient, cost-effective electrocatalysts for the system. He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott, Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama, works at the intersection of water, wastewater and public health in low-resource settings. His doctoral and post-doctoral research addressed issues primarily in developing countries and his recent work focuses largely on wastewater management in the rural United States.


Heidi Faller

Heidi Faller is an environmental toxicologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) in Washington, D.C. She is a part of the Decentralized Wastewater Management team which manages the EPA Decentralized MOU Partnership, SepticSmart Program and provides outreach on decentralized technology for homeowners.

Bruce Fox

Employment: Partner – Allstate Septic Systems LLP, (General Manager) Since April 15, 1986 Affiliations: Pennsylvania Septage Management Association -- President, Past Secretary, Past president, Past Chair Education Committee, Member Education Committee, Delegated Member DEP – SAC (Sewage Advisory Committee), Certified PSMA Trainer – Inspection Program (since 1991), Certified NOF/PSMA Trainer – (Vacuum Truck Technician Certification Program - since 2005), PSMA Trainer – DEP, PASEO, PSMA Installer Course. National Association of Wastewater Technicians – President, Vice President, Member Education Committee. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment – NAWTDelegate – Member Executive Board of Directors Certified Trainer - CIDWT Installer Training Program – since 2009. Pennsylvania Association of Sewage Enforcement Officers -- S.E.O. #02175. Pennsylvania Water Environment Association. Water Environment Federation. Pennsylvania Sewage Treatment Plant Operator – T2614 Class E, Type 1. Education: Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture.


Lance Gregory

Lance Gregory is the Director for the Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services, Environmental Engineering, and Marina Programs. His Division works with Virginia's 35 Health Districts and industry stakeholders to develop and implement regulations related to onsite sewage systems, alternative discharging systems, private wells, and marinas. Lance has worked in a variety of positions within VDH's onsite sewage and water programs at the local, district, and central office level providing a useful.


Kayla Hanson

Kayla graduated from Purdue University in 2013 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and emphasis in structures. Kayla is NPCA's Director of Technical Services and has been with the association for nearly 7 years. Kayla serves as the staff liaison to NPCA’s Wastewater Treatment Product Committee and Grease Interceptor Task Force, and works with these groups to address challenges and opportunities in the onsite wastewater industry. Kayla serves as the Vice Chairman of ASTM Committee C27 on Precast Concrete Products and is actively involved in creating and updating precast-specific wastewater structure standards.

Gary Hawkins

Gary L. Hawkins, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and extension specialist in Water Resource Management at the University of Georgia. He graduated from Clemson University and Auburn University with degrees in Agricultural Engineering. Hawkins earned his Ph.D. from The University of Tennessee in Biosystems Engineering. Hawkins' extension and research programs focus on water quality and quantity in the areas of on-site waste management, stormwater and water conservation.

Sara Heger

Dr. Sara Heger is an engineer, researcher and instructor at the University of Minnesota 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 20 years, she has been conducting research and providing education and technical assistance to homeowners, small communities, onsite professionals and local units of government regarding onsite wastewater treatment. She has presented in over 30 different states and provinces in North America regarding the science of wastewater treatment including design, installation and management. Sara is the president-elect of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association. Sara serves on the NSF International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems. She has BS in Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering and a MS and a PhD in Water Resource Science.

Trisha Henshaw

Trisha Henshaw has two decades of regulatory experience, most of it obtained at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. She has served as an Executive Director for DPOR since 2008. In this role, Trisha provides administrative, regulatory, and operational management for the Common Interest Community Board; Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals; and the Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors. Trisha is actively involved in the legislative process for legislation impacting the programs under her purview. Trisha has worked in nearly every role at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation related to board and licensing operations. Prior to her current responsibilities, Trisha administered the tradesmen education program and the licensing aspects of the Board for Contractors as well as a number of other boards.

Naomi Huff

Naomi Huff is an ORISE at EPA's Office of Wastewater Management (OWM), located in Washington, DC. Naomi has been with EPA since December 2019 and supports the Decentralized Wastewater Program. Prior to her employment as an ORISE, Naomi worked as an AmeriCorps Vista in St. Louis Missouri. Naomi holds a BS in Environmental Studies from Northern Illinois University and a MS in Environmental Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


Anish Jantrania

Dr. Anish Jantrania is an Associate Professor/Extension Specialist in the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. Texas. Dr. Jantrania has over 30 years of experience working in the wastewater industry, in the public and private sectors, with a focus on On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF/septic systems), and decentralized wastewater and water systems. His research and extension interests focus on sustainable infrastructure to ensure the availability of clean water to meet society's water demands, and to ensure safe sanitation to protect public health and environmental quality. Before coming to Texas, Anish has worked in Virginia, Massachusetts, and West Virginia, and has studied in West Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, and India. His work in Texas focuses on developing a statewide extension education and research program related to surface and groundwater quality protection with specific emphasis on non-point sources, OSSF, and other environmental issues.


Jim King

Jim King is the President for Eljen Corporation. He finished his engineering degree at the University of Connecticut and joined the military. Mr. King was a Captain in the US Army, serving two deployments to Iraq. After his military career, he returned to Connecticut where he finished his MBA at the University of Connecticut and found a home at Eljen. During his time at Eljen, Jim brought the company to new regions around the world by working with the local and state health departments. His work at Eljen focuses new technologies innovation and development. Based in Windsor, CT, Eljen produces products which are installed throughout the world. In 2019 they were awarded the Federal HireVETs Small Business Platinum Award. Eljen is celebrating over 50 years of innovation and success and look forward to being a part of your future septic projects.


Chris LeClair

Chris LeClair is the Director of the Land & Resource Management office in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Natural Resources, Chris began his career with the Washington County Department of Public Health as an Environmental Health Specialist, duties included restaurant inspections, lodging and pool inspections and managing the county’s radon laboratory. In 2002, he was moved to the county’s septic program. Since then, Chris has become a certified Advanced Inspector, served on the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association Board of Directors and the state’s septic advisory committee. In 2018, Chris moved up to northern Minnesota to head the office that regulates septic systems, where he finds himself today.

David Lentz

Dave Lentz manages Infiltrator Water Technologies' government affairs department, with responsibility for regulation of the company's effluent dispersal, tank, and treatment product lines. Nationally, Infiltrator is involved in rulemaking, legislation, and industry standards development supporting the onsite wastewater treatment system industry. Dave has 25 years of experience related to soil and groundwater systems. He holds a Bachelor's degree in structural engineering and a Master's degree in geotechnical engineering, and is a licensed professional engineer.

Zachary Lowenstein

Zach Lowenstein is an Environmental Scientist in EPA's Office of Wastewater Management, located in Washington, DC. Zach has been with EPA for over three years, and manages the Decentralized Wastewater Program. Prior to his employment at EPA, Zach worked for a couple of years in permit compliance at the South Florida Water Management District, and before that, as an environmental scientist at a small consulting firm. Zach holds a Bachelor's in Environmental Science and Master's in Public Health, both from the University of Florida.


Gary MacConnell

Mr. MacConnell has over thirty years of experience in environmental and civil engineering, during which he has served in project manager and project engineer capacities. He has played a major role in projects that include wastewater, water, and industrial waste treatment. Other types of projects have included: solid waste, hazardous and toxic wastes, environmental issues, stormwater, water resources, site work, irrigation, project financing, and economic and financial analyses. Examples of tasks that Mr. MacConnell has performed include planning, preliminary design, final design, permitting, grant/loan related work, financing, and construction administration. Mr. MacConnell started his career as a regulator in the State of Florida. He then worked for international firms in Florida, California, and North Carolina. Since starting MacConnell & Associates, P.C., Mr. MacConnell's technical expertise and innovative designs helped the company win projects.

Bryer Manwell

Bryer Manwell is a registered professional engineer in both Alberta and British Columbia. Currently, Bryer serves as the President of WCOWMA-Onsite Wastewater Management of BC, where she promotes implementation of environmentally sound practices within the onsite wastewater sector. With her environmental engineering background, Ms. Manwell has applied her hydrogeological expertise to projects involving: environmental monitoring for community water supply systems and landfill sites, groundwater supply evaluations, mine site water balance evaluation, onsite wastewater system design, aquifer characterization, solute transport analysis, groundwater at risk of containing pathogens (GARP) assessments, and source water protection planning. Facilitating groundwater licencing applications and liaison between regulators and clients further rounds out Ms. Manwell's core practice areas.

Dominic Mercier

Dominic Mercier is a Civil and Environmental Engineer with 24 years of experience in technology development and design of onsite and decentralized wastewater treatment systems. Mr. Mercier owns Enviro Neptune, a company dedicated in the research and development of onsite and decentralized technologies as well as Enviro-STEP Technologies a company manufacturing and distributing Onsite solutions. With offices in Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, Mr. Mercier was involved in hundreds of projects and had presented several workshops and technical talks in various Canadian and American conferences.


Abraham Noe-Hays

Abraham Noe-Hays is the Research Director of the Rich Earth Institute, which operates the nation's first community-scale urine recycling program, converting human urine into fertilizer for use on local farms. This initiative saves water, prevents pollution, and supports sustainable agriculture by turning a universal waste product into a valuable resource. Abraham coordinates a multidisciplinary research and demonstration effort involving farmers, scientists, planners, and volunteer participants (aka urine donors"), with the goal of developing tools to allow other communities to start recycling urine. A lifelong resident of Vermont, he has used alternative sanitation systems since 1976, and has been academically and professionally involved in their development since 2000. He holds a BA in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic.


Ed Osann

Ed Osann is a Senior Water Policy Analyst with the National Resources Defense Council's Healthy Communities Program. Since 2009 he has led NRDC's work on water efficiency through building codes, product standards, utility programs, and conservation pricing. From 1993 to 1996, he served as Director of Policy and External Affairs for the US Bureau of Reclamation. Ed holds a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from George Washington University and a BS in International Relations from Georgetown University. From 2013-16, Ed served on the 7-member Independent Technical Panel on Urban Conservation for the California Department of Water Resources. In 2016, Ed joined ISO Project Committee 305 to develop a product standard for Sustainable Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems, serving as head of the US delegation to this committee.


Sushama Pradhan

Sushama Pradhan is the Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program Coordinator at the On-site Water Protection Branch in North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She got her Doctoral degrees in Soil Science at the North Carolina State. Prior to joining NC DHHS, she has worked as a scientist in the on-site wastewater field for nearly 12 years in North Carolina State University. Dr. Pradhan has successfully managed/completed numerous multidisciplinary projects including on-site system field performance surveys, modeling septic systems derived nutrient loadings in watershed scales, performance evaluation of new technologies and decentralized water/wastewater reuse for non-portable usages.


Danna Revis

Danna began working in the onsite wastewater in Virginia in 1983 as a private soil consultant. She worked for the Virginia Department of Health for 30 years as an Environmental Health Specialist and as Training Coordinator for Environmental Health. She retired in 2018 and went back to the private sector. She currently works for Old Dominion Onsite, Inc. as an onsite soil evaluator and operator. She has a bachelor's degree in geology from the College of William and Mary and a masters in learning technologies from Pepperdine University.


Kevin Sherman

Kevin Sherman received a B.S. from the Stony Brook University (NY) and a B.S. in civil engineering from the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering. Kevin has a M.S. in Biology from the University of South Carolina, and a M.P.H. from the University of South Florida. He also has a Ph.D. in from Florida State University. Dr. Sherman worked with the Florida Department of Health for fourteen years, including 3 year as administrator of the onsite sewage program. Dr. Sherman served as the Executive Vice President of the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association. Currently, he is Director of Engineering and Regulatory Affairs for SeptiTech, Inc. Dr. Sherman is author or co-author of over 25 publications. He is a past-president of the Florida Environmental Health Association and the NOWRA. He is a Professional Engineer in seventeen states and a Registered Sanitarian in Florida. In 2007, he received a diplomat of Water Resource Engineering honor by the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Larry Stephens

Larry has spent over 50 years now in the onsite wastewater treatment industry, beginning as a state regulator for 12 years and then as the owner of Stephens Consulting Services, PC for the last 40 years. Stephens Consulting Services is a design engineering company located in Haslett, MI. Onsite wastewater treatment systems, both large and small, have become his focus and specialty. Larry is also a partner with Michael Stephens in a second company, SCS Systems LLC, a 20 year old company that provides contract operations and maintenance services for onsite systems. Larry holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Florida. He is a registered professional engineer in Michigan and Ohio. Larry is active and has held leadership positions in both the Michigan Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association and NOWRA.

Ron Suchecki

Ron Suchecki is the General Manager for Hoot Systems, LLC. He also serves as the company’s Director for Research. Ron has extensive experience on onsite wastewater treatment systems and serves on the NSF Joint Committee for Wastewater. He is also heavily involved in organizing the annual meeting for the Texas Onsite Wastewater Association. Mr. Suchecki has made presentation at regional and national meetings organized for stakeholders of the onsite wastewater industry.


Cindy Tiemann

Cindy is CEO / Business Manager of Fiedler Your Pumping Specialists, Inc. Fiedler's has provided septic maintenance to residential and commercial customers in Central Minnesota since 1953. Cindy and her husband Jeff Purchased the company in 2010 and currently have 11 employees on staff serving a 5-county area. Prior to her current role in the wastewater industry, Cindy worked as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. She holds a master's degree in nursing education and is MPCA certified as a Type 4 wastewater operator, Maintainer and Service Provider. She currently serves on the MOWA Board and the MPCA SSTS Advisory Committee. Cindy and her husband Jeff also own and operate a crop farm where they also raise poultry for Pilgrim's Pride. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and spending time with family, especially her 3 grandchildren.


Lorna Withrow

Lorna Withrow is an engineer with the On-Site Water Protection (OSWP) Branch of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and has worked for the State of North Carolina in the environmental field for over 25 years. Her experience covers numerous environmental areas including radiological waste disposal, drinking water compliance, assessment and analysis, enforcement, and guidance generation. Lorna is a licensed North Carolina Professional Engineer, holds a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics with a Nuclear Engineering concentration and an M.C.E. degree in Environmental Engineering, both earned at North Carolina State University.

June Wolfe

Dr. June Wolfe directs the Water Science Laboratory at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center in Temple. His lab conducts basic and applied research in water conservation and management with an emphasis on investigating erosion and sedimentation caused by stormwater runoff and land disturbance. Water quality and water quantity information from field instrumentation, telemetry and analytical analyses are linked with computer simulation modeling developed at the Center to determine aquatic and land condition trends and the effectiveness of various land management practices. He has been involved in wastewater research since 1995.


Cory Yarrington

Cory Yarrington graduated with a B.S. in Physical Sciences at Bethany College, WV. He co-authored a published journal, "The American Society for Mechanical Engineers" after his work at the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown. He has been working on his M.S. and PhD at West Virginia University in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department in areas of linear and nonlinear modeling to forecast univariate patterns. A team, composed of Dr. Lian-Shin Lin, Cory Yarrington and Chris Anderson, has been working with Jennifer Hause at National Environmental Science Center to complete an assessment on onsite wastewater treatment systems. The objective was to conduct a national assessment of onsite wastewater system installations at the state and local levels over the period of four years (2015-2018). The data was utilized to determine trends in onsite wastewater system infrastructure installation with relation to new housing as well as onsite system maintenance across the U.S.

Fred Yuhasz

Fred spent the first 30 years of his career driving trucks. He grew a very successful vehicle towing and salvage business from the bottom up, eventually selling that business to his unsuspecting (of the work involved!!!) younger brother. Along the way, he has put thousands of miles under his belt hauling heavy equipment. Currently, and for the past 10 years, Fred is putting these years of experience to good use as a CDL Instructor/Examiner certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Fred can be found at the North Montco Tech Career Center in Lansdale, Pennsylvania either in the classroom or out in the field examining another new CDL candidate.

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