Our People

Global Water Stewardship is made up of a variety of professionals who serve as Board Members, Chairs, or committee members. Each and every one offers their services as a volunteer. We could not be more thankful for their dedication to making GWS all that it can be!

To join a committee or inquire about the organization, contact the Chair.

Mohammed Haque, Director, is the District Manager for Northern Moraine Water Reclamation District and has been involved managing public utilities for 22 years. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Central States Water Environment Association and on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies. Mohammed helped form the Global Water Stewardship out of a realization that the talented professionals and students in CSWEA could help the 2.4 billion people lacking sanitation worldwide.

Elizabeth Heise, Chair, is a Biological Engineer at Trotter and Associates, Inc, working on water and wastewater projects. Liz is currently pursuing her Masters in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois. She is very passionate about international development and public health and has worked on water and sanitation projects in small communities in both Latin America and Africa. She has experience in community outreach, fundraising, and sustainable project implementation.

Zack Wallin, Community Design Chair, is currently an engineer with Keller Associates. He assists in designing a variety of projects ranging from water/wastewater design and construction projects to water/wastewater planning studies. Zack has a strong passion for providing sanitary living environments and creating sustainable communities, thus is excited to utilize his vocation in serving this purpose. Beyond working with sanitation and water treatment, Zack enjoys fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Elizabeth Brown, Public Education and Outreach Chair, is a Wastewater Process Engineer with the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services Department of the Twin Cities, MN. She graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with an Environmental Concentration. Elizabeth has experience with service leaning projects and environmental outreach. She also has experience with the testing and implementation of wastewater analyzers and sensors.

Micah Pitner, Projects for Construction Chair, is a Senior Engineer in Water Resources at Crawford Murphy & Tilly. She has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois and is an Envision Sustainability Professional and LEED Accredited Professional with a Neighborhood Development specialty. She cares deeply about this planet and its people, and she has worked on several water and sanitation projects throughout Latin America. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with GWS to continue pursuing that passion.

Eider Alvarez-Puras, Professional Training and Knowledge Exchange Chair, is a Wastewater Project Engineer at Baxter & Woodman, Inc. She has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is passionate about using her knowledge of wastewater and her ability to speak Spanish to bring educational programs that will empower Latin American countries to solve their sanitation challenges.

Matt Streicher, Treasurer, is the Executive Director for the Glenbard Wastewater Authority. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with an environmental emphasis. He previously served as the District Engineer for the Wheaton Sanitary District for 8 years, and has a passion for wastewater treatment so that the environment can be preserved and protected, while also maintaining proper public health. Matt has been on board with GWS since its inception, and has had roles in several committees.

Rich Hussey, Marketing and Fundraising Chair, (P.E.) graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BS and MS in Environmental Engineering. Rich was a civil consulting engineer before his current role as a principal at LAI Ltd, a manufacturer representative firm of water and wastewater process equipment. He serves as the Chair for the Education Seminar Committee and recently served as the IL State Section Trustee at Central States Water Environment Association. He is a Board Member for the Ground Hog Club in Chicago, IL.

PAST CHAIRS

Amanda Streicher, is a Senior Environmental Engineer with Baxter & Woodman, Inc. She works in wastewater and water resources design. Amanda is conscious of the effects wastewater can have on the environment and its exponential effect on nature and quality of life. She previously served three terms as Chair from 2015 to 2018 and has been an integral member of GWS since its beginnings.

Maureen Durkin, is a Managing Civil Engineer at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). She works in the Engineering Department and is responsible for administration of the MWRD’s Watershed Management Ordinance, which involves issuing permits for development in Cook County. In addition, she administers the MWRD’s infiltration and inflow control program. Maureen was chair of GWS for one term and has been involved in obtaining 501c3 status, writing bylaws, and preparing GWS’ business plan.

COMMITTEES

Community Design

Community Design is led by Zack Wallin.  The Vice Chair is Joe Lapastora.  Together the committee:

  1. Prepares student design problem statements,
  2. Gathers community data,
  3. Mentors student design teams,
  4. Judges the GWS student design competitions,
  5. Requests and finalizes design deliverables to ASADA in English and Spanich,
  6. Coordinates student design presentations for ASADA,
  7. Follows-up on previous designs for ASADAs, and
  8. Assists ASADAs with the coordination in transitioning the student design to a final professional design.

Public Education and Outreach

Public Education and Outreach is led by Elizabeth Brown.  The committee provides:

  1. Presentations to elementary and high schools students in Costa Rica,
  2. Presentations to elementary and high school students in the US,
  3. Coordinates STEM activities and resources for schools,
  4. Educates communities and leaders about need for sanitation, and
  5. Organize events in the US to bring awareness.

Professional Training and Knowledge Exchange

Professional Training and Knowledge Exchange is leg by Eider Alvarez-Puras.  Committee tasks include:

  1. Provide training for water and sanitation professionals on wastewater
    treatment.
  2. Coordinate tours and knowledge exchange trips between US and CR.
  3. Establish scholarship fund and program for in-depth training of
    wastewater professionals.
  4. Develop bilingual resources, manuals, and curriculum on wastewater
    collection systems and treatment
  5. Organize technical seminars for water and wastewater professionals.
  6. Establish a graduate research internship program in CR for US students.

Projects for Construction

Projects for Construction is led by Micah Pitner.  The Vice Chair is Maria Claudia Reed.  The Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Coordinate biogarden construction program,
  2. Build biogardens at participating community schools,
  3. Follow up on biogarden maintenance,
  4. Develop designs and recommendations for special projects as needed,
  5. Provide technical support for community on final design and construction, and
  6. Follow up on the maintenance of constructed projects.

Marketing and Fundraising

Marketing and Fundraising is led by Rich Hussey.  The Vice Chair is Matt Castillo.  The committee:

  1. Prepares and publishes newsletters,
  2. Prepares and distributes annual report,
  3. Maintains the website and social media,
  4. Markets events in the US to raise GWS awareness,
  5. Prepares GWS brochures and other marketing materials,
  6. Solicits donations and manages relationships with donors, and
  7. Organizes annual fundraising events.