Our PeopleOriginal

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 the Northern Moraine Wastewater 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, Co-Chair, is a Biological Engineer at Trotter and Associates, Inc, working on water and wastewater projects. Liz earned 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.

Joe Lapastora, Co-Chair, is the Staff Engineer for the Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District. Joe earned his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in May 2018 and was identified a 2022 Duke WILD Fellow for Emerging Leaders in the water industry. Joe is passionate about student design and continues to help organize the Midwest Student Design Competition and also helps organize the international Student Design Competition at WEFTEC.

Jonessa Haas, Community Design Chair, is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin working towards a master’s degree in Sustainable Systems Engineering. She hopes to pursue a career that utilizes her education in both wastewater and sustainability. Jonessa has been involved with GWS for about a year and is excited to take on more responsibility as the Community Design Co-Chair. In her free-time, she enjoys visiting family, playing pickleball, and hanging out with her dog.

Miranda Durbin, Public Education and Outreach Chair, is a senior at Milwaukee School of Engineering and will graduate with a bachelors in civil engineering in May of 2021. In addition to her civil engineering degree, she has dual specialization in environmental and water resources engineering as well as transportation engineering. One of her main goals is to make a difference in the water resources engineering field or storm water management on the coast.

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.

Guissel Davila, Professional Development Chair, is a Wastewater Project Engineer at Baxter & Woodman, Inc. Guissel received her BS in Civil Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2019. Guissel participated in the GWS student design competition as a student, and since remained involved in GWS concluding graduation. Guissel enjoys using her knowledge in the wastewater field to bring awareness and education to the importance of sanitation.

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.

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.

Community Design

Community Design is led by Jonessa Haas. There is no current Vice Chair.
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 Spanish,
  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 Miranda Durbin.  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 Development

Professional Development is led by Guissel Davila.  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.
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