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Welcome to ISAWWA's Mentor Profiles!

 

Denise Porch

Denise is an Engineering Technician for Illinois American Water in Peoria IL and has been in the water industry for 0-5 years.  Her career journey began as an engineering technician, where she transitioned into the position of resident engineering technician and on to project manager.   

She is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings experience from the managing construction projects and installing mains to overseeing lead service line replacement.  Denise looks forward to sharing her knowledge and paying forward the opportunities that have been given to her throughout her career.  

She enjoys time with her family and yard work.

Randy Lusk

Randy is a Regional Manager with M.E. Simpson Co., Inc. in Valparaiso, IN and is a licensed Illinois Class D Water Operator, and certified in OSHA, Flagger, Confined Space, and First Aid.  He has been in the water industry for 15-25 years, beginning his career as a part-time retail employee, working his way up to manager trainer.  He then transitioned into water as a field worker and worked his way up to regional manager.

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of management, soft skills, networking, planning, organization and communications. 

Randy enjoys anything outside, playing computer games, sports and sporting events.

David Speagle

David is the Water Superintendent at the City of Taylorville IL and holds a Illinois Class A Water Operators license.  He has been in the water industry for more than 26 years, starting his career as a water laborer, then equipment operator, transitioning then to water plant and distribution foreman and finally to water superintendent.  He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of project planning, troubleshooting, mechanical repair and management.

David enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities, as well as hanging out with his grandson.

Bob Bohannon

Bob is a Water Lab Chemist for the City of Moline IL, earning a degree in Biology and holding an Illinois Class A Drinking Water Operators license.  He has been in the water industry for 6-15 years.  His career path began as a lab tech, then lab supervisor, and the transitioning into lab manager. He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings experience in laboratory testing and techniques, lab safety, compliance, regulations, water quality, networking and computer skills.  Bob looks forward to personal growth as a mentor and using his mentoring skills to uplift those around him.   

Bob enjoys running, biking, hiking, craft beer, photography and urban traveling.

Brian Jack

Brian is the Utilities Superintendent for the Village of Lombard IL and is a licensed Illinois Class C Drinking Water Operator.  Brian is also a IPSI graduate and holds a certificate in Advanced Safety.  He has been in the water industry for 6-15 years, beginning as a maintenance worker, moving his way up the ladder to crew leader, supervisor, and finally superintendent.  Brian is also the District 2C trustee for the ISAWWA and chaired the Safety and Emergency Planning Committee in 2016.

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or as a coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of management, personnel, planning, budgeting, communication, safety and emergency management, goal development, regulatory reporting and non-profit volunteering. 

Brian enjoys hockey, HOCKEY and boating.

Greg Swanson

Greg is a Music, Water & Life Advocate (and retired Utilities General Manager for the City of Moline IL) and is a licensed Illinois Class A Drinking Water Operator.  Greg has been in the water industry for over 26 years, beginning his career as a laborer and working his way through the ranks of maintenance mechanic, operator, crew leader, plant manager, and ultimately to utilities general manager. 

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of goal-setting, communication, problem-solving, project/utility management and surface water treatment.  Greg is excited to pay forward all of the wonderful mentoring that he received over his many years as a water professional.

Greg enjoys playing music, traveling, cooking, reading and hiking.

Mike Ramsey

Mike is the Director of Public Works at the Village of Westmont IL.  He is a Illinois Class A Drinking Water Operator and ABC Board Class 2 Water Operator and has been in the water industry for more than 26 years.  He began his career as a laborer, then customer service coordinator, then equipment operator, then transitioning to water treatment operator, transitioning to water superintendent, and finally his current position.

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings experience in all areas of public works.

Mike enjoys traveling, volunteering on committees with ISAWWA, golfing, fishing, playing sports and spending time with his family.

Kyla Jacobsen

 

Kyla is a retired Utility Director.  She earned degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Engineering and holds an Illinois Class A Drinking Water Operator license.  She has been in the water industry for more than 26 years, beginning her career as a chemist, then the chief chemist, and finally transitioning to utility director. 

She is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings experience in the areas of water quality, regulation, networking, team building and committee work.

She enjoys biking, kayaking, photography, volunteering on ISAWWA and other committees, and being outside. 

 

Lara Biggs

 

Lara has been in the water industry for 15-25 years and is currently a City Engineer for the City of Evanston.  Lara earned a degree in Environmental Engineering and is a licensed P.E.  Lara began her career as a consulting engineer providing project engineering and project management, then become the assistant director of a water utility, and finally transitioning into her current position.  

She is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of project and program management, communication, budgeting, and coordinating with elected officials and city staff.

Lara enjoys spending time with her family and reading. 

 

Jason Upton

 

Jason has been in the water industry for more than 26 years and is currently the Utilities Superintendent for the City of Rock Island.  He holds an Illinois Class A Drinking Water Operator license and a Illinois Class 2 Wastewater Operator license.  He began his career as a water distribution worker, and has held the positions of wastewater operator, lead wastewater operator, water superintendent, contract operator and water plant supervisor before obtaining his current position.

He is interested in serving as a tradition one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and collections, project planning, troubleshooting, mechanical repair and maintenance, and management.

Jason enjoys watching his children compete in sports, riding his motorcycle, and playing on the Muddy River Menace Men’s Roller Derby team. 

 

Matt Overeem

 

Matt is currently the Superintendent of Water and Sewer at the Village of Wilmette.  He has been in the industry for 15-25 years and holds a license or certificate in Illinois Class C Drinking Water Operator, Construction Project Management, Electronic Technology and Wind Power Technology.  He began his career as a public project inspector, and served as the administrative superintendent, director of public works, planning and zoning administrator, director of buildings, superintendent of water, sewer and streetlights, before assuming his current position.

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of project planning, long range planning, public works, and thinking outside of the box.

Matt enjoys reading, spending time with family and traveling.

 

Patrick Walsh

 

Patrick is currently the Lead Engineering Technician for Lake County Public Works.  He has been in the industry for 15-25 years and holds licenses or certifications in DECI, FEMA, CPII, Flagger and CPR-First Aid.  He began his career as an engineering firm placing traffic counters on roadways, and held positions in construction and municipal inspection, project management, process improvement and trustee before assuming his current position.

He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one mentor or coaching mentor and brings skills in the areas of utility construction, inspection and process improvement.

He enjoys driving for Uber and family activities. 

 

Hanting Wang

Hanting is a Professional Engineer, and earned her Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental engineering from the University of Illinois. She is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one or coaching mentor, and brings skills such as project management, career planning, communication skills, water and wastewater treatment. She is at a unique stage in her career where she still a recent grad, but far enough removed to share her experiences and perspectives to those who are still in school and/or are new to industry. She enjoys helping people however she can, and enjoys watching people grow and develop their skills.
She is a competitive badminton player and enjoys traveling and exploring new places.

 

Alex Urbanczyk

 

Alex is currently serves as the Water Plant Superintendent for the Village of Glencoe. He holds an IEPA Class A Drinking Water Operator's license. He began his professional career as a Superintendent for a residential home builder, worked as a mechanic, and consultant before entering the water works field as a water plant operator. He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one, or coaching mentor and brings skills in engineering, diagnostics, accounting, work relationship building, water distribution, and career building. He enjoys working on cars, kayaking, biking, playing guitar, and spending time with family and friends when not at work.

 

Michael Fontanez

 Mike is currently a Crew Leader for the Village of Buffalo Grove. He holds a Class C water license. He began his professional career as a part-time employee in the forestry section as summer help and moved to the water sector after six months. He became the youngest Crew Leader in Buffalo Grove at age 27. He led the Wellness and Employee Recognition committee and currently serves on the Innovation Committee that works to improve village processes. He has learned a great deal while pursuing his Bachelors in Public Administrations as well. He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one or coaching mentor. His strongest professional competency is being able to grasp the "big picture" and relate it to an employee who may only be working on a small portion. He likes to be outside in nature in any facet: hiking, canoeing, fishing, or swimming.

 

Casey Johnson

Casey is Superintendent and ROINC at the Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission and holds a Class A Water operators license. He began his professional career in construction, and after 12 years became a conductor for Union Pacific Railroad. He soon found himself at the water plant and worked towards his Class A Water license. He is interested in serving as a traditional one-on-one or coaching mentor. Casey leads by example and is a great listener who can explain things so that those who are new to the industry can understand. Water quality is his main objective and he believes that teamwork is the key to achieve shared goals; as well as, pro-activity teamed with maintenance is the key to success from a quality and financial standpoint. He is a husband and father of two kids, and he is dedicated to his family. He has coached his children's sports teams, and serves on the Jonesboro Elementary School Board of Education.

 

 







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