Greater Lakes: Reconnecting the Great Lakes Water Cycle

Reconnecting the Great Lakes Water Cycle

Advisory Committee and Project Team


Advisory Committee Members

Dendra J. Best, Executive Director, Wastewater Education 501(c) 3
Dendra Best’s organization’s helps communities make wise choices for appropriately sized wastewater systems that are cost effective to construct, operate and maintain while minimizing environmental footprint and sprawl. Dendra also served as past chair on Michigan’s Water Environment Federation Decentralized Wastewater Committee, is a past chair of the Michigan Environmental Health Association Public Education Committee, and is a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. Dendra lives in Traverse City, Michigan.

James Etienne, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Grand River Conservation Authority
James Etienne is the lead for water quantity issues for the Grand River Conservation Authority. He assisted the Conservation Authority and water use stakeholders in developing a long-term sustainable water use strategy for the Grand River watershed. James previously worked in Guelph to help refocus their approach to water supply and to provide leadership through the Demand Management Objectives and Drought Contingency Plan projects. He is located in Cambridge, Ontario.

Wayne Galliher, Water Conservation Project Manager, City of Guelph
Wayne Galliher is Project Manager of the City of Guelph’s Water Conservation Program, an award winning multi-sector community water sustainability initiative. Wayne also serves as a member of the Council of the Federation’s Water Partner Advisory Committee, the Canadian Municipal Water Efficiency Network and is past-chair of the Ontario Water Works Association’s Water Efficiency Committee. Wayne lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Steve Gombos, Manager Water Efficiency, Region of Waterloo
Steve Gombos has been Manager of Water Efficiency with Waterloo Region for the past 11 years. He is a past chair of the Ontario Water Works Association Water Efficiency Committee and remains active in peer committees associated with the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and the Canadian Municipal Water Efficiency Committee. Steve lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Clifford Maynes, Executive Director, Green Communities Canada
Clifford Maynes is founding Executive Director of Green Communities Canada (est. 1995), a national association of community organizations helping people go green. Their programs include RAIN, a community program that engages property owners in taking action to reduce stormwater run-off volumes and contaminants, and Depave Paradise. Clifford lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

Julia Parzen, Coordinator, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Julia Parzen is founder of this two-year-old network of 90 North American municipal sustainability leaders, with working/learning groups for professional development, innovation, policy, sustainable economic development, field development, and fostering behavior change. Since 1996, Julia has worked to build networks of experts for collective learning and information sharing around urban sustainability. Julia lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Connie Sims, Environmental Planner, County of Oakland 
Connie has worked for the last twenty-one years for the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner. She is a certified operator in drinking water distribution and limited treatment and municipal wastewater treatment. She has been involved in Wellhead Protection Programs (WHPP) and is currently a member of the Lyon Township WHPP. She is also a member of the Oakland County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Connie lives in Oakland County, Michigan.

Melissa Soline, Program Manager, Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
Melissa Soline’s responsibilities include working with U.S. and Canadian mayors from across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin to advance the restoration and protection of the resource, particularly on issues related to water conservation, climate adaptation and resiliency, and beach management. The Cities Initiative shares best practices among cities, towns, and counties so that all have the benefits of the successful efforts of each other. Melissa lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Christine Zimmer, Manager, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
Christine Zimmer is the Manager, Water Protection and Restoration for the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. With a team of 15 staff, Christine is responsible for developing tools, guidance documents and providing assistance to stakeholders implementing Low Impact Development practices in both new and existing urban areas. Christine and her team are also responsible for in-stream real-time water quality and quantity monitoring and monitoring of innovative stormwater technologies. Christine lives in Toronto, Ontario

Alternate to Christine Zimmer
Cassie Corrigan, Water Resources Specialist, Credit Valley Conservation
For the past 5-years, Cassie has worked closely with municipal, industry and community partners to coordinate the development of a number of subwatershed studies. She also helps implement policies, programs, guidance material and demonstration sites to promote the development and adoption of low impact development practices. Cassie lives in Caledon, Ontario.

Project Team Members

John Jackson, Greater Lakes Project Manager
John Jackson developed this project and now coordinates it. For thirty years, John worked bi-nationally with Great Lakes United first as a board member and later as staff on a wide range of environmental issues throughout the Great Lakes region. The foci of his work have included water quality issues, water quantity issues, and water levels and flows issues. He is an expert on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and played the lead role in coordinating citizen input into the renegotiation of that Agreement in 1987 and 2012. John lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Victoria Pebbles, Program Director, Great Lakes Commission
Victoria Pebbles leads the co-branding aspect of the project and provides overall guidance. Victoria is a program director at the Great Lakes Commission where she manages and facilitates multi-disciplinary project teams to analyze information, build consensus and develop policy solutions to address complex ecological and related socio-economic issues, including clean energy, climate change, water resource management, habitat conservation, land use, and coastal management.

James W. Ridgway, PE, Vice President, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. 
James W. Ridgway is analyzing the environmental impacts of water management for this project. He has worked on Great Lakes issues for his entire working career.  He is a registered professional engineer with three engineering degrees from the University of Michigan. He has provided technical guidance to both the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in their efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp.  Mr. Ridgway was named as the only private sector appointee to the US EPA Great Lakes Advisory Board, which provides guidance for 11 federal agencies in their management of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

William Christiansen, Program Planner, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE)
William (Bill) Christiansen operates the AWE financial analysis tools and analyzes the results for this project. In addition to providing technical assistance on the AWE Water Tracking Tool, Bill staffs AWE’s Water Efficiency Research Committee, which is focused on cutting edge water efficiency programs. Prior to working at AWE, Bill was involved in the analysis of a potential water conservation program for New York City, and in developing the urban water management plan for the Rancho California Water District. He also has developed water demand forecasts for several municipalities or water districts, including San Diego, Puerto Rico, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon. Bill lives in Chicago.

Melissa Soline, Program Manager, Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative 
Melissa Soline is organizing a series of webinars targeted at member cities of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Additionally, she  assists in the development of project fact sheets.

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