Executive Board
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Past President : Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez
Past President 
Water Waste Operator



In 2013, Jennifer started her journey as a Wastewater Operator for Carson City Water Resource Reclamation Facility. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a licensed Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Grade IV in the state of Nevada as well as a Professional Operator from the ABC. She has developed math training to assist with certification preparation and  has been the treatment plant’s lead expert on process control analysis. She also represents the Professional and Technical Committee for Northern Nevada for the Nevada Water Environment Association.

President : Charlie Lee P.E.

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Charlie Lee P.E.
President
Associate Engineer



Charlie is registered as a Professional Engineer in Nevada and has previously worked for a land development firm, general contractor and state regulatory agency.  He currently works at Clark County Water Reclamation District in Development Services.  He was first exposed to NWEA while working at the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and has developed a great respect for the many dedicated professionals he has met there. He comes from an eclectic background and enjoys a great many things from sports to music to movies to tech. He and his lovely wife have a beautiful son, with a daughter on the way.

President Elect : Krishna Pagilla

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Krishna Pagilla
President Elect



Dr. Krishna Pagilla is a Professor and Environmental Engineering Program Director at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is also the Director of Nevada Water Innovation Campus at UNR.

Dr. Pagilla’s expertise is in the field of water quality, water resource recovery, water reuse and environmental biotechnology. He researched and published over 200 works on those subjects in leading publications. Among his numerous awards for professional achievements, he received the Thomas R. Camp Applied Research Award (2013) and Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Award (2013) from the Water Environment Federation (WEF). He received Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal for Outstanding Applied Research on Wastewater Principles and Processes (2011) from WEF and the Bill Boyle Outstanding Educator Award (2012) from the Central States Water Environment Association.

Dr. Krishna Pagilla is the Chair of the USA National Committee (USANC) of International Water Association (IWA) and serves as a member of the Governing Assembly of IWA. He has served on the Executive Board and was President (2012-13) of Illinois Water Environment Association, a WEF Member Association. Dr. Pagilla is a Fellow of both WEF and IWA. Dr. Pagilla has a PhD degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of California (Berkeley, CA). Dr. Pagilla is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Illinois and California, and Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Secretary : Jake Jacobson

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Jake Jacobson
Executive Secretary



Jake moved to Nevada in 2008 and became active with the NWEA Executive Board attending meetings and co-established the collection system committee and workshops. Jake also created a local PWO based collections systems supergroup comprised of collection system supervisors and leads from all municipalities in the southern valley. This group would meet once a month and discuss miscellaneous topics from operations practices, exchanging org charts, vital emergency contact information for SSO’s, understanding available mutual resources, and lessons learned.  He helped support training efforts of NWEA, participated in fund raising with Water For People, and supported the goals and strategic planning for the Association.

Jake also is a certified Collection System and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator through NWEA.  He has contributed to exam writing and was voted to the Board of Directors for the Associated Boards of Certification (ABC). Although an independent organization of NWEA, Jake was one of three to work with ABC at an executive level, who was affiliated with NWEA. NWEA had the biggest executive level presence than any other state in the nation.  

Tri-State Seminar is a flagship training platform that NWEA is a partnership of. Although he started with Tri-State in 2001, since 2008 he has represented NWEA at Tri-State and contributed to enhancing NWEA’s presence and role in the Seminar. He has participated as speaker, Session Chair, Program Chair and through officer positions of Vice Chair, Chair, and currently on the Board of Managers in his final year of Past Chair.

Furthermore, the volunteerism, giving back to the community, and supporting the industry doesn’t just occur during work hours, there is a lot of after hours, weekends and family support that goes with it. Jake is very proud of his family for supporting NWEA, and very proud of NWEA.

Treasurer : Keli Callahan

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Keli Callahan
Treasurer



Keli has been a member of NWEA since 2005, and has served as President, YP (South) Chair and Technical and Professional Development Committee Chair. Keli is a 2013 graduate of WEF’s Water Leadership Institute. Keli is a Vice President with Carollo Engineers and manages Carollo’s Nevada operations. Since joining Carollo in 2001, she has been involved in numerous projects including planning, design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure and treatment facilities. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Fresno State, a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UNLV, and is registered as a professional engineer in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Keli, and husband Jim, spend most of their spare time competing in bowling tournaments throughout the country! She also enjoys shopping and spending time with her sisters. Keli is committed and dedicated to NWEA and looks forward to continuing her experience as a member of the Executive Board.

Term ends: April 2020

PWO Representative : Clayton Coon

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Clayton Coon
PWO Representative



Clayton is happily married with one toddler and a brand new baby. While building his family he is also doing whatever he can to build his career in wastewater. Clayton started with City of Henderson in 2008, during that time he have worked in process control, collections, reuse discharge, solids handling, and expanded his experiences for anything else that may come his way. For two years he was the safety officer for the department.

Currently he is also the head of the tool committee for the department. Clayton has participated in Operators Challenge for the beloved Dumpling team for two years. Recently he taught the wastewater 1 treatment course with CSN, provided colloquiums for both Nevada State College as well as UNLV. Clayton received his bachelor’s degree in Administrative Leadership from OU and he is working on his master’s in interdisciplinary Inquiry of Natural Sciences with a focus on wastewater environmental science.

Clayton started volunteering with NWEA in 2017 and participates in the young professionals for NWEA and attend monthly meetings, Clayton feels incredibly honored to be a part of such a great organization!

Term ends: April 2021

WEF Delegate : Nikita Lingenfelter

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Nikita Lingenfelter
WEF Delegate



Nikita is an enthusiastic member of the NWEA board.  She has been working for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection for almost 10 years.  She started working for the Bureau of Air Pollution Control - Carson City Office in 2016.  She transfered to the Bureau of Water Pollution Control - Las Vegas Office in 2014.  She has a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters, and a super sweet schnoodle named Oreo.  In her free time, she likes to travel, read, and eat chocolate covered strawberries. 
Term ends: April 2021 (WEF Delegate)

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