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TRWA Emerging Leaders Program
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TRWA Emerging Leaders Program


TRWA Emerging Leaders is a nine month long professional development and networking program for up-and-coming leaders in the Texas rural water industry. Targeted participants are early- to mid-career working professionals currently employed by a TRWA Utility Member.


The program aims to enhance individual leadership skills and prepare participants to be active and engaged community leaders and advocates for rural water issues.


This program combines in-person training and remote learning to accomplish the following defined goals:

  • Identify, develop and engage emerging leaders in the Texas water industry and in TRWA
  •  Develop resources for grassroots advocacy, fundraising and industry promotion
  •  Achieve heightened engagement and commitment to the industry and to the Association


TRWA Emerging Leaders focuses on development in the areas of:

  • Leadership 
  • Management
  • Advocacy and Grassroots Engagement
  • Water Policy and Regulatory Relationships
  • Public Relations, including Community Outreach and Media Relations
  • Fundraising and Financial Management

Program Elements Include: 

  • Two In-Person Trainings 
  • One-on-one Coaching Sessions
  • Peer Forum Discussions
  • Three Webinars 
  • Local Project Implementation 

Meet the 2019-2020 Emerging Leader Program Participants: 


Name System Title
Amber Durham Jackson WSC General Manager
Brody Ostrander Buena Vista Bethel SUD Water Operator
Carlos Febus SS WSC Assistant General Manager
Chad Martin, III Bear Creek SUD Field Supervisor
Felix Ruiz East Medina County SUD Foreman
Floyd Ross Walker County SUD Operator
Jorge Bernal Riverside SUD Plant Maintenance
Josh Howard Johnson County SUD Utility Services Manager
Lane Thompson East Texas MUD General Manager
Mark Rogers Elderville WSC General Manager
Ricky Hernandez Rockett SUD Crew Leader
Shelly Ragland Bitter Creek WSC South General Manager

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must be employed by a TRWA Utility and at least one (1) year of experience in the water/wastewater industry is preferred. Additional eligibility criteria include:

1. Have interest in seeking leadership roles at their system, in their communities, and/or at the Texas Rural Water Association
2. Have commitment to understanding water policy issues
3. Have commitment to community through advocacy and volunteer activities 
4. Have access to email/internet to complete remote assignments as needed 


Questions? Contact or call 512-472-8591.


Class of 2017-2018


The inaugural class started with 17 participants who began the program last June and spent the subsequent nine months earning leadership development credit hours for attending live training sessions and webinars, interacting through an online forum, and completing monthly reading assignments and coaching sessions. Participants also were required to plan and execute an individual leadership project.


Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders Graduating Class! 

  • Jaleesa Auenne - Harris Co. MUD #50
  • Helena Carroll - Mustang SUD
  • Kyle Eppler - Wickson Creek SUD
  • Eric Haydon - East Rio Hondo WSC
  • Morgan Massey - Rockett SUD
  • Amanda Ramos - East Rio Hondo WSC
  • Robert Rodriguez - North Alamo WSC
  • Johnny Rudisill - Johnny Rudisill
  • Daniel Smith - Bandera FWSD #1  & The Oaks WSC
  • Karen Theiss - WIckson Creek SUD
  • Markey Thomas - Walker County SUD
  • Rachel Webb - South Rains SUD






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