General Manager Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District
Hidden Valley Lake, California
Mel has an extensive 39 year background in the water/wastewater industry, beginning his career in 1971 with the City of Garden Grove and finishing as their Water Quality Manager. From 1984-1989 he served in the capacity of General Manager for Glen Avon Mutual Water Company and Assistant General Manager to Jurupa Community Services District in Riverside. In 1989, Mel assumed the General Manager’s position of Stonehouse Mutual Water Company and oversaw the merger with Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District in 1993.
He has represented small utilities on several legislative committees through various water industry organizations such as the American Water Works Association, Association of California Water Agencies, California Rural Water Association and National Rural Water Association (NRWA). He has authored several water industry documents and participated on several steering committees. Most recently, he serves on the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture Sustainability workgroup.
In 2002, Mel was elected to the Executive Board of NRWA. His executive position requires him to assist the association in its dedication to clean, safe and affordable drinking water for rural America. He has served on the NRWA Regulatory, Legislative and Conference Committee, was NRWA’s liaison to the American Water Works Association’s Water Utility Council and was recently appointed as President of International Rural Water Association in February 2010.
Mel has a degree in management from Rancho Santiago College and is currently the General Manager of the Hidden Valley Lake Community Service District in California.
Vice President, Communications and Energy Banking Group, CoBANK
As Section Vice President in CoBANK’s Communications and Energy Banking Group, Mr. Gustafson is responsible for the bank’s water, wastewater, and solid waste portfolio, consisting of approximately 85 commitments totaling $1 billion. He joined CoBANK in 1989, and has been with the Farm Credit System for 34 years.
Mr. Gustafson has held many positions in the Farm Credit System including loan officer, human resources recruiter, regional vice president for commercial credit to agriculture cooperatives, regional vice president supervising farm credit associations, and vice president in charge of acquired properties. He also has served as asset manager for the largest cattle feeder in the nation, and has been a branch manager for a savings and loan institution. He has been associated with CoBANK’s water and wastewater lending efforts for the past 19 years, working from the national office in Denver.
Steve was raised on a farm in northeast Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in finance and economics. He currently serves as board president of the Ken Caryl Ranch Water and Sanitation District which provides water and sewer services for 10,000 people in the southwest Denver metropolitan area.
General Manager, BBP Water Corporation
Mr. Bastin has served as the General Manager of The Bean Blossom-Patricksburg Water Corporation (BBP) since 1983. BBP is a member-owned, rural, not-for profit water utility organized in January 1971. BBP began serving water to approximately 460 customers in 1974. The company operates in Monroe, Owen and Clay Counties, Indiana.
Mr. Bastin has served on the board of directors for the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 23 years and has been the Indiana National Director to the National Rural Water Association for 20 years. Mr. Bastin also serves on the board of directors for the Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation and the Spencer/Own Economic Development Corporation.
Service and Retrofit Manager, Koester Associates
Canastota, New York
As Service and Retrofit Manager fro Koester Associates since 2001, Mr. O’Connell is responsible for a staff of service technicians that service and supply most major water and wastewater equipment in New York. Mr. O’Connell holds water and wastewater operator licenses in New York as well a Commercial Pesticide License.
Mr. O’Connell served as the Public Works Superintendent for the Village of Weedsport, New York for 13 years. Mr. O’Connell has worked with state and federal agencies including providing Congressional testimony in support of water, wastewater and solid waste development projects. He was instrumental in developing one of the first solid waste recycling centers in New York, developed a grant application in support of a solid waste composting facility which eliminated the Villages solid waste disposal costs and became an income generating stream for the Village.
Under Mr. O’Connell’s leadership, the Village of Weedsport was awarded the Wastewater System of the Year Award in 1996 by the New York Rural Water Association. Mr. O’Connell serves on the board of the New York Rural Water Association and is the New York National Director to National Rural Water Association.
General Manager, South Central Water Association
Mr. Hand has served as the General Manager for the South Central Water Association, Inc., since 1974. The South Central Water Association provides drinking water to the residents of Terry, Mississippi, located just south of the capital of Jackson. Mr. Hand served as the Director of the Mississippi Rural Water Association for 12 years and has been the Mississippi National Director to the National Rural Water Association for eight years. Mr. Hand serves on several other boards and committees in his hometown of Terry.
Buddy was born on July 17, 1944, on a farm in Terry, Mississippi and graduated from Terry High School in 1963. Buddy continued to work on the farm and worked livestock sales. He graduated from Reppert School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana in 1965 and worked as a livestock auctioneer and livestock buyer.
Executive Director, International Center for Environmental Finance
Michael Curley is an attorney by training but has spent the majority of his career in finance. He has advised many governments and international organizations on finance in over 25 countries across the globe. At present, he is the founder and executive director of the International Center for Environmental Finance, which is funded with a $3 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). For several years, he also served as the senior financial advisor to the Office of International Affairs at USEPA. Mr. Curley’s work has focused on the former Soviet Union, Central America and Asia to develop financial mechanisms for funding environmental infrastructure projects.
Mr. Curley is a pioneer in the financial guaranty insurance industry. In the 1980’s, Mr. Curley raised enough venture capital to found Industrial Development Bond Insurance, Inc., the third financial guaranty insurance company in the world, where he served as president and CEO until he sold the company to the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank. IDBI developed the first Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMO), and guarantied over $375 million of them.
In the late 1990’s Mr. Curley served as the US representative of an underwriter of trade finance insurance at Lloyd’s of London.
Mr. Curley is the author of the Handbook of Project Finance for Water and Wastewater Systems, published by Times/Mirror Books. He has also written a monograph on water/wastewater system financing and has published over a dozen articles on finance and economic development. He has served as a Senior Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University on Environmental Law and International Project Finance and also as an Adjunct Professor of Banking and Finance at New York University where he taught Venture Capital as well as Capital Markets & Investment Banking.
Mr. Curley was appointed to the Environmental Financial Advisory Board at USEPA in 1990 serving as the Board’s longest tenured member, having been reappointed for nine consecutive terms under three Presidents. He chaired the Board’s Financial Innovations Committee. Maryland Governor William Donald Schafer also appointed him to the “Blue Ribbon Panel on the Financing of the Chesapeake Tributaries”. While living in New York City, Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed him to the board of directors of the United Nations Development Corporation.
Peter Rogers, Ph.D. P.E.
University of Texas at Tyler, Department of Civil Engineering
Dr. Rogers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Tyler where he focuses on water resource planning and management. Prior to joining the University of Texas system he served in a number of capacities focused on water management and planning including water development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Part of that work included serving as the design engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras supporting reconstruction following Hurricane Mitch, as the Rural Water Project Construction Supervisor for USAID Honduras, and as a water and sanitation engineer for the Peace Corps also in Honduras.
Dr. Rogers holds a doctorate degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Water Resource Planning and Management and a Certificate in International Development Studies from the Colorado State University. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mechanics and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
President and CEO, Global Environment & Technology Foundation
Ms. Ellis is responsible for the daily operation and business development for GETF. Clients of the Foundation range from Fortune 100 companies to the executive branch agencies, private foundations, and multilateral organizations.
Active in the environmental policy arena, Ms. Ellis has traveled extensively throughout the world working on global resource issues, with particular attention on the clean energy and water sectors. She is particularly dedicated to providing clean water and sanitation to communities in the developing world. To that end, she has helped start new organizations and raise millions of dollars dedicated to the clean water cause.
For the Foundation, Ms. Ellis focuses on business and partnership development, program implementation, and marketing. She has developed numerous programs for corporations, the federal government and private foundations that integrate the environment, sustainable development and technology.
Ms. Ellis is one of the founders of GETF. She joined the Foundation in 1993 as its Director of Communication and Development. Her efforts in this role directly contributed to growing GETF’s revenues from start-up to $20 million in backlog in an 18-month period. She is also the founder of a small business that offers marketing, communications and government relations expertise. Prior to founding her own company, she helped establish a successful Internet software development company which was sold in 1997.
Ms. Ellis is a former journalist. In her early career, she served as a speechwriter and strategic planner for the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gaining national and international recognition for the Corps environmental initiatives during the first Bush Administration. She was also a primary agent responsible for developing the World Engineering Partnership for Sustainable Development, an international coalition of 12 million engineers dedicated to sustainable economic development. She represented this partnership at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. She also developed and published a book on the topic entitled “The Role of Engineering in Sustainable Development.”
Monica lives with her husband and their three children in northern Virginia. She has served on several boards, including that of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Capitol Chapter), GETF, and Alberene. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Journalism, Political Science, and Sociology) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Manager, Washington County Water Company
Mr. Fletcher has served as the Manager of the Washington County Water Company in Nashville, Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Fletcher is the President of the Memorial Park District in Nashville, Illinois, is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois One-Call Center, has served on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Rural Water Association since 1986 and is the Illinois National Director to the National Rural Water Association.
To improve the quality of water for residents of developing nations through the establishment of partnerships with organizations to provide resources for implementation of training, technical assistance and sustainable technology applicable to the needs of developing nations.