Meet our Members!

We feature a short Q&A with a CWRA member in our biweekly e-newsletter. This page is a compilation of those features.

If you would like to subscribe to our e-newsletter, you can sign up here.

Meet our Executives!

President: Jeff Hirvonen

President-Elect: John Van Der Eerden

Treasurer: Ed Dean

Secretary: Carly Delavau

Past Presidents: Stephanie Smith

Ute Holweger

Steve Braun

Meet Our Staff!

Executive Director: Maggie Romuld

Manager of Operations and Communications: Meg Olson

Accounting: Nancy Mosher

Communications Assistant: Qasim Mahmood

Operations Assistant: Hannah Burdett

Meet our Programs and Affiliates!

CSHS: James Craig (President)
Alexandra Lavictoire
Jennifer Pellerin
Amber Penner

CANCID: Warren Helgason (President)
Rebecca Shortt
Willemijn Appels
Patrick Handyside

NASH: Derek Brzoza

Project WET: Russell Boals
Edward Dean
Alida Thiombiano

SYP: Marie Broesky (President)
Sylvie Spraakman
Cristy Guo
Eloisa Sia

Meet our Members!

A few years ago we had the pleasure of working on a project with Doug and what did we learn? We learned that when you’ve had 41 years in the water resource industry, it shows! We’re happy that he has returned as a member of the Manitoba Branch, and we are definitely looking forward to working with him again. Thanks Doug.
Jaylyn is part of the intrepid crew planning this year’s national conference to be held in Saskatoon and hosted by the Saskatchewan Branch. The excitement is mounting (and the pressure, I imagine) as they enter the last month of preparations. The program looks spectacular – we hope you can join us and say thanks in person to Jaylyn and the rest of the Saskatchewan Branch!
The Project WET Canada Management Team recently welcomed a new member to their team. Billie Jo has assumed the responsibilities of the Project WET Canada National Program and Delivery Coordinator and will work alongside Maxine Koskie, the Project WET Canada National Education Coordinator, to support the country-wide network of Project WET Leaders and Coordinators. Billie Jo adds an exciting new dimension to an already dynamic Project WET Canada Team!
Though Emilie has only been a member for a few years it feels as if she’s been with us for ages. A pleasure to be around, she’s thrown herself into the inner workings of CWRA (and she’s also pretty darn handy when it comes to technical A/V snafu’s at national meetings). Thanks Emilie.

Say hello to Craig Sutherland!

A long-time member of CWRA, Craig’s enthusiasm has apparently not waned. His hand shot up at our recent midterm board meeting when we were looking for volunteers for our new Indigenous Engagement Committee. Thanks Craig!


Say hello to Carly Delavau (and Robbie!)

While Carly has been a member of CWRA and volunteered for many years, in various capacities, we have gotten to know her quite well since she’s taken over as the National Secretary. Her enthusiasm is contagious, her smile is infectious, and it’s a pleasure to work with her. Thanks Carly!


Say hello to Lakshmin Bachu!

Lakshmin (standing at the left in his family photo) is a CWRA Saskatchewan Board member and one of our newest mentors. He is also a strong advocate for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Thanks for volunteering to be a mentor Lakshmin, we appreciate it. (As will the mentees you’ll chat with, we’re sure!)


Say hello to Rick Ross!

Who better than Rick Ross to serve as one of CWRA’s mentors? As a long-time member (and long-serving Executive Director) he has worn many hats in the water resources industry and at CWRA over the years. Thanks for your years of dedication to Canadian water, Rick!


Say hello to Tahera Yeasmin!

Tahera joined our team of mentors this year and we couldn’t be more pleased. She brings a wealth of diverse experiences to the table and contributed significantly to our excellent meeting last Sunday with our group of new mentees.


Say hello to Qasim Mahmood!

We are happy to introduce Qasim, our new communications assistant. We plan to take full advantage of his mad skills and great attitude and are looking forward to sending you some great “stuff”! Stay tuned …


Say hello to Hannah Burdett!

The national office of CWRA is thrilled to welcome not one, but two, new assistants from the ranks of our SYP. Hannah will be taking on the role of Operations Assistant and Qasim (whom you will meet in the next eblast) will be our new Communications Assistant. We are looking forward to doing great things together!


Say hello to Nora Casson!

While we are sad to see Chris Spence leave his co-editing role at CWRA’s Canadian Water Resources Journal, we are more than happy that he’s handed the reins to Nora. And if she needs any advice, we’re sure her brother, also an active CWRA member, would be happy to provide it! #GoTeamCasson

Meet Kim, a longtime member of CWRA. If you want to reach out to her, don’t lollygag, she’ll soon be heading off for her annual water’s edge reminder of why she works so hard on behalf of water in Canada!

Meet Graham Waugh – The Water Resources Guy

Meet Mustafa, a recent master’s graduate (looking for a job!) and one of our new SYP co-secretaries!


Say hello to Mark Greenwood

It’s been all hands on deck at the Atlantic Branch lately as they get ready to welcome all of us to Halifax for the national conference. Mark and the rest of the crew valiantly offered to host the conference, even though they are a relatively new, and still fairly small, branch. It looks as if that is about to change though!


Say hello to Russell Boals!

Whenever Russell attends a CWRA meeting, the first question we ask is not “How are you?” it’s “Where are you?”. Known to sign in to meetings at midnight his time, he is generous with both his time and his expertise, and we lean on Russell for advice, for our mentoring program, and as one-half of the long-time leadership of Project WET. (Ed Dean is the other Project WET lifer.) Thanks Russell!


Say hello to Lucas King!

Although Lucas only joined the national board last year he is well known to many in the Manitoba Branch. Other CWRA members may know him from the webinar he and Priscilla Simard gave last fall on “Treaty #3 Nibi Declaration and Water Governance”. (If you missed it, it’s in the member archive.)
Thanks Lucas (and that is a very nice fish!).


Say hello to Naolo Charles!

It has been a pleasure to get to know Naolo, the founder of the Black Environmental Initiative, a group that the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) and CWRA partnered with to investigate barriers to inclusion. Clearly dedicated to his mission, he has raised the bar for the rest of us. Although we wish there was no need to, we hope we get to work with him again soon.


Say hello to Nancy Davy!

Many of you, especially those in Ontario, have known Nancy for a long time. What you might not know is that she’s recently spent a lot of time helping the Ontario branch plan events (and we appreciate every minute of it!). Nancy is enthusiastic and outgoing and we are looking forward to catching up with her in Halifax. Care to join us?


Say hello to Maxine Koskie!

We have been working with Maxine for a few years and are excited that she has stepped in as the new National Education Coordinator for Project WET Canada. Maxine has big shoes to fill, but we know she’s up to the task. Lizabeth Nicholls was the coordinator for over 25 years, but she has now taken on a reduced, more advisory role. Thanks for everything Lizabeth, and good luck Maxine!


Say hello to Maxim Fortin

After “knowing” Maxim for a few years through his work with NRCan, it was nice to finally meet him in person at our recent mid-term board meeting in Ottawa. And you, too, can meet him (virtually, anyway) because he will be presenting two webinars for us in March – one in English and one in French! Thanks Maxim, we’re glad you’ve joined the national board!


Say hello to Jennifer Bainbridge

Jennifer recently traveled from her home in New Brunswick to join us at the national mid-term board meeting in Ottawa. An active (very active) member of the newly minted Atlantic branch, she is working hard to ensure a successful 2023 national conference in Halifax in June. We had a ton of fun getting to know her, and look forward to working together for a long time. Thanks Jennifer!


Say hello to Gail Faveri!

While many of you have known Gail for a long time, we’re thrilled that many more are getting to know her through our mentoring program. She is such an asset to the program, freely sharing her stories and broad experience with each new group of upcoming water professionals (and hopefuls). Thanks Gail, we appreciate it!


Say hello to Gillian Walker! (she/her/elle)

As a member of the Ontario Branch, Gillian is working double time this month to help plan CWRA’s midterm workshop on the Canada Water Agency (check events below for registration). And she apparently practices what she preaches – she’s exposing her little person to Canadian freshwater in all its glory!


Say hello to Isabelle Hemmings!

Isabelle (she/they) is the President of the Ontario Branch- she joined CWRA only a few years ago but is already playing a vital role in Ontario and on the National Board. Thanks for all you do, Isabelle!


Say hello to Mike Gallant!

Mike Gallant (he/him) served as the treasurer for CWRA2022, and he’s been active in the Alberta Branch for a while, but his involvement with CWRA reaches back even longer than that. Thanks for sticking with us, Mike!


Say hello to Georgia Peck

When Georgia says she “wears many hats” she’s not kidding. We’ve seen her in action first hand, and she can juggle with the best of them. And we certainly agree that while virtual meetings held things together for a few years, meeting in person is infinitely more rewarding! Thanks for joining CWRA Georgia, we’re looking forward to doing great things together.


Say hello to Paul Whitfield

To many people at CWRA, Paul needs no introduction. A quick look at his profile will tell you why. It won’t tell you, however, that at this year’s national conference in Canmore, CWRA brought Paul up on stage to publicly thank him for his long-term dedication to our association and his support of the CWRA Journal. Thanks again Paul!


Say hello to Parsa Aminian (he/him)

I don’t know how we got so lucky, but Parsa was such a fan of last year’s mentoring program that he has volunteered to help lead this year’s program. His enthusiasm is contagious, his experience is broad, and his dedication to CWRA is clear. Thanks Parsa!


Say hello to Andrew Chan (and friends!)

Way back when, Andrew (second from right) was the one who invited me (Maggie) to become a member of the Alberta Branch. That’s how it works around here. You invite someone, then they invite someone, and the next thing you know you are standing beside Sean (far left), Carmen, and Monica (far right) having a great time at a conference in Banff.
Thanks Andrew, for everything 🙂


Say hello to Marie Broesky (She/Her)

If you were at the conference in Canmore there’s a good chance you ran into Marie at the registration desk. And though it’s clear from her photo that she has her hands full, she recently volunteered to be a co-secretary for the National SYP. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot of her for the next few years 🙂


Say hello to Arghavan Tafvizi!

Although Arghavan has been a member of CWRA for several years, we only just got to really know her after she leapt into all things CANCID. We’re excited to see her take on the challenge of representing a new generation of irrigation and drainage engineers in Canada. Interested in learning more about CANCID? I’m sure she’d be happy to chat. Drop us a line!


Say hello to Curtis Hallborg! (He/Him)

Look closely at the picture of Curtis. Now look behind him at the suspension bridge he just crossed. He’s still smiling – which is great – because that means he’s brave (a handy personality trait to have when you’ve volunteered to co-chair the 2024 National Conference in Saskatoon!). Thanks Curtis!


Say hello to Mary Ann Middleton.

In the busyness of a conference it’s always a treat when someone takes the time to stop and chat and introduce themselves “in the flesh”. Though we met during last fall’s mentoring session, it was nice, as Mary Ann mentions below, to “let the conversation flow more naturally in person”. And we had a chance to put the bug in her ear about volunteering as a mentor again this year (shameless plug for the fall mentoring session – starting in October). Thanks again Mary Ann!


Say hello to Alida Thiombiano (She/Her/Elle)

We’ve worked with Alida on Project Wet for several years, but it was a pleasure to meet her in person at our national conference. Thanks for spreading the word and sharing the success of Project Wet at the exhibitor booth, Alida; we hope you had a good time meeting new people and renewing old acquaintances!


Each June since 1973, Canadians have been gathering for Pride Month to celebrate progress made towards equality and to fight for progress not yet made. It is a time to celebrate the diversity of LGBTQIA2S+ communities, while acknowledging their history and the hardships they have endured. Pride Month is for everyone to embrace who they are and let the world know — in style! The rainbow aptly signifies the colorful activities and flavours of this month-long celebration. These include massive rallies, pride parades, parties, workshops, concerts, and countless more LGBTQIA2S+ events to attract participants from all over. CWRA is happy to join the celebration and chose to redesign our logo for June to honour our members who identify with this community.


Say hello to Kerry Black!

Kerry is MC’ing the conference along with Andrew Tefs, and has been coordinating the Indigenous Inclusion program for CWRA 2022 as well. Thanks to her efforts, a portion of conference sponsorship proceeds has been dedicated to supporting Indigenous Inclusion at the conference for the first time this year.


Say hello to Andrew Tefs!

If you’re attending CWRA 2022, you’ll see a lot of Andrew- he is one of our MCs for the event. He’s been busy behind the scenes coordinating student attendance and volunteers, and has also been active in CWRA SYP in several provinces. He is currently the head of the Calgary SYP.

Say hello to Brian Abrahamson

He’s retired twice already, but we don’t see any signs of him slowing down! His work leading our Financial Resiliency Committee has been invaluable to CWRA since the beginning of the pandemic. Thank you Brian!

Say hello to Donna Rodman

Donna is an active member of our communications committee and always brings a thoughtful and welcome perspective to our discussions. Thanks Donna, we appreciate your hard work and your contributions!


Say hello to Cristy Gau

Cristy is one of our newest CWRA members, but she’s making up for lost time by immersing herself in the SYP program. After joining the SYP national executive she quickly rallied some troops and has now helped launch our newest SYP chapter. We’re looking forward to great things – thanks Cristy!


Say hello to Sylvie Spraakman

Sylvie says she’s learned to not do a million things at once, but you couldn’t prove that by us! She’s been one of the drivers of our reinvigorated National SYP and she’s one of the key people behind our photo contest (all while moving west to the coast, taking a new job, and finishing up her PhD). Thanks Sylvie – I’m not sure you truly understand the definition of “chill out” though!


Selena joined National as CWRA’s Communications Assistant a few months ago and we couldn’t be happier. Enthusiastic and eager to try new things, Selena just says “I’ll figure it out” if asked to do something they’ve never done before. Selena recently took over posting to our social media channels. Are we following you? Should we be? Have something to share? Send a quick email to and we’ll get right on it. Selena has also been working hard on restructuring our members-only webinar archive and it’s now a thing of beauty – thanks Selena!


Say hello to Robyn Andrishak

Look at that smile! How could you not want to work with this guy? The lucky Alberta Branch has benefitted (and continues to benefit) from Robyn’s years of service as treasurer, president, and all around task-taker-onner and go-getter. Make no mistake, the entire Alberta Branch is hopping right now – they’ve lined up an exceptional annual national conference for us. We hope you’re planning to attend – our rooms are already booked! And when you get there? Say thanks to the hard-working Alberta folks!


Say hello to Nikou Jayaleri

To be honest, we don’t always know where in western Canada Nikou is on any given day. We DO know, however, that wherever she is, she’s found a CWRA Branch to volunteer with, and for that, we are immensely grateful!


Say hi to Nick Kehler
(he’s the one wearing the glasses)

Nick is the driving force behind CWRA’s scholarship committee – a job he takes seriously and for which he seems uniquely suited. He’s keen and committed, and more than happy to review the work of students he often finds “inspirational” (ditto!). We’re glad you got “sucked into volunteering” Nick. The scholarship program is integral to meeting our objectives and your dedication is sincerely appreciated.


Say hello to James Craig

While James has toiled in the CWRA background for a number of years, we’ve now got him front and centre at CWRA National and we couldn’t be happier. He asks great questions, is actively contributing to our strategic planning efforts, and is fun to hang out with to boot! Sorry we can’t help you escape #GradingJail James (or help with elementary school English homework) but if you need a break or a sympathetic ear – you know where to find us!


Say hello to Frank Van Der Have

While CWRA is grateful to Frank for 17 years of Hoskin sponsorship for the annual Best Student Poster Award, we are also incredibly thankful that he allowed us to painlessly pivot sponsorship funds during 2020 (our collective annus horribilis) when we cancelled our annual conference. Funding that would have been directed towards the award was used instead to re-ignite and expand our successful mentoring program. Mentoring serves a variety of needs: career development, the transfer of information among generations of professionals, and supporting newcomers to Canada who have international experience in water resources. Thanks Frank!


Say hello to Nicholas Kinar

Nicholas is a firm believer in the power of engagement, whether it’s with a class of 7-year-olds, a class of people in their 7th (or 8th or 9th?) year at university, or people who haven’t stepped foot in a classroom in decades. His joy of learning is palpable (and contagious), and what started with his answer to a twitter plea for help with an elementary class has expanded into our new paper series. Follow @KinarNicholas on Twitter; you won’t be disappointed!


Say hello to Hesham Fouli!

We first met Hesham when he sent us an email asking if we had task descriptions for the different positions at CWRA. He had heard that there was a vacancy in Alberta and wanted to volunteer. We were thrilled to share what we knew and he has now been with the Alberta Branch for a few years. He’s also one of the mentors in our current national mentoring program, and he’s been incredibly generous sharing his time and experiences with a few of our new mentees. Thanks Hesham!



Say hello to Sharon Gurney

I first met Sharon when she was helping plan CWRA’s 2020 National conference. Optimistic and still upbeat after a fire impacted the first conference location, she then had to try to work with the planning committee to salvage the conference after COVID struck. Ultimately, the 2020 conference was cancelled after SO MUCH HARD WORK from the entire Manitoba Branch. When Sharon says below that she has “mostly fond memories” of planning conferences, I’m pretty sure I know what she’s thinking of!


CWRA is proud to have Dr. Madramootoo as a member (we just did the math – he’s been a member for 36 years!). In the 2019 winter issue of CWRA’s Water News we highlighted Dr. Madramootoo as the recipient of the 2019 World Irrigation and Drainage Prize. He was awarded the prize for his “… sustained, long standing and highly committed work to the irrigation and drainage sector worldwide, through education, research, planning and international project implementation.”


Say hello to Ed Dean, CWRA Treasurer

What can we say about Ed other than it’s largely due to his thoughtful guidance and decades-long sound fiscal management that we have made it through 19 months of COVID while many non-profits did not. Thanks Ed – for answering innumerable questions, for enthusiastically embracing new ideas, and for always looking out for CWRA’s best long-term interests.


The McMaster University student chapter of CWRA has officially launched and we thought you might like to meet the energetic team that made it happen. The group is “dedicated to bringing awareness, engagement, and understanding of Canada’s water resources to engineering students and the greater McMaster community”. Sounds good to us! FYI: They are recruiting a few “year-reps” to complete their executive team. Help build the chapter – contact them soon.

Say hello to Gavin Boyd, Co-President and Rachael Rajendram, the other Co-President of the McMaster student chapter


Everyone say hello to Greg Schellenberg, the new President of the Manitoba Branch. Greg is a perfect example of the value of our SYP. He joined early in his undergraduate studies, stuck around to take advantage of networking and professional support, and has now taken on a leadership role in CWRA. Thanks Greg, we’re looking forward to working with you!


Say hello to Maggie Romuld – CWRA Executive Director and slightly irreverent creator of the eblasts.

There’s a meme out there about moms never being in photos. And it’s true. When you’re the one with the camera (and anyone who knows me knows I NEVER go anywhere without one) there’s a real danger of not ever appearing in a picture. So here’s one of the last ones of me that I could find. Me at age three. Thanks Mom.


To most of us at CWRA, Lizabeth Nicholls is the face of (and the force behind) Project WET. Many of us have had to pivot this year to do things differently, but Project WET managed to navigate a full shift to online delivery of this valuable CWRA program. FYI: As of December 2020, Project WET has trained 13,097 educators in 769 workshops, who potentially reach well over a quarter of a million school-aged youth each year, in both English and French.

Thanks for your leadership and dedication Lizabeth!


Everyone say hi to Jason Chiang. Jason is a member of the BC Branch and National SYP and he is a dynamo! He hasn’t been with us long, but he’s certainly made up for lost time by launching himself full speed into our activities. Jason had a “professional” photo we could have used for his profile, but this is the Jason we know; big ol’ smile and in front of a keyboard (probably mixing music!)


Say hello to Jeff Hirvonen. He’s not new to CWRA, but he IS our new President-elect and we couldn’t be happier. Jeff’s a busy guy these days, and undoubtedly happy to be back in the field, but we managed to pin him down for a few minutes so we could all get to know him better. *Editor’s note: I anticipate lots of great conversations with Jeff. Two of my favourite words? Fluvial geomorphology 🙂


Say hello to Nicole O’Brien. Nicole took on the task of steering the creation of our new Maritimes Branch, and for that we are eternally grateful. We’re looking forward to big things from our friends on the east coast, including their hosting of the national conference in a few years (we’ll let them settle in a bit first!).



Say hello to Rob Chlumsky. Rob has been involved with CWRA affiliate Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences (CSHS) for a few years, but he recently became the Vice-President of the CWRA Ontario Branch. Thanks Rob, and welcome aboard!


André St-Hilaire‘s passion for the Canadian Water Resources Journal is both palpable and measurable; he’s been on the editorial board of the journal since 2011! If that doesn’t say dedication, nothing does (kind of like standing in a river, not sure you’ll catch anything, but not caring because you’re outside, knee-deep in water, one of your favourite places to be!).



Sean Douglas, our soon-to-be past-Past-President, is a man of action. Need something done quickly? Ask Sean. Need some random CWRA fact checked? Ask Sean. Need a back-up techy person? … well, you get the picture, he’s the go-to guy. And though he tries to sound all serious and official, watch out for that twinkle in his eye! It’s never far away, and we have the photos to prove it!


Steve Braun, our illustrious (and industrious) leader, will be passing the baton to President-Elect Stephanie Smith at our AGM this year. But don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere (OK, bad choice of words, NONE of us are going anywhere right now!). Steve will take on the role of Past-President and we fully intend to keep him busy as he hums and hopes for a quick return to crowded arenas and weekend jam sessions with friends. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”


Say hello to Tricia Stadnyk. A dynamo by anyone’s standards, she now calls Calgary home and is whipping up SYP and grad school (hint, hint) enthusiasm at the University of Calgary. She’s also a mother to two young girls and her home science lessons during COVID were a thing of beauty. We look forward to seeing what she has up her sleeve!



Thanks for keeping us organized John!

While John Van Der Eerden has served in almost every role possible at CWRA (and is coming up on 30 years of service!) right now he has an especially critical job as the National Secretary.

And John’s not exaggerating when he says he likes to get off the grid when he’s not working. This photo? Taken when he was prawning off Desolation Sound. He certainly looks like a happy man enjoying a well-deserved break!



Thank you Sophie!

Sophie Duchesne is one of this year’s national conference co-chairs (the other is Marc Barbet). Organizing any CWRA conference (let alone our first virtual one) is a tremendous amount of work for everyone, and we’d like to officially thank Sophie, and the entire Quebec conference planning committee, for all their hard work.


Welcome back, Meg!

While Meg is not a new face at CWRA, she did take a bit of a break to welcome a new little person into her life. We’re thrilled that she’s back with us and thought you might like to get to know her a bit better … here’s a photo of Meg at the Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau, in the Camargue in France, in Sept 2019. (Sigh, remember when we could travel?)

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Say hello to Bob Halliday!

CWRA has corporate, student, young professional, regular, and retired members. But don’t let the word retired fool you. Some of our should be / could be “retired” members, like Bob Halliday, President of the Saskatchewan Branch, have been volunteering with CWRA for decades – and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. And thank goodness! Their experience and knowledge would be impossible to replace: we’re thrilled that they continue to share.



Saying “welcome” to Nancy Mosher!

CWRA activities are driven by volunteers and without their commitment to water in Canada we couldn’t do what we do. We do, however, have a few contract staff who keep the ship upright and heading in the right direction. Our new accountant/bookkeeper, Nancy Mosher, joined us recently after our previous one retired. Nancy has jumped in with both feet, in a challenging year, and we’re pleased to have her as part of the team.


CWRA activities are driven by volunteers and without their commitment to water in Canada we couldn’t do what we do. Ute Holweger is a long-serving member of CWRA (and previous CWRA President!). She graciously took a few minutes out of her well-deserved holiday break to answer our questions.


CWRA activities are driven by volunteers and without their commitment to water in Canada we couldn’t do what we do. Jean-Luc Martel is the president of CWRA SYP National and a member of numerous committees. We recently pinned him down long enough to ask him a few questions.


Meet Stephanie Smith, CWRA’s President-elect.

CWRA is volunteer driven, and without our board, committee, and affiliate members we couldn’t do what we do. We thought it might be nice to introduce a few of the people working hard on our behalf. CWRA staff recently had the virtual equivalent of a fireside chat with Stephanie Smith.