The water industry has historically been risk-averse to implementing new technologies and altering existing processes. In order to address the challenges facing the water industry however, it is important for utilities to actively seek new technologies and approaches to improve their processes and save costs. This interactive panel will help water innovators move their ideas into market, understand what drives the water market, and learn how they can get their ideas to practice.
A few topics covered during the panel discussions include:
Warren Teitz – Senior Resource Specialist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
As part of the Innovation Team, Warren leads the Feedback Forum, a program that evaluates technologies from entrepreneurs for MWD and member agency uses. His area covers salinity projects and the water energy nexus.
Cristina Ahmadpour – CEO, Isle Utilities
Cristina is driven to accelerate positive change in the water industry by driving an ecosystem of innovative best practices and emerging technologies through end user engagement. Cristina graduated from Vermont Law School with a Master in Environmental Law and Policy, and received her Bachelor of Science from California State University. Cristina is a graduate from Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Water Leadership Institute class of 2015. She has been identified as one of the top 14 new faces to guarantee great things for the water industry under the age of 40 by Water and Wastes Digest in 2016 and again within the top 11 Young Professionals for 2018. Cristina serves on the AWWA Sub-Committee for Innovation, WEF Government Affairs Committee, and as a judge in the USBR Detecting Leaks & Flaws (DLF) Pipelines Prize Competition.
John Arena – Business Outreach & Innovation Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
John Arena is the Business Outreach Section Manager at MWD, the nation’s largest water wholesaler serving 19 million Southern California residents. The purpose of the Business Outreach Program is to maximize contracting opportunities for regional and small businesses in the six Southland counties served by Metropolitan and its 26-member public agencies.
Wiggs Mendoza – Program Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Wiggs is part of a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) team that advocates in behalf of entrepreneurs and startups; providing them with resources, mentoring, a forum for innovation to be discovered, and an environment where innovators can connect and thrive
Teresa Penunuri – Public Affairs Supervisor, San Diego County Water Authority
Teresa manages business outreach, community relations, and innovation programs and partnerships. She is a native San Diegan and has been with the Water Authority since 2003.
Peggy Vogt – Manager of H2O TECHCONNECT, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
As part of MWD’s Innovation and Technology Team, H2O TECHCONNECT is a Smart Matchmaking Portal that connects the water sector and other industries with entrepreneurs, universities, investors, service providers, mentors, technology corporations, economic development professionals and other key players in the global innovation ecosystem, to facilitate highly efficient and relevant networking and collaboration and drive economic impact in terms of technology commercialization, start-up growth and job creation.
All Talk is an evening program highlighting expertise and insights on current trends in the innovation economy. This event features a flexible format and has taken shape as a moderated panel discussion among industry experts or a single-speaker event. A casual networking reception rounds out the evening and provides an opportunity for introductions and discussion around the topic.