People News


The American Fire Sprinkler Association announced Scott Cox, co-owner and president of Cox Fire Protection, Tampa, Florida, was elected by his peers as the recipient of AFSA's 2021 Young Professional of the Year award for educating, leading, and encouraging the next generation of fire sprinkler industry leaders. The award highlights the efforts of a young and talented fire protection professional who is under 40 and demonstrates exemplary technical, professional, and inclusive leadership skills, not only in their own businesses but also at a national level.

Growing up in the fire protection field has given Cox insight and a unique perspective on the need to attract new workers into the fire sprinkler industry, AFSA noted. He promotes the industry to young professionals as an attractive and attainable option. He works to innovate and grow his company in ways that both challenge his employees and offer opportunities for new hires to gain invaluable experience and train up as the next generation of fire sprinkler contractors, AFSA added.

For example, over the past two years, Cox and his development team have built a fully functioning lab on Cox Fire's property in Tampa to offer new hires hands-on opportunities with various types of fire protection systems before they deal with those systems in the field. The lab is also used as an awareness and training resource to property owners, property managers, architects, engineers, and local authorities having jurisdiction.

In 2014, Cox launched a NextGen program with his local Associated Builder and Contractors chapter, designed to be a leadership and mentor track for young professionals in the fire sprinkler industry. The program was a success and is still going strong. Cox also prioritized jumpstarting AFSA's NextGen within the AFSA Florida chapter and serves on the AFSA National NextGen Workgroup, where he helps shape national programming, including the annual NextGen Day at AFSA's annual convention and quarterly webinar training.

Cox will be presented with the award during the general session at AFSA40: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition, to be held Sept. 18-21 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa near San Antonio, Texas.

T&S Brass and Bronze Works, a manufacturer of commercial plumbing equipment, has hired Michael Williams as its new operations manager.

Williams, a manufacturing leader with more than two decades of experience, will manage the operations for the assembly and packaging of the 6,000 finished plumbing products produced every year at the T&S headquarters in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.

“Mike has a great track record of improving operations wherever he goes, and we’re excited to bring his expertise to bear for T&S as well,” said Clay White, vice president of global manufacturing for T&S. “We’re very proud of a culture of safety and employee engagement in our plant, and Mike brings a commitment to improving our operations even further, allowing us to continue to deliver the kind of quality and customer satisfaction that T&S is known for.

Williams is a member of the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, Williams has served multiple combat tours.

Williams is taking over as operations manager from the retiring Gary Cole.

Environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell announced Tracy Ekola has joined the company as vice president and senior director of client services for the Midwest region. The strategic hire highlights the firm’s continued expansion to better serve clients in the Midwest’s municipal and private water, wastewater, and stormwater sector.

Ekola brings an impressive 28-year environmental engineering and construction background with a record of effective business growth and project team leadership in the upper Midwest, Brown, and Caldwell noted. She has held executive/regional leadership roles and served as a design-build board member in past organizations. Using her design, project management, environmental permitting, planning, and construction inspection, and administration expertise, Ekola has led numerous high-profile environmental projects at municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment facilities, the firm added.

Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ekola will have operational responsibilities for Brown and Caldwell’s Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois operations. She will align municipal and private clients with the firm’s innovative, cost-effective technical solutions to solve the region’s most complex water-related and environmental challenges. She is a licensed professional engineer in 11 states.


The American Society of Civil Engineers announced Victor “Vic” Donald, P.E., M. ASCE, has been selected as the 2021 winner of the Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership award for “his superior ethics, innovative spirit, and love of learning and leadership that has shaped and forever changed the engineering profession.” This annual award is bestowed on one professional engineer annually through a joint award between the Geoprofessional Business Association and ASCE.

As national director of the Geotechnical service line and a senior principal with Terracon, Donald has a long history as leader and ambassador for ethics in professional practice in the AEC industry and has regularly shared his experience and insights through professional association programs.

“Vic Donald’s engineering career has been distinguished not only by his technical excellence but by his personal and professional integrity. He embodies our company’s principles of business conduct and ethics, bringing a strong ethical commitment to his role as a Terracon leader, his work with our clients, and as a mentor to our young engineers and emerging leaders,” said Gayle Packer, Terracon chair, president, and CEO.

Donald will be presented with an award and honorarium and will be recognized at GBA’s 2021 fall conference to be held Oct. 21-23 at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa. He will also be recognized at a future ASCE event.

The International Code Council announced Richard Anderson will join the organization as a director of plumbing, mechanical, and fuel gas (PMG) resources in the government relations department. As part of his responsibilities, Anderson will work with the Code Council’s team of experts to develop, coordinate, and implement PMG programs and services related to the International Codes (I-Codes). “Building codes and standards create an ecosystem of building policies that ensure the safety of our buildings and safeguard the health and wellbeing of building occupants,” said Dominic Sims, CBO, and CEO of ICC. “As topics such as water and energy efficiency become greater concerns for communities, we understand the importance of having a proven leader like Richard Anderson join our team to provide his expertise and insights as a knowledgeable voice in this space.”

With 23 years of building safety and PMG experience, most recently Anderson represented the City of Fort Collins (Colorado) as a chief building official where he oversaw the enforcement of all building codes for the city.

Hansgrohe USA recently hired Robert Kaminski as president. Kaminski comes to the United States after 10 years with the Hansgrohe Group. He leads a talented team of more than 250 employees with a passion for creating captivating experiences with water, the manufacturer noted.

Before coming to the U.S., Kaminski held positions at the Hansgrohe Group as head of sales for northern and eastern Europe, and as vice president of sales for North America, a role he continues to hold. He brings a unique perspective to the market after spending recent years at the company's headquarters in the Black Forest, and previously managing Hansgrohe Poland as president. Kaminski's long history of sales and marketing excellence includes implementing strategies that produced record sales for the brand in Poland, the company noted. Before joining the Hansgrohe team, Kaminski held key positions with Philips Consumer Electronics, Sony Corp., and Haier.

Kaminski is enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow the AXOR and Hansgrohe brands in the United States. “Our mission continues — to enhance people's lives with water,” Kaminski said. “We are doing this every day. However, our goal is to grow this market exponentially in the coming years with extensive product collections and more brand awareness. The U.S. is one of Hansgrohe’s most important markets, and one of our goals is to build on our current success to become one of the top-selling subsidiaries outside Germany. We want as many people in the U.S., as possible, to experience water with Hansgrohe. We truly offer performance you can feel.”


Tanless gas water heater manufacturer Rinnai America Corp. announced Shelley Kiley has joined the organization as its vice president of operations. Kiley’s extensive knowledge will help Rinnai continue to grow and expand manufacturing capabilities in North America, including overseeing the completion of its new manufacturing plant in Griffin, Georgia, the company explained. In addition, Kiley has assumed responsibility over all functional areas in manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, and logistics.  “I am very excited to join Rinnai America and look forward to leading the operations team as we continue to drive operational excellence and expand our manufacturing capability in North America,” Kiley said. “I look forward to supporting Rinnai, delivering on our promise of 'Creating a Healthier Way of Living,' as well as spearheading the operational initiatives that will continue to drive growth.”

Kiley has cultivated deep experience throughout a 30-year career, having most recently spent three years leading a team of 650 within the supply chain and global operation strategy teams at Larson-Juhl. Prior to that, Kiley had a distinguished 11-year tenure with Moen, where she rapidly progressed from plant manager to holding several executive leadership roles, including vice president of global supply chain and manufacturing, where she led 2,000 employees.

Matthew Baranuk has joined Watts as product specialist for backflow preventers and risers. He supports strategy execution for Watts, Ames, and FEBCO brand Backflow Preventer and Riser products. He also provides training, technical support, and oversight of new product development and launches.

Company News

The Terracon Foundation announced the awarding of $70,950 in grants and scholarships. The Terracon Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where we live and work.

“Terracon is pleased to support the next generation of students at six universities as they pursue research and develop professional relationships,” said Scott Kolodziej, P.G., chair of the Terracon Foundation and environmental department manager in the company’s Dallas office. “We are also supporting communities throughout the country where our clients and employee-owners live and work. Each grant was championed by a Terracon employee who is actively involved in the organization or university.”

As part of an ongoing effort to support higher education, the Terracon Foundation presents university grants for scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Water Research Foundation has granted $100,000 to Brown and Caldwell for the project Developing a Framework for Quantifying Energy Optimization Reporting (5091). The framework developed through this project will help water and wastewater utilities make informed capital expenditure decisions and increase confidence in future energy-efficiency and emission- reduction projects.

Energy projects are often discretionary and initiated based on projected annual energy savings metrics, Brown and Caldwell explained. The water industry lacks standard energy savings estimation methods, as well as measurement and verification approaches and procedures to quantify results. This inconsistency in variables and data collection can lead to inaccurate estimations and a lack of confidence in optimistic savings and capital cost forecasts for energy projects across the One Water cycle, Brown and Caldwell added.

Partly funded by WRF via its Research Priority Program, the 24-month research project will develop a framework and methodology to scrutinize current pre-project energy savings estimation procedures and decision-making practices. Led by Brown and Caldwell, the project team includes 25 water and electrical utilities with established M&V knowledge to ensure reporting is data-driven, efficient, and grounded in utility experience. Around 35-40 completed energy projects will be analyzed to compare actual economic performance to the values forecast before project commencement. Several academia and industry associations are also on the project team.