Chief Executive Officer
Matt is responsible for personnel management, grant and contract administration, along with multiple other leadership roles. Prior to working at NRWA, Matt served as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Rural Water Association for 13 years. He has extensive experience in mediation, conflict resolution and facilitating community-based planning processes, always placing emphasis on developing local skills and resources instead of relying on outside assistance.
Vern Steel is the new Chief Operating Officer for NRWA. He was previously the Deputy CEO for Rural Water Association of Utah for 24 years and has experience in magazine and web site development, association accounting and association management. With a degree in accounting from the University of Idaho, Vern has extensive experience in financial reporting, employee management relationship building, HR management and grant and funding procurement.
Chief Financial Officer
As the Association’s CFO, Brian is responsible for the daily accounting functions of the organization including financial statement preparation, grant administration and financial reporting. Brian attended Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in Accounting in 1990 and became a CPA in 1994. Prior to joining NRWA, Brian served as the CFO of a regional council of governments in Oklahoma for 23 years.
Kalli graduated from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. She began in the communications department in September of 2018, and then transitioned into the Executive Assistant to the CEO. She serves as a liaison to NRWA’s Board of Directors, coordinates outreach and external relations, compiles relevant information and oversees special projects. Kalli is truly passionate about photography and communicating with others.
Apprenticeship Program Manager
Shannan has been involved in registered apprenticeship for more than 22 years. She has an exceptional resume, working at the state and national level of apprenticeship and training. Shannan joined the NRWA team in 2018 and has been an integral part of workforce development and initiating the NRWA Apprenticeship Program. She provides technical assistance to State Associations, coordinates multiple projects, writes quarterly grant reports, along with a plethora of other duties.
EPA Program Manager
Audrey works with the Circuit Rider, Wastewater, Energy Efficiency, and EPA Training programs in grant reporting and data analysis. Audrey’s professional experience includes Grants Compliance, Internal Auditor, Tribal Administration, Tribal Water Systems and Banking. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Communications from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. She is a current graduate student of International Relations at the University of Oklahoma.
Circuit Rider Program Manager
Rita came to NRWA from the Kansas Rural Water Association, where she served for 10 years. She began as an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Circuit Rider and assisted multiple water systems with funding options. She is currently the Program Manager for the USDA Rural Development Circuit Rider Program.
Energy Efficiency Program Manager/Compliance Officer
Barbara began working for NRWA in 1984 and has had many roles in the association since then. She has worked on multiple projects and programs in her tenure, including the Circuit Rider, Energy Efficiency and Wastewater Programs.
Source Water Protection Program Manager
David began his first position as a Program Analyst in August of 2019 and was promoted to Program Manager in November of 2021. He has previously worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, a certified ISO 9001:2015 auditor, and a Reporter and Managing Editor. David is excited to utilize his diverse skills and experience to make a worthwhile impact on the water industry.
Apprenticeship Program Assistant Manager
Kim has been an important and versatile employee at NRWA for 32 years. She assists the Apprenticeship Program Manager with compiling data for reports, planning of training events, keeping records from apprenticeship coordinators, as well as maintains accounting reports and SubAward agreements. She is also the Program Coordinator for the Utility Management Certification Program.
Apprenticeship Program Assistant Manager
Kelly came to NRWA after 12 years of working for our state affiliate in Indiana where for the last five years she has been working to build and grow their apprentice program. She utilizes her knowledge of apprenticeship at the state level to assist other state associations and is involved in a variety of projects for NRWA’s apprentice program. Kelly holds a degree in Business and Human Resources from Indiana University.
Training and Development Specialist
Pam is the Training and Development Specialist for NRWA. She collaborates with subject matter experts to develop online curriculum to support the Apprenticeship Program. She is lifelong educator with a background in Career and Technical Education and Adult Learning. She earned PhD from the University of South Florida, and her research focused on the experiences of women in the water workforce. She comes to NRWA from the Office of Water Programs at Sacramento State.
Todd will be assisting the Wastewater Program’s management team. He graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Todd played college golf and went on to pursue a career in golf course management; holding positions as, Director of Golf, Head Teaching Instructor, and Turf Care Supervisor at several facilities. He also taught all subject areas and coached in the Oklahoma Public School System for 10 years; coaching in nine football and golf state championships. Todd enjoys studying meteorology, horticulture, and fine-tuning his culinary skills.
Kimberly is a Program Assistant in the EPA Program. She was raised in the West Texas area and attended Texas Tech University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences with concentrations in Human Development and Family Studies, Human Resources Development and Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. She enjoys spending time with her family, attending concerts and sporting events.
Anthony leads the Resource Development team, while building and maintaining relationships with all corporate members and sponsors. Anthony is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and worked for 16 years in the financial industry, gaining experience in staff management, employee training, and consumer and commercial lending.
Public Relations and Communications Manager
Cheyenne graduated from Oklahoma State University with bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with her Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication. She grew up with a diverse background, raising cattle her whole life. She joined the NRWA team in 2019, and takes care of the website, printed media, social media accounts, Rural Water Wire, Rural Water magazine, and other marketing duties. Cheyenne’s expertise is writing, graphic design, and photography, among other skills.
Content & Communications Specialist
Kaylyn Branen grew up on a cow-calf operation in Northeast Oklahoma and graduated with dual degrees in animal science and agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University in May 2022. After graduation, Kaylyn joined the team at NRWA as a Content and Communications Specialist, where her specialties are writing, editing, and photography.
Conference and Events Manager
Becca has held multiple roles in the NRWA since her start in 1998. She is currently in charge of all meeting and event planning for NRWA. She coordinates the WaterPro Conference, InService Training, Rural Water Rally, along with multiple other meetings throughout the year.
Dena has been with the NRWA for 27 years and has played an important role in our success. She currently assists with planning the exhibits and signage for the WaterPro Conference along with helping Becca plan our other Association events throughout the year.
Chance grew up in rural Oklahoma and has served in a managing or supervisory sales role for the past 10 years. Chance began his position in February of 2022, and is excited to bring his experience and skills to make an impact on the development of the water industry. Chance handles all of our Supporting Members and uses ideas, feedback and suggestions to continuously improve the services provided to members.
Growing up, Brad worked for his local rural water district reading meters, assisting with leak detection and repairs, and various other tasks before attending college and earning a bachelor’s degree at Lubbock Christian University. Brad began work for NRWA in 1999 as a programmer and technical support representative. Now, Brad ensures everything runs smoothly on the technology side and that Program Managers and others have the data and reports they need.
Steve has been with NRWA for about 11 years. His primary functions within the association are to maintain the functionality of the federal program data collection systems and their software, maintain association hardware, assist with user support for the federal and association systems and assist with federal program database management and reporting.
Melissa is currently the Accounting Manager for NRWA. She has 20 years of experience in the Corporate and private practice accounting arenas. She was most recently a State Auditor for the Oklahoma State Inspector’s office for several years prior to joining NRWA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting as well as a master’s in business administration degree and has been in several managerial roles previous to joining NRWA.
Jeana has been with NRWA since 1995 and is responsible for all payments made by NRWA including vendors, board members, and staff travel reimbursements. She also initiates electronic payments of federal program funds to State Affiliates. Jeana is a graduate of East Central University and enjoys traveling and outdoor activities.
Rural Water Loan Fund Administrator
Gloria has been with NRWA since 2015. Her duties include managing NRWA’s Revolving Loan fund and additional accounting duties within the department. Gloria is a native of Duncan, who graduated from Cameron University with a degree in Business Administration.
Federal Programs Accountant
Throughout her tenure at NRWA, Angie has performed every duty within the accounting department. Most recently, she has taken on the role of Federal Programs Accountant which includes coordination of reporting done by State affiliates for their NRWA subawards. In addition, Angie coordinates payroll for NRWA and performs accounting for Atlantic States Rural Water Association. Angie received her accounting degree from East Central University.
Federal Programs Accountant
Sanya attended East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and prior to joining the NRWA team he worked in public accounting for three years. Sanya works within the accounting department as the Federal Program Accountant.
Legislative Affairs Director
Bill began his position with NRWA in 2008 with 19 years of experience in the legislative and executive branches of the government. Bill’s prior experience included serving on the Senate Appropriation Committee for over seven years with positions on the Full Committee and the Subcommittees on Transportation, HUD and Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies. Previous government experience also includes serving in several positions with two previous members of Congress and within the Mississippi Department of Agriculture.
Michael Preston is a legislative and policy analyst for NRWA and has worked with the Association for over a decade. Michael works within the Halls of Congress and at USDA, EPA and DOL to procure funding for rural and small community water and wastewater systems. He considers the NRWA membership the key to the success of the American economy and vital to public health protection.
Mike Keegan started with NRWA Washington office in 1992 after working for various elected officials in Michigan and the U.S. House of Representatives. Mike works on appropriations, legislative, litigation, and regulatory issues under the direction and tutelage of Bill Simpson. Mike is committed to ensuring that the 1987 Bear Creek, Mississippi, 7 U.S.C. § 1926 ruling remains precedent.
Senior Federal Policy Advisor
Dr. Jennifer Palmiotto began working for NRWA in March 2021 in a new position as Senior Federal Policy Advisor. She acts as a liaison between federal agencies and Rural Water. Jennifer served as the Executive Director of the Granite State Rural Water Association from 2007-2021, successfully leading that association to become a sustainable, trusted, and respected water organization in New Hampshire. Jennifer graduated from Yale University and is a talented watercolor artist.