Nominations for 2025 WQA Awards will open in the fall of 2024.
The Water Quality Association annually recognizes individuals and companies who have excelled in their commitment or service to the water quality improvement industry.
Any WQA member is eligible for the Leadership awards with a required minimum commitment or service to the water quality industry evidenced by engagement with WQA, a state or regional WQA, or other industry association. In addition to that, each award has requirements described on the individual awards pages: Hall of Fame Award, Lifetime Membership Award, Key Award, Ray Cross Award, Regents Award, Award of Merit, International Award of Merit, Next Gen Award, or Honorary Membership Award.
Nominations are evaluated against each individual award criteria by the Nominating Committee, and recommended award recipients are reviewed and approved by the WQA Board of Governors and announced at the following year’s WQA Convention & Exposition.
The WQA Excellence Award honors member companies for demonstrating a commitment to improving the lives of others through the betterment of water quality. The award highlights the outstanding accomplishments these member companies have made to the water treatment industry and the communities in which they operate. Unlike WQA’s other awards, this honor goes to an entire company, not to an individual. The Excellence Award can be presented in two categories: Manufacturer/Supplier/Retailer and Dealer.
Please note that not all awards are necessarily given each year.
Hall of Fame
Donald K. McGhee, MWS
Hydro systems inc.
Donald K. McGhee, is President of Hydro Systems, Inc., a 45-year-old water treatment equipment company in Harlingen, TX, and has extensive experience in industrial water treatment and brackish groundwater desalination. Additionally, he is Partner of Hydro Source, LLC. a filtration media company. Don has served on the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Board for 23 years and is a past president of the Texas WQA. He also is a former WQA President, has served on WQA’s Board of Directors since 2011 and is a member of the Water Quality Research Foundation Board of Directors. Don received WQA’s Key Award in 2019 and the Ray Cross Award in 2014.
TEXAS WATER QUALITY ASSOCIATION
Daina Grace became a third-generation Executive Director of the Texas Water Quality Association in 2004. She spends much of her time working with members, recruiting, and monitoring the training required for Texas’ Water Treatment Specialist License. A highlight is planning TWQA’s Annual Convention. Her work with TWQA has given her insight into the workings and needs of other state/regional associations, experiences she has willingly shared. She has chaired WQA’s State and Regional Government Affairs committee and served on the Events and Membership committees and as a mentor for WQA’s Women in Industry Advisory Council. She received WQA’s Award of Merit in 2013 and Regents Award in 2017.
Mark Felton, MWS
Mark Felton has operated his family’s Culligan franchises in Northern and Central California for 40 years. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and holds a California State Contractor’s License in both Water Conditioning and Plumbing. Mark has served as a Subject Matter Expert for the California State Contractor’s license exam. He is Past President of the Pacific WQA and received its Hall of Fame award. Mark has chaired WQA’s Member Services and Code of Ethics committees and has served on the Convention and Strategic Planning committees. A previous member of the WQA Board of Directors, he was honored with the WQA Award of Merit and the Regents Award.
Michael P. Mormino
Michael P. Mormino, VP Sales & Marketing of ENPRESS LLC, has served in many volunteer roles with WQA and was honored in 2015 with the WQA Award of Merit. He has been actively involved since joining the industry in 2001, currently serves on the Board of Directors, and leads ENPRESS in their product and business development efforts. Mike has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Entrepreneurship and is active in his community and an avid runner, fisherman, and golfer. He lives in Hudson, OH, with his wife Amanda and their four children.
Ray Cross Award
Toby Thomas has been President and CEO of Kinetico Incorporated since 2012. He joined the company in 2009 as Chief Marketing Officer and previously was a Senior Partner at Monitor Group, a leading global strategy and growth consulting firm. He started his career as a New Products Process Engineer with Frito-Lay’s R&D group. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a former President of WQA, a member of the WQA Board of Directors, and a member of the WQRF Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.
Scott Schiesser, MWS, CI, CWR, CCT
DRIESSEN WATER, INC.
Scott Schiesser has worked 17 years in water treatment and currently serves as Director of Sales & Marketing for Driessen Water Inc. He is President of the Minnesota WQA, working to build relationships with government agencies, and is proud that MWQA has had a positive impact on challenges affecting the state’s water treatment industry. At WQA, he has served on the Communications, Federal Government Affairs, Membership, and Regional & State Government Affairs committees. He also served as a mentor in the WQA Mentorship Program. Scott says he enjoys spending time with family and friends, woodworking, traveling, and having the best lawn in the neighborhood, all with his wife, Melissa.
Michael R. Schock
U.S. ENVIROMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (RETIRED)
Michael R. Schock recently retired as a Chemist with the U.S. EPA Office of Research & Development. He spent most of his 40-plus-year career with the agency, conducting both in-house and field research into applied corrosion control, scale analysis, and drinking water sampling. He provided direct technical support to states, utilities and their consultants to solve water quality problems in domestic plumbing and municipal distribution systems. Throughout his career, Michael has worked closely with WQA in many capacities, as he has authored or co-authored more than 70 scientific journal articles, book chapters and research reports on drinking water and water chemistry-related subjects. He was honored with the American Water Works Association’s A. P. Black Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Award of Merit
Beth Allison is Marketing Director, North America, for Kinetico Incorporated. Prior to joining Kinetico in 2015, she spent 15 years at Moen Incorporated, leading product, segment and eCommerce marketing departments. Beth’s work includes a variety of B2B and B2C marketing experience across wholesale, retail and ecommerce channels. She is passionate about water innovation projects and enjoys collaborating on water challenges both locally and beyond. A graduate of Miami University with a BA in Business and International Marketing, Beth was born, raised and currently resides with her family in the best location in the nation, Northeastern Ohio.
Next Gen Award
Derek Packard, CWS
cULLIGAN WATER CONDITIONING PACKARD GROUP
Derek Packard, President of Packard Culligan, co-owns and operates 32 Culligan dealerships located in 10 states. Derek holds a BA in Economics and is a third-generation Culligan Man who has been involved in his family-owned and operated business since 2011. He volunteers on the WQA Federal Government Affairs and RISE committees. Derek currently resides in Minnetonka, Minn., with his wife, Paige, and son, Leyton.
ResinTech opened its state-of-the-art global headquarters and non-solvent cation plant in 2020, the first new ion exchange factory in the U.S. in more than 30 years. The $139 million investment remediated more than 27 acres of neglected, often contaminated lots, removing long-abandoned buildings and replacing them with new manufacturing facilities built to LEED Silver standards and fueled by solar power. The project spurred other investments in the community, too, and brought hundreds of new jobs to the area.
Resin-Tech and its employees continue to invest in their community by supporting local charitable organizations, most notably Cathedral Kitchen, the largest emergency food provider in the city, and the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County. Employees have rolled up their sleeves to clean up trash in the community or make meals at Cathedral Kitchen. And the Boys & Girls Club’s STEM program is working to develop a partnership with ResinTech so local kids get hands-on exposure to its laboratory.