2023 Award Recipients
HALL OF FAME
Entering the “Hall of Fame” is the highest honor bestowed upon a WQA member. This recipient is recognized for lifetime dedication and service to the water quality improvement industry and the association.
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.
Given to those individuals who are or have been active within the industry and have rendered exemplary service to the association, and whose knowledge and accomplishments in the field of water quality entitle them to special recognition.
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.
Like receiving the key to a city, this WQA member is recognized for demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership within his/her company, industry, and various association, as well as in local civic and community activities.
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
In honor of Ray E. Cross, Water Specialist Emeritus and Past President of WCAI 1960, this special award recognizes a current or former WQA member whose pioneer spirit and unwavering commitment has made a notable difference in the water treatment industry and has not been previously honored with the Hall of Fame or Lifetime Member 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.
The Regents Award is presented to an individual, or group of individuals, who has made a significant contribution at the state or local level working with issues affecting the industry such as ethics, legislation, or educational efforts.
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.
AWARD OF MERIT
This award may be presented to more than one individual, company, or organization in recognition of exceptional service given to the water quality improvement industry.
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.
HONORARY MEMBERSHIP AWARD
This award is given to the individual whose occupation is outside the industry, but whose contributions to mankind, through research, education, or exemplary service in or related to water quality, are meritorious.
Michael R. Schock
U.S. Environmental 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.
NEXT GEN AWARD
This award is presented to one or more individuals, at or under 40 years of age, who have engaged and demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of the water treatment industry.
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.
The WQA Excellence Award is designed to underscore WQA’s commitment to improving the lives of others through the betterment of water quality. The award honors those member companies that demonstrate excellence in customer service, business operations, community service, and innovation. It highlights the outstanding accomplishments these member companies have made to the water treatment industry and the communities in which they operate.
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.
Members who recruited at least three new WQA member companies in the previous year are named to the President’s Club.
Franklin Water Treatment (Puronics)
Roy Esparza, MWS, CI, CWR
Franklin Water Treatment (Puronics)
Also honored with the Master Craftsman Award for recruiting 20 members and to the Lifetime President’s Club for ongoing recruitment efforts
Edward P. “Ted” Jones, MWS
Also named to the Gold Circle for recruiting 50 members