The Water Council presented the 3rd annual ‘Water Warrior of the Year’ award to Kevin Shafer from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), during a special ceremony at the 12th annual Water Leaders Summit at the Harley-Davidson Museum on June 27.

The ‘Water Warrior of the Year’ award was created by The Water Council to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of individuals in Wisconsin’s water industry who are making significant achievements while supporting the advancement of students in STEAM education (Science – Technology – Engineering – Arts – Math). Each year the honor is awarded to a member of The Water Council at the Water Leaders Summit.

“We are very lucky to have someone such as Kevin Shafer, who is considered globally as a visionary in the water industry, at the helm leading MMSD,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “When it comes to supporting and nurturing our next generation of water professionals we always know that Kevin will say an emphatic yes when we ask him to do more.”

For over 25 years, MMSD has grown their internship program that now hires 25 students every summer. Students receive hands-on experience within water quality protection, laboratory services, engineering construction and sustainability. These students have also gone on to apply for a consecutive summer internship at MMSD and in some cases are hired on as permanent MMSD employees.

During the summer of 2018, The Water Council worked with Kevin Shafer and MMSD in placing two of five African-American junior engineering students from Tuskegee University to work as interns with a goal of increasing the number of African-Americans pursuing water as a career.

“The future of Milwaukee rests with our students. Exposing them to the strength of our water industry not only provides them a future in Milwaukee but also creates a water synergy that will continue to grow for generations. I am proud to be a member of the Board of the Water Council and to contribute in any means I can,” said Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Last year, the ‘Water Warrior of the Year’ winner was presented to Dr. Marcia Silva, associate scientist and director of Water Technology Accelerator from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and in 2017 to Dennis Webb, president of Sage Water.

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Lee Matz