May 06, 2011

Water For People Announces Speakers for Gala to Recognize Women in Water

Three speakers will share experiences working in the industry and volunteering

Water For People announced that the program of the Inaugural Water For People Gala to Recognize Women in Water – a charity event to be held in Washington, D.C., on June 13 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – will feature women’s advocates and prominent water leaders as keynote speakers.

The Water For People Gala will bring together humanitarians, utility managers, industry leaders and the nation’s policy-makers to recognize the accomplishments of women in water from around the world, from the women and girls who carry water from remote sources in developing countries to those who design and maintain sustainable systems to those at the forefront of improving access to and the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation.

The following speakers will offer their personal experiences in working with women in developing countries to provide water to their local villages and communities:

Cynthia Hartley, chairperson, Washington, D.C., Water For People Committee: Hartley, also the business information manager at Chemonics Intl., has been involved in international development for more than eight years. She has been a volunteer with Water For People since 2003, first serving as the chairperson of the New Jersey Water For People Committee, then from 2005 to 2009 on Water For People's board of directors. She is currently a member of the Federal Water Quality Assn.'s board of directors. Prior to joining Chemonics in 2009, Cynthia was the business development manager at MWH, where she helped to build the company's portfolio of USAID and Millennium Challenge Corp.-funded infrastructure projects in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe; and

Elisa Speranza, president, CH2M HILL -- Operations & Maintenance Business Group: Speranza is president of the board for Water For People. She has served as an officer of the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) and is a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and National Assn. of Water Companies (NAWC). She is past director of the New England Water Works Assn. and in 2007 she received AWWA's Outstanding Service award; and

Diana Maritza Betancourt, regional manager, Central America for Water For People: Betancourt has vast experience in the public sector, especially in the areas of water and sanitation and environmental management plans and policies. She has been working in the water supply and sanitation sector in Honduras since 1988 and with Water For People since 1998. She is co-founder of Beinsa Consultores, a company that specializes in providing sanitation and environmental solutions to the public and private sector.

Gala attendees will enjoy live Andean and Bolivian music performed by the folk band Itumiray and sample cuisine typically served in Water For People’s service areas in Latin America, Africa and India.