Mar 03, 2016

Young Professionals: The Next Generation

WQP recognizes 14 up and comers in the water industry

WQP’s first annual Young Professionals program recognizes 14 of the best and brightest water industry professionals under the age of 40. Representing all sectors of the industry, from manufacturing to dealerships to associations, they were nominated for this honor by their colleagues for demonstrating creativity, entrepreneurship and a love of the water industry. 


Timothy Van Overloop, CWS, CI
Owner, NMP Water Systems
Mahwah, N.J.
Age: 34

Van Overloop owns the water filtration contractor business started by his grandfather in the 1980s. The business is still family owned and operated, and Van Overloop has worked to help it grow with a combination of values, quality installations and strong customer support. 

Personal Life: Graduated from Fordham University with honors
Played football and wrestled in college
Father of three young boys


Matthew Raley
General Manager, Matilija Pure Water Systems
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Age: 34

Raley began working at Matilija Pure Water Systems in 2003, starting in the bottled water division. According to colleagues, he quickly excelled at his job, and after several years was promoted to general manager.

Personal Life: Attended college in San Diego
Played football, baseball and soccer growing up
Lives in Camarillo, Calif., with his wife Nikki and two children

Fun Fact: Raley worked as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service during summer breaks in college.


Robert Missman
Engineer – Product Design, Amway Corp.
Ada, Mich.
Age: 27

As an Amway Product Expert for water filtration products, Missman supports the eSpring brand of water treatment systems while also investigating new technologies and developing new products. He has gained international experience supporting water filtration product launches in eight countries, including China, Russia, the Philippines and Hungary. He has developed water testing capabilities for global Amway research and development laboratories, and manages five water filtration technology development laboratories. Missman also has spoken about the eSpring brand in several countries in Asia. Additionally, Missman acts as Amway’s intern function coordinator. 

Outside the Office: Guest speaker at Western Michigan University and University of Michigan
Industry advisory board member for Western Michigan University’s chemical engineering program
Current or past member of the Water Quality Assn. (WQA), American Water Works Assn. and Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

Personal Life: Graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering
United Way and youth soccer volunteer
Enjoys golf and other outdoor sporting activities
Loves trying new foods while traveling the world with his wife, Kati
A devoted Detroit sports fan (“which is unfortunate most years,” he says)


Wayne Barker
Service/Office Manager, Barker Filtration Inc.
Lexington, S.C.
Age: 32

Barker is a “jack-of-all-trades,” managing all aspects of Barker Filtration Inc. With 10 years of experience in the field, he is capable in any role, from running the office to making service calls to selling products. According to his colleagues, he “does it all” and continuously goes above and beyond what is required of him. He is EcoWater and Stenner Pump certified.

Personal Life: Earned an Associate of Arts degree
Teaches first- and second-grade Sunday school at his local church
Enjoys sports, outdoor activities and karaoke
Former football coach
Father of twin girls

Fun Fact: Barker donates blood to the Red Cross on a regular basis.


Ryan Vanderham
Service Technician, Pat’s Water Inc. Dba Radiant Water
Orange, Calif.
Age: 21

Vanderham entered the water industry by chance: While attending Foothill High School in North Tustin, Calif., he often visited his uncle, who lived next door to Patrick Salver of Pat’s Water. Vanderham’s natural aptitude for mechanical work—he often worked on his motorcycle and car while at his uncle’s house, replacing the brakes and installing a stereo without help—caught the attention of Salver, who thought he would make an excellent service technician. Vanderham began working at the dealership during summer breaks from school, eventually becoming a full-time employee. He is now the company’s go-to technician for water softener installation and repair, and also works on reverse osmosis systems, water coolers and instant hot water systems. Colleagues note that Vanderham is mature for his age, able to handle most jobs on his own.

Personal Life: Grew up on a dairy farm in Bakersfield, Calif.
Loves animals
Enjoys riding motorcycles with his brother

Fun Fact: At 6 ft 4 in. tall, Vanderham is known as the “gentle giant” around the dealership.


Lucas Cellino
Vice President, Cellino Plumbing
Buffalo, N.Y.
Age: 24

Cellino grew up in the plumbing industry and eventually joined the family business, following in his father’s footsteps. His passion for water treatment was inspired while taking an environmental ethics course in college. He helped his father re-introduce water softening systems to Cellino Plumbing’s menu of services, and quickly immersed himself in water treatment research and education. Realizing that the only way to provide high-quality water systems and service to customers was to have some staff dedicated completely to water treatment, he created a new division of the company, Cellino Water Treatment, with his mentor (and WQP 2014 Dealer of the Year) Scott Hillman. 

Outside the Office: Member of WQA, working toward becoming certified
Licensed Buffalo journeyman plumber
Certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Personal Life: Earned a bachelor’s degree in business at Hilbert College in Hamburg, N.Y.
Hobbies include sports, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, hiking and traveling
Played hockey growing up
Enjoys bourbon, beer and Buffalo wings

Fun Fact: Cellino is an animal lover, and he describes his German shepherd, Ace, as his best friend, roommate and coworker.


Melodie Bullock, MWS
Operations Manager/Corporate Secretary, Environmental Aqua/Cal Aqua
Vacaville, Calif.
Age: 28

Bullock got her start in the water industry as a secretary at Environmental Aqua at age 20, eventually working her way up to her current position as operations manager and corporate secretary. Described by her colleagues as calm, compassionate and mature beyond her years, she has grown her natural competence in the water industry by earning her Master Water Specialist certification through WQA and Distribution Operator 2 certification from the California Department of Water Resources. 

Outside the Office: Currently the secretary/treasurer of the Pacific Water Quality Assn. board of directors, Bullock is in line to become the association’s vice president, and later president.


Travis Mast, CWS
Vice President & General Manager, Mast Water Technology
Platteville, Wis.
Age: 35

Mast is currently vice president and general manager of Mast Water Technology in southwest Wisconsin. He has been awarded Hellenbrand’s silver dealer award for multiple years. Mast is a licensed Wisconsin Master Plumber – Restricted.

Outside the Office: Member of WQA and the Water Quality Assn. of Wisconsin
Member of the Platteville Chamber of Commerce

Personal Life: Earned a bachelor’s degree in hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Currently working toward a degree in business management at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Enjoys spending time with family
Hobbies include biking, hiking and camping

Fun Fact: Prior to entering the water quality industry, Mast worked in the natural gas industry in Texas.


Chris Preston
Global Residential Water Product Manager, Goulds Water Technology, a Xylem brand
Seneca Falls, N.Y.
Age: 37

Preston began his career with Goulds Water Technology in 2001, starting as product design engineer, and has been promoted several times since, culminating in his most recent promotion to global residential water product manager in January 2016. In this role, he anticipates customer needs, defines and executes the global residential product portfolio strategy, and integrates global trends and technologies to improve and bring new products to the marketplace. When he was global project manager, Preston led an international team from the U.S., Italy and Hungary in developing two award-winning products for the residential water market. In 2007, he was part of an eight-member team that received Xylem’s (then known as ITT) highest achievement, the ITT Engineered for Life award, for the development of the Centripro 4-in. submersible motor. In 2014, Preston was recognized for the best marketing plan within Xylem AWS residential for a new submersible pump.  

Outside the Office: Co-chair of the Industry Education Committee for the Water Systems Council
Co-educator and thought leader at the Goulds Water Technology Factory School

Personal Life: Earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
Enjoys playing at home with his two children
Favorite hobby is working with cars—both fixing them and sprint car racing

Fun Fact: Preston does not mind the snowy upstate New York weather: During the winter, he enjoys snowmobiling. 


Anthony Oosterveld
Manager, Product Support & Customer Service, Viqua
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Age: 30

Oosterveld started his career at Viqua (then R-Can Environmental) at age 18 as a production associate. After approximately one year, 50% of his time was dedicated to handling returned good and warranty claims, requiring him to help with technical support calls, assisting customers with product and application issues. Based on his technical aptitude and rapport with customers, Oosterveld was promoted to technical support representative in 2007. The following year, he quickly assimilated the technical and service information associated with Viqua’s integration of Trojan UV’s residential products into its operation. Oosterveld was promoted to technical service team leader several years later, then technical and customer service manager several years after that. According to colleagues, Oosterveld is respected by his peers for his understanding of the water industry, and is actively involved in planning the future of the company. 


Scott Burris
Owner, Pure Water Technology of South Louisiana
New Orleans
Age: 35

Burris started Pure Water Technology of South Louisiana in his garage in 2011 with the goal of modernizing water systems with green, cost-effective, bottle-less coolers. He has since installed the company’s water treatment systems in homes, businesses and schools throughout the New Orleans area. Burris was recognized by Silicon Bayou News as one of the 100 “most innovative, influential and active people in tech and entrepreneurship in Louisiana.” Prior to entering the water treatment industry, Burris worked as a soccer coach.

Personal Life: Attended college at Appalachian State University
Hobbies include fishing and soccer

Fun Fact: Burris played soccer with the Baton Rouge Capitals in the spring and summer of 2011.


Larry Deutsch
Marketing & Communications Director, Water Quality Assn.
Lisle, Ill.
Age: 39

Within six months of joining the WQA management team in August 2013, Deutsch built a communications department from the ground up, saving the association approximately $140,000 previously spent on contractors. He has been instrumental in instituting a new vision and direction for WQA’s marketing and communications, including overhauling processes, procedures and policies to ensure maximum efficiency of staff and resources. Deutsch directed a redesign of the association’s website, and designed and implemented a new marketing plan for WQA’s annual convention that reduced costs while increasing attendance, sponsorship and exhibit sales. He also managed the communications strategy for the capital campaign to raise money for the Water Quality Research Foundation, helping to raise more than $2.7 million. 

Personal Life: Earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management and bachelor’s degrees in Russian and business administration from Washington University in St. Louis
Supports local animal rescue organizations and recently fostered two cats through Chicago Cat Rescue
Plays ice hockey on a men’s league team

Fun Fact: Deutsch does not own a car, so he takes public transportation or walks everywhere he goes.


Travis Merrigan
Co-Founder & COO, GRAYL Inc.
Age: 38

Merrigan co-founded GRAYL Inc., where he currently oversees operations and research and development, in 2012. Integral in designing the company’s award-winning line of water bottle purifiers, he now is responsible for overseeing manufacturing, quality assurance and control, distribution, financing, and accounting. Merrigan has been instrumental in leading the company’s expansion into eight new countries so far, overseeing inventory management and tax compliance. He managed a rebranding to coincide with a new product launch, and led GRAYL’s equity fundraising efforts, raising more than $1 million. 

Outside the Office: Educated as a biochemist and project manager
Previously worked in public relations, marketing and statistical analysis

Fun Fact: Merrigan is fluent in Spanish—a valuable trait for GRAYL’s expansion into Latin America.


Omitha Devendra
Sales & Technical Services Manager, Carbon Activated Corp.
Compton, Calif.
Age: 38

During his 13 years at Carbon Activated Corp., Devendra has worked to provide water purification solutions, from filtration of high-quality drinking water for communities to the purification of ultrapure water for homes and industries. He believes water is Earth’s most precious resource, and is “thrilled” to know that his efforts in making water safe help make a difference in people’s lives.

Outside the Office: Devendra is a member of ASTM Committee D-28 on activated carbon.

Personal Life: Earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering
Sunday school teacher and board member at Sri Rathana International Buddhist Center
Helps organize quarterly blood drives for the Red Cross
Active member of local elementary school PTA
Hobbies include rugby, cricket, swimming and aquascaping

Fun fact: Devendra says he is a “huge fan” of Star Wars and Marvel Comics.

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