WQA reorganizes leadership structure

Aug. 1, 2023
The Water Quality Association changed leadership titles and appointed three experts as vice presidents for innovation, external affairs, and global services.

The Water Quality Association (WQA) has announced a new leadership team structure, changing leadership titles and appointing three people as WQA’s new Vice President for Innovation, Vice President of External Affairs, and Vice President of Global Services.

“We are taking these steps at a pivotal time in WQA’s history,” said WQA Chief Executive Officer Pauli Undesser. “As we approach the 50th anniversary of WQA next year, we need to position the association to meet the ever-increasing demand for innovative leadership and creative engagement in our service of the industry and our members for the betterment of water quality.”

Under the new leadership structure, WQA announced the following changes:

Jonathan Adams, MBA, CAE, is the new Vice President for Innovation. Adams has been with WQA for the past eight years and was recently named to the “Forty Under 40” list by the Association Forum, an organization of Chicago-area professional associations. He is also an ASAE 2022-2024 Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholar.“Jonathan’s forward-thinking leadership is an incredible asset for WQA, and he will drive innovation and collaborative improvements that will help WQA take on the many challenges and potential disruptions our industry will be facing in the years ahead,” Undesser said.
Kathleen Burbidge, CAE, is the new Vice President of External Affairs. She has been with WQA for nine years and is also a past honoree of the “Forty Under 40” list.“Kathleen is already having a huge impact on stakeholder outreach and member engagement,” said Undesser. “She has tremendous insight into the regulatory and legislative landscape that our industry will navigate as we look for beneficial opportunities to amplify the association’s influence with other like-minded professionals and organizations.”
Kelli Fleischmann is the new Vice President of Global Services. Fleischmann, who has been with WQA for five years, has a strong background within the drinking water industry in project management, business development and international experience. She previously served as General Manager of Global Water Systems and the Drinking Water Treatment Unit Program at NSF International.“Kelli will be essential in evaluating opportunities to further promote WQA’s core programs and services around the globe,” said Undesser. “We see her new role as ensuring that the investments WQA has made for the betterment of water quality are, indeed, shared around the world.”

The new roles were effective as of July 1, 2023.

The changes come on the heels of new titles for WQA’s top leadership. Along with Undesser’s title changing from Executive Director to CEO, Tom Bruursema, MS, is now Chief Operating Officer, Kyle Jones is Chief Financial Officer, and Mike Sennett is Chief Legal Officer. This adoption of C-suite leadership titles puts WQA in line with leading trade associations and comparable industry organizations in modern-day titling for its leadership.

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