MN AWWA is proud to announce one of this year's candidates for Chair-Elect:
|Uma Vempati strongly believes that the purpose of life is not just to be happy; it is to be productive, honorable, and compassionate—and above all, to make a difference both personally and professionally. Uma’s life purpose began to take shape when he was just a child. He was born and raised in a South Indian community where water was a precious and limited resource. The water supply was untreated and intermittent, and only available every other day for 30 minutes. Surrounded by water supply challenges during his childhood, Uma developed a passion at a young age to help communities address their water-related challenges and ensure they have a dependable and safe water supply.|
Uma’s passion for science, keen interest in the water industry’s every-growing challenges, and desire to be part of the community that shapes the future of water systems motivated him to seek a career in the water industry. Uma pursued his undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis on water. He has been a consulting engineer for over 18 years and is involved extensively in water and wastewater projects across the Midwest. He is currently serving the water community as a Senior Project Manager with the national consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates in St. Paul, MN. He is a licensed professional engineer in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa.
Minnesota has an environment replete with volunteerism. Distinguished water industry leadership in the state (e.g., university faculty, students, engineers, utility personnel, consultants, etc.) prompted Uma to get involved in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) very early in his career. Uma has been a member of AWWA since 2001 and has since been involved at various levels, contributing to the vision and mission of the AWWA and Minnesota Section. He has served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Minnesota Section and chaired the planning committee of the local Water for People 5K Run for four years. He has been active in the Association and served on the AWWA Board of Directors as the Director-at-Large for three years and as the Nominating Committee member for two years. He has been serving as the Vice-Chair of the AWWA Diversity and Member Inclusion Committee (DMIC) for the past three years and is currently serving as the chair of that committee. He has also been contributing to AWWAIndia since its inception, helping with the training and education program that benefits the water community in India. Uma was honored with the Andrew Sullivan Award for Outstanding Leadership and George Warren Fuller Award at the Minnesota AWWA Annual Conferences in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
Uma is married to his wife of 12 years, Gayathri. They have two children, Sarvagna and Karthikeya. They have been living in Maple Grove, MN for the past 15 years and consider it their home away from home. If elected Section Chair, Uma will focus on bringing improvements to the following areas:
- Continued partnership development with regulatory agencies, utilities, and other professional water organizations (such as MnWARN) in Minnesota to improve/develop practices that are geared towards resiliency of our water/wastewater utilities
- Support the Diversity and Member Inclusion activities of the Minnesota Section to promote equality and inclusion and create lasting change in our communities
- Continued improvement of the Section and Association alignment and partnership, especially in the education and training of our professional water operator members
- Support and mentor Young Professionals and encourage their contribution of new and fresh ideas