H2O & RPMs

Speakers

Walter “Buzz” Pishkur
City of Arlington | Water Director 

Walter “Buzz” Pishkur has a work history which includes 33 years of Executive Management experience. He is an accomplished visionary and is recognized for his ability to turn around and re-define organizations. He has been successful in optimizing and streamlining organizations to provide improved services while delivering superior financial results. He is a champion at building and maintaining strong relations at all levels of an organization.

Currently he is employed as Director of Water Utilities for the City of Arlington, Texas. He is responsible for the overall operation of a municipal water and wastewater system covering 99.7 square miles and serving 400,000 customers. This responsibility includes capital and operating budget development, strategic planning, rate design, and employee development.

Buzz was previously employed as an Adjunct Professor in the Schools of Business and Communication at Butler County Community College. His class instruction included Advertising, Marketing, Customer Service, Public Relations, Management and Leadership courses.

From 2010 through 2012, Buzz served as Director of Business Development for the United Water Company, a leader in the water services industry. During his tenure he established a referral network with affiliated companies to market their services and engaged a network of regulatory leaders to increase brand awareness and built business relationships that ultimately increased revenue.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Forum Health, an $800 million multidisciplinary healthcare system, Buzz was charged with overseeing an organization with 4,000 employees and three unions. During his time as CEO he built strong working relationships with organized labor and successfully negotiated necessary concessions. He instituted performance planning for senior management, significantly reduced operating costs, improved clinical outcomes, customer satisfaction and public image and achieved the goal of keeping the hospitals in operation while improving cash flow.

Aqua Ohio, Inc., the largest water company in the state of Ohio, named Buzz as President in 1992. He also had responsibility for similar western Pennsylvania operations of Aqua Pennsylvania. He had full operating responsibility of the companies and their six operating divisions which provided service to nearly 500,000 residents in 16 counties. During this time Buzz spearheaded passage of two precedent-setting bills in Ohio which reduced cost to customers and enhanced the Company’s ability to provide quality service.

Prior to the previous appointments, Buzz spent six years as Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Inter-State Water Company in Danville, Illinois; four years as Division Manager of the Marysville Division of Aqua Ohio and two years as Business Manager for the Struthers Division of Aqua Ohio. He began his career in the water industry as a 10-year employee of the City of Hubbard, Ohio a municipal water utility.

Buzz is a cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University School of Business (1986) and following graduation was inducted into the prestigious College of Business Pacesetters’ organization, recognizing his outstanding academic and leadership achievements. In 1992 he completed his Executive MBA degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois. He holds a Class III Water Operator License in the State of Ohio, a Class A Operator License in the State of Illinois and a Class A Operator License in the State of Texas.

Buzz has served as Vice President of the Mahoning Valley Community Corporation and was a Board member of both the Youngstown YMCA and the Youngstown Symphony Society. He has served as a Trustee and President for the Youngstown State University Penguin Club. He is a past member of the National City Bank (PNC) Northeast Advisory Board of Directors, former Director for the Youngstown Country Club, Board member and Finance Committee Chairman of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, Trustee for the Industrial Information Institute for Education, and a past Community Advisor for the Junior League of Youngstown. Buzz was Chairman of the 2000 and 2008 Mahoning Valley United Way Campaigns, and chaired the 2004 and 2005 American Heart Association Heart Walks. Buzz is currently a member of the University of Texas at Arlington Department of Civil Engineering Advisory Committee.

Buzz is an American Water Works Association Silver Water Drop recipient, a two-time past chair of the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies and has had several articles published in national trade periodicals. He was a presenter at the 1994 National Regulatory Research Institute Biennial Conference, the 1997 and 2006 AWWA National Conference, the 1998 Ohio AWWA State Conference, the 1998 and 2000 NAWC Eastern Customer Service Conference, the 2000 National Rural Water Association Conference, 2002 California Water Association Conference, the 2004 National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Conference in Washington DC and the 2002 and 2005 National Association of Investors Corporation’s Ohio Investors Fair.

A registered lobbyist in the State of Ohio since 1995, Buzz has successfully presented testimony on several bills before the Ohio Legislature. His efforts include the recently passed Senate Bill 65, which is precedent setting tort reform for water and wastewater utility companies, and Senate Bill 44 (System Improvement Charge–SIC), which provides funds for the replacement and rehabilitation of infrastructure that is crucial to service reliability and water quality. He has also presented expert testimony on numerous cases before the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Ohio and Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commissions. He is an active member of the Ohio State University Advocates Organization, which is the legislative advocacy arm of the University.

In 2009, Buzz was honored by the United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning County with its highest award, “Champions Among US” in recognition of his unselfish efforts and commitment to the community. He was presented the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s William G. Lyden, Jr. Spirit of the Valley Award in 2005 as acknowledgment of his exemplary leadership and commitment to the community, economic development and to the overall progress of the Valley. In 2003, he was named Alumnus of the Year by the Hubbard High School Alumni Association and in 2001 he was inducted into the Greater Youngstown Baseball Old-timers Association Hall of Fame for founding and operating a baseball training school and his performance as a player and umpire in Class B and AA baseball leagues. In his spare time, Buzz enjoys golfing, college sports and has been a registered high school basketball official for over 41 years, including serving as a rules interpreter in both Ohio and Illinois.

He and his wife, Joyce, both natives of Hubbard, Ohio, currently reside in Arlington, TX.

http://www.arlington-tx.gov/water/meet-the-director/

 

Brandom Gengelbach
Fort Worth Chamber | Vice President Economic Development

Brandom Gengelbach, 40, a business professional with diverse foreign and domestic experience, has been named the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Vice President of Economic Development, Chamber President and CEO Bill Thornton announced today.

Gengelbach grew up in Houston and the Plano-Addison area. He holds an MBA from the University of Southampton, near London, where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He will join the Chamber November 28th, Thornton said.

“We’re excited to have Brandom in a role that’s so vital to the Chamber and our partners who depend on us to help drive Fort Worth’s growth, prosperity and quality of life,” said Thornton. “He brings 16 years of economic development and chamber leadership experience, including stints in Nashville, Tenn.; Indianapolis, Ind., and Brisbane, Australia,” Thornton said. “He is a proven achiever in the public and private sectors who is praised as a decisive team player with competitive drive, outstanding leadership skills and communications expertise.”

“There is no better place in the country to live, work and raise a family than Fort Worth and the surrounding area,” Gengelbach said. “Fort Worth is truly the envy of the country right now in terms of livability and economic development and I’m thrilled to be joining the team.”

Gengelbach comes to Fort Worth from Mount Pleasant, Tenn., where he has served since 2013 as vice president of Business Development for Smelter Service Corporation aluminum company and its owner’s related ventures, including real estate and community development with a focus on local education reform.

Prior to that, he served as president of the public-private Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance. He re-energized the Columbia, Tenn.-based organization, doubling membership while leading a three-year effort that brought 2,300 jobs to the county, $158 million in capital investment and a reduction in unemployment from 14 percent to less than 8 percent.

Earlier, Gengelbach’s career included work in organizational development and corporate partnerships for the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served Brisbane Marketing, the official marketing authority for the Greater Brisbane, Australia, region after taking a sabbatical to Central and South America to learn Spanish.

In addition to his MBA, Gengelbach holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where he met his wife, Alison. They have two sons. A runner, Gengelbach is a four-time qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

https://www.fortworthchamber.com/news-media/press-releases/2016/11/brandom-gengelbach-named-executive-vice-president-of-economic-development-for-fort-worth-chamber-of-commerce/

Elizabeth Mow, P.E.
North Texas Tollway Authority | Assistant Executive Director of Infrastructure

Elizabeth Mow leads the project delivery, maintenance, and system and incident management departments, all in support of the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of the NTTA’s 966 lane miles of toll roads.

Mow joined the NTTA in 2008 as the director of project delivery.  In this role she was responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of the $4 billion Corridor Expansion and Capital Improvement Program from the planning stage through construction on all new turnpike and capital improvement projects.

Under Mow’s leadership, the NTTA team successfully delivered many large tollway projects, including the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge, Sam Rayburn Tollway, the conversion to all-electronic toll collection, the President George Bush Eastern and Western extensions and the Chisholm Trail Parkway. NTTA has a proven track record for delivering projects on time and on budget.

Mow has more than 18 years of professional experience in the field of engineering and management. She is experienced in all phases of program delivery, including the development of long and short range planning, project development and the NEPA approval process, project management, design, right-of-way acquisition, environmental permitting, utility coordination, construction contract administration, and construction inspection.

Before joining the NTTA, Mow’s professional experience included time as a consultant where she served in many design and management roles. As a design engineer, her primary focus was in bridge design, where she worked on a variety of large scale transportation projects around the country.

Mow is a graduate of the University of Toledo in Ohio, where she received her bachelor's degree in civil engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

https://www.ntta.org/whoweare/nttateam/keystaffprof/Pages/Infrastructure.aspx

Loyl C. Bussell, P.E.
Fort Worth District | Deputy District Engineer

Loyl C. Bussell is the deputy district engineer for the Fort Worth District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The district comprises nine counties: Erath, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.

Loyl began his career with TxDOT in 1984 as a summer employee. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1993, Loyl worked for TxDOT’s Design Division’s bridge section, performing both underwater and fracture critical inspections on bridges across the state.

In 1997, Loyl received his master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2002, he became the Fort Worth District’s assistant bridge design engineer coordinating all bridge design and managing a significant reduction in the number of structurally deficient bridges. He also served as the $1.1 billion DFW Connector deputy design project manager which was North Texas' first design-build comprehensive development agreement.

In 2010, Loyl served as the Central Design Engineer before promotion to Director of Transportation Planning and Development (TP&D). As director of TP&D, Loyl worked closely with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), local entities and TxDOT staffs to develop projects and district funding priorities.

Loyl was named deputy district engineer in 2014. Loyl assists the district in meeting its safety, financial, operations and customer satisfaction goals. He also provides joint oversight of nearly $4 billion in partnerships involving the Interstate 35W, SH 360 South and the I-30/SH 360 Interchange.

Loyl serves as the NCTCOG’s chair of the surface transportation technical committee which makes recommendations to the Regional Transportation Council on regional transportation initiatives. As deputy district engineer, Loyl also leads the district’s engineering assistant program which develops and mentors engineering assistants as they work toward becoming licensed professional engineers.

Dan Lamers
North Central Texas Council of Governments | Senior Transportation Program Manager

Dan is currently NCTCOG’s Senior Program Manager for transportation planning, including the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Texas Metropolitan Mobility Plan, Regional Rail Corridor Studies, thoroughfare planning, Environmental Justice and Title VI analyses, and integration of transportation planning and NEPA.

His responsibilities include the planning and development of HOV facilities, managed lanes, value pricing, as well as traditional roadway and transit facilities. Dan also coordinates the transportation planning activities of local governments and other transportation agencies and incorporates them into the metropolitan transportation planning process.

 

Travis Kelly 
Vice President, External Affairs | Texas Central Partners, LLC

A native Texan and graduate of Baylor University, Travis Kelly acts as Vice President of External Affairs for Texas Central Partners, LLC. Travis manages Texas Central’s marketing, state and local government affairs as well as public, stakeholder and media relations.

After working for a Dallas-based not for profit to raise the profile of high-speed rail among elected officials in Texas, Travis works to support Texas Central’s efforts to bring high-speed passenger rail to Texas.

 

 

Christopher Harder, P.E.
City of Fort Worth | Assistant Director Water

Chris Harder is Fort Worth Water Department’s Assistant Director for Engineering and Regulatory Compliance. He has been with the city since 1999 in various roles and served as acting assistant water director for the past 10 months.

In announcing the selection, Water Director John Robert Carman said, “Chris has been a solid member of our team for many years and will now bring his thoughtful and determined style on a permanent basis to the assistant director role in our organization.”

Harder is a registered professional engineer in Texas and holds a Texas Class B Surface Water Treatment Operator license. He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Valparaiso University (1994), a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio (1998) and a master’s in business administration from Texas Christian University (2003).

During his tenure with Fort Worth, Harder has designed and managed many projects related to water treatment plant construction and expansion, water and wastewater pipelines, storage tank rehabilitation and construction, water pump stations, wastewater lift stations and meter stations. He has been involved in capital project planning, master plan studies and assessments, purchasing and budgeting. Prior to working for Fort Worth, Harder was employed by the City of Kerrville Public Works Department and Denton Municipal Utilities.