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Staff & Biographies

Jason Long - Executive Director / USDA Source Water
Michele Locke - Office Manager
Krystii Nevarez - Membership Specialist & Events Coordinator
Edmundo Mendez - Circuit Rider
Neal Whittle - Circuit Rider
Nathan Long - EPA Training Specialist
Michael Garcia - EPA Training Specialist

Jason Long: Executive Director / USDA Source Water

Jason LongJason has been with RWAA since January of 2012 and has worked in the water and wastewater industry for over 17 years. Jason is a Grade III operator in Water Treatment/Distribution and Wastewater Treatment/Collections. He is also a certified lab analyst in both water and wastewater and is a certified backflow tester. He worked for the Town of Gilbert in their Wastewater Division and prior to that he was a Water Operations Manager. He was also on a design team that in 2010 won the prestigious Innovations in Water and Wastewater Treatment Grand Award – Bentley Be Inspired Award. In 2008 he started his own consulting and operations business and traveled throughout the state to various locations and assisted operators with troubleshooting a wide variety of water and wastewater systems. Over the past 17 years Jason has worked at various size water and wastewater treatment facilities and has an extensive experience with MBR Treatment technologies and large scale RO systems. He is currently working on completing his Environmental Engineering degree.

Jason is looking forward to making the Rural Water Association of Arizona a well-known name in the Training and Technical Assistance for ALL utility systems in the state of Arizona.

Email: j.long@rwaa.info
Call: 520-431-7723

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Michele Locke - Office Manager

RWAA StaffMichele Locke joined RWAA in October 2012. She is new to the Water and Wastewater industry and the RWAA Organization. She has been assisting “Bunny” in the running of the RWAA office, and is handling the Membership and Event Coordinating duties. Michele strives to provide great customer service satisfaction to the Rural Water Association and its Members. She has been instrumental in the creation of the conference booklets and other conference materials, and is helping to build membership and attendance for RWAA and its Conferences. She also looks forward to growing with RWAA and the future that it represents. Feel free to contact Michele with any questions and concerns.

Email: m.locke@rwaa.info
Call: 480-982-0301

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Krystii Nevarez: Membership Specialist & Events Coordinator

Krystii LockeKrystii joined RWAA in August of 2016. Although she is new to the Water/Wastewater industry, she is eager to help RWAA become a bigger and better association and is happy to be part of making RWAA a recognized leader in Operator Certification and Safety Training. She believes in providing the best, up-to-date information to our members enabling them to be successful. Krystii strives to come up with new ideas to ensure RWAA has fun, yet informative conferences, all while building RWAA’s membership.

Email: k.locke@rwaa.info
Call: 480-982-0301

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Edmundo Mendez: Circuit Rider

Edmundo MendezEdmundo Mendez currently holds the Circuit Rider, Water Specialist position for Rural Water Association of Arizona, which is the state affiliate of the National Rural Water Association. In this capacity, Edmundo provides technical assistance on how to solve basic operations and compliance issues encounter by operators and managers in the water and wastewater field. He joined the Association on July of 2009 as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Circuit Rider. In this position, Edmundo worked with water and wastewater systems and the state USDA Rural Development office to assist with Rural Utilities Service loan and grant application process.

Previously, Edmundo served as the public works director for the City of Somerton. He was directly responsible for the management of the following departmental divisions: Water Treatment and Distribution Systems, Wastewater Treatment and Collection Systems, Solid Waste, Highway Users and the City’s Fleet Department.

Edmundo received Utility Management Certification under the Utility Management Institute Program from University of the Incarnate Word. He received the designation of Certified Public Manager from Arizona State University. Edmundo also was awarded National Utility Management Certification from Water University.

Edmundo holds Arizona Grade IV Water Treatment Plant Operator & Distribution System Operator and Arizona Grade IV Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator & Collection System Operator. He has a Substitute Teacher Certificate form Arizona Department of Education.

Edmundo has a Master of Education degree in Counseling: Human Relations from Norther Arizona University. His undergraduate degree is in Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration.

Email: edmundo.mendez@rwaa.info

Appreciation Letters:

Dateland Public Service Company, Inc.
USDA Rural Development
Yarnell Water Improvement Association

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Neal Whittle: Circuit Rider

Neal WhittleNeal has been with the Association since February 1997 and once held a position on the RWAA Board of Directors. Neal has been a nominee for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 National Rural Water Peer Leadership Award for Circuit Rider of the Year.

Neal holds the following certifications: Water Distribution Operator Grade 4 Waste Water Collection Operator Grade 4, Water Treatment Operator Grade 4, and Waste Water Treatment Operator Grade 2.

Professional Qualifications include: Risk Assessment Methodology for Water ( RAM -Wsm) Certification NWTC 12/2002, VA/ VSAT Train the Trainer Certification ASSET/ADEQ 1/2003, National Rural Water Registered Circuit Rider Water #251 NRWA.

National Safety Council Train the Trainer Flagger Certification , NSC 11/2002 Federal Aviation Administration Airframe/Power plant License, Facilitator of the Arizona Rural Water Infrastructure Committee, First Responder Training Chlorine Gas, California State University Sacramento, completed twelve courses in Water/Waste Water, OSHA Certified Instructor, Electrical Safety Lockout/Tagout, and NRWA Technical Assistance First Responder.

Neal has held the following positions and responsibilities:

  1. Tribal Technician 2 years Arizona Small Utilities Association
  2. Technical Assistance Supervisor 2 years Arizona Small Utilities Association
  3. Technical Assistance Specialist 4 years Arizona Small Utilities Association
  4. Duties involved included Onsite Technical Assistance training of Water/Waste Water Operators, and Management on Tribal, State and private lands within Arizona 6/98 to present.
  5. NRWA Registered Circuit Rider for 8 years.
  6. Previous Employment experience:
  7. General Manager, Utility Authority White Mountain Apache Tribe 6/92-6/98.
  8. Duties included management of "day to day" operations of water/waste water systems in 5 small towns on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in rural Northern Arizona .

Email: neal.whittle@rwaa.info

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Nathan Long: EPA Training Specialist

RWAA Staff Nathan Long has worked in the Water Industry for 11 years. He is the RWAA EPA Training Specialist. Nathan has a passion for sharing his knowledge with young operators and inspiring them about the importance of every job we do in the Water Industry.

Nathan Holds an Arizona Grade 3 Certification in Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Treatment, and Collections.

He was previously the Lead operator for the City of Chandler’s Ocotillo Brine Reduction Zero Liquid Discharge Facility where he treated Industrial Waste from Intel’s chip manufacturing processes.

Before that he was the Lead Operator at another Zero Liquid Discharge Facility located in Casa Grande, Arizona where he treated Industrial Waste from Frito Lay’s Potato chip manufacturing processes.

In Nathans 11 years of experience, he has worked for several Water Reclamation facilities and Water systems. He has been fortunate enough to work with a very broad range of water technologies. He has troubleshooting knowledge and a high level of expertise in small Package Plants, Lagoons, SBR and other Hybrid Activated Sludge processes. Membrane Bio-reactor, Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis, Starch Removal, and GAC. Lime softening, traveling bridge and Green Leaf Sand Filter’s, Ion Exchange Beds, High Pressure Reverse Osmosis, Brine Concentrators, and Boiler systems.

Currently, Nathan is enrolled, to further his education, for his Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Business.

Email: nathan.long@rwaa.info
Call: 520-560-4322

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Michael Garcia: EPA Training Specialist

RWAA Staff Michael Garcia is the newest staff member of RWAA, he joined our staff in September 2017 as our new EPA Training Specialist. Michael has managed and owned car lots and restaurants in the past. Michael has been in the water industry for about 3 years now operating and managing several small, rural water communities. Although Michael is relatively new to the water and utilities industry, he is ready and eager to help build RWAA into a resource that ALL water and utility systems can look and turn to for training and helping systems maintain safe water for everyone.

Email: michael.garcia@rwaa.info
Call: 480-982-0301

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Questions? We're here to help!
480-982-0301 | m.locke@rwaa.info