ISLE Utilities: YOUNG & WORLDLY – WWD Class of 2018 Young Professionals
Each year, WWD accepts nominations for top young professionals in the water and wastewater industry. While we intended to select only 10 young professionals this year, we simply felt we could not cut any from this list of 11 talented and passionate professionals under 40 years old. These individuals have not only excelled in their professional lives, they also give back to their communities and hold worldly attitudes and views about the industry’s importance and necessity around the globe.
Cristina Ahmadpour, MELP, President of Isle Utilities for being recognized in the WWD Class of 2018 Young Professionals.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in business administration, California State University. Masters of law and environmental policy, Vermont Law School.
Previous life: Commercial banker for Wells Fargo.
Personal accomplishment: Graduated law school with the highest honors while maintaining a full-time job.
Professional accomplishments: Led the commercialization of an early stage technology in the Western U.S. and Mexico. Pivoted the growth of an organization and built a strong team to keep that organization moving.
Greatest influence: “Without a doubt, the greatest influence, both personally and professionally, is my longtime friend and now husband. He challenges me to live with purpose, kindness and determination, and is my number one fan!”
Best project ever: First industrial wastewater project was at the Heinz french fry production facility.
Industry aspiration: Ahmadpour aspires to be a leader of change in the way utilities seek innovative best practices and technology solutions to increase stakeholder value. She is a collaborator and problem solver who wants to create and drive sustainable models to effectively manage water and resources with the best available tools.
Outside the office: Camping, hiking, basketball, traveling and, most recently, cycling.
Personal passions: Rueda de casino (a type of salsa dancing)
Worst-kept secret: Has Ichthyophobia, “a completely unjustified fear of fish!”
How will your generation influence the industry? “My generation graduated right around the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We continue to witness extreme climate variability where there is a growing scientific evidence pointing to anthropogenic causes. We’re living through a time where advancements in space exploration and artificial intelligence are moving at an accelerated pace. Through our experiences, my generation will see opportunity and evaluate risk differently. As we face the ‘silver tsunami,’ we will be bold at embracing different approaches to meet the future needs of the water sector.”
Giving back: Member of various subcommittee groups for American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF), and advises a nonprofit organization that develops projects to bring clean water to communities in developing countries.
Best memory: “One of my most memorable experiences has to be kayaking the Sava Bohinjka River (Slovenia) alongside the backdrop of the majestic Julian Alps and farm cottages of Bohinjka Valley… after a morning of paragliding at 6,000 ft!”
Best advice: “Simply know your stuff and be confident in your abilities.”
Read full story and see other Young Professionals on Water and Wastes Digest Magazine here.