Subject Matter Expert Consultant Team
Cheryl Bergener worked for the state of Washington for 44 years and spent 41 years working in the Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water program. In June 2010, Cheryl retired from her position as Program Manager from Washington State’s Waterworks Operator Certification Program.
Cheryl served as President of ABC and chaired ABC’s Certification Committee. She also served as Distribution Division Director, chair of the Ad hoc EPA/State Regional Liaison Committee, and was a member of numerous ABC committees. She served on the US EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council Operator Certification Work Group and State/EPA’s Operator Certification Work Group. Cheryl was also active in the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association and served as the Chair and Vice Chair for their Certification Committee.
In 1999, Cheryl received ABC’s Robert C. McAnespie Outstanding Certification Officer award and in 2011 she received ABC’s Harris F. Seidel Lifetime Achievement Award.
Melissa Brothers worked for more than 22 years with the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet. For the last 15 years of that service, she worked as Administrative Supervisor of the Operator Certification Section which provides certification training and examinations as well as continuing education opportunities for Kentucky’s water treatment, distribution, and wastewater system operators. Following her retirement from state service, Melissa served as Executive Director of the Kentucky Water and Wastewater Operators’ Association (KWWOA) for five years. KWWOA is a non-profit operator organization dedicated to providing training and assistance to certified operators across the state. During her five-year tenure with KWWOA, Melissa represented the Association with regard to regulatory issues, providing quality training opportunities, and assisting operators with meeting their continuing education obligations.
Upon leaving KWWOA, Melissa became Sales and Marketing Director for CEU Plan, an online provider of continuing education training for operators and a developer of custom training. Recently, Melissa left CEU Plan and decided to branch out on her own. She has conducted numerous continuing education training sessions for operators and presented at many conferences including WEF, ABC, and EPA Operator Certification Workshop. She has worked in the field of training and certifying water and wastewater professionals for nearly 30 years and now works as a training consultant.
Charles Conway has more than 40 years’ experience working with wastewater treatment plant personnel. Charles worked for the USEPA Region I for more than 25 years where he managed grant programs in each of the New England States geared toward developing water quality management programs, wastewater infrastructure construction, operator certification regulations, and operator training and he was responsible for evaluation and approval of all innovative, alternative, and advanced projects. In addition, Charles, with his state counterparts, developed a comprehensive WWTP operator and technical assistance program to provide on-site technical assistance to more than 100 WWTPs each year and developed one of the most effective WWTP operator training programs in the United States. With the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, Charles managed a diverse and high quality wastewater operator training program which provided more than 70 course offerings and drew more than 1700 students each year. He also helped develop and contributed to Wastewater Management Training Programs for emerging superintendents in Rhode Island, Main, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut and provided on-site technical assistance to more than 50 wastewater treatment plants.
Steve Desmond worked for 38 years in the water environment field including 10 years hands-on experience in management, operation, and maintenance of small to medium sized secondary and advanced wastewater treatment systems, sanitary collection systems, and small water filtration and distribution systems. Steve was the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Operator Certification Program Coordinator for 21 years, retiring in 2010. His responsibilities included assessment of compliance, qualification of operator education, training and experience, certificate issue and revocation, development and administration of licensing examinations, and approval of continuing education. He also served as a Natural Resource Specialist with the Oregon DEQ and represented the DEQ at the Oregon Environmental Services Advisory Council for more than 20 years, serving as the Chair and Secretary of the OESAC for eight of those years.
Steve has served as a member and chair of ABC's Wastewater Treatment Validation and Examination (V&E) Committee and as a member of ABC’s Wastewater Collection V&E Committee. He is also a member of WEF and the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association.
Margaret Doss works as Water Quality Manager for the Columbia County (Georgia) Water Utility and serves as Chair of the Georgia State Board of Examiners for Certification of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators and Laboratory Analysts. Her B.S. in Microbiology is from Clemson University, and her Master of Education in Adult Education is from the University of Georgia. She holds certification as a wastewater lab analyst, water lab analyst, and wastewater treatment plant operator.
Margaret is a member of AWWA, WEF, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, and the Standard Methods Committee (Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, APHA/AWWA/WEF). She has served as a member of ABC’s Laboratory Analyst V&E, Strategic Planning, and Continuing Education Review Committees, as the ABC Wastewater Treatment Division Director, and is a former President of ABC.
Bob Hoyt is the Filtration Plant Manager for the City of Worcester 50 MGD Water Treatment Facility, and is vice chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities. He also serves on the Massachusetts Safe Drinking Water Act Assessment Advisory Committee, Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee, and as an AWWA Partnership for Safe Drinking Water PEAC water treatment plant evaluator. Bob holds Massachusetts Grade 4 (highest) water treatment and distribution certification. His career has included work as a water treatment laboratory chemist and a cross connection control inspector. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts. He is an active member of AWWA, Massachusetts Water Works Association, and New England Water Works Association (NEWWA), and serves on NEWWA's Filtration Committee. Bob was the recipient of the NEWWA Award of Merit in 2005, the AWWA George Warren Fuller Award in 2010, and the ABC Harris Seidel Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He has served as a member of ABC's Certification Committee and Water Treatment V&E Committee. He has also served as an ABC Board of Directors Member as both the President and the Water Treatment Division Director.
Richard Sarver worked in public health sector for 36 years. His first 15 years were with local government agencies and the last 21 were with the Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water. When he retired in 2011, he was recognized at both the national and state levels as an expert in operator certification, water system capacity development, and water infrastructure financing.
Rich initially worked as an Environmental Health Specialist. His primary responsibilities included assuring water and wastewater systems were properly designed, installed, and maintained to protect public health. Later, he helped develop the North Snohomish County Coordinated Water System Plan as a project manager.
At the state, Rich played a major role in development of policies, rules, and legislation governing public water systems. Rich supervised the Water System Support Section for 11 years. This unit implemented several programs, including operator certification. Amendments to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and other factors led to increased program support. He also led development and implementation of new state and federal public water system infrastructure funding programs.
Rich has a B.S. degree in Bacteriology and Public Health from Washington State University. He is a member and former president of the Washington State Environmental Health Association. He also served a 3-year term on the governing board of the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians.