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Global Water Center Helped Bring Women of Water Together in Milwaukee

S Bence

During the opening of the Global Water Center last September, a conversation among women whose professions involve water, evolved from casual to inspired.

Women of Water was born. We hear from a few of a few of the professions drawn to the  group.

Carrie Bristoll-Groll – Principal Civil Engineer, Stormwater Solutions Engineering, Women of Water Co-founder

"At the grand opening of the Global Water Center in September we saw all of these women around, which is pretty unusual because I’m in a kind of male-dominated field. We started to see where our paths cross and how we can help each other in trying to make a better future for water, we decided we needed to get together on a regular basis and so now we get together once a month, or more often. We have around 55 women on the mailing list and anywhere between 10 and 30 show up at each event. We hang out and talk about how we connect and there’s a lot of awesome, organic things that are happening out of that."

Laurie Parsons – President, Natural Resource Technology

"I am a water resource engineer by training so that is where my passion is, it’s always been water. A year ago I moved my company of 50 people – now we are 80 - from Pewaukee down to be close to the Global Water Center. I am convinced the water hub is growing here. When I was thinking about what to do with my company, how to grow it, how to evolve it, I met with a few people very connected with this thing that is happening and I looked them in the eye and I’m convinced that it is happening. The Women of Water group is a way to network that I have never experienced before."

Tess Massaroni – Field Engineer, Mortenson Construction

"I went to Marquette and graduated in December. My background in engineering was a lot of environmental-engineering based, so I knew even going into construction, I didn’t was to lose track of something I was very passionate about which is water and the environment. So walking in here, I was a little bit nervous, but also very excited to soak it all in and learn from people who know a lot more than I do."

Carol Strackbein – Corporate Secretary, Rice Technology

"My partner developed a water leak detection system. When you have a water leak in your home, it turns off the water automatically and lets you know by email or text that your water has been turned off. We’ve been part of the Global Water Center start up program over the last year. It’s been a fantastic experience. I worked in the wastewater industry for close to 35 years; I also served as president of the Wastewater Operators Convention. I was one of the first people to do that."

Linda Reid – Director of the Institute for Water Business, UW- Whitewater, Women of Water Co-founder

"A number of us women talked about how traditionally this field has very much been male-driven. We really enjoyed one another’s company and sharing stories about our careers and our passion for water and we decided we need to get together more often. We’re hoping to bring in more young women who are getting into the field and women who might not have thought they were women of water, but who are."

Nadia Bogue – Environmental Project Coordinator, 16th Street Community Health Centers

"I work on the rehabilitation of the Kinnickinnic River; so we look at ways to work with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District with their KK River flood management program in conjunction with improving quality of life for residents who are living in the area. I started coming to Women of Water sessions about six months ago. It’s been wonderful and I actually just met a new woman tonight. People are coming together from all different backgrounds, professional and interests."

Marian Singer – Cofounder & CEO, WelIntel

"We are a groundwater level sensing technology. A little sensor sits on top of a well and then the well owner can use the information to proactively to manage their well. My partner and I are Milwaukee-based and intend to stay here. We’re bringing on the engineering smarts to get us to the right place. This is my first time attending a Women of Water Gathering. My friend just told me about it and said come!"

Rosheen Styczinski – Principal, New Eden Landscape Architecture

"We basically design water drainage, we design the outdoor environment and through my experience, I find that I’m working with all the different players of the water world. When I started my business, I wanted to connect with women professionals to help each other to become stronger in the business environment. I worked in an architectural engineering firm, and Carrie Bristol-Groll (Women of Water co-founder) was one of the women they mentioned frequently, so I connected with her."

Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.
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