Meet the Team

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WaterStart Team

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Breanna Bensoua

Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

Breanna Bensoua serves as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance where she is tasked with managing WaterStart's marketing and branding programs and initiatives. Breanna began her career as a creative, earning her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Chapman University in Orange, California and has also worked as marketing and recruitment manager at Hope International University.

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Carmen Nunez

Administrative Assistant

Carmen Núñez is the Administrative Assistant to the Executive and Deputy Directors at WaterStart. In this position, Carmen provides assistance to the team and serves as the primary contact for external offices, providing technical and logistical support for multiple projects, meetings, conferences and workshops. Carmen joined WaterStart in 2018. Most of her working years, she has been in the non-profit sector. Prior to her position at WaterStart, she served as an administrative assistant at the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative for the Clinton Foundation that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty.

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Dan Langford

Director of Innovation

Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

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Danielle Smith

Public Relations Specialist

Danielle Smith is Public Relations Specialist for Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), managing all public relations and social media efforts for both LVGEA and WaterStart. Previously, she served as Account Executive at Kirvin Doak Communications, Nevada’s largest communications agency, representing MGM Resorts International on the launch teams of high-profile resort openings coast to coast. 

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Josh Prigge

Channels Manager

Josh Prigge is a sustainability consultant with over a decade of experience managing sustainability programs and initiatives for large organizations. Prigge is the founder and CEO of Sustridge, a Las Vegas-based sustainability consulting firm. Prior to founding Sustridge in 2017, Prigge worked as the Director of Regenerative Development at Fetzer wine company, Sustainability Coordinator at Hawai’i Pacific University and served as President of the Sustainability Association of Hawai`i.

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Kevin Fisher

Chief Technology Advisor

Kevin has over 30 years of experience in the water industry, including five years in the geothermal and nuclear industries. During this tenure at the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) he was instrumental in the development of the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) Emergency Response initiatives and the innovative SCADA control strategy which balances improvements in water quality with energy management. During his service, LVVWD maintenance practices were documented as being leading edge for the water utility industry.

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Kim Fridman

Project Coordinator

Kim Fridman is Project Coordinator for WaterStart Australia. She facilitates project delivery and stakeholder management within Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this role, Kim worked on the program management team at the Queensland Government’s Innovation Division. Kim is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship and played a key role in delivering Advance Queensland programs to assist startups to grow and scale. She utilizes her expertise to deliver 

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Nathan Allen

Executive Director

Nathan Allen is the Executive Director of WaterStart. Nathan has a long track record of successful program management. Past experience includes assistant scientist at Biosphere 2 and sustainability coordinator at Arizona State University.

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Nick Shewring

General Manager, Australia

Entrepreneurship is in Nick’s blood. He is constantly looking at opportunities to do better and go beyond the expected. From his time at Air New Zealand where he led the charge on mobile product innovation, through to the constant evolution of the coworking industry with BizDojo, and now to rethinking innovation in the WaterTech space with his role as GM for WaterStart in Australia.

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Rebecca Shanahan

Deputy Director

Prior to joining WaterStart in 2013, Rebecca spent 14 years working on water resources management issues for the Southern Nevada Water Authority gaining an intimate perspective of the challenges in obtaining, treating, and delivering consistently high-quality water to a growing community. While at SNWA, she developed and managed the evaporation data collection and analysis program to support groundwater-basin hydrologic budgets and water-right appropriations, scientific studies for species protected by the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Nevada Revised statutes, and other federal policies, and negotiations for contractual third-party agreements.

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Board Members

Board Members

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Cindy Ortega

Board Member

SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer at MGM Resorts International

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Cindy Ortega is Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Corporate Sustainability Division of MGM Resorts International. She oversees the development and implementation of strategies for environmental sustainability and awareness throughout the company.

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Dave Johnson

Chairman

Deputy General Manager Engineering and Operations, Southern Nevada Water Authority

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David L. Johnson is the Deputy General Manager of Engineering and Operations for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority. Mr. Johnson has been with the agency since 2004, previously holding the position as director of the Water Quality & Treatment department for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

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Dr. Kristen Averyt

Board Member

President, Desert Research Institute

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Kristen Averyt, PhD serves as the eighth President of the Desert Research Institute – a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. Averyt joined DRI in July 2017 after being appointed by the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education in February 2017.

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Jonas Peterson

Board Member

President & CEO of Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance

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Jonas Peterson serves as President and CEO of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA). In that role, he leads a talented team focused on strengthening the regional economy and positioning LVGEA as a national leader in community and economic development.

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Kristopher Sanchez

Board Member

Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

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Kristopher Sanchez serves as the Interim Executive Director for the State of Nevada, Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). Mr. Sanchez, previously worked as GOED's Director of International Trade and a Congressional staffer in the United States House of Representatives.

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Louise Dudley

Board member

Queensland Urban Utilities

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Louise has been Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Urban Utilities since 2012, and prior to this, was the utility’s founding Chief Financial Officer. Preceding QUU’s formation, Louise held several senior management roles at Brisbane City Council as well as 17 years with leading accounting and advisory firm, KPMG. Louise currently serves as Chair of the Customer In Leadership Committee – a sub-committee of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA).  She is also a board director of WSAA and AWA (Australian Water Association).

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Marie-Claude Bourgie

Board Member

OneDrop

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Marie-Claude cumulates over fifteen years’ experience in International Development, during which she combined her academic background in environment and in finance to cultivate an expertise in project financing. She is currently the Chief Development Officer​​ at the One Drop Foundation, where she is responsible for the overall fundraising and partnership strategy of the organisation. She has joined One Drop in 2014, initially as the Director of Operations, overseeing the International Programs in Latin America, West Africa and India.   

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Mark Foree

Board Member

General Manager, Truckee Meadows Water Authority

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Mark Foree serves as General Manager at Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA). Mark has worked for TMWA since its formation in 2001 and worked as Manager of Engineering before being promoted to Director of Water Operations in 2002 and General Manager since 2008.

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Pat Mulroy

Board Member

Maki Distinguished Faculty at DRI, Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy, Brookings Mountain West Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, UNLV

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Pat Mulroy is a Brookings nonresident senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program located at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. She also serves as the senior faculty advisor for water resources and technology at the Desert Research Institute. Mulroy also served as the general manager of SNWA for twenty-five years.

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Steve Hill

Secretary

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)

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Steve Hill serves as secretary of the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development and is the president and COO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority (LVCVA).

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WaterStart creates channels for knowledge sharing among global leaders and removes common barriers for the adoption of innovative technologies, in the delivery, management, and conservation of water.

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