Thursday, May 05, 2016
Text Size

Site Search

Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Water Leaders Program

Colorado Water Leaders Program

"My expectations of the program were not only met, but exceeded. I am already using what I learned in the program in my personal and professional life, and I find myself telling people about what I learned all the time... it was truly a life changing program and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity."
-A 2015 Water Leaders Graduate

CFWE's Water Leaders program offers the opportunity to develop your leadership potential. Since 2006, the program has provided training in conflict resolution, communication and management to participants across Colorado, helping them become more effective leaders. Program participants benefit from extensive self-assessment, executive coaching, networking opportunities and application of learning to water issues statewide. Water Leaders is open to mid-level professionals in Colorado with a demonstrated commitment to water resources and career development. Program admission is based on competitive criteria.

photo 31web


The program's goal is to positively impact the Colorado water profession by developing a pipeline of emerging water leaders across various diverse fields with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of Colorado water. In partnership with Cheryl Benedict of MORF Consulting, participants receive extensive training in skills related to navigating conflict and diversity, leading self and others, and effective problem-solving. You will leave the program with a better understanding of your strengths and how to utilitze them, your challenges and how to work on them, skills to enhance your staff and team management work, and a network of peers to further your career growth. Classes take place around the state so participants can tour facilities, meet a range of professionals and hear about regional issues in Colorado water.

Welcome and congratulations to the 2016 Water Leaders class:

Ryan Christianson, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Shannon Hatch, Tamarisk Coalition
Korey Kadrmas, RJH Consultants, Inc.
Andrew Kirsch, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District
April Long, City of Aspen
Bill McCormick, Colorado Division of Water Resources
Julie McKay, Boulder County
Katy Neusteter, Global Greengrants Fund
Trish Oeth, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Jessica Pault-Atiase, City of Boulder Attorney's Office
Jayla Poppleton, Colorado Foundation for Water Education
Kelly Romero-Heaney, City of Steamboat Springs
Kevin Terry, Trout Unlimited
Edward Tolen, La Plata Archulete Water District
Meg White, The Nature Conservancy
Scott Winter, Colorado Springs Utilities

Click here for a full list of Water Leaders Alumni. An active group of more than 100 alumni engage in networking events and regular ongoing leadership offerings. 

Read what recent graduates are saying:

"This is an amazing program with incredible foresight. While the goal is developing future water leaders, as important is the connections that are created among diverse participants. This connection, along with the feeling of responsibility that comes from the selective process of the program, sets an incredible foundation for conversation and collaboration statewide on the future of water in Colorado." 

"The richness and diversity of the experience was fantastic—I really appreciated that many different aspects of water in Colorado were covered, either through the speakers brought in or through the field trips."

"I have a much greater understanding of my strengths and weaknesses due to the coaching from Cheryl and the assesments. I also enjoyed hearing and learning from others in the class with different perspectives and communication styles. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of such an amazing program and group of people!"

"The issue of water in Colorado is very complex, and the Water Leaders program will continue to pay dividends down the road as alumni continue moving into positions of higher leadership. The training and relationships will help us come together to tackle these problems in the future." 

Sign up to receive notifications about the 2017 course, or contact Kristin Maharg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

Thank you to:

Thank you to the following Water Leaders alumni and employer organizations, who contributed over $4000 to provide scholarships for the 2016 Water Leaders class.

20120729 WilsonWater LogoFINAL-COLOR  


Tammy Allen

Amy Beatie

Laura Belanger

Rich Belt

Cheryl Benedict

Matt Brown

Kelly Close

Dave Colvin

Sean Cronin

Adam Cwiklin

Jordan Dimick

Heather Dutton

Angie Fowler

Daria Giron

David Graf

Hillary Hamann

Eric Hecox

Scott Hummer

Emily Hunt

Dawn Jewell

Greg Johnson

Laurna Kaatz

Kristin Maharg

Steve Malers

Mark McCluskey

Erin Messner

Mary Presecan

Klint Reedy

Susan Ryan

Stephanie Scott

Nicole Seltzer

David Skuodas

Zach Smith

Laurel Stadjuhar

Andrew Todd

James VanShaar

Rob White

Kristina Wynne