WRA's 38th Annual

Recognition Dinner


September 21, 2021
5:30 – 9:30 PM


The Grand Pavilion
640 Waterworks Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Hosted By:

Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin
Board of Directors

A Letter From WRA

Since WRA members last gathered together in 2019, we have faced tremendous challenges in serving our communities.

Our members have been tested while continuing to provide critical services such as drinking water, wastewater treatment, and power in the face of natural disasters and a persistent global pandemic.  The Delaware River port complex, first in the nation for fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat, instituted extra health-care precautions to keep workers safe and supply chains open.  Those with responsibilities for managing stormwater responded, improvised and innovated to protect us all.  Food and beverage suppliers and other manufacturers quickly pivoted to update product lines and distribution strategies to meet customer needs, comply with constantly changing health and safety requirements, and overcome supply chain limitations.

We said goodbye to Dennis Rochford, president of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay.  

“Dennis’ passing marks the end of an era for the Maritime Exchange, as he provided the vision and direction for our nonprofit for the past three decades. His reach was tremendous, and it is felt not only in Delaware but across the country. We will miss him greatly,” Maritime Executive Vice President Lisa Himber told the Delaware Business Times.

Despite these challenges, tonight, we have an opportunity to celebrate our honorees, and each other.  Thank you for being here with us.  Thank you for your expertise and hard work, especially during the past eighteen months.  America is a great country, in part because people like you serve with such dedication.  We hope you enjoy the evening.  


Board of Directors, The Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin

About The Event

The Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin’s Board of Directors is pleased to celebrate our 38th Annual Recognition Dinner at the beautiful Water Works on the Schuylkill River. This evening we honor remarkable leadership, vision and stewardship in water resource management by individuals, environmental organizations, government agencies, and companies from across the Basin.

We invite you to enjoy a Dad’s Hat Whiskey tasting and exclusive cocktail during our happy hour, along with the champagne bar, Cescaphe’s Schuylkill Punch, and a full mixed beverage selection. Greet friends and colleagues as you sample from our dining options including Surf & Turf, and a full range of delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes as we toast to a year of determination, innovation, and strength in community with a focus on a promising future.

A WRA tradition, the Wine Pull starts when the doors open.  Stop by, buy a cork, and try your luck with our version of the lottery (everyone leaves with a bottle!).  The Silent Auction, which will close at 8:15pm, includes Eagles tickets, Apple’s quintessential Air Pods, and art and jewelry from some of our Board Members’ favorite artists.

Thank you for being here tonight to honor our Awardees, and for all you do to support WRA and the communities and ecosystems throughout the Delaware River Basin.  

A Special Thanks to Our Silent Auction Co-Chairs: 

Krista Scheirer, Aqua America

Kim Scarborough, PSEG 

And Our Wine Pull Chair:

Zach Keegan, AECOM


We’re delighted to celebrate with you tonight. Here’s a schedule at-a-glance:

5:30 – 7:00 PM  |  Meet and Greet, Dine and Drink

Enjoy an exclusive event cocktail from Dad’s Hat Whiskey!

5:30PM  |  Wine Pull: Buy your cork for WRA’s version of the lottery!

If you’re interested in participating, please click here to donate $20 to our wine pull.

7:00 – 7:50PM  |  Awards Ceremony

Presented By: Skelly Holmbeck, Executive Director & Jennifer Garigliano, Board Chair

Dr. Ruth Patrick Excellence in Education Award:
Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. Jane Galetto, Board President accepting

Achievement Award:
Bill Reichert, President Schuylkill Headwaters Association.
Awarded onsite in the headwaters September 16th

Special Recognition Award:
American Littoral Society. Tim Dillingham, Executive Director accepting

Business & Industry Award:
Jeff Theobald, Executive Director, PhilaPort. Ayanna Williams, Director Government and Public Affairs accepting

Government Award:
City of Wilmington Wetlands Park.
Kelly Williams, Wilmington Commissioner of Public Works accepting

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Ed Bonner, Chief Regulatory Branch, US Army Corp of Engineers

Samuel S. Baxter Memorial Award:
Gerard Esposito
Guest Presenter: David Small, Environmental Services Director, Duffield Associates; former Secretary, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Followed by dessert, coffee bar, & conversation.

8:15 pm  |  Silent Auction Closed

The Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin’s 38th Recognition Dinner celebrates leadership, innovation and stewardship in water resources, sustainability and resilience across the Basin.

Award Recipients

Celebrating the projects and individual contributions that advance the sustainable management of the Delaware River Basin.


Gerard Esposito

In recognition of an exemplary career in sound water resources management and significant contributions in advancing clean water initiatives in the Delaware River Basin.


Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River & Its Tributaries

For leadership in public education, fieldwork, research, volunteerism and advocacy for the Wild and Scenic Maurice River watershed known as Down Jersey.


Bill Reichert, President Schuylkill Headwaters Association

For dedication to improving the health and vitality of the Schuylkill River headwaters and upstream communities.


American Littoral Society

For leading pioneering conservation & resilience work to restore Cooks Beach, Reeds Beach and other critical locations along the Delaware Bayshore.


Jeffrey Theobald, Executive Director PhilaPort

For strategic vision and leadership in advancing the Delaware River Deepening Project while protecting the Atlantic Sturgeon and opening the first new port at PhilaPort in 45 years, strengthening the economy of our region for generations.


City of Wilmington

For its multi-year collaborative approach to develop the South Wilmington Wetlands Park, which creates a stormwater management facility, restores and enhances existing wetlands and creates a new park for the community.


Ed Bonner, Chief Regulatory Branch US Army Corp of Engineers

In grateful recognition of an exemplary career in environmental stewardship, significant contributions to sound wetland and water resources management and thoughtful public service in the Delaware River Basin.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Cocktail Sponsors

Partner Sponsors

Friend Sponsors

Tweet using #waterislife

Be sure to @WRADRB to share your moments and memories

Check back after the event for photography from the evening, captured by Chris Kendig

Closing Remarks

What WRA Stands For

WRA promotes the science-based management of water resources within the Delaware River Basin to protect all water dependent uses and enhance the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the river system.


WRA Achieves this by:

  • Representing the needs and interests of water users in the Delaware River Basin in multi-stakeholder initiatives and with regulatory agencies
  • Advancing principles of comprehensive water resources planning based on sound science and policy
  • Promoting a balanced approach that recognizes the economic, social, and environmental importance of the Basin ’s water resources.


How WRA Works

WRA serves as a critical resource to its members – water professionals, water purveyors, and commercial, industrial, and maritime river users – as they collaborate with other stakeholders to maintain the Delaware River as a working river and promote principles of sustainability and resiliency. WRA’s efforts have become even more important recognizing the fiscal challenges faced by regulatory agencies in the region, and the acute need to respond to climate related impacts in a manner that will maintain and expand the multi-dimensional values of the Delaware River watershed.