This semester's judges are environmental experts in water specifically. Learn more about our featured judges below.
Fall 2018 Water Campaign Judging Panel
Nancy Hersman – Mayor Pro Tem, Manhattan Beach City Council
Nancy is the Mayor Pro Tem of the Manhattan Beach City Council. Nancy, an attorney and a Manhattan Beach resident for 16 years, is presently serving on the MB City’s Planning Commission, and formerly has served the City and community on the Parks & Recreation Commission, and as a member of the MBUSD Board of Trustees. Nancy has also worked with numerous organizations, including Program Director for the MB Mayor’s Youth Council for two years.
Shaya Kirkpatrick – Co-Founder, Grades of Green
Shaya is a co-founder of Grades of Green. Previously, Shaya was a founding member of Planet Pals, an environmental program working with schools in Southern California to help children take a hands-on approach to help the environment. Shaya received the Environmental Hero Award by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in 2011, and the 2008 Environmental SBBEC Steward of the Year Award. Shaya also received the Congressional Commendation Award for her exceptional efforts in promoting environmental conservation. In 2009, Shaya was the recipient of the Environmental Award from the Environmental Protection Agency which recognizes individuals and groups outside of the EPA who are working to protect public health and the environment. Shaya started her Interior Design career at the offices of Intradesign, Inc. in 1988 and worked on major hotel projects around the world.
George McGraw – Founder, DigDeep
George McGraw runs DigDeep in Los Angeles, which he founded. DigDeep is the only global water organization working in the U.S. -- empowering the millions of Americans without running water or basic plumbing to build and manage their own water systems, including the award-winning Navajo Water Project. George is an avid speaker, writer and university lecturer. He has been published by the New York Times, the Nation and several law reviews; he has been profiled by NPR, Vice and CBS News, and he has spoken at events hosted by the Clinton Foundation, WeDay, the World YMCA, and Ford. George was recently named one of the 17 "Local Globalists" by the UN Foundation and is a member of Nexus. He has a Masters in International Law and Conflict Management from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Kaylee Weatherly – Public Information Officer, Long Beach Water Department
Kaylee is a Public Information Officer at Long Beach Water Department. and manages the department’s media relations and award-winning digital and communications strategies. She has worked in public affairs and public relations for six years in water and energy efficiency organizations. She is a Board member of the California Association of Public Information Officials and a member of the Association of California Water Agencies Communications Committee and the Southern California Water Committee Public Education Task Force. She is passionate about creating long-term water use efficiency in the state through story-telling, education and digital and social media.
Grace Woo – Assistant Water Resource Specialist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Grace Woo is an Assistant Water Resource Specialist at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She manages a contract with the Council for Watershed Health for a pilot school water conservation program in underserved communities. She also conducts water savings analysis for landscape irrigation, commercial, and industrial water savings projects through Metropolitan’s pay-for-performance “Water Savings Incentive Program.” Grace received her B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Natalie Kra – Project Manager, Optima Energy INC
Natalie is a Project Manager at Optima Energy INC. Natalie manages and coordinates Optima Energy’s Nest Thermostat Program. She coordinates energy efficiency upgrades for multi-family residential buildings, helping conserve millions of kWh each month. She specializes in developing and implementing strategies that inspire and mobilize California community members to take action for the environment.
Ariel Russ – Sustainability Initiatives Manager, Macmillon
Ariel is a Sustainability Initiatives Manager at Macmillon, a global publisher of books, textbooks, and digital learning media. Before Macmillan, Ariel was a Sustainability Intern at DanoneWave. She recently earned her Masters of Environmental Management program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she honed her skills in empowering corporations to engage in the appropriate corporate sustainability strategies to minimize environmental and social risks across their supply chains.
Alisha Auringer – Manager of the Environment, LAcarGUY
Alisha is the Manager of the Environment at LAcarGUY. She is also the Director of Sustainability at Sullivan Automitve Group.
Jennifer LaMarque – South Bay Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn
Jennifer is the South Bay Deputy to LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, representing the 4th district.
Scarlett Tovar – Student Employee, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
Scarlett is a Student Employee at Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, where she conducts public outreach and coordination, special program administration and project management of various activities undertaken by the Public Information Office. She graduated in 2016 with B.S. in Environmental Planning focused in Water Management from U.C. Davis. This December, Scarlett will complete the requirements to obtain a Masters in Geological Sciences focused in Environmental Hydrogeology.