Recognizing the faces of the industry

May 16, 2023
This issue of Stormwater Solutions higlights the 2023 Class of Young Pros and this year's Industry Icon.

“It’s about the people.” 

It is a notion we hear a lot in the water industry. And it never rang truer than when I talked with this year’s Industry Icon, Fernando Pasquel, and the 2023 Young Pros class. These annual awards programs are two of my favorite opportunities Stormwater Solutions offers. Getting to talk with industry veterans and the next generation is always enlightening, and normally, all of those being recognized share similar sentiments. This year, it kept coming back to the people.  

One 2023 Young Pro said “your skills in life will help you become successful, but your employees are what make you successful.” Another said “In life and work, to trust the process. In work and water, listen to the people that occupy the places.” 

When I spoke with colleagues of Pasquel, the same theme kept coming up. Not only did his colleagues say Pasquel’s “enthusiasm for the industry is contagious,” but they also noted that he is a collaborative and reminds all his colleagues – especially younger professionals – to have fun. And it makes sense. In my interview with Pasquel, he called this industry a “people business.” Whether is it between co-workers, clients or even competitors, Pasquel said collaboration and trust are what are going to make the industry successful. For more on this year’s Young Pros, visit page 12. And to read about Pasquel’s career, check out page 8. 

In addition, this issue also includes articles on compliance and permitting, green infrastructure and flood mitigation. In our compliance feature, look at how multiple U.S. cities handle permitting and compliancy to make stormwater management more efficient. On page 22, read about a recent report, Pathways to Living Cities: A Policy and Governance Framework, a collaboration between Green Communities Canada and researchers at the University of Toronto, that examines how green infrastructure can benefit cities. And finally, in our flood mitigation feature, learn how climate change-driven increases in future precipitation are predicted to make flooding worse, leading to a redesign of a Massachusetts highway.  

I hope you find this issue entertaining, educational and informative. In addition to these print articles, we also post weekly web exclusive content on our new website, The website has had a slight makeover and update, but it is still home to the same content you’ve come to enjoy. As always, my inbox is open to questions, comments and suggestions. Talk soon!  

About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Stormwater Solutions, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Stormwater Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected].