Congratulations to the 2019 AWWA Hawaii Section Award Recipients!
Please congratulate them if you see them!


2019 George Warren Fuller Award Recipient: 


The George Warren Fuller Award is presented annually by the American Water Works Association to the Sections’ respective selected member for their distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of sound engineering skill, brilliant diplomatic talent, and constructive leadership which characterized the life of George Warren Fuller.

Joanna Seto’s service to the Hawaii Section and water industry exemplifies the ideals of the George Warren Fuller Award. Joanna has been a member of the Hawaii Section since April 2012, and has served the Hawaii Section in numerous capacities:

  • 2011-2013 - Government Trustee

  • 2013-2014 - Vice Chair, Strategic Planning Committee Chair

  • 2014-2015 - Chair

  • 2015-2016 - Past Chair, Awards and Scholarship Committee Chair

  • 2017-2018 - Nominating Committee Chair

  • 2017-2019 - Website Committee Chair

In 1995, Joanna joined the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Environmental Management Division, Clean Water Branch (CWB) as an Environmental Engineer. In addition to implementing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permitting Program (NPDES) along with her co-workers, she was are primarily responsible for amending the Water Pollution Control Rules and maintenance of the Clean Water Branch website.  Since 2011, she has been the Engineering Program Manager of the Safe Drinking Water Branch (SDWB) where she oversees the Public Water System Supervision Program; Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and Set-Aside Program (DWSRF); Sanitary Surveys; Groundwater, Source Water, and Wellhead Protection; Underground Injection Control Program; Backflow and Cross-Connection Control; Water Protection Coordination, and Administrative responsibilities of the SDWB.

Fuller Award Winners (L-R): 2010 Paul Kemp, 2007 Susan Uyesugi, 2019 Joanna Seto, 2013 Daryl Hiromoto

Fuller Award Winners (L-R): 2010 Paul Kemp, 2007 Susan Uyesugi, 2019 Joanna Seto, 2013 Daryl Hiromoto

Beyond all of that, the Joanna also supports the following initiatives: Staff participation in Project WET (Water Education For Teachers); Annual funding for small regulated water system staff to attend the Pacific Water Conference; Annual funding of Hawaii Water Works Association conference to facilitate emergency response discussions, water audit education and the Hawaii Water Agency Response Network (HIWARN); partnering with or supporting non-jurisdictional initiatives to enhance public health protection, like the testing for lead in drinking water in schools; investigations into waterborne pathogen occurrence in hospitals; and modeling the impacts of Hawaii’s cesspools on ground water.

She was selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Committee on Younger Members (CYM) to receive the 2002 ASCE Co-National Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award.  Joanna was also active in the ASCE Hawaii Section as: Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, President, Past President, and Webmaster. She held the position of 2001 Secretary of the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies and served on the Education Committee of the Consulting Engineers Council of Hawaii. 

Joanna graduated from Iolani School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a licensed civil engineer in the State of Hawaii since 1994. She is married to her husband, Goodwin, and they have a daughter Kayla and son Jared. During her spare time, Joanna enjoys reading, walking, and taking videos and photos of her family and friends.


2019 Outstanding Section Member Award Recipient:


The purpose of this award is to recognize a member who, through their interest and demonstrated activity, has contributed significantly to the progress and well-being of the Hawaii Section AWWA, but who has not otherwise previously been recognized.

Manufacturer Trustee and Conference Exhibits Chair, Rich Hopkins, has been an integral part of the AWWA Hawaii Section, and though he does not live here, he has made the annual conference exhibition into the success that it is today.

2019 Scholarship Award Recipients:

This year the Hawaii Section gave two academic scholarships of $3,000 each.


Alison is the daughter of AWWA-Hawaii Section Member Lisa and Bruce Appelgate. She is a senior in high school with a 3.9 GPA. She has decided to study neuro-biology and neuro-science. Sounds simple enough to me. She then wants to continue on in college to get her medical degree and become a pediatrician. She has not decided yet on her college, but hopes to stay in her home state of California. She lives, eats and sleeps running. Alison was chosen captain for cross country, and also captain of her long distance team for Track and Field. She works part-time and has already moved up the ranks at her job.


Sabrina is an active member of the AWWA-Hawaii section. She is working on her Doctorate at UH Manoa and only has a 4.0 GPA, all A+ except maybe one class. Her studies include Molecular biology and Bio-Reactor Design and Analysis. She is now working on Iron Reducing bacteria as a possible alternative wastewater treatment. After graduate school she hopes to work at a consulting firm and work in the reclaimed water side, looking at managing or mitigating biofilm and also do design work with biological treatment. Sabrina has worked as an Environmental Advisor, which took her to Honduras, as well as a project manager for a University of Toronto Drinking Water Advisory group. She is also active with student clubs at UH Manoa.

2019 One AWWA Scholarship Award Recipient:

This is the first year that the One AWWA Operator Scholarship of $1,000 was given out by the Hawaii Section.


Our first ever One AWWA Scholarship winner is Ash Hooks. Mr. Hooks has been a Water Treatment Plant Operator from 2013. He is an operator primarily at the new Iao Water Treatment Plant in Wailuku, Maui, for the Maui Department of Water Supply. He plans on attending this and other conferences to gain knowledge related to water quality and water treatment and earn his needed CEU’s. Congratulations Ash for earning this scholarship.

Last Updated: 03/13/2019_JS