Everyone is aware that baby boomers are retiring at an alarming rate. This creates numerous opportunities for employees to move into managerial positions. Our new Leadership Symposium will provide the management skills needed for those seeking career advancement.

This two day symposium in Yakima, WA September 26-27, 2019 will offer tracks for multiple levels of management including:

  • Becoming a lead or supervisor – what skills do you need to manage your peers?
  • Moving into mid-level management
  • Senior management and elected officials
  • Plus the annual Young Professional Summit will be taking place as part of this symposium


Daily Keynote Speakers

Thursday, September 26

George Hawkins
Former CEO and General
Manager of D.C. Water

George Hawkins, former CEO and general manager of DC Water, will deliver the keynote opening address on Thursday, September 26.

Hawkins launched his leadership and innovation-focused consulting business Moonshot LLC, and a parallel non-profit enterprise Moonshot Missions, after stepping down from DC Water, where he served for 11 years, including several as a Board member.

During his tenure, he became well known across the water sector for transforming DC Water into an innovative, customer-driven enterprise, while tripling its investment in clean water. DC Water’s innovations ranged from award-winning Green Infrastructure and a $500 million investment in clean energy to creative social media campaigns and patents for new treatment technologies that require less energy and chemicals but achieve better results.

Hawkins serves on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and is a strategic advisor to Xylem, Inc., one of the world’s largest water technology companies. He also is an Executive in Residence for XPV Water Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on innovative water technologies, and as a Professor of Practice for American University’s School of Public Affairs, where he teaches graduate students about urban development, infrastructure and innovation.

Prior to joining DC Water, Hawkins was Director of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and the Environment and served as Executive Director of several non-profit organizations in New Jersey, including the Watershed Institute. He previously held senior positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the law firm Ropes & Gray.

Hawkins graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University and Cum Laude from Harvard Law School and taught environmental law and policy for the Princeton Environmental Institute from 1999 to 2017.

Friday, September 27

Sam Davidson
Founder of Batch and
Cool People Care

Sam Davidson is an entrepreneur who has co-founded four companies, including Batch and Cool People Care.

In 2006, Sam co-founded Cool People Care, which connected people online (in a world before Twitter and Instagram) who wanted to make a difference with nonprofit organizations who badly needed new members, volunteers, donors, and supporters. In 2009, Cool People Care was named a “Top 10 social network for generation Y” by Mashable. Now, Cool People Care has grown a loyal following and leveraged its brand and reach to provide a line of inspirational merchandise that raises money and awareness for the world most important causes. With over 20 designs, Cool People Care makes a donation to a cause linked with each shirt it sells. You can find their line of apparel in stores around the U.S., as well as directly on its website. To date, Cool People Care has donated over $125,000 to some of the most important causes of the world.

More recently, in 2013, Davidson co-founded Batch, a gift and retail company whose unique offering allows customers and companies to experience a taste of iconic cities. Overseeing the company’s rapid and strategic growth as CEO, Davidson has helped Batch cross the $1 million annual revenue mark in less than two years. Batch is headquartered in Nashville, with operations in Austin, and offers gifts from iconic Southern cities.

At Batch, Sam has twice been named a “Most Admired CEO” by the Nashville Business Journal, and the company has been featured in local and national media.

These experiences inform Sam’s work (when he’s not starting a new company) related to entrepreneurship. Hearing the stories of other entrepreneurs – and living the entrepreneurial story himself – he has a keen insight into what it takes to generate an idea and then bring it to reality. His blog is a reflection of this, offering tips, insights, interviews, and advice for anyone who wants to start something new or live more deeply where they are.

Davidson has been quoted and featured in media outlets ranging from USA Today, NPR, Inc. and Southern Living, among others. He frequently travels and speaks to audiences ranging from large corporate conferences to college events, sharing his messages related to leadership and entrepreneurship in an effort to help his audiences understand what it takes to turn an idea into something real.

He lives in Nashville, TN, spending as much free time as possible with his seven-year-old daughter, who no longer just gives him her paintings. He has to buy them (he taught her well).


But Wait There is Much More…..

Panel Discussions with Manager from Innovative Utilities

  • Find out what your peers are doing differently
  • Inter-generational Communication – Keeping Your Entire Team Focused and Working Together

Annual Young Professional Summit – the very successful Young Professional Summit is back and part of our Leadership Symposium. If you are 35 years of age or younger or have less than 10 years in the water industry you won’t want to miss the Young Professional Summit on Thursday immediately following George Hawkins keynote.

To register for the YP Summit only – click the Thursday only option on the registration page (see the link below). HOWEVER – Why would you want to register for just one day when you can register for both days and take in the second day of the Leadership Symposium?  That would be like eating only the turkey on Thanksgiving and missing all the sides….the stuffing, mashed potatoes, the pie etc. So…..if you want the full meal deal, you want to expand your network to the fullest, you want to maximize the symposium experience you want to register for BOTH days.

YP Summit Agenda (once again Thursday only)

8am – 10am: Join all the Leadership Symposium attendees at the kickoff keynote with  George Hawkins formally of DC Water

10am – 10:30am: Icebreaker

10:30am – 12pm: Communication & Negotiation Workshop

12pm – 1pm: Lunch with all Leadership Symposium attendees

1pm – 3pm: Diversity & Inclusion Workshop

3pm – 4:30pm: Speaker – Sam Davidson

5pm-6pm: Networking Reception with all the Leadership Symposium attendees in the lobby. 


Registration Fees (includes breakfast and lunch each day – (yes we will be serving protein with your meal)

  • 2 Day Member Attendee Rate: $250; Non-member Rate: $300
  • Thursday Only Member Attendee Rate: $125; Non-member Rate: $165

Beginning September 1 rates increase $50 per person and any cancellations will be subject to a 25% cancellation fee. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Platinum Sponsorship (Only 1 Available) – Company logo on signage on the main stage for Thursday and Friday keynote speakers as well as on this website. Host of the Thursday Networking Reception from 5-6pm at the convention center with an opportunity to speak to the audience and share how your company cultivates leadership in its employees. (Food and beverage must be purchased by the sponsor through the convention center. )  $2,000
  • Gold Sponsorship (SOLD OUT) – Company logo on signage on the main stage for Thursday and Friday keynote speakers as well as on this website. $1,000
  • Silver Sponsorship (2 Available) – Company logo on signage in the technical session rooms for both days. $500


Click Here to see the 2019 PNWS Leadership Symposium Program


Click Here To Register!


Convention Center

Yakima Convention Center
10 N 8th St.
Yakima, WA 98901


Holiday Inn
802 E. Yakima Ave.
Yakima, WA 98901
(509) 494-7000

The block of rooms that we reserved for the Symposium are sold out. However, we understand their are still rooms available at this conveniently located hotel being offered at the market rate.


General Inquiry or Registration Questions

Email PNWS or call 503-760-6460

Gold Sponsors

RH2 Engineering Carollo Jacobs Kennedy Jenks Consultants