Planning Committee

Todd P. Schwartz

Todd Schwartz served as Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the European American Chamber of Commerce (EACC) from 2017 to 2023, supporting the growth of trade and investment ties between Europe and the Greater Cincinnati Region.

Prior to joining the EACC, Mr. Schwartz was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. His twenty-eight year career as a diplomat included overseas tours in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Qatar, the Philippines, Kuwait (Counselor for Economic Affairs), Canada (Principal Officer in Winnipeg, Manitoba), and Iraq (Counselor for Economic Affairs). His assignments in Washington included tours as Director of the Office of Iraq Economic Affairs; Director of the Office of Iran Affairs; Assessor with the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service; and Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including three Superior Honor Awards, six Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award.

Mr. Schwartz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics at the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A father of four, he is married to the former Nancy Dye Sunderland of Dayton, Ohio. Nancy and Todd now reside in the Mount Washington area of Cincinnati.

Emily Hamilton
Innovation Advocate/Deal Flow Analyst, Cleveland Water Alliance

Emily Hamilton is a relationship management professional with a strong background in software and B2b services. Beginning her career in the start-up world, she excels in fast-paced environments and calls upon a blend of creative problem-solving and process development skills. She is passionate about identifying exciting technologies and assisting innovators in navigating stakeholder interests and the broader innovation ecosystem.

Sally C. Gutierrez

Sally Gutierrez is currently serving as the Acting Director of the Groundwater Characterization and Remediation Division in Ada, Oklahoma.  Since 2020 she has been a Senior Advisor in the Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response in USEPA’s Office of Research and Development in Cincinnati, Ohio. She continues to assist in the development of wastewater-based disease surveillance in communities, PFAS treatment, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Kaethe Beck

Kaethe Beck currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Operations with the Office of Innovation at the University of Cincinnati. In this role, she oversees operations for Innovation, corporate relations, commercialization for the university, and a large makerspace. Prior to assuming this role, Kaethe was the Director of Operations for Life Sciences in the Office of Research and Partnerships at Purdue University. There her efforts were focused on coordinating the six life science institutes, and serving as the strategic alliance manager for the largest research partnership the university had. Prior to that role, Kaethe was the managing director of a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence research center specializing in visual and data analytics. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, subsequently attending graduate school at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Kaethe began her career in technical sales for Bitplane (eventually purchased by Andor Technologies – Oxford Instruments), specializing in microscopy analysis software generally used for confocal imaging.

Alloy Growth

Antony Seppi

Antony Seppi is Vice-President of the Alloy Growth Lab (a Top 10 Business Incubator) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is responsible for coaching, strategy, partnership, programming, operations, and outreach within the "StartupCincy" community. Prior to that he was co-founder of an award winning incubator and water-tech accelerator program in Hamilton, OH.

Dean Amhaus President & CEO
The Water Council

Dean has served as the president and CEO of The Water Council since March 2010. His diverse, forty-year background in multiple sectors encapsulates a wide range of expertise in government relations, branding, fundraising, economic development and non-profit management in Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin.

Dean has also served as the president of the Spirit of Milwaukee, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing Milwaukee’s image, as well as the president of Forward Wisconsin, the state’s marketing economic development organization, and executive director of the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Commission and Wisconsin Arts Board. Dean began his career working in Washington, DC for a firm that advocated for federal policy issues for the arts, humanities, and people with disabilities.

Damian Georgino
Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP
Managing Partner, Sewickley Capital Partners, LLC
Attorney | Investor | Advisor | Speaker

Damian Georgino has a 30-year track record of advising clients in the water and wastewater, energy industrial, infrastructure, technology and natural resources sectors on highly complex transactions, regulatory and business challenges and opportunities.

He specifically focuses on rapidly growing and hyper-growth enterprises. As a member of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Energy & Natural Resources Sector Team and global leader of the Water & Wastewater Infrastructure sector team, Damian counsels executives and directors of companies ranging from emerging growth to Fortune 500, financial institutions and private equity funds to drive positive change and results with a multi-stakeholder prospective.

As an expert in corporate law, businesses, capital markets and corporate governance, Damian manages a broad array of issues for clients related to IPOs, equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and environmental, social and governance (ESG). Over the course of his career, he has negotiated, structured, and completed several hundred transactions. He also represents and advises boards of directors and special committees.

Damian’s broad industry experience and expertise has led to a long roster of speaking engagements. His interactive presentations engage audiences who are seeking insight into challenging business transactions, complicated  infrastructure issues and the complex regulatory environment.

In addition to his current roles at Womble Bond Dickinson, Damian is also Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Sewickley Capital Partners whose primary investments are in water, energy and infrastructure, a Board member of American Energy Partners Inc., a publicly traded environmental services company, an Advisory Board member of 374Water a NASDAQ listed company focused on sustainable wastewater management and Chair of the Emory University School of Law, Center for Transactional Law and Practice.

Michael A. Gonzalez PhD
Associate Director (Acting)
Land Remediation and Technology Division
Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response
US EPA - Office of Research and Development

Trained as a synthetic inorganic chemist for catalyst development, Michael joined the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) to become a pioneer and recognized global leader in the design of green and sustainable chemical synthesis routes. As his interests evolved with EPA priorities, he moved into the intersection of chemistry and chemical engineering. This includes the development of process intensified chemical pathways and using novel chemical reactor systems to influence chemical route and process design with an emphasis on Sustainable Materials Management Strategies and Pollution Prevention. Michael is also a co-inventor of EPA’s GREENSCOPE tool which can evaluate a chemical synthesis or process for its sustainability value in the areas of environment, efficiency, energy and economics.

These efforts were further extended into sustainability performance evaluation of chemical processes and supply chains, life cycle inventory and assessment, and multi-criteria decision-making. More recently, Michael has utilized his experience and knowledge for support ORDs efforts for advancing TSCA priorities for evaluating the life cycle impacts of chemicals and identified alternatives. Michael is named inventor on 10 US patents and patent applications and 6 world patents and has three licensed technologies in the market sector. Dr. Gonzalez received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Texas El Paso and graduate degree in Inorganic (Catalytic) Chemistry the University of Florida. Michael has held roles within ORD of Branch Chief, Division Director, Senior Science Advisor, Special Assistant (Cincinnati Water Cluster), and is currently the Associate Division Director for the Land Remediation and Technology Division.

Will Sarni, Founder and CEO
Water Foundry, LLC and
Founder and General Partner
The Future of Water Fund
720 341-7272

Will Sarni is the founder and CEO of Water Foundry a water strategy consultancy. He is also the Founder and General Partner of The Future of Water Fund, a water technology venture fund focused on addressing water scarcity, quality and equitable access to water. He has been a sustainability and water strategy advisor to multinationals, water technology companies, investors, and non-governmental organizations for his entire career.

Prior to Water Foundry, he was a managing director at Deloitte Consulting where he established and led the water strategy practice. He was the founder and CEO of DOMANI, a sustainability strategy firm, prior to Deloitte.

Will is an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation. He was ranked as; Worth Magazine Worthy 100 for 2022,  A Key Player Pressuring Businesses to Care About Water and one of the Top 15 Interviews In Smart Water Magazine 2019.

He is the author numerous publications on water strategy and innovation including the following books.

“Corporate Water Strategies” (Earthscan 2011, and in Chinese by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press 2013)
“Water Tech – A Guide to Investment, Innovation and Business Opportunities in the Water Sector” (Sarni, W. and Pechet, T., Routledge 2013)
“Beyond the Energy – Water – Food Nexus: New Strategies for 21st Century Growth” (Dō Sustainability 2015)
“Water Stewardship and Business Value: Creating Abundance from Scarcity” (Sarni, W., and Grant, D., Routledge 2018)
“Creating 21st Century Abundance through Public Policy Innovation: Moving Beyond Business as Usual” (Sarni, W. and Koch, G., Greenleaf Publishing 2018)
“Digital Water: New Technologies for a More Resilient, Secure and Equitable Water Future” (Routledge, 2021).
“Water, I Wonder” (Sarni, W and Dunnigan, T., Outskirts Press, September 2022).

Sarni is a co-founder of WetDATA and a host of the podcast, The Stream with Will and Tom. He is a board member of Silver Bullet, Project WET and the Rocky Mountain Rowing Club. He was the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for the WAITRO Global Water Innovation Summit 2020 and was on the Scientific Program Committee for Stockholm World Water Week from 2013 through 2019. His advisory work includes working with the 2020 X-PRIZE (Infinity Water Prize), as a Bold Visioneer for the 2016 X-PRIZE Safe Drinking Water Team and a Technical Advisor for the Climate Bonds Initiative: Nature- Based Solutions for Climate and Water Resilience. He is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Water Security.