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Our Team

Michael J. Horner

Michael J. Horner
Director of Administration and Membership

Mike Horner has worked for the NAWC for more than 20 years and is our Director of Administration and Membership. Mike has had a variety of duties over the years, ranging from publishing a quarterly magazine and planning events to managing the organization's finances.

Prior to joining the organization, he worked for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and Bachner Communications, a public relations firm specializing in association management. Mike is a native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. He serves as a Chief Election Officer in Arlington, VA, and is an avid dog owner, softball player and drummer.

Marybeth LeonginiMarybeth Leongini
Director of Communications   

Marybeth is responsible for the external positioning and overall communications strategy for NAWC. She brings over fifteen years of experience in marketing and public relations to the team. Throughout her career she has worked on behalf of a wide range of industries including health care, financial services, transportation and manufacturing.

Her most recent position prior to joining NAWC was serving as vice president, communications and marketing for the Consumer Bankers Association where she oversaw all marketing and public relations initiatives. During her tenure with CBA, her media relations efforts centered on proactively positioning and raising the profile of CBA, CBA’s leadership and key events and programs.

She also has the unique experience of having worked on the agency side of the business where she was responsible for developing and implementing strategic communication plans for B2B clients as well as new client acquisition. Marybeth holds a bachelor's degree from Belmont Abbey College and a master's degree in mass communications/public relations from the University of South Carolina. She currently resides in Alexandria, VA.

Jean Smith

Jean Smith
Executive Assistant

Jean Smith is executive assistant to Michael Deane and provides overall office and administrative support to our entire team. Jean has extensive senior management support experience specific to the unique needs of associations, including serving as Senior Coordinator, Communications and Government Relations at the National Association of Manufacturers and as Executive Assistant and Office Manager with the American Public Works Association.

   Grace Soderberg
   Director of State Regulatory Relations

   Grace Soderberg directs NAWC’s state regulatory
   strategy and leads the regulatory program
   including outreach to state utility commissions
   across the country. Grace builds and enhances
   constructive relationships across utility sectors to
   facilitate NAWC’s efforts through collaborations
   with association partners. This enhances the NAWC's
   work with the National Association of Regulatory
   Utility Commissioners as well as particular states and                                        
commissions where NAWC can have a direct impact on the regulatory environment
in which its members work every day to deliver sustainable water and wastewater services to customers.

Grace brings a wealth of experience in regulatory policy and rate regulation. Grace comes to NAWC from Pepco Holdings, Inc. where she was Manager of Regulatory Affairs. Prior to PHI, Grace was Director, Energy Supply, at the Edison Electric Institute. She started her career in utility regulation, following a federal judicial clerkship, as Assistant General Counsel at NARUC, where she led their energy and environmental activities.

Grace has over ten years of solid industry experience possessing the “big picture” perspective on critical environmental and energy issues. She has long-standing relationships with key stakeholders to facilitate meaningful collaboration and strategic alliances. Her unique trade association experience representing the collective interests of state commissions and shareholder-owned electric companies in the national policy debate was enhanced by experience analyzing and implementing regulatory strategy within a regulated multistate Fortune 500 combination electric and gas utility.  Grace has a Juris Doctor degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. She lives in Garrett Park, Maryland with her husband and young daughter.

Colleen Newman

Colleen Newman
Director, Government Relations

Colleen Newman has worked on energy and environmental policy issues in both the public and private sectors for over 24 years. She served as a policy advisor to Puerto Rico’s former Governor Luis Fortuño in Washington D.C. In that role, she worked with government officials in Puerto Rico to develop strategies to diversify Puerto Rico’s

energy generation mix from diesel and bunker fuels to cleaner and cheaper sources of energy such as natural gas, solar and wind technologies. In addition, she worked closely with various federal agencies to obtain funding and technical support for infrastructure projects on the island. 

Prior to joining the Governor’s office, she worked for Congressman Fortuño on the Hill and advised him on energy, natural resources, and agriculture issues. Ms. Newman has also spent several years working in the private sector. Prior to joining NAWC, she served as the principal liaison to Capitol Hill for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. She also held legislative and regulatory policy roles with the law firm of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts and Stone, P.C. and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
Ms. Newman has a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD and a M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia.

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