APWA/FOX VALLEY’S NEW PRESIDENT
Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick, Inc. (HLR) congratulates our very own Karen Kase on her new role as President of the APWA Fox Valley Branch!
Karen is HLR’s Natural Resource Manager and an environmental biologist with over 17 years of experience managing environmental concerns on public works, utility, roadway, and construction projects. Her expertise includes green infrastructure design/build, environmental inspection, ensuring compliance with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and county soil erosion and sediment control requirements. She has designed, installed, and monitored compensatory wetland mitigation sites and is knowledgeable with identifying invasive species and efficient maintenance techniques for eradication including mowing, cutting, herbiciding, and controlled-burning practices. She provides leadership and mentoring for her team of environmental biologists as well as the college interns who join us each summer.
Karen has been a part of the APWA for nine years and we asked her to give us her thoughts on what the organization has meant to her:
“Being a part of APWA has been a very rewarding and fun experience for me. I started feeling more involved when I became the Chair of the Fox Valley Scholarship Committee back in 2013 which I continued until 2018. It helped me get to know more people, but it was also really fun to get to interview and meet with the scholarship applicants. I highly recommend joining a committee. APWA is one of those things that the more you give to it, the more you get out of it. I was lucky to get selected to do the international Emerging Leaders Program, which was an intensive, year-long program with 14 young leaders from around North America. It was fantastic and eye-opening. The “finale” was presenting our year-long project at the national PWX conference in Minneapolis. It was the first time I presented at PWX, which was exciting (and nerve wracking) enough that I continued to submit and provide presentations at PWXs for the next few years. My biggest APWA excitement came in 2019. The Chicago Chapter International Committee partnered with Municipal Engineering Foundation Victoria (MEFV) for a Study Tour Grant to travel to Australia, attend the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) International Conference, and meet with dozens of public works professionals in the greater Melbourne area of Victoria. It was the first year the grant was offered, and I was so lucky to be chosen as the inaugural guinea pig. The trip was incredible. I wrote about it in the APWA Reporter and did several presentations when I returned. I’m very happy and proud to be working now as the International Committee Co-chair so that we can continue this program and send two grant recipients in 2022!