2017 A&WMA Outstanding Young Professional Award

The Outstanding Young Professional Award recognizes an individual who is pursuing excellence in their career and has made a valuable contribution to A&WMA by serving in a leadership position. To be eligible, a candidate must be a young professional working in the environmental profession. A young professional is defined by the Association as being 35 years of age or younger.

Any Association member can submit nominations for this award. The nominee's contribution to A&WMA must be documented to include leadership at the local level and/or the international level. Evidence may be provided in the form of references containing personal testimonies or corroboration of committee, section, chapter, and/or council experiences; commendations from the Board of Directors and/or other professional associations or societies; commendations from governmental and/or private sector groups.

Selection will be based on how the individual provided leadership for the A&WMA at the local (Section, Chapter) level and/or the international (Association) level, and how the individual is actively pursuing excellence in his or her environmental career

A&WMA presents the 2017 Outstanding Young Professional Award to Laura Cremer, P.E.

Cremer has been a member of A&WMA since she joined her university’s student chapter more than 10 years ago. After being asked by another member to help plan an event for the chapter, she became inspired by the comradery the chapter and its members offered. Very early on, Cremer saw the benefits of networking outside the classroom with her peers and environmental professionals and attributes her continual Association membership to the experiences and friendships she’s made along the way.

While completing her bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Cremer became increasingly active at the student and local levels. In particular, she was responsible for organizing student trips to attend the A&WMA Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) held in Detroit, MI, and the following year in Calgary, Alberta. It was during her first trip to ACE that she realized how much more she could be getting out of her Association membership because it connected her to thousands of other environmental professionals around the world. After networking with fellow young professionals at ACE, Cremer sought more ways to volunteer and she has been working with the Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) ever since.

Cremer was appointed to the YPAC in 2010 and was responsible for supporting committee needs. She worked on the marketing strategy for the “Free One Year Membership Gift” for graduating students and helped collect graduating student information throughout the year. In 2011, she worked with the YPAC Vitality Committee to develop a YP “Tool Kit” for student members. The purpose of this Tool Kit is to facilitate the transition between a student and a young professional by providing access and guidance to membership benefits. In order to better connect with members via the Tool Kit, Cremer and fellow YP Paul Algu thought it was important to include a welcome video. Together, they produced and filmed the welcome video from across the country and without the need of financial support. The Tool Kit and welcome video debuted at the 2012 ACE in San Antonio. The Tool Kit got more attention than was ever expected and has since been distributed to more than 200 students and YPs.

After the production of the Tool Kit, Cremer served as Chair of the Vitality Committee on other student-to-YP-related projects and served on the Board of Directors Membership Committee as a liaison to the YPAC. She also co-produced the student career webinar series that focused on topics relating to millennials, graduating students, and social networking. In 2015, Cremer moved into her current role as the Communications Chair and is responsible for editing and publishing the YPAC Newsletter.

In her professional career, Cremer has worked in government, consulting, and industry. She started as an engineering intern for the State of California at the Regional Water Quality Control Board while in school, serving on several different program groups, including Industrial Stormwater Section, Section 401/404 Permitting Section, and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Review Section. Her time at the Water Board helped her gain a tremendous amount of environmental regulatory compliance experience.

After graduating in 2010, Cremer accepted a job at a small engineering and EHS compliance consulting firm called Otis Institute Inc. in the San Francisco Bay Area. During her two years at Otis, Cremer worked directly under a Professional Engineer on multidisciplinary projects, which helped further develop her engineering and compliance skills. She became specialized in stormwater quality compliance for industrial facilities and was assigned to work on a Corrective Action Plan for a tidal marsh cleanup project in the Bay Area. The project involved strategic planning to remove pre-production plastic pellets (also known as “nurdles”) and trash from the tidal marsh area, while minimizing adverse impact during cleanup operations to endangered and threatened species, and to ensure the health of the estuary and wetlands and any other biologically sensitive area. The project went on to support stormwater quality regulation specific to pre-production plastic in California.

Cremer currently works for Praxair Inc. as an environmental compliance specialist. She is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California and is responsible for managing overall regulatory environmental compliance and environmental permitting for more than 20 industrial gas manufacturing plants in the Western United States region. Throughout her life and career, Cremer embodies a passion for leading conscious efforts toward environmental stewardship and being a positive influence for those around her.


Outstanding Young Professional Award

Past Winners
Nomination Form
Nomination deadline for the 2018 award is November 1, 2017.