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Committee for the Professional Development of Women

The mission of the Committee for the Professional Development of Women (CPDW) is to draw upon the unique perspectives and talents of women to further the goals of the Association and to encourage women's participation and involvement in the environmental profession. The committee is open to any member of the Association who is willing to participate in its activities.

Annual Conference Workshop
Each year, the CPDW plans the Women's Professional Development Luncheon & Workshop at the Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE). The 2021 panel, Women to Women: Sharing Pathways to Successful Leadership, featured three accomplished women discussing their path to leadership, including barriers to entry, how they navigated their path to success, and advice they offer others still on the path.


Commitee Chair: Sonia Melançon, Ph.D., Chemist, City of Montreal Air Quality Network

Sonia Melançon is a chemist for Montreal’s air quality network called Réseau de surveillance de la qualité de l’air at Ville de Montréal. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry (2003, Université de Montréal) and a doctoral degree in environmental science (2008, University of Windsor). She has a solid background in analytical and environmental chemistry with over 10 years of professional experience at Ville de Montréal in the environmental division. She is responsible for air quality data validation and the development of quality assurance and quality control procedures. She has participated in more than 30 conferences in both English and French and co-wrote a book chapter entitled Airshed Management in Air Quality Management: Canadian Perspectives on a Global Issue (2004, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht). Sonia is the Chair for The Committee for the Professional Development of Women of the Education Council.

ACE 2021 Local Host Chair: Liz Foeller, Area Environmental Protection Manager, Waste Management Inc. of Florida

Liz is the Area Environmental Protection Manager for the Florida operations of Waste Management. In this position, she oversees the permitting and compliance activities for all media including air, water, waste, and tanks for the collection facilities, post-collection facilities, and recycling facilities. Specifically, Liz provides leadership and guidance to the environmental protection team and operations personnel in Florida to ensure the facility operations and documentation meet or exceed the local, state, and federal regulatory requirements at all times. Further, Liz leads the environmental advocacy for environmental statutes and regulations within the State of Florida. Liz has been part of the Florida operations for four years and has been practicing environmental engineering in Florida for over 20 years. Liz has both an M.S. and B.S. in Environmental and Civil Engineering and is a licensed engineer in Florida. In addition to these responsibilities, Liz also serves as the Vice President for the Finance Committee on the A&WMA International BOD, the Executive Secretary for the Florida Section A&WMA, and as a Director on the BOD for the Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste.