Community Involvement & STEM

SSP&A is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities in which our employees live and work.

The company matches employee’s contributions to non-profit organizations that help the less fortunate and organizations that work to improve the quality of life in our communities. The company also encourages employees to be actively involved in water resource related community organizations and other community activities.

Some examples of our community involvement are listed below:

Local Government Involvement

Matt Tonkin, President of SSP&A, served as Village President for the Village of Williamsfield, Illinois, from May 2019 through April 2023. In this volunteer role Matt has assisted the Village in a wide range of duties including securing grant funds for, and providing oversight to the implementation of, two substantial water projects to replace distribution lines, install a 30,000 gallon ground level storage tank, and upgrade the reverse osmosis (RO) treatment system. Other contributions included establishing a Committee to guide Village park renovations, securing a grant for renovation of the Village Hall following storm damage, annual road resurfacing, and working with Village trustees on budgeting, policing, and other general infrastructure maintenance activities.

Charles Andrews served as chairman of the Montgomery County, Maryland Water Resources Advisory Group from 2004 to 2007. This advisory group is appointed by the County Council and advises the Council and County Executive on policies, programs and priorities to improve and restore the quality of the County’s streams and groundwater.

Gil Barth served as an appointed member of the Boulder Water Resource Advisory Board from 2003 to 2007. This board reviews capital improvement projects, utility master plans and advises the City Council on policy issues.

Traffic Calming Measures

Dominique Sorel was nominated for recognition at a February, 2009 event staged by the Council for Economic and Social Development (CDEC) called “Recognizing movers and shakers in Cote-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grace (CDN/NDG) neighborhoods" in Montreal, Quebec. Dominique is an NDG resident and has been working for many years for the implementation of traffic-calming measures. She has presented briefs on pedestrian safety and traffic and has done a great deal to raise awareness among the general public. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Ecology Centre.

Alternate Modes of Transportation

SSP&A encourages its employees to walk and cycle to work. Maryland/DC employees Jim Cousins and Charles Andrews were recipients of the Bethesda Bike Spirit Award in 2006 and 2007, respectively. This award is given annually by the local government to a commuter in the Bethesda area that consistently bicycles to work.


Watershed Cleanup

The primary pollutant in many of our urban watershed is trash. Shown below is Charles Andrews directing some volunteers in the cleanup of Rock Creek in Kensington, Maryland in April 2007.


Engineers Without Borders

Debbie Hathaway spent a week in a rural village in the Ecuadorian Andes in April, joining an Engineers without Borders team, to improve water delivery within a series of rudimentary potable water supply lines and to evaluate the feasibility of providing dry season irrigation water from a series of partially constructed, also rudimentary, irrigation water lines.


Expanding Your Horizons – a STEM Career Day

Kathy Mihm and Erica DiFilippo will be volunteering in Stevenson University’s “Expanding Your Horizons – a STEM Career Day” this October. The goal of this event is to introduce middle school girls to careers in STEM fields. Staff members from SSP&A volunteered at this event last year, providing a short workshop on geology, hydrology and geochemistry. 

Recipients of Matching Grants

Organizations that have recently received matching grants from SSP&A include:

  • Friends of Rock Creek
  • International Crane Foundation
  • So Others Might Eat (SOME), Washington DC Area
  • Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Dept.
  • Community Tax Aid
  • Master Chorale
  • Rio Grande Restoration
  • Neighbors' Consejo
  • Friends of the Urban Forest
  • Raphael House
  • East Bay Agency for Children
  • San Francisco Food Bank
  • A Friendly Manor
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Trust for Public Lands
    • Larkin Street Youth Services
    • Helping Hooves
    • Roadrunner Food Bank
    • Northwest Medical Teams
    • AmeriCares
    • International Red Cross
    • American Red Cross
    • American Jewish World Services
    • Veterans for Peace, United Way of America
    • America's Second Harvest
    • Times Relief Fund
    • Department of Geology at the University of Alabama
    • St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota