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Meet the Panelists:




Biji George, COO, DC Water


Biju George is responsible for the performance management of all operations. He participates in the implementation of the Authority’s strategic plan and works with the Chief Financial Officer in overseeing the development of operating budgets and operating policies. Additionally, Mr. George reviews divisions’ operational and financial performance and meets with department heads to discuss the feasibility of strategic initiatives.

Mr. George represents the Authority at Board of Directors’ meetings, congressional meetings and meetings with the general public as needed. He also assists the General Manager in developing and implementing the Authority’s business plans.

Mr. George joined the Authority from Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Metropolitan Sewer District and Stormwater Utility, where he was the Deputy Director of Water and Sewers. In that position, Mr. George provided strategy for all wastewater, stormwater and drinking water operations. Mr. George also served as the drinking water utility’s interim executive director from 2011 to 2013. Mr. George was principally involved in the integration of three utility enterprises (wastewater, stormwater and drinking water) into a unified enterprise.

Mr. George has more than 27 years of diversified technical and management experience. He is recognized as a leader in treatment technology and science, and is both published writer and a frequent speaker, and the past Assistant Superintendent of the 240 MGD Mill Creek Plant. More recently, Mr. George was principally involved in building a public sector contracting service that now generates $10 million in revenue, and has helped Greater Cincinnati Waterworks maintain an AAA rating, despite difficult economic times.

Mr. George is the 2014 recipient of the Innovator of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. George has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the PDA College of Engineering at Gulbarga University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Ohio.

Javier Fernandez, CFO, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)

Javier Fernandez joined OPPD in June 2017 as vice president and chief financial officer.

Fernandez came to OPPD from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), U.S. Department of Energy, in Portland, Oregon. He had been with the federal power marketing organization since 2012, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He previously served as senior vice president of Fixed Income Capital Markets for D.A. Davidson & Company and vice president of Public Finance for Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation.

Before joining BPA, Fernandez served for three years as senior vice president with D.A. Davidson & Co., a financial services firm, and seven years with Seattle-Northwest Securities, where he performed public finance banking and financial advisory services to municipal jurisdictions, primarily in Oregon.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Yale University, a Utility Management Certificate from Willamette University, and a Utility Executive Certificate from the University of Idaho.

Fernandez and his wife, Belinda, have three young children.

Italo Freitas, AESÍtalo Freitas, CEO, AES Tiete

Ítalo Tadeu de Carvalho Freitas Filho has been the President of AES Brazil Generation since April 2016. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Pernambuco University Polytechnic School, and Master’s degree from the University of Campinas, both in Brazil, as well as a MBA in Finance from the University of Murcia, Spain. He is a certified CMRP (Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional, USA) and CFAM (Certified Fellow in Asset Management, AMCouncil, Australia). In the past five years he has performed the following functions: (i) Operations Vice President AES Generation Business (ii) Operations and Maintenance Director of AES Tietê and AES Uruguaiana from June 2009 to May 2013; (iii) Maintenance and Operations Director of AES Uruguaiana from May 2007 to June 2009; and (iiii) Engineering and Performance Manager of AES Cartagena, Spain, from March 2004 to May 2007.

Michael Salvato, Vice President, Infrastructure Advisory Services, Mott MacDonald

Michael A. Salvato is currently the Vice President, Infrastructure Advisory Services at Mott MacDonald. Previously, he was the Director and Program Executive for Enterprise Information and Asset Management at the NY State Metropolitan Transportation Authority. With a physical infrastructure valued at nearly $1 trillion, the MTA is the largest provider of public transportation in the United States, serving over 8 million passengers every day. The MTA has embarked on a transformational journey to introduce strategic asset management, enterprise business processes and new information technologies, which Michael leads.

Michael is currently the County Vice President of the Institute of Asset Management advancing the interests of asset owners and managers in the United States and around the world. Michael was on the Public Sector Advisory Board of Blueprint 2025, a 50-state, bi-partisan coalition creating a roadmap for doubling the level of infrastructure investments, creating jobs and driving growth in the United States. He was a member of the US Delegation (PC 251) that wrote the new ISO 55000 standard for asset management in January 2014. Prior to joining the MTA, Michael worked at the New York City Partnership on technology-based economic development and served as the Executive Director of the New York Software Industry Association.

Calvin Farr, Assistant Commission, City of Atlanta, Department of Watershed Management 

Calvin D. Farr, Jr., P.E. serves as the Assistant Commissioner for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management (DWM), the department responsible for the City’s drinking water and wastewater systems.  Mr. Farr is responsible for the general management of DWM’s Engineering Services, Water Treatment and Reclamation, Watershed Protection, Linear Infrastructure Operations, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Farr is assisting with the organizational transformation into an industry leader focused on high performance, quality customer service, and trend-setting innovation.  

Under Mr. Farr’s operational responsibilities is a 5-year capital improvements program estimated at $1.2 billion, which includes the $350 million Raw Water Supply Program and a number of wastewater facility improvements for the City.  He’s also responsible for the implementation of the $4 billion Clean Water Atlanta Program aimed at the elimination of sanitary sewer overflows.  Mr. Farr is also helping to drive innovative system improvements that significantly address the triple bottom line, including green infrastructure initiatives, capacity relief projects, stormwater mitigation strategies, and enhanced asset management practices. 

Mr. Farr has over 20 years of private and public sector experience.  He’s led asset management programs aimed at identifying operational and capital improvement needs.  Mr. Farr has overseen condition assessment of water/wastewater underground infrastructure, prioritization of design & construction, enhanced maintenance efforts, enhanced inspection protocols, life-cycle cost analyses, and strategies to improve levels of service to ratepayers.  His efforts have driven water and wastewater reconstruction programs in excess of $1 billion.  And he’s been heavily involved in Consent Decree negotiations, management, and implementation for a number of large wastewater systems.

Mr. Farr received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Old Dominion University, his Master of Environmental Engineering degree from the Johns Hopkins University, and his Master of Public Management degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.  He also graduated from the NFBPA Executive Leadership Institute and the Water and Wastewater Leadership.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

Casey Denny, Chief Asset Officer, Columbus Regional Airport Authority

Casey Denny began working at airports 30 years ago, starting at his home town airport in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and progressing through Scottsdale Airport, San Francisco International, and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Since 2015 he has served as the Chief Asset Officer for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees two international airports and a general aviation facility.

Throughout his career Casey has been heavily involved in operations, maintenance, and development, specializing the last 20 years in military base re-use and asset renewal. In his current role, he oversees approximately $1 billion in physical infrastructure, facilities, and equipment.

Casey holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, where he also taught undergraduate and graduate level classes in airport management and planning. He is an Accredited Airport Executive, past president of the Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives, past president of the Arizona Airports Association, and former aviation industry advisory board member for both Arizona State University and East Valley Institute of Technology.

Matt Kuhn, BEng CEng FICE,
Programme Director, Jacobs

Matt is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with more than 19 years’ wide-ranging experience in design, risk, project management and contract administration of water infrastructure, coastal, flood alleviation, remediation and river engineering projects. Considerable experience in both the strategic management of portfolios of projects and the direct management of large complex schemes, including design and build commissions for all types of water infrastructure. Currently Programme Director on the Thames Estuary Asset Management programme (TEAM2100), a UK Government Top 40 Infrastructure Programme delivering £308m of investment on tidal flood defence improvements across the Tidal Thames.