Event Cover Image
Event Image
Does your organization have DEI initiatives in place? Have you ever thought about implementing or expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices at your organization? Have you ever felt like you didn’t know where or how to start? Where to focus and who to involve? Or have you tried, and it didn’t go as expected? Were there more hurdles than progress?


These feelings are very common even if the intentions are solid and the needs are real. There has been a growing interest and investment from organizations in DEI efforts. This journey faces bumps in the road, challenges, and successes.
Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA) has been intentionally working and developing VIBE – [Diverse Voices, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity] – since March 2021. VIBE celebrates our similarities and differences and fosters a culture where every employee can thrive. VIBE strives to create an inclusive work environment and increase employee engagement and trust. PWCSA has incorporated VIBE into its leadership system, performance management, community partnerships, and more.
For this Thoughtful Tuesday event, join PWCSA General Manager/CEO, Calvin Farr, and HR Generalist II, Heren Mekonnen, to learn about their journey of DEI in the workplace. This will be a thought-provoking session to talk, think, and learn about the importance of building an inclusive workforce and environment and how to overcome the challenges. Bring your questions and suggestions!


About our presenters

Calvin D. Farr, Jr., PE
General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Prince William County Service Authority

Calvin D. Farr, Jr., is the General Manager/CEO of the Prince William County Service Authority, a role he has been serving in since May 2021. Mr. Farr leads a workforce of over 350 employees in providing water and wastewater services to more than 380,000 people in Prince William County. During his tenure, Mr. Farr has managed an update of the organization’s Mission and Vision and the creation of its 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. Under his leadership, the Service Authority has focused on delivering an Exceptional Customer Experience, being a Workplace of Choice, providing Environmental Leadership & Community Engagement, maintaining Sustainable Operations and Financial Stewardship, and encouraging Continuous Improvement & Innovation.
Mr. Farr’s previous general management and executive leadership roles were with the City of Richmond, VA, the City of Atlanta, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. He is a current Board Member of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Upper Occoquan Service Authority, the US Water Alliance, and is currently the Chairman of the US Water Alliance’s One Water Council.
Mr. Farr has extensive leadership experience in the water and wastewater industry; is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia; and serves on numerous national industry boards. Mr. Farr holds an Executive Master of Public Management from the University of Maryland, a Master of Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Old Dominion University.

Heren Mekonnen, SHRM-CP
Human Resources Generalist II – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Prince William County Service Authority

Heren Mekonnen joined the Prince William County Service Authority in February 2023. She is currently a Human Resources Generalist II supporting the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (VIBE) initiative at the Service Authority. Prior to her employment with the Service Authority, Ms. Mekonnen served in different HR roles within the Education industry. Ms. Mekonnen holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of Virginia. She holds a SHRM-CP through the Society of Human Resource Management.
About Thoughtful Tuesdays
The VA AWWA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee launches “Thoughtful Tuesdays” – our monthly virtual event with guest speakers, facilitated discussions, case studies, podcast and Ted Talk reviews, stories, and inclusion/best practice shares for the VA AWWA community that allows us to increase awareness and education, engage our membership and have courageous conversations on DEI topics.