International Ozone Association

Pan American Group (PAG) 

2024-2025 Executive Committee (EC)

Denise Funk, PE, BCEE, President

Denise Funk is the National Specialty Leader for Oxidation and Disinfection at Brown and Caldwell, an environmental engineering firm with more than 2,000 employees in North America. Denise has been working in the water sector for over thirty years. Her ozone experience includes planning, piloting, applied research, design, and engineering services during construction, as well as the optimization of existing facilities, working closely with operations and maintenance staff. Denise has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer with AAEES. 

Jim Lauria, President-Elect

Jim Lauria is Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Mazzei Injector, a fluid design company that manufactures ozone mixing and contacting systems. He is a leader in the water treatment field with a proven track record of revenue growth, profit improvement and new business development. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Manhattan College, Jim has traveled extensively benchmarking the world’s best water management practices. As a writer, Jim has published feature and cover articles for most of the leading water industry publications in the U.S. and many top international magazines. His blog posts about global water issues have received accolades from all levels of industry and government. In 2004 he provided peer review for the World Health Organization's publication on drinking water treatment making him a Who's Who of WHO.

Ariel Atkinson, PhD, Secretary

Dr. Ariel Atkinson is the Project Manager for the Applied Water Quality Research Group at the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Ariel works with engineers, postdocs, and student interns on applied research projects in support of full-scale operations at SNWA and LVVWD’s drinking water treatment facilities, distribution system, and groundwater wells; as well as leading externally funded projects with the WRF, USBR, and WaterStart. She has conducted ozone research at bench, pilot, and full-scale. Prior to SNWA, Ariel received her BS in Chemistry from Appalachian State University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy from North Carolina State University, and PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Ariel also was a postdoctoral researcher at the Nanotechnology Research Center at Arizona State University. Ariel formed the inaugural Rookie Ozone Professional, Enthusiast, and Student (ROPES) committee in IOA-PAG, has been the IOA-PAG Conference Technical Program Chair, and is looking forward to continuing to contribute to IOA on the PAG Executive Committee.

Richard Rosik, Treasurer

Experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the industrial atmospheric gas market. Keen ability to develop cryogenic solutions as well as develop and maintain strong customer relations. Highly adaptable to integrating product solutions to market demands. Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Global Business Development, from University of St. Thomas - Opus College of Business.

Nick Burns, PE, Past President

Nick Burns is a consulting engineer with Black & Veatch located in Dallas, TX.  He started his career operating an ozone pilot plant and now is responsible for the testing, design, and commissioning of ozone facilities around the world.  Nick enjoys promoting the technology, continuously learning more about the uses, and conveying that information onto others.  Nick is currently working on ozone for water reuse applications and control of algal toxins.

Ben Kuhnel, PE, Vice President

Ben Kuhnel is a consulting engineer working for Stantec in San Diego, CA. He has worked on design, startup, and optimization of ozone projects at municipal water treatment plants. Ben is currently serving as a Deputy Program Manager for the City of San Diego Pure Water Program. He is happy to support the IOA-PAG Executive Committee in the effort to advance the external knowledge of “good” ozone.

Bill Mundy, Vice President

Bill Mundy is General Manager of Utilities for the City of Kenora, Ontario, Canada. Bill has 23 years experience in water and wastewater treatment systems, including an extensive background in process optimization.

Saad Jasim, PhD, P.Eng., Vice President

Dr. Jasim received his B.SC. from Baghdad University, Iraq, and his PhD & MSC, from University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom. He currently serves as President, SJ Environmental Consultants (Windsor) Inc., Windsor, ON; Editor-in-Chief, Ozone News-International Ozone Association; and Adjunct Professor, University of Windsor-Teaching a Graduate Course (Masters) “Water Treatment & Reuse”. He is the recipient of the “2022 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OPEA)-Engineering Medal for Entrepreneurship”, and the 2023 Harvey Rosen Award for the paper published in the Ozone Science & Engineering Journal, “Critical Review and Research Needs of Ozone Applications Related to Virus Inactivation: Potential Implications for SARS-CoV-2”.

Dr. Jasim is the first Canadian to become President of the International Ozone Association (2020-2022), is a member of the Advisory Board for New York University-Abu Dhabi Water Research Centre (2022-25), and is a member of the Multicultural Council Foundation, Windsor and Essex County, Canada (2022-2024). He introduced Ozone as Primary Disinfectant in Windsor, the First City in Ontario, in 2001. Dr. Jasim has solved many challenges in drinking water quality, the latest being solving the Arsenic and Manganese problem in drinking water in White Rock, BC, CA (2019). He has served as the Director, Great Lakes Regional Office-International Joint Commission (IJC) for Canada and USA, and is the founding CEO for the Walkerton Clean Water Centre following the outbreak tragedy in Walkerton. Dr. Jasim designed and successfully implemented ozone application for water reuse for Green House operations in Leamington, ON, Canada, has submitted Patents for Design of Water Systems, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Ozone Science & Engineering Journal. He has received many awards for his work, supervised PHD and Master students, and published and presented many papers on water treatment and water quality.

Tony Sacco, Vice President

Tony Sacco is the cofounder and Managing Director of Spartan Environmental Technologies, LLC.  Spartan supplies ozone and advanced oxidation systems for water treatment to industrial and commercial customers in North America.  Prior to founding Spartan in 2004, Tony was the General Manager of Business Units for ELTECH Systems Corporation a manufacturer of chemical process equipment.  Before, ELTECH he was the General Manager for RPM Ventures a manufacturer of specialty materials for rechargeable batteries.  He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a MBA from Cleveland State University.  Tony has been a member of the IOA since 2004 and looks forward to being a part of the Executive Operating Committee to promote the activities of the IOA.

Eric Wert, PhD, PE, Advisor

Dr. Eric Wert is the Water Quality Research and Development Manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority. His work has focused on the use of ozone for drinking water and water reuse applications in bench-scale, pilot-scale, and full-scale systems. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University, M.Eng. in Environmental Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Nevada. Dr. Wert has been a member of the IOA since 2002, and is the International IOA President for the 2024-25 term.

Daniel W. Smith, OC, FRSC, FCAE, Peng., PhD, Advisor

Having started studies of ozone in cold regions for water (1971) and wastewater treatment (1975), Dan became a member of IOA in 1979.  He has published many papers in IOA documents, served as President of PAG and on the Boards of PAG and IOA Int’l.  He was elected to the Academy of Canadian Engineering (1997), Royal Society of Canada (2004) and Officer of the Order of Canada (2013).

He served in the U.S. Public Health Service, was an Assistant Professor in Environmental Quality Engineering at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Head of the Northern Technology Centre, Environment Canada, Senior Engineer at R & M Consultants, Anchorage, AK, and Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, University of Alberta.  He graduated 144 students with graduate degrees (39 Ph.D.s) and has published several award winning papers.

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