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Jeremiah Church2017 Conference Presenter

Meritorious Service Award
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The recipient must have been actively involved in most aspects of backflow prevention and cross-connection control for a minimum of fifteen years. This must include one of the listed categories in their field, AND one or more additional categories:

  • Administer cross connection control programs.
  • Providing training, instruction in cross-connection control and backflow prevention.
  • Install, repair and/or test of backflow prevention devices and assemblies.
  • Work in public health or for a regulatory agency dealing with backflow prevention.
  • Manufacture or supply backflow prevention equipment, parts, etc.
  • Design and/or approve plumbing and construction plans and specifications relating to backflow prevention.
  • Involved in legislative aspects of backflow prevention and cross-connection control with Boards, Councils, and other elected or appointed officials.

And one of the following:

  • Actively participate in the Association as a committee member or officer.
  • Actively participate in a similar group or organization that promotes cross connection control and backflow prevention.

Previous recipients are not eligible for consideration for this award.

The nominee should currently be involved in some aspect of cross-connection control and backflow prevention.

Nomination Process:

  • Prepare a written nomination which includes:
  • Name of the individual
  • List involvement in the area of cross connection control and backflow prevention
  • Justification for award
  • Contact information for nominator
  • Send the completed nomination to the National Office.

Selection Process:

Nominees will be forwarded to the Meritorious Award Sub-committee which shall consist of the 5 most recent recipients of Meritorious Service Award. The sub-committee Chair shall be the 5th most recent recipient. If this person is unable to serve, the remaining members will select the Chair.

The Sub-committee shall evaluate the nominees and shall submit no more than three final nominees to all the past Meritorious Service Award recipients for a final decision of the recipient. The Sub-committee shall make arrangements for the presentation at the Awards Banquet Ceremony during ABPA's International Education Conference.  



Bill Wong

2017 Meritorious Service Award Recipient

The Meritorious Service Award is the highest award ABPA can bestow on an individual. It was established to recognize an individual whose sustained and longstanding service to the ABPA is at a level far above their contemporaries.  This service is not just to ABPA alone, but has also advanced the field of cross-connection control for everyone’s benefit.

This year, ABPA recognized the contributions of Mr. Bill Wong.  After receiving a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Long Beach, Bill launched his accomplished career at the City of Long Beach Water Department.  In a few years, he returned to his home state of Hawaii to be a Sanitary Engineer with the Hawaii Department of Health, and became the Program Manager for the State of Hawaii Drinking Water Program in 1991, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

Among his many duties he was also the State’s Cross-Connection Control Program Administrator. Bill was responsible for establishing CCC Programs on all the Hawaiian Islands. He started the Hawaii Chapter of the ABPA, and brought the association’s Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester Certification to Hawaii. 

Being a true champion for safe drinking water, his efforts went well beyond his normal job duties. Helping the various Water Departments caused him to roll up his sleeves and take more than just an administrative role. The isolation of the Hawaiian Islands offers some challenges to providing safe drinking water that goes well beyond drought restrictions.   When the nearest source of land or aquifer is 2500 miles away, you learn the value of clean drinking water.

In his retirement, Bill has remained active in the industry.  He organizes an annual Chapter conference that brings in guest speakers from the mainland to maintain the technical skills of backflow professionals.  At any National or Western Regional conference, Bill can be found working the tables at the Silent Auction. His is an example of a life well-lived.

Rich Koenig
2016 Meritorious Service Award Recipient 

Mr. Rich Koenig has dedicated much of his career to public water supply systems, water quality, and cross-connection control programs. Since 1990, he has been employed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, as a Water Supply Specialist, performing inspections of public water supply systems, and including evaluations of cross-connection control programs. He has served as a water operator and a water well industry professional, and is currently a licensed backflow tester and repair technician in Nebraska. He previously served as Chair of the Nebraska Section of the American Water Works Association, is currently serving as Chair of the Nebraska Cross-Connection Committee in AWWA, and was presented with the AWWA Fuller Award in 2001, given to “select members for their distinguished service to the water supply field.”

Few people have been as extensively involved with the ABPA over the past twenty years. Rich served as International President from 2005-2007, and currently serves as Region 12 Director, the Chair of the Bylaws Committee, and on the Administrative Policy and Procedures, and Position Statements, Committees, as well as on other committees over the years. He was instrumental in the thorough bylaws review conducted by the Board of Directors in 2014/2015.

Rich represents the ABPA with distinction and honor. His continuing commitment to the Association, and to the backflow prevention industry, in general, and his dedication to promoting safe drinking water, made him the ideal candidate for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award.


 Mike Ahlee
2015 Meritorious Service Award Recipient

The American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) is an Association of volunteers dedicated to a common interest in maintaining the quality of public drinking water through the enforcement of, and understanding the need for, cross connection control. In any volunteer organization some people seem to always be there to help others regardless of how busy they are or how many other projects they have going. These special volunteers make our Association a better place for its members and the public at large. Once a year, ABPA recognizes an outstanding volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty to the association and to the public at large. This year ABPA wishes to acknowledge and honor Mr. Mike Ahlee.

Mike had a colored background. He grew up on his parents produce farm in Southern California with a mixture of horses and animals and lived and loved the outdoor life style. He was an energetic and mischievous youth with an enjoyment for baseball and a passion for playing the drums. As he got older, he found the ocean and the beach, and determined the beach bum life style was more what he wanted. The beach life quickly showed him the need to make money. His first attempt was selling of turquoise jewelry. This hobby did not pay all the bills. So Mike broke down and got a real job working at a local city water department and started his water industry career.

Mike was and is a free spirit and working in the corporate structure of a city water district quickly had him looking for other employment. His dad recently retired from working for a local city water meter shop so Mike and his dad opened a meter repair business selling their services to several local water purveyors.

Around this time he met his life partner Joyce, whom he quickly realized was someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The problem was, the meter repair business was on the waning side in the industry. Meter products and production changed. Meter replacement rather than meter repair became the norm. So as mike saw the writing on the walls, he and Joyce moved to Northern California where there was still a need for his expertise at fixing the old style water meters.

A friend of Mike’s worked at a local water purveyor and told him there was a training event coming to town taught by the USC Foundation for Cross Connection Control & Hydraulic research. They were teaching people to become Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers. Mike thought, I can do that too. Mike went through the class and quickly found a love for backflow prevention assemblies and cross connection control. With the need for meter repair technicians winding down, he saw an opportunity to switch gears and get into the testing and repair of backflow preventers. Mike moved back to Southern California where a mature backflow testing market existed and he opened up the Ahlee Backflow Service Co. Mike’s company quickly became one of the top service company’s in the area known for his product expertise and honest work ethic. Mike and Joyce had two daughters, who once old enough, became employees along with several other relatives. Ahlee Backflow Service Co was a model example of a family business that did well.

Rather than sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor, Mike felt the need to give back to this new industry he loves. He volunteered to help the local community college open up a backflow tester training class. He was in contact with his friends from USC and developed his own curriculum and test stands to start training testers in his area.

Around the same time, Mike became interested in ABPA. He quickly became an ABPA advocate and got involved with the local Southern California Chapter. Locally he helped set up several conferences and seminars. He became a well received speaker on several subjects at various conferences. Mike then volunteered to participate on the Certification Committee at the National level. Here his expertise helped in the formation of the Specialist Certification Program. Mike has served several terms as the Region 6 Director for ABPA. Mike now brought his expertise and passion for cross connection control to wider national audience.

Mike was starting to semi-retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Around the same time ABPA lost its Certification Program Administrator with the passing of Mr Ernie Havlina. Mike saw a void with the loss of Ernie and stepped up and volunteered to be the un-paid Certification Administrator for the ABPA Tester and Specialist Programs

Mike is an example of a true volunteer, someone who wants to help others and does not have his hand out expecting something in return. He has helped many in the industry to develop their own talents and expertise by showing them the way. Mike is someone who has never said I want something, he only said let me help where I can. ABPA has benefited from the energy of Mike Ahlee and with this award, ABPA wishes to recognize his efforts.

 Terry Schneider
2014 Meritorious Service Award Recipient

I think one of the things in the cross-connection control (CCC) business we all hate the most is when somebody says “what do you do?” We immediately start waving our arms in the air and rambling about backpressure and backsiphonage. They stare at us and their eyes begin to glaze over because they don’t have a clue what we are talking about. We don’t communicate well to non-CCC people. Think of our kids, I think we have all subjected them to drive in the car as we point out an installed backflow preventer and say “What is That” and they sarcastically and robotically say” It’s a Backflow Valve Dad”. Talking to non-CCC people is a lot like talking to our kids they don’t listen and they don’t understand. We need to be clear in our communications with the non-CCC world. We need to state simply our job is to assure the continued delivery of clean water from point of treatment to point of use. Clarifying this issue is an important function we all need to attend to.

Another miscommunication is, “we are in backflow”. No we are not. We are in backflow Prevention, and there is a big difference. We need to educate the non-CCC world, but we also need to work on how we communicate this idea of  “what we do”  about this strange profession called CCC. Some have taken these learning efforts to a religious fervor and have starting calling it “The Cause”.

ABPA once a year provides their highest award the Meritorious Service Award for the zealots and high priests of The Cause. These people spend their time trying to explain, educate and help others to understand what we do.

ABPA is a volunteer organization. We are the sum of bunch of individual people’s activities to help educate about The Cause. These activities take the form of Committee work, Conference work, Newsletters and Networking at Conferences for the benefit of the Association, not themselves. This award is being given to an individual who shows the volunteer spirit but is never recognized, congratulated or thanked for countless hours of volunteering. This plaque is nowhere near adequate payment for his time. If we had to repay in money I think we would owe him a house.

One of the reasons we have Conferences is to help educate those of us in the CCC field. Some do it up front from the podium and they get applause for their efforts. Some work quietly in the back of the room networking and educating, and they get ignored. These quiet volunteers are the Maytag repairman of ABPA. This year’s recipient has all the knowledge we wish we had. He is one of those who quietly helps educate but let’s others stand up and take the applause. This time it is his turn.

Terry was an only child. This forced him early on to learn to communicate with friends in school. This mastery of his communication skills served him well in his adult life.  He graduated from Fresno High in 1959 and attended Fresno City College and graduated with a degree in drafting in 1962. He never left the city he was born in Fresno, CA.

Terry began his professional career with the City of Fresno’s Engineering Department as a draftsman. In 1978 he transferred to the Water Department and signed up for this new Department called Backflow Prevention.  In 1980 he attended training at the USC Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research. In 1984 he became a certified tester. In 1988 he was promoted as Supervisor of the Meter Shop & the Backflow Prevention Department.

From 1972 to 2011 he also ran the family vineyard which produced different types of grapes for raisins and wine. In 1967 he married the love of his life Miss Chris McBurnie. She said I do for some reason. This union has produced 3 children and 4 grand kids. I hate to say in front of Chris, but his first love was really car racing.

Terry was an owner, operator and mechanic of an open wheel midget racer in the 70’s. He was a sanctioned track official of USAC and officiated car races all over California. The 2008 ABPA annual Conference took place in Indianapolis. Our recipient was a kid in the candy store at our post conference tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Terry is someone who has that rare ability to be everybody’s friend, but always resides quietly in the background. Yet his activities have raised tens of thousands of dollars for ABPA by organizing and conducting various silent auctions at local and national ABPA events. He started the Central Valley Chapter of ABPA. He was instrumental in improving tester training and getting tester certification in his part of the state. A conscious effort was made to raise the bar in the industry in his area. He has also donated countless hours serving the ABPA Certification Program as an Exam Monitor and Proctor more times than Chris cares to remember.

Terry is a valuable friend of ours. He has been married for 47 years to his recreational vehicle partner. His kids and grandkids love to play a card game called Wizard. I think that is a good job description for Terry. He is a CCC wizard in every way. 
Kenneth Kerr
2013 Meritorious Service Award Recipient

Ken has experience in cross-connection control on "both sides of the water meter.” He served as Eastern Region Director, 1 st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President and International President of American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE). Therefore, Ken has dealt with the isolation side of the potable water supply by being responsible for guidance of the ASSE Standards Committee in writing and completion of ASSE Standards for backflow prevention devices and assemblies. In 2004, Ken was awarded ASSE's highest award, which is the Henry B. Davis Award for meritorious service in the field of sanitation and for protection of public health through plumbing research.

To add international experience to his cross-connection control background, Ken served as Technical Workshop Chairman of the 1996 World Plumbing Conference IV in Chicago, Illinois. The theme of the conference was "Plumbing and the World Environment” which included backflow prevention assembly installation technical information to help promote solutions to the world's increasing sanitary engineering problems.

On the water purveyor or containment side of the meter Ken served as a national committee member (1993-94) of the AWWA Fire Protection Committee of the Distribution & Plant Operations (DPO) Division within the Technical & Professional Council of American Water Works Association.

Ken has also served as a member of the Association of Boards of Certification's "ABC Cross- Connection Control Validation and Examination Committee” (1993-94).

Beginning in 1985 and continuing to this date, Ken has provided training seminars and educational material to professional associations at conferences and expositions, and to urban and rural municipal water companies in preparation for start-up of backflow prevention and cross-connection control programs throughout the Midwestern United States. He is a licensed backflow instructor by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board of the Ohio Department of Commerce (Division of Industrial Compliance).

From 2005 to 2008 Ken served as the Region 11 Director of American Backflow Prevention Association. In 2009 Ken was elected Vice President & International President Elect of the American Backflow Prevention Association. Ken has also served as the ABPA External Affairs Committee Chair, working with our affiliate organizations such as the American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC), Backflow Prevention Manufacturers Association (BPMA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), International Code Council (ICC), Irrigation Association (IA), National Rural Water Association (NRWA), and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) to name a few.

The cornerstone of Kens' term as International President of ABPA was bringing ABPA and other organizations in the backflow prevention industry closer together for a more cooperative relationship. Ken was instrumental is signing several memorandum of understandings with affiliate organizations.

Ken's meritorious service to the backflow prevention and cross-connection control industry, make him more than deserving of this prestigious award.  

Kevin Bruce Rathburn
2012 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Bruce has been involved with backflow prevention and cross-connection control for a number of years. Throughout his career he has been an ambassador for the industry. He has work for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) for 23 years. Bruce started in the backflow industry in 1992 as a backflow prevention inspector for SAWS. Currently, Bruce is the supervisor of the Backflow Prevention Section for SAWS.

Bruce has been and continues to be active in the backflow industry throughout his career. He has been exemplary with any endeavor he has undertaken and provides unsurpassed support to the cross-connection control industry.

Bruce is:

  • Ex-officio member for SAWS on the Plumbing Appeals and Advisory Board for the City of San Antonio.
  • Past Chair of the Cross Connection Control Committee under the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and continues to attend current meetings.
  • TCEQ certified instructor for cross-connection control courses.
  • TCEQ licensed Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT), Customer Service Inspector (CSI) and Water Operator.
  • University of Southern California certified Cross-Connection Control Specialist
  • ABPA Proctor for the ABPA Certification Program
  • ABPA Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester

Bruce has conducted numerous cross-connection surveys on various types of facilities over approximately 18 years. He has conducted Recycle Separation Assurance Surveying and Testing for the past 15 years for various facilities. Bruce has also published numerous articles on cross-connection control and backflow prevention.

Bruce is active on the Chapter, Region and National level with the ABPA. He is a Past President of the San Antonio Chapter and remains active in the Chapter. He served as Region 4 Director (Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana) from 2002 to 2007. He was elected Association Vice President in 2007 moving up to serve as the International President from 2009-2011.

Bruce was the driving force behind the "Profile Series” DVD. He approached the ABPA Board with the concept. Once the project was approved by the Board he proceeded. He was heavily involved with the project from beginning to completion. This is one example of his dedication to ABPA as well as his vision for the future of the Association. He always offers to help in any way he can.


John Oakeson
2011 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

John has worked in the drinking water industry for over 35 years. He was employed with a municipal public drinking water system for over 32 years. During that time John developed and administered the cross connection control program for the City. He was also responsible for the Water Quality Program and the Safety and Training Program for the Public Utilities Department. John is currently employed by the Utah State Department of Environmental Quality / Division of Drinking Water as an Environmental Scientist. He works directly with water systems throughout the State. His duties include conducting sanitary surveys, providing operator training and assisting drinking systems with compliance to State Drinking Water Rules. John also assists with the administration of the State Cross Connection Control Program. He is certified as a Utah Backflow Technician Instructor/Trainer. He is certified as an ABPA Backflow Assembly Tester and ABPA Proctor. He is also certified in Utah as a Grade 4 Specialist in both Water Treatment and Water Distribution. John has served on the Board of Trustees of the Intermountain Section of the American Water Works Association and as the Section Chair. Prior to that he served as Council Chair of the Technical & Education Council for eight years. He has served on the Intermountain Section Small Water Systems Committee for over 17 years. John is a past president of the Utah Chapter of the American Backflow Prevention Association. John has co-chaired the Utah Chapter Training Committee and Conference Committee. He has coordinated the technical sessions of the Utah Chapter Annual Conference for several years. He is a recipient of the Utah Chapter Meritorious Service Award. John served a term as International ABPA Treasurer, Vice President, and President. He is a member of the Utah Valley State College adjunct faculty and has taught backflow technician certification courses for over 15 years at the college. John has given presentations at workshops and conferences on the Chapter, Region, and National level for ABPA. He has also given presentations at local and National AWWA functions and has contributed articles to both ABPA and AWWA publications.

Based upon his many dedicated years in the backflow industry, and ABPA, John is very deserving of the International ABPA’s Meritorious Service Award.

The ABPA Meritorious Service Award Selection Committee comprises the past ABPA Meritorious Service Award recipients. The selection criteria for the award are based on the following six categories: impact of the individual’s service on ABPA’s goals; the extent to which that service represents a broad range of responsibility and achievement; how that service has been significant on different levels of ABPA activity; the duration of that service; the individual’s achievement in the backflow industry; and the personal attributes of the individual.
 Tony Arthur
2010 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

In his professional affiliations Tony was an officer of the American Backflow Prevention Association, an active member of the Backflow Prevention Manufacturers’ Association and participated in a number of steering committees for the American Backflow Prevention Association, the American Water Works Association and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Tony worked on the Manufacturing side of the business for eleven years, holding the positions of Backflow Product Manager, National Sales Manager and the Director of Marketing with Watts Industries. Tony died December 14, 2000 after a brief illness with a rare lung disease. Mr. Arthur’s award was accepted by Terri Yale of Watts Industries.


Ron Chapman
2009 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

In 1983 Ron came across a valve he had never seen before that was leaking from the bottom of an open port. Not knowing exactly what kind of valve it was, except it was some type of control valve, he repaired it by installing a plug on the bottom of the port. His curiosity, however, led him to investigate exactly what kind of valve it was, and he discovered it was a 2” Orion Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer. He had not been trained in backflow prevention during his apprenticeship. Fascinated by its purpose, he continued to study and learn as much as he could about backflow prevention. Having a better understanding, he approached Company management through an Employee Involvement Program that was being implemented at that time with his concerns of backflow prevention. After a year of meetings, discussions, and educating management, a general outline of a cross connection control program was developed. Three licensed plumbers from his maintenance shop, including our recipient, became certified testers in 1985.

He was now considered the cross connection control "expert”. That was far from the truth. Over the next few years, his job as a plumber leader evolved into the cross connection control leader, implementing and improving the Cross Connection Control Program. By 1991 Ron was firmly embedded in cross connection control with a crew that installed, certified and repaired backflow prevention devices and assemblies as well as designing potable water systems with backflow prevention that covered over 60 buildings in three cities.

It was about this time that Ron first learned of an association that was specifically dedicated to backflow prevention. He felt that this organization was well beyond his expertise and only used it as a reference for guidance with the R&E program. It wasn’t until the 101st MPMCA convention (1993) that he met Brian D’Ascenzo at an American Backflow Prevention Association chapter booth at the tradeshow. He was excited to finally meet someone from ABPA and immediately signed up and offered any help that he could give. Brian D’Ascenzo, then President of the Michigan Chapter, soon gave him a call and was invited to one of the board meetings. He then ran for Director at Large for the Michigan Chapter. He has served as director, education chair, conference chair, and finally four years as chapter president.

Ron served as Region 11 Director, Vice President and from 2001 to 2003 and then as President of the ABPA.


Henry Chang
2008 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Henry received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Master of Science Degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Southern California. He is the Mechanical Engineer Program Manager for the University of Southern California’s Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research. He has been with the Foundation since 1983. His responsibilities include overseeing the Laboratory and Field Evaluation programs of the Foundation’s Approval Program for the Backflow Prevention Assemblies. He also instructs the Foundation’s training courses that include the Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester and Program Specialist courses. He is a member of various organizations such as ABPA, AWWA, and ASME. He serves on several committees for organizations such as ASSE, IAPMO, ABPA and AWWA. He is currently the chairman of the ABPA Certification Committee. In 2001 Henry was honored by ABPA with the Golden Eagle Award. This is presented to those individuals whom have been a key to the success of their chapter, region or the national association.


Tony Ippolito
2007 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Tony was the City Water Engineer for the City of Cambridge, MA for over twenty years and was directly involved and responsible for the creation and every day direction of the City of Cambridge Cross Connection Control Department. He also supervised and directed the City of Cambridge Water Treatment Plant. He has been involved in the ABPA New England Chapter since it’s beginning in the 1980s and has served as its president and vice president. It has been my pleasure to participate in conferences, workshops and panel discussions with Tony and he is extremely knowledgeable and professional. He is presently the Region #1 Director for ABPA. We are sure that all of you are familiar with Tony’s tireless work and assistance at the ABPA Education Conferences throughout the years.

Tony has been "officially” retired after thirty years of service from in the City of Cambridge, and now maintains his own consulting business. Tony also serves as an Instructor for the New England Water Works Association in their Cross Connection Survey and Backflow Device Testing Courses. He also still retains his seat on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Cross Connection Control Advisory Committee for guidance on changes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations governing Cross Connections. So you can see that he is still current and very active in Cross Connection Control Issues.

Considering that Tony Ippolito has spent over thirty years of his professional life in the field of Cross Connection Control and Water Supply, and his dedication to getting the right decisions made to ensure clean water is delivered and maintained throughout a public water system and the properties it serves.


Fred Baird
2006 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

The 2005 Meritorious Service Award recipient, Ken Green presented Fred Baird with the 2006 Meritorious Service Award. Fred started at City of San Antonio Water Board in 1967 and started forming the Cross Connection Program for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) March 26, 1974. He received his certification as a backflow prevention assembly tester at The University of Southern California in 1974. He met with the first liaison committee to develop a program guide on April 30th 1974. Fred established an approval list for backflow assemblies in August 1974 for SAWS. He also started a relationship with the City of San Antonio Plumbing Inspections Dept. to support an internal isolation and containment program in September 1974.

Fred is a part of the review and comment process program by the USC Foundation for CCC Research. Fred held the first certification school for local plumbers November 1974 in San Antonio. He established the ABPA San Antonio Chapter in March 1988. He was a member of the official policy drafting committee for ABPA 1988-1992. Fred also set as an ex-officio for the San Antonio Plumbing Review and Advisory Board from 1990-1999. In 1995 Fred was asked by the state of Texas to help form its Cross Connection Control Workgroup.

Fred held the position of ABPA Region 4 Director from 1988-1992. He is a national certified ABPA Instructor and Proctor, and certified as a Trainer Proctor and tester for the state of Texas. He has conducted over 500 Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention classes over the past 26 years for the Air Force, Army, Navy and other organizations and industries.

Fred has written numerous papers and given many presentations across the country on Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control. He was the Editor of the "Direct Connection” newsletter developed for informative articles on Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control for the San Antonio Chapter from 1988-1999. Fred and his son Troy started Bac Flow Unlimited in 1994. Bac Flow is a company dedicated to training for Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control and they also do consulting work. Fred retired from the San Antonio Water System in 1999; he is currently the lead instructor for Bac Flo Unlimited, which he owns with his son Troy.

Fred has been an advocate for cross connection control for 30 plus years. Fred truly has dedicated his life to the cause of protecting the public drinking water and continues to do so. He continues to be a valuable resource to ABPA on the local front in San Antonio and on the road promoting ABPA National for training and membership.


Ken Green
2005 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

The Meritorious Service Award For Outstanding Achievement in Backflow protection and Cross Connection Control was presented to Ken Green. What makes this award so special is the recipients are nominated and the winner eventually selected by their fellow peers in our industry who are past winners of this award. Those who have received this award and likewise those who will receive it in the future will cherish this award as one of the highlights of their career.

In the early 1970s, shortly after graduating from Suffolk University in Boston; with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Ken went to work for the City of Boston’s wastewater department. His position involved various capacities. In 1980, this person transferred into the cities cross connection control department. At that time, little did they know their life would never be the same. Ken retired from the city after 36 years of service.

He was given the responsibility to implement a cross connection control program. This included all facets of a successful program; developing enforcement; education; plan review and on site surveys; establishing requirement for protection including installation of assemblies; coordinating with other entities involved in cross connection control; field testing; etc. He also worked closely with the State’s department of EPA to insure their full compliance with the Regulations.

He eventually became manager of the 12-person department and was directly responsibility for one of the largest cities cross connection control programs in the nation.

In addition, as many of us who have made cross connection control a career, he has always made himself available to lecture, train and basically "spread the word” about our passion.

For many years Ken has been an active member of one of the largest AWWA cross connection control committees and is a member of ABPA. What does a person who has made cross connection control his life do when he retires? He goes into business as a cross connection control consultant. Ken he is owner of K.F. Green Consulting where he specializes in "complete” implementation of cross connection control programs for smaller city and water systems.

One of his joys in life is cooking. His cooking is not limited to occasionally preparing Sunday breakfast, but rather preparing a 7-course dinner for several people. Those that have attended one of his dinner parties say they rival some of the best chefs in their fair town.

Ken serves on the AWWA Cross Connection Control Committee; he is active with the New England Water Works Association; he was the first president of ABPA New England Chapter; he is a current member of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Cross Connection Control Advisory Committee.

            Denny Lopp
2004 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Denny is a past Region 7 Director. He is retired from the Modern Electric Water Company, after 40 years of service. Denny has served the backflow industry for more than 30 years. Denny was one of the first in the state of Washington to be certified in cross connection control. He went on to develop his knowledge and became an instructor for cross connection control programs. In 1986, Denny gained national fame with his article on Temperature and Pressure Valves in "Domestic Engineering” magazine. He has served as Director of the Northwest and Alaska Region of the American Backflow Prevention Association, Pacific Northwest American Waterworks Cross Connection Control Committee, Spokane Regional Cross Connection Control Committee, and one of the original group of six that started the "One Call System.” He is known as a specialist that keeps our drinking water safe, yet there is another equally successful, but dangerous side to Denny’s life – motorcycles.

Ironically, this other adventure also began in 1963 when Denny started racing dirt track motorcycles. Racing motorcycles, Denny reached speeds up to 130 miles per hour on various dirt tracks throughout the United States. In the 1990s, this hobby became its own dirt track motorcycle business, thus the establishment of LOPKO Racing. In 2000, LOPKO Racing and Harley Davidson of Missouri teamed up with local professional racer, Joe Kopp and won the AMA National Dirt Track Championship.
Howard Hendrickson
2003 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient
Mr. Hendrickson is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and is a consultant and teacher to the backflow industry. As the principle instructor of backflow courses for the New England Water Works Association he has taught extensively throughout the Northeastern United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been active in all aspects of cross connection control for over 30years, holds patents on various valve designs, and has served on many national backflow committees.

Howard prepared the 1989 edition of the Federal EPA Cross Connection Control manual, has written many articles on backflow prevention, and has worked with the New England Water Works Association in the production of several nationally recognized backflow training videos. He has lectured extensively on the subject of backflow prevention and cross connection control throughout the United States, and overseas.

Howard and his family live in Brentwood, New Hampshire.

Ken Ashlock
2002 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Ken is the Cross-Connection Control Specialist for the City of Tempe's Cross-Connection Control Program, which was started in 1985. He is the program administrator responsible for more than 4000 municipal and privately owned assemblies. Ken has 28 years experience in the Water and Wastewater systems.

Ken has been a member of the American Backflow Prevention Association since 1988. He was instrumental in the formation of the Arizona Chapter of the American Backflow Prevention Association. He served as chapter president in 1992-93 and served as the Region Six Director and Chairman of the Chapter Relations and Bylaws Committee for the national organization. Ken also served as the National President from 1997-1999.

Ken is currently serving as the National Conference Committee Chair for the American Backflow Prevention Association. ABPA is proud to present this award to such a deserving individual.

Patti Fauver
2001 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Patti Fauver is an Environmental Scientist with the State of Utah Division of Drinking Water. She began her employment with the Division in the fall of 1987 as an Environmental Technician. She had the exciting task of entering into the Division's computer system 1/2 of all the bacteriological samples and chemical samples taken in the state. During this time Patti received training in the various issues associated with cross connection control. In the course of her work Patti demonstrated her abilities to both understand backflow concepts and be able to explain those concepts to others.

Patti finished her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Biology with the University of Utah while working for the Division. With her degree in hand, coupled with her abilities to train others, she moved up within the Division to the Scientist position she now has.

Since the early nineties, Patti has been involved in teaching and providing technical assistance to elected officials, water utility personnel and backflow technicians regarding: hazard assessments, ordinance and by-law development, backflow valve testing, enforcement recommendations, and public education. She has also been involved in assisting another state agency in writing the amendments for sections of the State's Plumbing Code involving backflow protection requirements.

Throughout this period of time Patti has been involved in the American Backflow Prevention Association and has held the following positions: Vice President, President, Past President, Committies for Governmental Affairs, Training and By-Laws. She served as Region 5 Director from 1997 to 1999. She received the Presidents Special Recognition Award for service between 1995 to 1997. Currently she is assisting in several committees while serving as Treasurer.

She has served on the Western Region Conference Committee since its beginning. Patti served as the chair of the committee.

Further, Patti has held the following positions in the Utah Chapter of ABPA: Vice President, President 1990-1991, Past President, and currently serves as Director-at-Large. She received the J. Travis Black Meritorious Service Award in 1996.

Because of Patti's abilities she has been given the added assignments with the Division of outreach seminars throughout the state with the Rural Water Association of Utah and the AWWA Small System's Committee. The training she provides instructs water systems about new and existing EPA drinking water rules. Presently a considerable portion of her efforts are writing state drinking water rules and tracking and enforcement of these rules. All this is in addition to her work with backflow tester training and certification within the Cross Connection Control Program of Utah.
The Fauvers live in the Salt Lake Valley, and enjoy making annual treks to their summer cottage in northern Wisconsin. Patti enjoys attending Utah Jazz games along with all the movies her daughter, Alex, can drag her to.
Les O'Brien
2000 ABPA Meritorious Award Recipient

Les O'Brien, CET

Les O'Brien is a Senior Training Specialist in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Florida's Center for Training, Research, and Education for Environmental Occupations. (TREEO)

Les retired from Gainesville Regional Utilities after
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