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Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM EDT
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Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center
2801 Hershberger Road NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

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Shannon Watts
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project
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Celebrate 48 Years of Outstanding Service at the SERCAP Water Is Life! Luncheon and Conference 

You are cordially invited to attend SERCAP’s 48th Anniversary Water Is Life! Luncheon & Conference on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Roanoke Sheraton Hotel. Our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Kelsey J. Pieper, with the Virginia Tech Flint Water Study Team.

Dr. Kelsey J. Pieper is a USDA Postdoctoral Fellow at Virginia Tech. She is a core member of the Flint Water Study Team at Virginia Tech, conducting in-depth corrosion assessments and analyzing data collected during the citizen led sampling campaigns. Her keynote address will focus on her experiences with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Dr. Pieper received her Ph.D. degree in Biological Systems Engineering and M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, and B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Binghamton University.

You can now pay online for the Water Is Life! Conference and Luncheon at!


Conference Workshop Schedule 


Workshop 1: Volunteer for Communities. Ashton Fallen, SERCAP Special Projects Manager, will share best practices for working with student volunteers from personal experience and program supervisor stories. She will also answer your questions and lead a group discussion about successes and challenges faced by workshop participants. This workshop will also include a panel discussion about fundraising to support the VFC Alternative Break Program. Panelists include Elvir Berbic, Founder of the Roanoke Refugee Scholarship Fund, Michelle Dykstra, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club/Roanoke City Council Member, Ashley Marshall, Executive Director of Mental Health America, and Mary Baako, Director of Major Gifts for United Way. Time: 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM. Location: Mnemonic Conference Theatre.

Workshop 2: Private Well Workshop with Janice Tatum, SERCAP Technical Assistance Provider in North Carolina. Discover tools and resources available to help raise awareness of private well issues and educate stakeholders and well owners about well care. Learn straightforward steps to assess the geology, well construction, and site conditions at a private well to help understand and potential risks and for better future source water protection. Time: 8:00 AM - 11:45 AM. Location: Salon 4. This workshop is free to the public.

Workshop 3: Public & Private Partnerships, presented by Jean Holloway, SERCAP Maryland and Delaware State Manager. Time: 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM. Location: Salon 2.

Workshop 4: Capacity Building & Community Engagement. Presented by Mariah Davis, Conservation Organizer with the Virginia Conservation Network. The Virginia Conservation Network is a coalition of 120 conservation organizations across the state working to paint a beautiful environmental picture before Virginia state legislators. This workshop will discuss ways in which VCN drives strategic action and engages elected officials in the importance of protecting our natural resources. Given the new political climate, protecting our environment and our more vulnerable communities has become a top priority. Time: 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM. Location: Salon 3.

Workshop 5:  Collaboration Between the Community Development and Health Sectors, presented by Freedom First. This workshop will be a panel discussion, with panelists Dr. Liz Ackley, Roanoke College Associate Professor and Roanoke City Invest Health Team Lead, Crystal H. Hypes, Community Resources Program Specialist for Roanoke City, and Tim Cerebe, Vice President of Community Development for Freedom First Credit Union. This workshop will highlight the West End revitalization and focus on collaborative efforts in private, public, and local government (Roanoke City, FFCU, resident investment, West End Center for Youth, LEAP) to address health disparities. Time: 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM. Location: Salon 1.

Workshop 6: Let's Talk Credit, presented by Benjamin Spicer, Wells Fargo Financial Education Advocate. This presentation will cover important information about credit, with a Question & Answer session. Mr. Spicer is happy to schedule appointments with workshop participants to have a more extensive conversation, if needed. Time: 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM. Location: Salon 2.

Workshop 7: Show Me the Money, presented by Anne Davis, Senior Management Analyst for HUD. "Show Me the Money" will provide nonprofit and faith-based organizations with an understanding of the critical elements that funders want to see in an application, and tips on how to develop a competitive funding application. While the workshop approaches funding from the federal point of view, the principles discussed are applicable to all funding sources. Time: 9:00 AM - 11:50 AM. Location: Salon 3.

Workshop 8: Get The Lead Out!, presented by the Ann Billings, Program Manager and Marla Robertson, Outreach Coordinator with the City of Roanoke. Workshop participants will learn about the sources of lead in the home, lead poisoning prevention strategies, and how to protect their family from the dangerous effects of lead on the body. Time: 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM. Location: Salon 1.

Workshop 9: Asset Management: What's In It For You?, presented by Anthony Hess, Virginia Department of Health-Office of Drinking Water Sustainability Coordinator. Description: Asset Management seems to be the new buzzword in the utility business, but what does it mean to you? This presentation will cover how to start if you currently have no asset management plan, how to take the next step if you already have an asset management plan, and different ways to use this tool to guide planning, funding, and communication with your Board. Time: 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM. Location: Salon 2.

Workshop 10: Water & Energy: Two Sides of the Same Coin, presented by Dr. Tamim Younos, Founder & President of the Green Water-Infrastructure Academy. This workshop will cover cases and consequences of high water consumption in the energy sector, and the energy demand and consequences in the urban water sector. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of futuristic approaches for reducing global footprints of energy and water consumption. Time: 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM. Location. Salon 1.

Workshop 11: Funding Strategies for Rural Communities and Homeowners, presented by Janice Stroud-Bickes, Acting USDA State Director. Funding Strategies for Rural Communities and Homeowners, presented by Janice Stroud-Bickes, Acting USDA State Director. This workshop will discuss assistance to nonprofit organizations through the USDA Community Facilities Program, and to municipalities through the USDA Rural Utilities Program. This workshop will also cover homeownership, home repair, and water/wastewater needs for individual households. Time: 11:00 AM to 11:50 AM. Location. Salon 2.