/ News / STV Elevates New Senior Leadership Team to Support its Growing Nationwide Water Business

STV Elevates New Senior Leadership Team to Support its Growing Nationwide Water Business

Parul Dubey on February 16, 2024 - in News, People

DALLAS, TX – STV, a leading professional services firm that plans, designs and manages infrastructure projects across North America, today announced new senior leadership promotions for its national water operating group. STV’s new leadership team for water includes:

  • Marisa Vergara, P.E. a senior vice president with the firm for 28 years, has been promoted to be the regional director for water, based in San Antonio, Texas;
  • Athena Ullah has transitioned to vice president and senior finance director, based at STV’s flagship office in New York City;
  • Ryan Owen, P.E. has been promoted to vice president and regional business development director, based in Austin, Texas;
  • Phil Cook, P.E. has been promoted to vice president and regional operations director for Texas and Oklahoma, based in Dallas, Texas.


“We are excited to welcome this extraordinary team of industry experts to their new roles as we expand STV’s national water practice and better serve our clients,” said Chris Haney, P.E., president of the national water operating group at STV. “From Texas to Oklahoma to New York to the Carolinas, our water experts have delivered award-winning water and wastewater projects, and we look forward to serving more communities and clients as our team grows.”

In her new role, Vergara leads the Texas and Oklahoma water team and serves as a senior principal to clients on projects. She specializes in various water industry services, from reuse and retreatment to drinking water and resource recovery. Vergara has managed conceptual design for construction projects totaling more than $1 billion, including an ACEC National Grand Engineering Excellence Award project with the San Antonio Water System. Her work on projects such as the historic Vista Ridge P3 water supply project has garnered national attention and recognition, including the Texas ACEC Project of the Year. Vergara is currently the Vice-Chair of the Texas American Water Works Association (TAWWA) Executive Board.

Ullah will focus on financial performance and overall growth strategies for the water operating group, after previously serving two years as chief of staff for the firm’s CEO, Greg Kelly. Ullah was an instrumental part of STV’s advisory council that worked to lead the national effort to sign the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP) pledge in 2022, where she helped secure commitments from public agencies to increase the number, size and scope of contracts going to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). Ullah has more than a decade of experience and expertise in asset management and capital planning, including extensive support for transit facility planning and vehicle procurement.

Owen will use his expertise to better position STV to win additional clients for water business. Owen will work closely with business development leaders, client management teams, project managers and water industry experts to bring focus to critical aspects of the firm’s strategic pursuits. Owen has nearly two decades of experience in the water infrastructure industry, managing and designing a variety of municipal water and wastewater utility projects, including water distribution, treatment and storage as well as wastewater collection and treatment. Owen’s previous roles include work as a project manager and water engineer on various projects throughout Texas. Owen is a member of the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) and serves as South Texas Chapter Treasurer and Board Member for the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA).

Cook will focus on improving operational performance and strengthening client relationships through excellence with project delivery and quality management. Cook’s experience spans across nearly four decades of various roles in water resource and utility planning, design of water/wastewater treatment and conveyance projects, program management and water system operations. With over 20 years of experience working in Texas, he also brings a unique understanding of the state’s water issues and regulations. Cook is licensed as a Class A Water Operator in Texas and is credentialed as an Envision Sustainability Professional.

STV recently won the Silver Medal Award from American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Texas in its Water and Wastewater category for the Walnut Hill Water Pump Station which (what was the benefit to the community). The water team also won the 2023 Grand Conceptor Award from ACEC Oklahoma for its work on the Owasso Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion.

STV has extensive experience with water and wastewater infrastructure across the U.S. In Austin, STV served as lead designer for the rehabilitation and improvement of the South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, one of the city’s two major municipal treatment facilities. In Dallas, STV converted the Central Regional Wastewater System’s grit removal basins to higher-capacity vortex basins. STV also provided a full suite of design and construction management services for the award-winning Vista Ridge Regional Supply Project (VRRSP), the largest public-private partnership (P3) water project in North America at the time of its completion that grew water capacity in San Antonio by 20 percent. STV’s design of sewer lines for the Little Sugar Creek Tributary in Charlotte, North Carolina, garnered an Honor Award from the North Carolina chapter of ACEC. And in New York, STV is currently leading the Coney Island Water Resource Recovery Facilities planning and redesign project for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following extensive damage at the site following Hurricane Sandy flooding.

About STV

Founded in 1912, STV is a leading national infrastructure-focused professional services firm, providing engineering, architectural, planning, environmental, program management and construction management services for transportation systems, buildings, water, energy and other facilities. Headquartered in New York City, the company has more than 55 offices across North America. The firm is ranked 34th in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms survey and is 10th in its transportation category. In 2022, STV signed the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP) Pledge, becoming one of the first architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms to commit to advancing equity in infrastructure. Learn more at stvinc.com.

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