Tata & Howard Announces Four Scholarship Winners

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Tata & Howard Announces Four Scholarship Winners

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship Awarded to Marlborough and Natick High School Seniors

Tata & Howard announced it’s 2018 Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship winners.  Graduating seniors from Marlborough High School, Igor De Moraes and Amanda Vilensky; and seniors from Natick High School, Kevin Zheng and Rebecca McCue, each received the $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Tata & Howard and the Tata family.

Donald J. Tata Scholarship Winner
Karen Gracey and Jenna Rzasa present Kevin Zheng with his scholarship check.

This annual scholarship was instituted in memory of Donald J. Tata, P.E., co-founder and former CEO of Tata & Howard, Inc., who passed away in March of 2017. The scholarship which is valued at $1,000, is presented to a graduating Marlborough High School senior who is attending a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in engineering. This year for the first time, the scholarship was expanded to include Natick High School graduates, Mr. Tata’s hometown for over 30-years.

“We had several well qualified applicants for the Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship and it was challenging to make our final decisions,” said Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “Don would be pleased to see so many smart and well-rounded students interested in a career in engineering.”

Natick High School Scholarship Recipients

Kevin Zheng, an AP Scholar with Distinction, graduated from Natick High School with highest honors and participated in numerous unique extracurricular activities. One notable activity was to create the largest Stick Bomb with a group of friends, that was ultimately held by the Guinness Book World Records. He facilitated engineering and computer science activities to thousands of daily visitors at the Museum of Science in Boston and was recognized by both houses in the Massachusetts State Legislator on the topic of Saving Energy. Mr. Zheng plans to attend Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, majoring in computer engineering.

A member of the National Honor Society, Rebecca McCue also excelled at tennis and volleyball. She was a member of the Key Club, who volunteered at several community service projects, which included building projects for disadvantaged Appalachian families in West Virginia. Ms. McCue participated in Physics for Engineers, a year-long course for seniors, that are self-motivated and have a strong background in math and science.  She plans to study Environmental Engineering.

Marlborough High School Scholarship Recipients

Amanda Vilensky, a member of both the National Honor and the National Art Honor Societies, is an accomplished student and artist. Through her work with the Environmental Club at school, she developed a passion for engineering and its problem-solving methodology for critical ecological issues. Ms. Vilensky plans to attend the University of Vermont to further her education in Environmental Engineering.

Fluent in both English and Portuguese, Igor De Moraes is a member of the National Honor Society and a STEMbassador, who mentored other students in Math and Science. A curiosity in renewable energy encouraged him to hypothetically experiment with piezoelectric tiles for the school’s gymnasium to produce electricity. Mr. De Moraes is a gifted athlete, excelling in football, track, and competed in Ping Pong competitions. He was also an officer in the Latin Club. Studying Mechanical Engineering, Mr. De Moraes will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

“We are all impressed with the academic achievements and ambitious goals from these talented students,” stated Karen L. Gracey, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “As future engineers, it is so exciting to imagine what these promising young individuals will accomplish in their careers.”

Donald J. Tata Honored Posthumously

Donald J. Tata Honored Posthumously

Water For People presents the Kenneth J. Miller Award

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Donald J. Tata was posthumously awarded the Kenneth J. Miller Founders Award presented by Water For People (WFP), a non-profit organization promoting the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services throughout the world. The ceremony took place on June 12, 2018 at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Expo (ACE18) held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Award presentation
Karen M. Gracey, P.E. and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., Co-presidents with Tata & Howard accepted the award on Don Tata’s behalf.

Karen M. Gracey, P.E., and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., Co-Presidents with Tata & Howard, accepted the award on Donald Tata’s behalf.  “Don dedicated his career to improving the environment and he was particularly moved by Water For People’s efforts in bringing clean water to those in need,” Karen said. “He would be humbled by this nomination especially by an organization that meant so much to him.”

This year, Water For People expanded the Miller Award to include Workplace Giving Champions for which Don was recognized as a leader in the support of raising awareness to those in need of access to clean water.

Don Tata, who sadly passed away in 2017, was passionate about the environment and compassionate about the plight of those living in poverty without access to clean drinking water. He immediately supported the cause of Water For People when he was introduced to the organization through AWWA. Through Don’s fundraising efforts, Water For People has received over $66,000 since 2005.

WFPDon not only supported the Water For People organization individually, he also shared his passionate support with the employees of the firm he co-founded, Tata & Howard, Inc. Employees continue to support WFP through a payroll deduction program, which Don initiated. At the end of each year, the company matches the employee’s donations.

Employees also participate in friendly competitions throughout the year to increase awareness and raise funds in continued support for Water for People. Don was also responsible scheduling time at company meetings to have representatives from Water For People update employees with information on the countries and people directly affected by their contributions.

His family, friends and colleagues were all profoundly impacted by his death in 2017, and even then, during that most difficult time, his family asked people to donate to Water for People in his memory in lieu of flowers. His friends and associates did and donated over $4,500.

Don is greatly missed by all who knew him, and Tata & Howard is committed to continuing his legacy and support of Water for People.

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About the Kenneth J. Miller Founders’ Award
The Kenneth J. Miller Founders’ Award was established in 2001 by the Board of Directors of Water For People to honor outstanding volunteer service to this international humanitarian effort. Water For People was conceived in response to the water, sanitation and health needs of millions of families living in the developing world.

The award was named to honor Ken Miller, who was one of Water For People’s founders, and supporter throughout his career. Each year, Water For People’s volunteer committees nominate one person for the award for the year. The winner is recognized and presented with a plaque at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Expo (ACE) during the Miller Award luncheon.

For more information: Kenneth Miller Award

About Water For People
From its beginnings, Water For People was envisioned to be a volunteer effort of the North American water and wastewater communities. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) leaders who organized Water For People believed that water professionals throughout North America would recognize the urgent need to support such a cause by contributing their financial assistance, organizational skills, and professional expertise. Local groups of water and sanitation professionals launched hundreds of active programs in support of Water For People. As the organization grew and began to accomplish its vision of service, it became evident that extraordinary volunteer efforts were being made at the local level and that this dedicated work needed to be publicly acknowledged and honored.

The search for a model individual to exemplify the value of volunteer service and to underscore the importance of this award led immediately to Kenneth J. Miller, one of the founders of Water For People and its first president.

For more information:  Water For People

About the American Water Works Association
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the largest and oldest organization of water supply professionals in the world. Its more than 50,000 individual members represent the full spectrum of the drinking water community: treatment plant operators and managers, scientists, environmentalists, manufacturers, academicians, regulators and others who hold a genuine interest in water supply and public health. Membership includes more than 4,000 utilities that supply water to roughly 180 million people in North America.

 For more information: AWWA

Tata & Howard donates over $6,000 to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Tata & Howard donates over $6,000 to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Company matches employee-owners’ gifts to support Massachusetts-based cancer research center

karen gracey jenna rzasa
Tata & Howard Co-Presidents Jenna Rzasa and Karen Gracey

Tata & Howard recently raised $6,650 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, MA. Employee-owners donated $3,325 and the company provided a 100% match.

“Philanthropy has always been an important part of the Tata & Howard philosophy,” stated Karen L. Gracey, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “Because cancer has had such a profound impact on all of us at here at Tata & Howard, we felt called to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the life-saving research and treatments they provide to our local community.”

Enhancing the company’s support of DFCI, Tata & Howard Marketing Communications Manager Heidi White raised $4,290 for DFCI through their Run Any Race program in September, and Assistant Project Engineer Molly Coughlin is once again running the Boston Marathon to raise funds for Dana-Farber in 2018. Her personal goal is $15,000 after raising $9,400 in 2017.

“Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the authoritative global leader in cancer research, and we are so fortunate to have this amazing organization right here in Massachusetts,” stated White. “I feel honored to run for Dana-Farber and am so incredibly proud of the Tata & Howard team’s unflagging support for cancer research and other philanthropic initiatives.”

To support DFCI and the life-saving research and treatment options they provide, please visit www.danafarbergiving.org.

 

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Tata & Howard Announces Leadership Changes

Tata & Howard Announces Leadership Changes

Karen L. Gracey, P.E., and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., have been named co-presidents of Tata & Howard
Karen L. Gracey, P.E., and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., have been named co-presidents of Tata & Howard

Tata & Howard, Inc. has named Karen L. Gracey, P.E., and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., current vice presidents, as co-presidents of the firm.  Current president Donald J. Tata, P.E., was appointed Chief Executive Officer and will be working in a reduced capacity while he focuses on his battle with cancer, with which he was diagnosed this fall. Gracey and Rzasa will be working closely with the firm’s senior leadership team to successfully run Tata & Howard in Tata’s absence. The appointments are effective immediately.

“Tata & Howard’s succession plan has been firmly in place since the company became a 100% ESOP in 2014,” stated Mr. Tata. “Karen and Jenna have taken on increasing responsibility in both operational and client-facing aspects of the company over the past few years, and I have absolute confidence in their combined ability to continue to successfully implement our strategic plan while adhering to our core values and furthering our shared mission of providing unsurpassed solutions in the water environment.”

As part of the company’s comprehensive leadership and transition planning, Gracey and Rzasa, who have been with the firm since 1998 and 1997 respectively, have been slated to assume leadership of the company for several years. They were named to the board of directors in 2013 and have headed up the firm’s business development and financial operations since that time. The company noted that while Tata’s illness has expedited their appointments to co-president, Gracey and Rzasa are well positioned to seamlessly assume their new roles.

“Tata & Howard’s strategic plan is centered on sustainable growth through innovation, efficiency, teamwork, and uncompromising integrity, and we — including not just Jenna and myself, but the whole Tata & Howard team — have already assumed full ownership of the company’s vision and values,” added Ms. Gracey. “The firm will be in excellent hands while Don focuses on returning to full health.”

Senior Vice President and firm co-founder Paul B. Howard, P.E., remains actively involved in managing all technical aspects of the firm, and Vice Presidents Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E., and Steven J. Landry, P.E., will continue to provide strategic and operational support to Gracey and Rzasa.

Tata was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2016, and made the announcement to employee-owners in early September. Tata & Howard stated that while it is still too soon to know the timing of his return on a full-time basis, Tata is aggressively fighting the disease with the help of the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA.

Donald J. Tata, P.E., and Tata & Howard Receive Awards from MWWA

DJT and PBH MWWA awards 11.13Donald J. Tata, P.E., and Tata & Howard Receive Awards from MWWA

On November 8, Don received the prestigious William H. McGinness Award at the MWWA Dinner. The award is given to an affiliate member whose knowledge and contributions to the profession merit recognition. Tata & Howard also received the Presidential Award for sponsorship supporting MWWA’s initiatives, programs, and events.