Tata & Howard Announces Co-Founder’s Retirement

Paul Howard set to retire from the Massachusetts-based environmental engineering firm at the end of the year

Tata & Howard, Inc. has announced the retirement of Tata & Howard Co-Founder and Senior Vice President Paul Howard as of December 31, 2022. While he is stepping down from day-to-day operations, Mr. Howard will remain on the Board of Directors and serve as a technical advisor to the current leadership team led by Karen Gracey, P.E. and Jenna Rzasa, P.E., who were named Co-Presidents in 2017.

“Tata & Howard’s succession plan was underway when the company became a 100% ESOP in 2014,” commented Ms. Rzasa. “While Paul was originally planning to retire years ago, he graciously remained on the team to assist during the leadership transition that was expedited due to the untimely death of our firm’s President Don Tata.”

Donald Tata and Paul Howard co-founded Tata & Howard in 1992 and grew the firm from a two-person start-up to a highly successful engineering firm with multiple offices throughout New England and Arizona. In 2014, Mr. Tata and Mr. Howard created a 100% ESOP for Tata & Howard and lined up Ms. Gracey and Ms. Rzasa to assume leadership while they transitioned to retirement. However, in 2017, Mr. Tata passed away after a short illness. At that time, Mr. Howard resumed a full-time role with the company to assist the newly appointed Co-Presidents with the transition. Now five years later, Mr. Howard is looking forward to retirement.

Gracey and Rzasa have been with the firm since 1998 and 1997, respectively, and were named to the Board of Directors in 2013. As Co-Presidents, they have focused on Tata & Howard’s strategic plan while adhering to the firm’s core values and mission of providing unsurpassed solutions in the water environment. Vice Presidents Justine Carroll, P.E., Ryan Neyland, P.E., and Jon Gregory, P.E., who have a combined 50 years of experience with the firm, will continue to provide strategic and operational support to Gracey and Rzasa.

“Since the firm’s inception, Paul has served as a pillar of innovation, integrity, and technical excellence to Tata & Howard,” added Ms. Gracey. “While we will miss him in the daily operations of the firm, we are grateful for his unwavering support over the past five years and are looking forward to his continued thought leadership as part of the Board.”

Mr. Howard received his B.S. in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he met Mr. Tata. Mr. Howard’s career has included numerous success stories including the design and construction of the Shrewsbury, MA Home Farm Water Treatment Facility, which at time of construction was the second largest biological treatment facility in the country, and which received the prestigious 2020 Bronze Award for Engineering Excellence through ACEC. Additionally, Mr. Howard served as Project Manager for the design and construction of the Town of Natick’s water treatment facility, which was the first to recycle backwash water in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has served as President of the Massachusetts Water Works Association and has been involved in many trade committees including legislative, technical, awards, finance, and nominating. Mr. Howard was the recipient of the 2009 Past President’s Award, 2011 William H. McGinness Award, 2016 Water Works State Leadership Award, and the 2018 Executive Director Award. He is also a lifetime member of the American Water Works Association.

See photos from his retirement party here.

Falmouth Holds Dedication Ceremony for New Long Pond Water Filtration Facility

Tata & Howard Staff Joined Falmouth Selectmen, Public Works Staff, Methuen Construction Staff, and Residents for a Dedication Ceremony and Facility Tours

On October 16, 2018, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen held a public Dedication Ceremony for the town’s recently completed water filtration facility on Gifford Street.

Attendees included Phil MacClellan, Paul Howard, Karen Gracey, and Ryan Neyland.

Several Tata & Howard company representatives attended the event, including Project Technical Reviewer Paul B. Howard, P.E., Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E., Project Manager Ryan Neyland, P.E., Project Engineer Phil MacClellan, P.E., and Company Co-President Karen Gracey, P.E.


T&H Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E., joined Falmouth Public Works Director Raymond Jack in addressing attendees at the Dedication Ceremony.

Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E. joined other key project personnel including Director of Public Works Raymond Jack and Water Superintendent Stephen Rafferty, in summarizing the history of the water supply and key aspects of the facility, as well as Tata & Howard’s role in the pilot study, design, and construction administration of the facility. The facility utilizes coagulation, mixing, flocculation, dissolved air flotation (DAF), ozone, dual-media filtration, and chemical feed systems to provide the community with water that meets current EPA and MassDEP regulations.

Local residents toured the award-winning facility.

Tata & Howard was the lead engineering firm for the design and construction administration of the new facility; Methuen Construction was the general contractor. The new Long Pond Water Filtration Facility is a state-of-the-art water purification facility that received widespread community support. Due to the advanced nature of the facility design processes, this facility became the first Class IV fully automated facility to be permitted in New England.

Tata & Howard was awarded a 2018 Engineering Excellence Silver Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) for “outstanding professional design excellence” for the Falmouth Long Pond Water Filtration Facility. ACEC/MA’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards recognize engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value, and ingenuity.  The project also was recently featured in the November-December 2018 issue of World Water Magazine:  Falmouth_WorldWaterMag_Nov-Dec2018

Methuen Construction received several awards for the construction of the new 8.4-million gallon per day (mgd) facility. The firm was most recently awarded the prestigious 2018 National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award, the highest level awarded by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In 2017, Methuen won two Engineering News-Record (ENR) 2017 Best Projects New England awards in Water / Environmental and Safety categories for construction of the facility.

Aerial view of the new Long Pond Water Filtration Facility in Falmouth, MA.

The award-winning facility was built for the future and will provide a valuable health benefit to the residents of Falmouth for generations to come.Save

Paul Howard Honored at MWWA Annual Meeting

Executive Director Award Presented at MWWA Event at Devens Common Center

Tata & Howard, Inc., a leading innovator in water, wastewater, and stormwater engineering solutions, is pleased to announce that Paul B. Howard, P.E., Co-Founder and Senior Vice President at the firm, has been recognized with the 2018 Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA) Executive Director Award for his distinguished accomplishments and professional achievements in the water environment.

The Award was presented at the MWWA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on November 1st 2018. Presented by MWWA Executive Director Jennifer A. Pederson, the Award is in honor of Paul Howard’s commitment to the MWWA and his tireless advocacy on behalf of the water profession. The Award recognizes an active MWWA member whose knowledge and contributions to the profession merit special recognition.

Paul B. Howard, P.E. (center), receives his Executive Director Award during the MWWA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. Shown with Paul is MWWA President Joe Coulter (l) and MWWA Executive Director Jennifer Pederson (r).

Paul Howard has had a highly distinguished career with more than 36 years’ experience in the water quality environment and long-term dedicated service to the MWWA and its members. He served as MWWA President in 2009 and has an unfailing passion for furthering the advancement of the water quality profession. “Paul is exceptionally deserving of this recognition,” stated Tata & Howard Co-President Karen L. Gracey, P.E. “He has worked tirelessly to help numerous water quality professionals throughout his long and illustrious career.”

“Paul’s vast knowledge and expertise is well-known in the water environment,” said MWWA President Elect for 2019 Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E., Senior Vice President at Tata & Howard. “He brings a unique perspective to the work we do and through his leadership, he has fostered enduring relationships throughout the water community. This recognition is well-deserved.”

Tata & Howard staff joined MWWA President Joe Coulter, and included: Co-Presidents Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E. and Karen L. Gracey, P.E.; Associate Jon W. Gregory, P.E.; Founder and Sr. VP Paul B. Howard, P.E.; and MWWA Board President Elect and Tata & Howard Senior VP Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Not pictured, Robert P. Sims, P.E.


Karen L. Gracey, P.E. receives the Presidential Sponsorship Award during the MWWA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.

Along with Paul Howard being honored, the event included awards for Sponsorship, including one for Tata & Howard’s Presidential Sponsorship presented to Co-President Karen L. Gracey, P.E. Introduction of the elected slate of Officers of the Association also took place and included MWWA Board President Elect Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E., a Senior Vice President with Tata & Howard.

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Water Works Association.

Michael F. Knox Joins T&H as Client Service Specialist

Water and Wastewater Professional Mike Knox to Run Emergency Response Training Programs

Tata & Howard, Inc., a leading innovator in water, wastewater, and stormwater engineering solutions, is pleased to announce that Michael F. Knox, has joined the firm as a Client Service Specialist. In this newly created role, Mr. Knox will concentrate on developing Emergency Response Training Programs to be offered starting this fall.

Prior to joining Tata & Howard, Mr. Knox worked as the Superintendent and Chief Operator for the Cherry Valley and Rochdale Water & Sewer District in Leicester, Massachusetts. He holds a 2C and 3T drinking water license and a 3M wastewater license, and he has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

In addition, Mr. Knox served as a member of the Massachusetts Water and Wastewater Agency Responses Network (MAWARN) Steering Committee and was the MAWARN Chair from 2008 to 2011.  He is a member and Past President of the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA).

“As a former Superintendent and Chief Operator of a Water & Sewer District, Mike brings a unique perspective to this position,” Paul B. Howard, P.E., T&H Senior Vice President stated. “Having worked with Mike in the past, we knew of his experience and expertise improving the safety and security of municipal assets and implementing emergency response programs.”

“We’re excited to have Mike on our team,” Karen L. Gracey, P.E., T&H Co-President said. “Mike’s knowledge and thorough understanding of critical emergency response methodologies and training skills will not only benefit municipal water operations but also help improve their service to the community water systems they manage.”

Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) are mandatory for all public water suppliers, and a minimum of 10 hours of Emergency Response Training is required.  ERP training is a process that helps water system managers and staff explore vulnerabilities, make improvements, and establish procedures to follow during an emergency. Preparing and practicing an ERP can save lives, prevent illness, enhance system security, minimize property damage, and lessen liability.