I am happy to announce that Tonya Sonier has been honored with the “Young Professional of the Year” award from the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), the state level organization of the Water Environment Federation (WEF)!
Each year, the “Young Professional of the Year” award recognizes outstanding service to FWEA, which itself seeks to promote a “clean and sustainable water environment…through public awareness and outreach; providing professional development and networking opportunities for our members; and creating alliances to promote sound science-based public policy.” This award is bestowed on individuals who show leadership, initiative, technical knowledge, and passion for supporting the water industry through FWEA. I can personally attest to how much Tonya embodies these characteristics.
Tonya has been extremely active in FWEA since 2013, serving on multiple FWEA committees and holding multiple roles both present and past within the organization. She became a member of FWEA nine years ago, right out of college, and has continued to grow in leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. She has been involved and continues to be involved with the Central Florida Chapter, the Seminars Committee, the Wastewater Process Committee, and the Young Professionals (YP) Summit. She has proven to be a critical asset to FWEA throughout Florida and is directly responsible for many of the organization’s successes in recent years.
Notably, Tonya has been instrumental as FWEA has had to adapt and overcome challenges as they transitioned many of their events into a virtual delivery method including FWEA Connect in lieu of the 2021 Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC). Tonya also continues to donate numerous hours volunteering at local events such as the Wastewater Process Seminar, oyster reef building, lake cleanups, beach cleanups, technical luncheons and more. I have no doubt that she will continue these efforts for her entire career.
Congratulations, Tonya! This award is very well deserved, and speaks to your commitment to not only FWEA, but to the goals the organizations espouses, and to the communities you serve. You have already accomplished so much in a short amount of time, and I look forward to continue working together in the future.