Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute
Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute


Qualifications and Experience of Instructors

Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute instructors are working professionals with years of experience in the field. They are outstanding experts in their subject matter, but what truly sets them apart is that they are also expert instructors. Our talented instructors engage participants and pass their expertise on to them with practical, hands-on skills they can use right away to solve the challenges they'll face in the real world.

"Facilitators were very engaging and kept the level of interest at a level 10 the entire session. Great job!"

About Our Instructors

To ensure quality instruction, a rigorous application and selection process has been put in place to create the instruction team. Instructors will be selected by mid-July and their bios placed here for your reference.  

photo of speaker Ashley Barker has over a decade of experience in project management and customer service. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a BS in Psychology and earned a MS in Management from Strayer University in 2013. After earning her master’s degree, Ashley worked at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as the Coordinator of Event and Meeting Services and received the Presidential Staff Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment. In 2015, Ashley moved back to Blacksburg to serve in her current role as the Assistant Director of Continuing and Professional Education at Virginia Tech. She is responsible for planning and executing educational conferences, events, seminars, institutes, and training workshops. She works with a wide variety of clients including academic faculty, world-renowned research firms, governmental agencies, and global corporations. Ashley has extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of leadership development, project management, and conflict resolution. Her various roles have provided her with the opportunity to lead teams through severe challenges/crises and work with clients and teams of diverse populations and cultures.

For the past 4 years, Ashley has served on the Association of College Unions International’s Region VI Leadership Team and has facilitated numerous workshops on customer service, leadership, communication, and event planning at regional and international conferences.

Ashley is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Education at Virginia Tech with a focus on leadership development.

photo of speaker Michelle Clark is the Administrative Services Manager for Operations for the City of Virginia Beach’s Public Works Department. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor's degree in Management from Saint Paul’s College. She also holds two human resources certifications - an IMPA-CP and SHRM-SCP.

Michelle has almost 20 years of budget, finance, and human resources experience in local and state government, and has been instrumental in assisting the department for APWA Accreditation and the subsequent reaccreditation efforts.

photo of speaker Eddie Crockett is the Assistant Director of Public Works Operations for the City of Newport News, Virginia. Prior to serving in his current position he was the department’s Administrator, Stormwater Operations and he was also the Assistant Administrator in the Wastewater utility. Eddie holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University, a bachelor’s degree in Governmental Administration from Christopher Newport University, and an Associate’s degree in Construction Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Eddie’s public sector career spans close to 40 years including a stint in the United States Air Force prior to joining the City of Newport News in 1996. Moreover, Eddie has been instrumental in preparing the department for APWA Accreditation and the subsequent Reaccreditation efforts. He also serves as Public Work’s Incident Commander during emergency operations.

"Awesome job! Love the real life experiences the instructors shared."

photo of speaker Ken Eyre currently serves as the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter President, working with the many talented public works members from across the region, planning numerous outreach activities including lunch-n-learns, workshops, field trips, young professional social gatherings, and of course, the annual Chapter conference and equipment show. Ken thoroughly enjoys networking with the many volunteers especially the instructors who share so un-selfishly of their time and talents at Chapter-sponsored educational venues. Ken has developed and provided numerous public works training sessions as part of his engineering and professional society's services. He brings over 40-years of extensive environmental and civil engineering experience including having served as project manager for a number of mid-Atlantic public works agencies, providing including asset management services such as physical condition assessment evaluation, participated in a capital asset management pilot for the City of Philadelphia, developed databases to collect and record buried asset information, and used the observations results to assist in the design and construction services for both rehabilitation/remediation and new systems. Ken has also reviewed best management practice (BMP) systems (industrial and MS4 - manufactured and constructed); conducted storm area drainage investigations and associated hydrologic and collection system hydraulic modeling; storm outfall inspection, I/I studies, water quality monitoring; development of alternatives; review of and application of state design standards; regulatory compliance assistance; developed industrial pretreatment and municipal wastewater treatment plant studies, designs and construction services, infrastructure program management, site location mapping and asset management. For APWA, Ken served as their representative on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee to the US EPA's Wet Weather Flows ETV initiative. Ken has served on other national APWA committees. Ken was recently recognized nationally as a 2016 Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year. Ken is a registered professional engineer in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC. APWA President-Elect Bo Mills has appointed Ken to serve on the national Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year Evaluation committee

photo of speaker Doug Fawcett is the Director of Public Works for the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Doug has over 34 years of experience working in local government management and administration, with 18 of those being served in Public Works, and over 10 combined as town, city, and county manager. He holds a BA in Political Science and graduate work in Public Policy from West Virginia University. His additional management and administrating training includes having graduated from the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.

photo of speaker Pete Garner is the Operations-Engineering Manager for the City of Norfolk Public Works Department. His role is responsible for the routine and emergency maintenance and repair of the city's streets, bridges, sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, maintenance of the city's stormwater infrastructure, and environmental stormwater engineering and compliance. Prior to his current position, Pete spent over 23 years on active duty with the US Army and Air Force as a Civil Engineer. He was commissioned in 1987 as a lieutenant in the US Army following graduation from Clarkson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering. He completed his graduate studies in 1989 at Purdue University with a Master's Degree in Construction Engineering and Management. Pete holds a Professional Engineer license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

photo of speaker Judith L. Hines is the Assistant Director of Public Works for Administration for the City of Newport News, Virginia. Her career in public works spans over 40 years. She was a key management team participant in achieving APWA National Accreditation for the Newport News Public Works Department in 2003, and was also instrumental in re-accreditation in 2006, 2010 and 2014. She is a graduate of Christopher Newport University with a degree in business management. She is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of APWA and is currently the Chapter Delegate to APWA’s Council of Chapters. She is also a charter member of the Steering Committee for the Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute.

photo of speaker James A. Jackson was certified as a Public Works Executive at the APWA PWX in Minneapolis, MN in August 2016. He is also an ICMA Credentialed Manager Candidate who currently serves as the Assistant Director of Operations for the Washington, DC Department of Public Works. He has served as interim Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Operations and DPW director for the cities Richmond, VA and Detroit, Michigan. He has also served as the Public Services director for Wayne County, Michigan and the Streets and Sanitation director for the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan. James has led operations ranging in size from 100 to 1,540 personnel with budgets from $6 million to $1.2 billion and operations including Solid Waste and Recycling, Street Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance, Facility Maintenance, Traffic Engineering, Permitting, Grounds Maintenance, Winter Maintenance Operations and Sustainability, facility maintenance, fleet maintenance, street maintenance for over 1,540 miles of county roadways and 640 miles of interstate highway, 100,000 traffic signs, 900 traffic signal intersections, water treatment facilities, storm water operations and natural reservoirs. He also oversaw public utility operations to include natural gas and street lighting. James is a former marine serving as a noncommissioned and commissioned officer. He holds a Master of Public Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and he is a graduate of the Michigan Public Service Institute, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. James has been published internationally for his work on cultural transformation and maintenance management systems.

photo of speaker Phillip Koetter has served in the position of Operations Management Administrator for the Public Works Department in the City of Virginia Beach since 2007.

After receiving his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Old Dominion University in 1995, he worked as a Design Engineer and Project Manager for URS, where he managed projects and programs for private, municipal, and federal projects.

After ten years of consulting work, Phillip accepted a position with the City of Virginia Beach Public Works Operations Group. In his current position, he oversees the Public Works Operations Management Division comprised of Customer Service, Contracts, Technical Services and Assets, Support Services, and the Stormwater Engineering Operations Construction bureaus that support the city's stormwater, roadway, and traffic maintenance field personnel in the operations and maintenance of all related infrastructure.

In addition to his duties with the City, Phillip also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association where he currently serves on the Membership and Awards Committees. He is also a member of American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Highway Engineers, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

photo of speaker Jeffrey H. Powell is a native and current resident of Roanoke, Virginia “Star City of the South”. He is currently serving as the Solid Waste Manager for the City of Roanoke and is a graduate of Virginia State University and Howard University (MBA). Jeffrey has received a Lean Sigma Six Greenbelt Certification and is a graduate of the Real Estate Seminar Series, Executive Education, School of Management at George Mason University. He interned for the Honorable M. Caldwell Butler, Congressman 6th District, Virginia, Washington, DC Office and Chubb & Sons Insurance Company in New York, and completed a graduate internship in the Howard University Small Business Development Center.

Jeffrey’s professional career began in the Roanoke Valley as a sales representative with Burroughs Corporation, printed forms division. He has over 30 years of public and private sector operational experience – starting out as a first level manager and has moved up to become the Assistant City Manager. Throughout his career, Jeffrey has held managerial and leadership positions in various fields including utilities, public Works, transportation, customer service, citizen engagement, as well as human capital management. He has also taught on the collegiate level as an adjunct business professor at National Business College in Roanoke Virginia, and both Averett University and University of Richmond, in Richmond, VA. He is a student of Robert Greenfield’s “Servant Leadership” principals, has an interest in Management Consulting and enjoys crafts and watching all major sports.

photo of speaker William F. "Buz" Rhees has worked construction since he was a teenager helping his dad remodel homes. After a brief stint in the U.S. Army, he attended Old Dominion University and received a BS in Civil Engineering in 1984. He started in Norfolk Public Works as an Associate Civil Engineer in the Building Systems Bureau, and then moved on to become a Civil Engineer II in 1992 when the Stormwater sector was created. He has worked in all aspects of stormwater from plan reviewer, inspector, to project manager for several IDQ contracts for minor drainage improvement projects. Buz retired from Norfolk in 2011, started with the City of Virginia Beach in 2013 as assistant superintendent for ditch maintenance, and was promoted to his present position as Operations Superintendent in 2015.

"Excellent presentations! Learned some valuable tools."

photo of speaker Scott Smith is a Senior Project Manager in the Division of Operations: Engineering and Environmental Group, for the City of Norfolk, Virginia Public Works. He graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987, and he is currently a licensed Professional Engineer and licensed Land Surveyor in Virginia. Scott has also held certifications as a Wastewater Plant Operator and Spray Irrigation Operator. His primary responsibility is to coastal flooding and climate adaption, and he is responsible for supervising the field engineering staff, including engineers, inspectors, GIS, bridge inspection, and Miss Utility marking program personnel.

photo of speaker Steven J. Yob is the director of a 260 employee department that is responsible for county roads, drainage, environmental, construction and private development review. The department maintains over 3,400 lane miles of roadway in the county and is one of two Virginia counties that maintain their own roads. He has over 25 years of experience in environmental programs, construction and development. Prior to the County of Henrico, he worked for 17 years for one of the largest public solid waste companies in the US.

He is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia, a licensed Class II Waste Management Facility operator and a certified flagger. He has an MBA from Virginia Tech and has both an MS and a BS in civil engineering from Michigan State University.

Mr. Yob is also engaged in the following other activities:

  • Vice-chairmen of the County of Henrico Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • President Elect of the APWA.
  • Member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Waste Management Board