ASUS Leadership

Chris Connor

Senior Vice President

Email: chris.connor@asusinc.com

What are key characteristics you believe every leader should possess?
A good leader must possess a wide variety of important characteristics. Among these are integrity, a high value for people as individuals, a willingness to ask questions, and a vision for the future combined with the courage to pursue it. Of these characteristics, integrity and valuing others are paramount. For without these two, the long-term health of the organization is in jeopardy. Integrity is always critical, especially for leaders. As well, understanding the inherent value in others is the cornerstone of all relationships. Upon these characteristics, strong leaders will build strong teams.
What makes you most passionate about the company?
Upon joining the company in early 2022, I immediately found a common thread among the people of ASUS – they enjoyed working for the company and were passionate about the mission of serving our military men and women. The family atmosphere among employees and the enthusiasm for the company and the cause, I have found to be contagious. It is a true honor to work with such remarkable people who enjoy one another, who value the company, and who are proud of our mission – providing life’s most precious resource to our Nation’s most vital people!

Susan Miller

Vice President of Operations

Email: susan.miller@asusinc.com

Of what career accomplishments are you the most proud?
In 2013, I took a huge leap of faith and made the decision to leave an almost 25 year federal service career. While I had a great federal service career, the opportunities and growth that I have experienced being a part of the ASUS family has exceeded my expectation. I have always had a passion for our military. ASUS affords me the opportunity to continue to serve the military community and enhance my professional growth. I am proud of my courage to have stepped outside my comfort zone to join this team.
Who has had the greatest influence in your career?
Early in my career when I was an Environmental Protection Specialist, I worked for an Environmental Chief that motivated, encouraged, inspired and believed in me. He pushed me to do more, to think outside the box, and to invest in myself. I attribute a large part of my success to his leadership. He was always approachable, fair and objective, and exhibited a high degree of integrity. I recently had an opportunity to catch up with him and share my appreciation of his leadership and the impact he has had on my career.

Emily Stewart

Director of Business Development

Email: emily.stewart@asusinc.com

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Every leader should possess the ability to facilitate change. Change is an inevitable need within our work industries, our community environments, and our staff’s daily lives. The ability to facilitate change is crucial in order to remain relevant and effective in any marketplace, as well as serving in a meaningful and supportive role to those around you. Identifying the need for this change, creating innovative solutions to address the situation, and possessing influential qualities that effect those within your workforce, as well as the industry, are all vital in facilitating change. These abilities work in concert, driving leaders and their teams to work at the highest levels of performance, and at the forefront of the industry.

Show up early, treat people with respect, and perform at the highest levels ’til the world can’t deny you.” – Grant Cardone
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and build your team members?
Building a growth mindset, instilling and fostering idea creation, and leading with intent and integrity are all requirements of good leadership and team development. Realizing that nearly everyone has potential for greatness and that, in the right setting, potential can be limitless; you can foster greatness within your team. I strive to grow my team to not just be sustainable in my absence, but truly thrive. Empowering team members daily, never discourage ideas, and leading with gentle guidance affords me the ability to take moments to sit back and watch them develop into amazing leaders themselves. It is one of the greatest and most humbling achievements to watch unfold.

Franklin Jones

Director of Operations

Email: franklin.jones@asusinc.com

What are you doing on a daily basis to grow and build your team members?
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” I make it a priority to show my team how much I truly care about them personally and professionally.
Who has had the greatest influence in your career?
My father, as I worked many years with him in the family business. I learned from him that sincere relationships are the foundation for a positive, healthy work environment.

Travis Adams

Environmental Health & Safety Manager

Email: travis.adams@asusinc.com

What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
The people that I have the pleasure to work with while serving the men and women of the military every day of my career.  Our team takes great pride in their work each and every day, striving to provide excellence in everything they do.  Just thinking of this puts a smile on my face and drives the passion to serve within.
What is one mistake you see leaders regularly make?
As a leader, you are always presented with tough challenges and busy schedules which can sometimes create unintentional blinders and cause a leader to miss the fun and joy in their work.  The ability to find the good in the high times as well as the low times is crucial to great leadership.  A happy leader results in a happy team and workplace.  

Greg Booker

Utility Manager, Andrews AFB

Email: greg.booker@asusinc.com

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
One of the major keys of being a successful leader is to be quick to listen and slow to speak. When he/she is able to listen to others’ concerns, suggestions, and needs, they are able to gain more value from their employees. As a leader he/she should magnify other’s strengths, as they build up one’s weaknesses. Lastly, leaders are to inspire their employee, as they mold other’s to lead.
Of what career accomplishments are you the most proud?
As a military vet, my greatest accomplishment is to be able to continue to serve the military community and provide excellent service. We make it our goal to make a difference in their lives by providing a simple, yet complex plan to deliver a safe source of drinking water. The objective each day is to fix any issues within our system as quickly as we can. We continue to improve our systems to provide water and wastewater for the future.

Grover ‘Cleve’ Branton

Utility Manager, Fort Eustis

Email: grover.branton@asusinc.com

What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
Our customers and our team. Every day we are given a very noble opportunity to provide our very best to the men and women that protect our country. It is truly an honor to be able to serve them. I also feel a deep sense of dedication to the men and women that I manage. I have never worked anywhere that there is a greater sense of family and dedication to one another than it is here. There is a continual sense of camaraderie that is unsurpassed among ASUS employees.
Of what career accomplishments are you the most proud?
I am most proud of starting out as a Construction Coordinator and then being given the opportunity to make advancements over the years to finally be in the current role that I am in now. I have done this while taking night classes for over 10 years in order to obtain my Bachelors in Engineering and all the while raising a family. I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to not only advance myself but more importantly to advance and help grow the company and also be able to give back to our customers on a daily basis.

Josh Hemus

Division Controller

Email: josh.hemus@asusinc.com

What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
I am making a positive difference every day.
Where do you think the best ideas in the organization stem from?
Best ideas need to come from all levels of the organization.

Rebecca Hooper

Manager of Contracts

Email: rebecca.hooper@asusinc.com

Who has had the greatest influence on your career?
I met Barbara Jordan when she was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 18th district of Texas, serving the citizens of Houston, where I grew up. I was in high school and participated in a program to learn more about government. Representative Jordan participated in this program and made it a point to devote considerable time explaining her path, obstacles she encountered, and how she overcame each one. Her dedication and devotion to service was unparalleled to any other individual I had ever encountered. Barbara Jordan not only radiated passion and commitment to public service, she showed each of us how we too could serve, and challenged us to pick up the mantle of service to others. This experience influenced me to enlist in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from high school.
What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
As the Manager of Contracts, my position allows me to assist in the fulfillment of meeting our government customer’s needs. This allows me the opportunity to provide and foster an inclusive procurement system that invites the broadest possible participation of all qualified vendors and subcontractors. “Serving those who serve” is not only our motto, it is the way we conduct business.

Randy Keys

Capital Construction Manager

Email: randy.keys@asusinc.com

Where do you think the best ideas in the organization stem?
The best ideas start with our boots on the ground employees. They are the closest to our end users, our processes, equipment, and products. Their daily involvement with our mission of providing unparalleled service and Serving Those Who Serve® allows them to identify where the potential for improvement exists.

Of what career accomplishments are you the most proud?
I’m most proud of being able to bring the experience I have gained since leaving school to start the internal construction teams from the ground up here at ASUS. We started with one crew as a pilot program and have grown currently to sixteen crews. We have been able to bring quality, safety, and the ability to react at a moment’s notice to meet the needs of our client and capital teams.

John Lester

Utility Manager, Fort Riley

Email: john.lester@asusinc.com

Of what career accomplishments are you the most proud?
One of the career accomplishments I am most proud of was negotiating a settlement between a major oil pipeline company and municipal utility while I was the General Manager. A major pipeline provider planned a 20” diameter crude oil pipeline from Oklahoma across Arkansas to Memphis where there was a refinery. The pipeline was to be constructed across both watersheds of the utility that provided the raw water to the Arkansas community, and eight wholesale customers of the utility and came with the risk of doing major long-term damage to the supply if there was a release from the pipeline. After multiple meetings with the pipeline company, interviews with news media and the Arkansas Governor, and two days before the utility was set to testify before the Arkansas Public Service Commission which had permitting authority in addition to the US Corp of Engineers, both parties agreed to a settlement for over $6.6 million. The settlement was to move one intake upstream of where the pipeline was going to cross a river and the other was to open a new port at a deeper level of the second existing intake of our surface water source as well as have emergency response equipment prepared to deploy including a boom, which could protect the water source if there is a spill. The settlement gave the community long-term peace of mind going forward related to keeping the water supply clean in case of a major oil spill event.

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Good communication is critical to the success of any organization. The one characteristic I believe is critical for every leader to possess is good listening skills. As written in the top-selling motivational book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Steven Covey, habit 5 is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Being a good listener in the effort to understand others helps to create an atmosphere of empathy and helps in open discussions and positive problem-solving.

Timothy ‘Adam’ Loughman

Utility Manager, Fort Liberty

Email: adam.loughman@asusinc.com

What are you doing on a daily basis to grow and build your team members?
I do my best daily to “practice what I preach”. That is compassion toward my team, patience, forgiveness, and accountability. I strive for consistency in my daily decision making processes to ensure all team members are treated fairly and equal. Through positive reinforcement and congratulatory communication of their successes, I have witnessed an upsurge in the team’s confidence in performing their duties. As a result of this confidence boost, I have personally seen an increase of ownership among my team leads, resulting in a quality product and enhanced customer service relations.
What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
I feel every leader should have a heart for the team they lead. I was once told that if you always bait your hook with the heart, the fish will always bite. When your team knows you care about their needs and growth, you will always get each member’s buy-in and additionally, an enhanced motivation to meet the goals set for your team.

Gilbert Mesa

Utility Manager, Fort Bliss

Email: gilbert.mesa@asusinc.com

What are you doing on a daily basis to grow and build your team members?
Every day, I strive to empower my team members by providing them the tools, guidance and support that they need to take responsibility for their jobs so that they can individually make decisions and take action. I encourage constructive dialogue and foster a work environment where each team member can freely express their opinions and make recommendations. I value team members expressing their thoughts and want them to know that there is no such thing as a bad question and there is no negative consequence for speaking up. This includes encouraging each team member to offer ideas on improving how we do things, to express differences of opinion, and to not be afraid to admit mistakes. Mistakes will happen; it is how we react to these mistakes that matters and whether or not we learn and grow from these mistakes so that they are not repeated.
How do you define success?
At the end of the day, I measure success on whether or not I have made a positive difference in the lives of others and if I have given back more than I have received. I believe that the ASUS motto, “Serving Those Who Serve” embodies this perspective and is my daily reminder of my job’s fundamental purpose.

Dana Reeder

Utility Manager, Fort Jackson

Email: dana.reeder@asusinc.com

Where do you think the best ideas in the organization stem from? 
The best ideas can come from anywhere within an organization. An organization should actively solicit ideas from anyone who may have had direct or similar experience either within or outside the organization.

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess? 
Open-mindedness. A leader has to be willing to listen to ideas from others, to have their own ideas challenged, to have empathy for others, to be confident in their own knowledge and skills but understand that working with others can be essential in finding the best solutions, and to be humble enough to admit when they are wrong.

Zbigniew ‘Zig’ Resiak

Utility Manager, Eglin AFB

Email: zbigniew.resiak@asusinc.com

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Hearing – Perhaps the correct vernacular should be listening. However, there is a great distinction between the two. Listening can often be tainted with our own unconscious filters or ingrained perceptions. Hearing however, that requires us to invest personally in the speakers’ point of view, courageously removing the belief that “I know” and replacing that with “I connect”.
What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
Every day I am blessed with the opportunity to be a positive yet invisible influence on lives. Our Military and their families turn on their water taps on trust that “someone” is taking care to ensure their water is safe to drink, safe to use. As a former service member who’s been deployed, I recognize that what I do every day has an enormous impact locally and abroad to those who are serving. Communicating and planning our daily utility activities to ensure that our client’s trust is well grounded with our utility family at ASUS is far more than a job. It is an honor that I eagerly awake to daily. No matter our title here at ASUS, our position is that of trusted provider.

Joshua Rhamy

GIS Manager

Email: joshua.rhamy@asusinc.com

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Leaders should possess high emotional intelligence and be able to connect with those around them. Finding that spark and building on those connections with others is what helps build a cohesive team. Success is found when the right players are in the boat with oars in hand all rowing in the same direction; and leaders that have the ability to create this synergy throughout a group and generate a mutual drive towards a common goal are the key to making a good team great.
What is one mistake you see leaders regularly make?
Believing in the misconception that every idea or solution needs to come from the leader is a mistake too often made. An engine runs best when it is firing on all cylinders and a team is no different. By creating an environment to solve problems and share ideas, a leader can leverage the “horsepower” of the team’s collective knowledge, perspectives, and experiences in order to get the best results. Leaders will also find that this approach creates better understanding of the project and goals at hand and can generate more buy-in from the team as the focus shifts from “me” to “we.”

Tony Rivera

Utility Manager, Pax River

Email: Tony.Rivera@asusinc.com

What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
In my position I am most passionate about having the unique ability to create a team from the ground up and establish our first Navy subsidiary.  I never thought that this would be the career I would be passionate about.  Working in water and wastewater provides immediate gratification and feedback from hard labor, and the ability to challenge you as a person and overcome obstacles.  More importantly, I love the ability to serve our Nation’s Armed Forces and their families.  We have the duty and responsibility to provide vital resources to those making incredible sacrifices for our freedoms and that responsibility drives me daily. 
What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Humility.  As a manager I believe it is important to have a healthy understanding of your limitations, and recognize the strengths of your staff.  Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with top water and wastewater professionals who not only were incredibly intelligent in their fields, but also brought everyone up around them by teaching and leading humbly.  Skills and knowledge come in many forms and some of the most impactful lessons I have learned are from front-line hard-working technicians at 1 am in a rainstorm.  It is my goal to foster a work place that recognizes knowledge and skills others bring to the table, regardless of their position or title or formal education, and encourage growth for our employees in areas they are interested in.

Rachelle Roberge

Engineering Design Manager

Email: Rachelle.Roberge@asusinc.com

What makes you most passionate about your career and position?
Ever since I can recall, I have had a desire to work in the public health and safety field with a specific focus on water utilities.  My current position affords me the opportunity to exercise my engineering skills in direct support of our service men and women; the ones who protect our freedoms and the American way of life.  Everyday, I feel privileged and fulfilled knowing that I am improving the quality of life for the thousands of individuals that we support.
How do you define success?
Ultimately success is meeting a company’s desired end state through a healthy process with maximum contribution from all team members.  While achieving the organization’s mission and goal(s) is significant, that alone does not encompass the whole definition of success.  True success is measured by the morale, effectiveness, and efficiency of the team that garnered achievement(s). 

Laura Lynn Weaver

Business Development Manager

Email: lauralynn.weaver@asusinc.com

What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
To be a successful leader, I believe integrity is essential. This includes demonstrating honesty, reliability, trustworthiness, and dependability. For those of us who have experienced leadership that involves high integrity, we know that it provides a great culture to work in. Excellent leaders understand what a significant responsibility it is to lead a group, and they exhibit a leadership shadow that demonstrates integrity. They keep their word, frequently ask “How can I help?,” and always look for growth opportunities for their team. Working for these types of leaders makes our careers meaningful and rewarding.
Who has had the greatest influence in your career?
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work for several great leaders who have been my advocate, empowered me, trusted me to make good decisions, and were there to guide me when I had questions or needed help. They were all great communicators, provided a vision for what we were working toward, and focused on the most important areas. The work wasn’t always easy, but they made it rewarding. These leaders have helped shape my career and how I lead teams of my own. I’m proud that I am still able to reach out to these individuals today and enjoy catching up with them whenever we have the opportunity to get together.