Thought Leadership Lab


A request was made by James Curbeam, Risk Manager for Las Vegas Valley Water District, to form a committee of liked-minded water executives for purposes of peer-to-peer networking, best-practices collaboration, and educational advancement. James was seeking active water industry peers committed to sharing operational procedures, engaging in joint research, discussing emerging trends, identifying actionable innovation, formulating heightened standards, and assisting smaller public water systems. The idea of the Ronald W. Seymour Memorial Thought Leadership Lab was spurred from this inquiry.


The Ronald W. Seymour Memorial Thought Leadership Lab facilitates networking of innovative and like-minded water executives who seek to accentuate standards, set benchmarks, and discuss emerging trends. The lab similarly performs relevant academic research on salient topics of interest from its participants.


  • To provide an inviting platform for innovative water executives to collaborate on ideas and initiatives, including the sharing of best-practices;
  • To align with an accredited university to perform salient risk studies and applied research;
  • To coordinate speakers and subject matter experts on relevant topics of interest;
  • To serve as a safe-harbor where philosophies and concepts can be exchanged and examined; and
  • To transfer knowledge to smaller public water systems via video presentations, audio briefs, and advisory support.


  • Annual Thought Leadership Conference
  • Expert Video Modules on Emerging Trends
  • Subject Matter Expert Connectivity
  • White Papers
  • Risk Briefs
  • Audio Briefs
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking
  • Smaller Water System Support

Areas of Focus

  • Applied Research
  • Climate Change
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Open Source Software
  • Emerging Trends
  • Environmental Risks
  • Regulatory Interface
  • Water Quality Standards
  • Groundwater Management
  • Pollution / Contamination
  • Evolving Legal Theories


  • Develop meaningful modules that address specific needs of public water systems and lab participants
  • Archive modules on AAWD&M’s website for viewing by public water systems and stakeholders
  • Secure authorized contact hours for all modules from SWRCB and other regulatory agencies as well as IACET accreditation
  • Post transcripts of each module on the AAWD&M website
  • Build a water library and create links to other complementary resources from similarly minded associations, state regulatory agencies, and the federal agencies
  • Expand video presentation to include ten (10) minute extemporaneous risk and audio briefs from practicing risk managers (filmed at association/trade conferences and public water system facilities)

White Papers / Video Topics


Appalachian State University

Academic Advisor