After a long and courageous battle with cancer, former NEWEA President Glenn Haas passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021. To those who knew him, it is no surprise that he faced his final challenge with the strength and determination that defined his life.
During his long, achievement-oriented career, Glenn worked tirelessly to help Massachusetts’ municipalities, their consultants and contractors pursue a myriad of wastewater projects that have helped greatly in the successful pursuit of our goal of improved water quality. Whether in his 40 years at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where he rose to the level of Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Water Quality Management, in his lengthy service as Massachusetts commissioner for NEIWPCC, or in his later career as a consulting engineer, Glenn approached his work with well-directed zeal. At DEP he managed the growth and maturity of the Massachusetts State Revolving Fund (SRF) program, oversaw all aspects of the state’s surface and groundwater water quality monitoring programs, and managed the MassDEP’s drinking water program.
Glenn also found it important to make many lasting volunteer contributions to NEWEA, serving as a mentor, a friend, and an energetic leader to a broad range of industry professionals. With his large and welcoming personality, he attracted many people to the NEWEA organization, promoting opportunities to join NEWEA and participate in committee work. Working with a strong hand, usually tempered by his ebullient but dry sense of humor, Glenn was a driving force for growth in many NEWEA programs, becoming a well-known NEWEA President and helping to cement NEWEA’s reputation as one of the leading member associations of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), where he also served as a WEF director and later as the WEF treasurer. He was a NEWEA/WEF Life Member and was an early and proud member of NEWEA’s Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers.
An ardent golfer, Glenn was a familiar participant in many regional and state association events, and for many years he organized and administered NEWEA’s annual late summer golf tournament. While he received numerous association accolades, among them WEF’s Arthur Sidney Bedell Award, NEWEA’s Founders award and two WEF service awards, for many he will be best remembered for his joy and laughter at association interactive gatherings where he heartily celebrated the collegial spirit of the NEWEA community.
Glenn Haas will be greatly missed by all. He leaves his wife Debby, his children and grandchildren of whom he was very proud, and a NEWEA membership that will long and gratefully remember his accomplished involvement and spirited encouragement of vigorous volunteering.