Water Management Team

Scott Dewhirst

Scott was named superintendent and COO of Tacoma Water in 2017. Scott’s experience includes 17 years at Newport News Waterworks including roles as the assistant director and the interim director. He holds degrees in both civil and environmental engineering and was the chair of the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association in 2016.

Heather Pennington
Customer & Employee Experience Manager

Heather joined Tacoma Water in 1994 and served as an engineer in Water Quality and Distribution Engineering. She later managed the Distribution Engineering section and in 2011  was named deputy water superintendent. Heather is a licensed civil engineer, holds an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University and a B.S. in environmental engineering from Northwestern University.

Heather’s professional affiliations include serving on the PNWS-AWWA’s Washington Water Utility Council Executive Committee, Education & Training board, and Philanthropic Advisory Council.

Sean Senescall
Business Services Manager

Sean joined Tacoma Water in 2010 as the Rates & Financial Planning assistant division manager. He became the Rates & Financial Planning manager in 2013. Sean has seven years of experience in government finance and rate development, having worked for the financial consulting firm FCS Group before coming to Tacoma Water. He studied economics at the U.S. Air Force Academy and has a B.S. in economics from the University of Washington.

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Jessica Knickerbocker
Planning & Engineering Manager

Jessica joined the City of Tacoma in 2010 as an Engineer and has worked in both Environmental Services and Tacoma Power before coming to Water.  Jessica accepted the opportunity of Planning & Engineering Manager in June. With over two decades of municipal and utility experience, Jessica continues to strengthen our Project Management Culture and continuously improving how we plan and deliver projects at Tacoma Water.


Jerrod Davis
Source Water & Treatment Operations Manager

Jerrod joined Tacoma Water in September 2023 after a long career working for the Washington State Department of Health in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, shellfish protection, food safety, and communicable/infectious diseases. Prior to that, Jerrod worked in private engineering consulting and abroad for the US Peace Corps.  Jerrod holds a Bachelors Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Seattle University and a Master’s Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.  Jerrod’s professional affiliations include American Water Works Association, the Pacific Northwest Watershed Managers Association, and the National Water Supply Alliance.

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Stuart Vaughan
Maintenance & Construction Manager

Stuart joined Tacoma Water in 2007 as part of the engineering team within the Water Distribution Engineering section. Since starting he has worked on both the supply and distribution systems in many different capacities, most recently leading the supply system maintenance group. Stuart started in his current role as the Maintenance and Construction Manager in 2019. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and a Professional Engineering license in civil engineering.

KayLyne Newell
Strategy Manager

KayLyne joined Tacoma Water in 2018 after serving in state government for eight years. She successfully led Tacoma Water through the strategic planning process in 2019 to develop our current 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. KayLyne has experience in facilitation, communication, process improvement, and performance management. She is a certified Prosci Change Management Practitioner and holds a BAL from Faith International University and an MBA from Western Governor’s University. When she is not strategizing at Tacoma Water, she can be found planning her next international vacation with her husband or hunting for a delicious recipe.

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James Southern
Water Safety Manager

James joined the City of Tacoma in 2004 to serve as a Water Utility Worker with the Distribution Operations Division.  James accepted the opportunity to fill the role of Safety Manager in 2021. With nearly two decades of Utility experience, James continues to strengthen the Safety Culture and working practices within Tacoma Water.