Our Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining the financial and institutional integrity of Fresh Water Friends®. We value their wisdom and experience. Our board is entirely composed of volunteers, and the integrity of each of our Board members contributes to our overall success.
Steven M. Surprenant, Founder
Steve Surprenant earned his degree in Geology from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1984. He then worked as an environmental geologist in Western New York, including working on the infamous "Love Canal," before shifting his focus to ministry. Steve is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America and served most recently at Armor Bible Church in Orchard Park, New York. In 2015, Steve and his wife Cheryl were captivated by the vision of providing fresh water for impoverished villages in Africa and southeast Asia, and launched Fresh Water Friends as a new initiative to meet that need.
Audra Wood, Chairperson
Environmental Geologist and Paleontologist
Audra Wood graduated from Florida State University in 2004 with a BS in Geological Sciences and a minor in Business Administration. Her experience includes pit mining, deep ocean drilling, contaminant remediation, and surface sampling and groundwater drilling. In addition, she has served the church for a number of years as Vacation Bible School director, and now serves a member of her church’s Missions Committee. She has four active boys, and she and her husband make their home outside Schenectady, New York.
Michael P. Germony, Treasurer
Certified Master Enterprise Architect & Assistant Vice-President Emeritus in Finance
Mr. Germony brings more than twenty-five years of technology, fifteen years of finance experience, and multiple professional certifications to the organization. A board certified Master Enterprise Architect, he has spent the majority of his career working for Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, M&T Bank, and Sysco Foods. His technical specialities include managing regulated and high-security environments, financial technologies, and cloud computing. Michael and Steve visited numerous villages helped by Fresh Water Friends in 2018, a trip which solidified his commitment to our mission and passion for our vision.
David W. Livingston, Secretary
David graduated from Cedarville University in 2006 with degrees in Marketing and Management. Mr. Livingston launched a successful e-commerce business the following year, one that he continues to run today. He has served with Fresh Water Friends in various capacities from the beginning of the organization.
Dr. Jonathan C. Vogan, Director
Board certified Otolaryngologist
Dr. Vogan is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist who has practiced Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in Western New York since 2000. He practiced Otolaryngology and served as a Medical Officer and Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Navy from 1990-2000. He completed medical school at Albany Medical College in 1990, and his residency training was completed at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 1998. Dr. Vogan is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has participated in several medical humanitarian trips to El Salvador and Sierra Leone over the last 30 years, and experienced the problems a lack of clean, fresh water imposes on communities.
Robert Gilham, Director
Marketing and Master Data Management
Robert Gilham holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a Master's in Business Administration from Canisius College. He has worked in a variety of marketing and quality control positions over his 28+ year career, where he has developed a background in leading cross-functional teams. Rob has worked at Rich Products since 2011 in marketing and customer data capacities. He joined the Board of Fresh Water Friends in October 2019.