Our Leadership

We’re led by a dedicated team of experts and innovators who provide knowledge, commitment, transparency, and environmental know-how to all aspects of our operations.

We always want what is best for our Alexandria community, because we work, live, and play in our City.

Get to know our leadership team:

Karen Pallansch, Chief Executive Officer

Karen currently serves as chief executive officer for Alexandria Renew Enterprises (formerly the Alexandria Sanitation Authority), one of the most advanced water reclamation facilities in the United States. As chief executive officer, she leads a team of more than 100 employees on a 35-acre campus that renews 13 billion gallons of wastewater per year. She has served in her current capacity since October 2005 and has worked at AlexRenew for more than 20 years.

Learn More About Karen

Meet the rest of the team

Liliana Maldonado joined AlexRenew in November 2017 as the director of RiverRenew, a clean water program that mitigates potential sanitary sewer overflows from wet weather events and addresses combined sewer overflows from the City of Alexandria’s combined collection system. As Chief of Engineering and Planning, she is responsible for the overall implementation of all design and construction projects, including RiverRenew. She wants the Alexandria community to know that she is proud to lend her expertise to this program in order to achieve healthier waterways for all of Alexandria.

Stephen Schemmel started with AlexRenew in July 2017. He is a senior finance professional with 36 years of experience leading high performance teams, driving business growth, and delivering outstanding results. He manages AlexRenew’s finance, accounting, purchasing, human resources, customer service, and communications departments. Steve comes to AlexRenew from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he served as Managing Director and worked to finance infrastructure, including water utility projects. Stephen has an MBA in Finance from Duke University, and he is a retired Naval Reserve Officer. He wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew is dedicated to supporting a healthy local economy by ensuring financial stability while minimizing our impact on customers. 

Lisa is responsible for communications, customer service, and community outreach and education. She started at AlexRenew in November 2014. She was previously assistant vice president of communications at the University of Richmond, and started the communications department at CarMax, Inc. She wants the Alexandria community to know that one of the key components of AlexRenew’s vision is to enable citizens to swim in and eat fish from local streams.

Aster is responsible for quality system and assurance practices and maintains VELAP Chapter 45 certification. She evaluates laboratory analytical data and reports for validity, correctness and acceptance criteria according to standard operating procedures, as well as applicable local, state and federal regulations, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements. Aster started at AlexRenew in March 2012 after serving as a quality assurance officer at Xenco Laboratories Environmental Analysis Services, where she processed and completed the laboratory’s National Environmental Laboratory Conference (NELAC) certification. Aster wants the Alexandria community to know that 24/7, 365 days a year, AlexRenew protects drinking water, aquatic life, and recreational uses of waterways. She’s proud of AlexRenew’s efforts to minimize air emissions and reduce other impacts resulting from energy and chemical use.

Chad is responsible for the safe, compliant, and efficient operation of AlexRenew’s 54 million gallon per day water resource recovery facility.  He leads a team of highly qualified operators who monitor treatment performance to ensure that AlexRenew meets or exceeds permit requirements.  Chad came to AlexRenew from Fairfax Water in September 2016 and is a US Navy veteran.  He wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew is committed to being a great neighbor in our community and a leader in protecting our local waterways.  

Hans is directly responsible for the customer service and billing team. He started with AlexRenew in February 2015, bringing over 15 years of customer service management experience. He has previously served as Assistant Director of Customer Service and Quality Assurance for a privately-held online advertising company, and as the Director of a Customer Service Contact Center for the publicly traded company owning BirthdayExpress.com and CostumeExpress.com. Hans wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew is an engaged and innovative partner, with the shared goal of protecting our local waterways and environment.

Janet Spencer joined the AlexRenew team in 2016.  A registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, she has fifteen years of water infrastructure life cycle management experience, including rate modeling and budgeting, master planning, design, bid, construction, and operations.  Janet wants to share with the Alexandria community that AlexRenew has an incredibly talented team working to ensure our community remains a vibrant location to live, work, and play. 

Steve is responsible for maintenance repairs and replacements of all building and process equipment. Steve started at AlexRenew in March 1989, and previously held positions of Control Systems Supervisor and Maintenance Supervisor. Steve wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew is committed to the Board’s vision of operational excellence, reducing our carbon footprint, and being an environmental steward in the community.

Wendy is responsible for maximizing the strategic use of human resources and has operational oversight of benefits, compensation and recruitment. Wendy began her career with AlexRenew in September 2011 after previous Human Resources Manager positions at Therma-Tru Doors and Simmons Manufacturing.  Wendy wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew has an experienced, competent workforce, focused on providing great service to you and your family.

Lorna came to AlexRenew in July 2011, after 10 years at Capital Group Companies in both the marketing and investment areas of the firm. She wants the Alexandria community to know that AlexRenew is committed to engaging the community and being good neighbors to our residents.