New Jersey American Water Announces Changes to Government Affairs and Business Development Team

New Jersey American Water Announces Changes to Government Affairs and Business Development Team

CAMDEN, N.J. (MAY 15, 2020)  New Jersey American Water today announced changes to its Government Affairs and Business Development teams.

David Mayer, who has served as director of Government Affairs since June 2019, has been appointed as director of Government Affairs and Business Development, merging these two functions into one team. Nicholas DeVecchis, who has been with New Jersey American Water for 14 years, has been promoted to senior manager of Business Development. The company also welcomes Sakeema James, who has joined the company as manager of Government Affairs.

“These teams have always been strategic partners and this change will ensure a cohesive path forward as we work to continue to engage and educate state and community leaders in providing quality water and wastewater services,” said Cheryl Norton, President of New Jersey American Water and Chief Environmental Officer of American Water. “Dave, Nick and Sakeema are experts in their field and have a deep commitment to public service and community engagement.”

As director of Government Affairs and Business Development, David Mayer will focus on state legislative activities, as well as municipal relationships. He provides strategic government affairs counsel and is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with elected/appointed individuals to strengthen the company’s position as a trusted and expert resource and industry leader for water and wastewater issues. 

Mayer, who also serves as the mayor of Gloucester Township, has a strong legislative and municipal background. Prior to joining New Jersey American Water, his previous roles included senior director of Government Affairs for Comcast, serving as a member of the State Assembly, Camden County Deputy County Clerk, and as District Director for Representative Robert Andrews. He is also an adjunct professor at Rowan University.

Mayer earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Rutgers University and a law degree from Rutgers University School of Law.

As senior manager of Business Development, Nick DeVecchis will lead the company’s efforts to grow our regulated water and wastewater footprint through strategic partnerships and acquisitions of municipal and private systems. Tabatha Stephens, who joined the company in May 2019, will continue in her role as manager of Business Development, reporting to DeVecchis.

Most recently serving as project manager in Operations, DeVecchis joined American Water in 2006 as a Government Affairs specialist and was promoted to Business Development manager in 2008, where he spent the majority of the past 11 years supporting the company's growth efforts and managing bulk water sales agreements with municipalities and other entities. 

DeVecchis earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University. He is a trustee of the American Water Works Association’s New Jersey section.

In her new role as manager of Government Affairs, Sakeema James will oversee communications with elected officials in the company’s North, Central and Coastal regions. James brings valuable experience in policy, operations and communications to New Jersey American Water, as she most recently held dual roles as Chief of Staff for State Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham (31st Legislative District) and professor of Public Administration at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J. In her nine years as Chief of Staff, James served as a senior advisor to Senator Cunningham, developed and operated strategy for procuring funding for legislative initiatives, strengthened and maintained key relationships with the Office of the Governor, state commissioners, state legislators and special interest groups and was instrumental in the development and implementation of statewide public policy.

James has been recognized with professional awards for four consecutive years including PAM’s List “Women Who Get It Done Award,” the Fannie Lou Hamer Award from the National Action Network, and Community Service Awards from the Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow and the Bayonne Branch of the NAACP. Her commitments to community include serving as board trustee for the Urban League of Hudson County and founder, facilitator and mentor of the Girls Rock Mentoring Program.

A graduate of the EMERGE New Jersey Political Leadership Training program, James holds a Master of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a bachelor’s degree from Howard University.

About New Jersey American Water
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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