2024 Award Recipients
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2024 Award Recipients

2024 Award Recipients

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry were honored at our annual Spring Conference. Each recipient was presented with their award at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon on Wednesday, March 13.

 

 
  • Associate Member of the Year
  • President's Choice Award
  • Water Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Wastewater Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Administrative Professional of the Year
  • Manager of the Year
  • The James E Burch Steward of the Environment Award
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Indiana Pump Works

 
Associate Member of the Year
Indiana Pump Works (IPW), a distinguished veteran-owned small business based in Fortville, Indiana, has been honored with the Associate Member of the Year Award for 2024. Annually, the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water recognizes outstanding contributions within Indiana's rural water and wastewater industry at the Alliance Awards of Excellence during their Annual Spring Conference held at French Lick Resort in March. The Associate Member of the Year accolade is bestowed upon an association member demonstrating exceptional commitment to the Alliance and its members, comprised of water and wastewater utilities and industry professionals statewide. The award highlights IPW's commitment to delivering high-quality products and innovative technologies while championing environmental stewardship. Founded on the principles of integrity and excellence, IPW distinguishes its elf as more than mere salespeople, positioning themselves as certified water and wastewater treatment professionals dedicated to serving their customers and safeguarding the environment. Grant Kissel, Owner and President of Indiana Pump Works, plays an active role in the Alliance's Advisory Council. Additionally, he generously contributes his time to provide valuable training to Alliance utility members, further cementing IPW's reputation as a trusted partner in the water and wastewater treatment sector. Since its inception, Indiana Pump Works has continually elevated its support for the Alliance, prioritizing the needs and interests of its members. This unwavering commitment has garnered IPW admiration and respect within the Alliance community and the broader industry.

 

 
 
 

 

 

Gordon Meyer, Lead Circuit Rider

 
President's Choice Award
Gordon Meyer, Lead Circuit Rider, with the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Association was presented with the President's Choice Award by President Tim Doersam of Jasper Municipal Utilities. Before joining the Alliance team in 1999, Gordon had a background in water treatment and military service in the Air Force. His former training encompasses various aspects of water treatment plant operation and maintenance, distribution systems, field water purification systems, demineralization units, and wastewater treatment/distribution systems. Meyer contributed his skills and knowledge to two different utilities, honing his craft and gaining valuable experience in the industry. His dedication to professional development is evident through his attainment of WT3 and DSM water certifications and a Class II wastewater certification. Meyer is celebrating an impressive 25 years of service with the Alliance this August. His commitment to service and tireless efforts have significantly impacted the Alliance and the utilities it serves. His dedication to ensuring safe and reliable water services for communities across Indiana is a testament to his character and professionalism.  

 

 
 
 

 

 

Doug Steury, City of Bloomington

 
Water Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
Doug Steury, Water Plant Operator with the City of Bloomington Utilities, was honored with the esteemed title of Water Operations Specialist of the Year. Steury's distinguished career, spanning nearly 45 years with Bloomington Utilities, has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to upholding excellence in drinking water standards. Serving as a Laboratory Technician and WT5 Operator, Steury has consistently surpassed expectations, ensuring the provision of safe and high-quality drinking water to the residents of Bloomington. His meticulous attention to detail and tireless efforts have played a pivotal role in upholding the City of Bloomington's esteemed reputation for excellence in water management. As Steury approaches his well-deserved retirement in May, the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Association extends its heartfelt appreciation for his exemplary service and unwavering dedication to safeguarding the community's well-being.  

 

 
 
 

 

 

Darren Dafforn, Town of Huntertown

 
Wastewater Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
Darren Dafforn, Superintendent of Wastewater Treatment with the Town of Huntertown, was honored with the esteemed title of Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year. Dafforn's journey as Superintendent stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence and dedication to his profession. Despite stepping into the role with minimal experience, Dafforn has consistently exhibited exceptional leadership, ensuring the facility operates in compliance with standards while maintaining efficient operations. Dafforn's colleagues commend him for his reliability and steadfast dedication to his duties. Under his guidance, the wastewater treatment facility has flourished, reflecting his exceptional skills and competence in wastewater management. Although Darren was unable to attend the conference to accept the award in person, his commitment to excellence extends beyond himself. Instead, he attended an award ceremony where his daughter was being recognized for her own achievements. Nonetheless, Darren's absence does not diminish the significance of his accomplishment. Derek Fredrickson, Vice President of ERI Consulting, graciously accepted the award on Dafforn's behalf, ensuring that his outstanding contributions are duly acknowledged and celebrated.

 

 
 
 

 

 

Angela Gerber, Town of Ferdinand

 
Administrative Professional of the Year
Angela Gerber, Utility Billing Clerk with the Town of Ferdinand, was honored as the Administrative Professional of the Year. Angela Gerber's remarkable contributions to the Town of Ferdinand's utility operations have garnered widespread recognition and admiration within the community. Nominated by four individuals for this award, Gerber's dedication, efficiency, and professionalism have made a lasting impact on those she serves. Her colleagues have consistently praised her for her dedication to exceeding expectations in serving Ferdinand residents. Over her impressive 25-year tenure, Angela has not only fulfilled her duties but also enhanced critical functions for the town, earning her widespread respect and admiration. Notably, this marks the second consecutive year that a Town of Ferdinand employee has received recognition at the Alliance Spring Conference, highlighting the exceptional teamwork and commitment to excellence among the Town’s staff members.  

 

 
 
 

 

 

Gabe Gill, City of Greendale

 
Manager of the Year
Gabe Gill, Water Foreman with the City of Greendale, was honored with the Manager of the Year Award. Gill's outstanding leadership and dedication to his role as Water Foreman have left an undeniable mark on the City of Greendale and its water management operations. Under his guidance, Gill has successfully mentored and guided his two staff members to achieve their WT3 and DSM licenses, a testament to his commitment to professional development and excellence. Beyond his official duties, Gabe Gill's colleagues and peers were eager to ensure that his tireless efforts were recognized on and off the clock. His unwavering dedication to his team's success and the efficiency of water operations in Greendale has earned him the admiration and respect of all those he works with. Gabe Gill's recognition as Manager of the Year highlights the crucial role that effective leadership plays in ensuring the success and sustainability of water utilities across Indiana.  

 

 
 
 

 

 

Steve Henschen P.E., JPR Engineering

 
The James E Burch Steward of the Environment Award
The Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Association proudly announces Steve Henschen, P.E., as the recipient of the prestigious James E. Burch Steward of the Environment Award. Each year, the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Association honors the best of the best in Indiana’s rural water and wastewater industry through the Alliance Awards of Excellence. The 2024 awards were presented during the Annual Spring Conference at French Lick Resort on Wednesday, March 13. This accolade celebrates individuals who demonstrate outstanding dedication and contributions to environmental stewardship within Indiana's rural water and wastewater industry. Steve Henschen, P.E., an accomplished Engineer at JPR Engineering, has been recognized for his exceptional commitment to advancing environmental conservation and sustainable infrastructure development. With over 30 years of experience as an Engineer in Indiana, Henschen has played a pivotal role in delivering sanitary sewer solutions to numerous unsewered communities across multiple counties. In his current capacity as a Project Engineer at JPR Engineering, Henschen oversees a diverse portfolio of wastewater projects, demonstrating remarkable expertise and innovation in providing cost-effective solutions. His meticulous approach and dedication to excellence have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and clients alike. Bob Jordan with Covalen nominated Henschen for the award and emphasized his unparalleled contributions to the improvement of wastewater systems. "Steve has accomplished more than most in delivering sanitary sewer to many unsewered communities in the most economical fashion I have seen," stated Jordan. The Steward of the Environment Award, named after James E. Burch, co-founder of Midwestern Engineers, Inc., serves as a testament to Henschen's commitment to upholding environmental integrity and sustainability. The Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Association extends its heartfelt congratulations to Steve Henschen, P.E., on this well-deserved recognition and expresses gratitude for his outstanding contributions to the rural water and wastewater industry in Indiana.  

 

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