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2021 Award Recipients

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry were honored at our 2021 Spring Conference.  Each recipient was presented with their award prior to the conference, then recognized throughout the event on a slideshow displaying on the event center's tv monitors throughout the venue!

  • Wastewater Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Water Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Manager of the Year
  • Administrative Professional of the Year
  • Associate Member of the Year
  • President's Choice Award
  • Steward of the Environment Award

Howard Watts, City of Austin Wastewater Treatment Plant

Wastewater Systems Operations Specialist of the Year

Howard Watts, Superintendent for the City of Austin Wastewater Treatment Plant has been presented with the “Wastewater System Operations Specialist of the Year” award from Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 2021. The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry are recognized each year for being a leader in the rural water industry.

Howard has worked for the utility since 1981, and is considered a collection systems expert. His son, Todd Watts, says, “I’ve witnessed firsthand the countless hours he’s devoted to his plant, his dedication really deserves acknowledgement in a formal way”

Don Long, Town of Ladoga

Water Systems Operations Specialist of the Year

Don Long, Utility Superintendent with the Town of Ladoga Utilities has been presented with the “Water System Operations Specialist of the Year” award from Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 2021. The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry are recognized each year for being a leader in the rural water industry.

He was nominated by Dwayne Scott, Howard Ambrose and the entire office staff - they all agree, “Don has been a blessing to the town, is a very humble man and always willing to help anyone. Every small town needs a Don Long.”

Ken Alexander, Watson Water Company

Manager of the Year

Ken Alexander, Manager for the Watson Water Company, was presented with the “Manager of the Year” award from Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 2021. The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry are recognized each year for being a leader in the rural water industry.

Ken was nominated by Eric Goodman, who says, “Ken is on point, professional and understands the business of water treatment. He’s hired experienced personnel and promotes a positive work environment”

Chuck Stranahan, West Terre Haute Water Works

Administrative Professional of the Year

Chuck Stranahan, Town Board Member for West Terre Haute Water Works, was presented with the “Administrative Professional of the Year” award from Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 2021. The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry are recognized each year for being a leader in the rural water industry.

Chuck was the former water operator at West Terre Haute and thought the system could use more support from the administration so he resigned his position and ran for office. Nominator, Jim Crowley says he nominated Chuck because, “When Chuck resigned his position, he gave up a job he was passionate about in his hometown to run for office to improve the system. Since taking over the town has secured funding for miles of new water mains that it desperately needed, has built a new multi-million dollar water treatment plant, and is in the process of designing a project for system expansion. Although Chuck usually shies away from recognition I know this award would mean so much to him and show that his sacrifices are not unnoticed.”

National Water Services

Associate Member of the Year

National Water Services – located Paoli, Indiana, was presented with the Associate Member of the Year award from Alliance of Indiana Rural Water for 2021. This honor is presented to an associate member that has gone above and beyond for the Alliance.

National Water Services has been a member of the Alliance since 2003, and was selected because of their unwavering support for the Alliance’s mission to serve rural water and wastewater communities in Indiana. This support has been shown throughout the years through not only important sponsorships but also by representatives serving on committees as well as attendance at every Alliance event.

Anita Amspaugh, Midwestern Engineers, Inc.

President's Choice Award

This award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Amspaugh has been presented with this award for all her work prior to her retirement this year for the water and wastewater industry. She has been an integral part of the Alliance organization serving on the board and committees throughout her tenure, and will be missed!  

Bruce Cunningham, South Harrison Water Co.

Steward of the Environment Award

This award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the message, “Take care of the environment and the environment will take care of you.” Mr. Cunningham was chosen for his willingness to assist his employees, customers, and others to express the importance of water in general, not to mention the importance of keeping his customers supplied with safe drinking water with each glass. We wanted to show our appreciation of his due diligence keeping his customers safe and giving his water plant and distribution system the tools and knowledge to excel in the communities in Southern Harrison county.


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