The best of the best in the water and wastewater industry were honored at our 2022 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
- Commitment to Rural Excellence Award
Robin Willey, Town of Nashville Utilities
Wastewater Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
Robin was nominated by Josh Hawley, Operations Specialist for Ziptility. Robin has worked for the utility since 2001 and is responsible for the operations, assets, and crew of Nashville’s water utility and wastewater utility. He is currently working with multiple entities to bring in two expansion projects to Nashville, one of which includes Indiana's largest state park, Brown County, and the other could be one of the largest residential expansions in the past decade. Robin also implemented the first digital mapping endeavor in late 2021 and is single-handedly transferring his knowledge and expertise to that database for future generations. “Even after all of his successes as an operator and manager, he continues to strive for excellence,” noted Hawley. “Despite the town seeing changes in leadership over the years, Robin has been the one constant that Nashville could depend on.”
Gabe Brindle, Town of Huntertown Utilities
Water Systems Operations Specialist of the Year
Gabe was proudly nominated by Beth Shellman, Town Manager of Huntertown. “Gabe has saved the town a significant amount of money through his critical thinking skills, extensive understanding of water and wastewater distribution systems, and his creativity. He is a dedicated employee who truly cares for Huntertown, and we are blessed by his knowledge,” noted Shellman.
Kevin Crecelius, Town of Shoals
Manager of the Year
Kevin oversees the operations and training of both the water and wastewater utilities, as well as the Street Department. Kevin was nominated by Sierra Rutledge, Clerk and Treasurer for Shoals, who says, “Kevin is an outstanding asset to the Town of Shoals. The Town and the residents of Shoals are so thankful for his dedication and many contributions to our community over the years. If every community had a ‘Kevin’ around, they would have one outstanding role model for all ages.”
Micah Sarabyn, Ben Davis Conservancy District
Administrative Professional of the Year
Micah was proudly nominated by Angela Wirth, Secretary Finance Officer for Ben Davis. “Micah helps the office flow smoothly and has streamlined several processes for us, including the maintenance schedule. She has made life so much easier and organized here at the District,” noted Wirth.
Associate Member of the Year
Midwestern Engineers has been a member of the organization since 1985, and they were selected because of their unwavering dedication to the goals of the Alliance, as well as their continuous involvement, attendance, and sponsorship of the Alliance’s programs and activities. “Their support of nearly four decades to serve rural water and wastewater communities in Indiana has, without a doubt, made a major difference in the growth of our organization and the industry as a whole throughout the state,” said Connie Stevens, Executive Director of the Alliance.
Gene Eaton, Napoleon Community Rural Water Corp.
President's Choice Award
This award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Eaton has been presented with this award for his dedication this year and throughout his career to the water industry.
“Gene’s loyalty, vast knowledge and love of his job makes him the definitive Water professional and a most worthy recipient of this award. Our Board of Directors, staff and customers are proud that the Alliance has recognized his contribution to the industry with this award.” - Sherri Summers, Office Manager since 2013 with Napoleon Community Rural Water Corp.
“Gene is very deserving of this honor. He is the most sincere and conscientious person in the water industry, all tied together with his fun-loving nature.” - Robert E. Curry – Curry & Associates, Inc.
“I’m so happy to hear Gene is being honored. He is a wonderful man, dedicated to his job and it’s very evident that he enjoys serving others.” - Jerry Luedeman, Project Engineer with Curry & Associates, Inc.
Connie Stevens, Alliance of Indiana Rural Water
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.” Connie is the Executive Director for the Alliance, joining the organization in February 2012. She has over 20 years of previous experience as a utility manager and served as a clerk treasurer for 13 years prior to that. Connie has been an instrumental voice for productivity, change, and growth within the Alliance and the rural water industry of Indiana as a whole.
Senator Eric Koch, District 44
Commitment to Rural Excellence Award
On March 16, 2022, during the Alliance’s Spring Conference in French Lick, IN, Executive Director of the Alliance, Connie Stevens, presented Senator Koch with this award and recognized his dedication and integrity to the water and wastewater utilities throughout the state. Eric Koch, who serves Senate District 44, also serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Utilities and regularly meets with members of the Alliance. “Senator Koch has been an instrumental advocate for the rural water and wastewater community, and he has been a wonderful partner of the Alliance. We greatly appreciate all of his efforts to keep our industry and the challenges our utilities face at the forefront,” said Stevens.