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January 12, 2010
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Creative Minds Unite For NAWC

By Jessica Knight

What do you get when you put 22 seasoned communicators from across the country in one room with no windows and plenty of caffeinated beverages? Give up?

A lot of great ideas.

That was the scene in Washington, D.C., this past Thursday when the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) convened its first face-to-face meeting of the Communications Committee under the leadership of Laura Monica, elected chairperson and American Water’s senior vice president of Corporate Communications and External Affairs.

A new face to NAWC events, Mary Ingarra, manager of Public Affairs for Connecticut Water, was excited to meet other water professionals from across the country in similar communications roles. One committee member, Cal Water’s Shannon Dean, traveled from California to lend her expertise on community outreach and customer relations to the group. Other communicators weighing in represented a variety of private water companies and public-private partnership operations, including American, Aqua, Aquarion, Artesian, CH2M Hill, Golden State, Middlesex Water, Severn Trent Services, SouthWest, United and Veolia Water.

Vice President for Communications Scott Edwards, of Veolia Water, felt the meeting and the topics discussed bolstered his confidence in NAWC’s growing mission to listen to ideas and serve the needs of the association’s newest members, formerly of the Water Partnership Council (WPC).

Embarking on a new year marks a renewed opportunity for the private water industry to share its story of sustainability and gather innovative case studies of community projects created in 2009. Members went around the room sharing bits of good news, from the high results of a customer satisfaction survey to a deal stopping bottled water sales at a local hospital working with their drinking water provider in an effort to “go green.”

If you have a success story from your neck of the woods, we’d love to hear about it. E-mail us at