NAWC announces 2023 Board of Directors leadership; adds central states, global water resources to board

January 10, 2023
“2023 promises to be another fast-moving year full of opportunities and challenges for the water and wastewater sectors. NAWC will again be led by a Board of Directors who are tireless advocates for clean, safe and reliable water service.”

(PHILADELPHIA) – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has selected Aquarion Water’s Donald J. Morrissey as the 2023 Chair of its Board of Directors and Veolia North America’s Karine Rougé as Vice Chair while adding two seats to its board.

“2023 promises to be another fast-moving year full of opportunities and challenges for the water and wastewater sectors. NAWC will again be led by a Board of Directors who are tireless advocates for clean, safe and reliable water service,” said NAWC President and CEO Robert F. Powelson.

Don Morrissey, NAWC Board Chair

Morrissey is the President of Aquarion Company with a principal business of public water supply through its Aquarion Water Company subsidiaries. Aquarion is the seventh largest investor-owned water utility in the United States, serving Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Morrissey also is active in his community serving in roles such as a board member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Newtown Forest Association, the oldest private land trust in Connecticut.

“As board chair, Don is well-positioned to lead our members and represent our interests on the national stage,” Powelson said. “As a long time NAWC board member and president of Aquarion, Don has a proven track record of leadership in an ever-evolving industry. His dedication and knowledge of the water industry and the communities in which they operate will serve NAWC members well in 2023.”

“There has never been a more exciting time to be in the water industry,” Morrissey said. “And the challenges have never been greater, but I’m energized by the talent, the passion and the commitment throughout NAWC’s member companies and staff. I’m proud of the essential work water companies do every day. It’s incumbent on us to show our customers, communities, regulators and elected officials that the investor-owned utility model is a stronger model than the alternative at providing critical water and wastewater services. Together, we are confident we can solve the problems facing the water and wastewater industry in the United States.”

Morrissey is assuming the role from outgoing Chair Nicki Taylor, President of Artesian Water Company.

“Thank you to Nicki for her leadership in navigating a year of business pressures such as supply chain challenges and increased inflation,” Powelson said. “Under her guidance, NAWC and our member companies navigated these challenges and are positioned for continued success.”

Karine Rougé, NAWC Board Vice Chair

Karine Rougé, CEO of Municipal Water for Veolia North America, was selected Vice Chair of the NAWC Board. Rougé has extensive experience in the water industry both in North America and Europe, where she led various strategic transformations in the digital, municipal and industrial water sectors. Prior to joining Veolia, Rougé addressed global water treatment challenges for 10 years at Suez, working on digital water monitoring, industrial water treatment and cutting-edge technologies in a variety of roles, including CEO of the Global Services business. Previously, Rougé directed infrastructure investment for First Sentier Investors (now Igneo) and worked on acquisition and financing projects as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

“NAWC members including Karine are world-class experts in their fields with a sincere commitment to improving the communities served by America’s water companies and the nation overall,” said Powelson. “In taking on the role of Vice Chair, Karine’s experience with, and insights on, industry transformations and navigating change will be valuable to our members in the current business environment.”

“The water industry is in the midst of an ecological transformation to meet the generational challenges we are facing,” Rougé said. “We cannot measure our success only by technical or financial standards; we must act holistically to ensure we are also improving the environment, addressing inequities and making a positive social impact. NAWC’s member companies and staff are an impressive group of leaders who know and understand this. I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of the board as our industry charts our path forward.”

NAWC Board Expansion, Changes

The NAWC board added two new members:

  • Josiah Cox, President, Central States Water Resources (CSWR), a St. Louis-based company that owns and operates water and wastewater facilities in a 11-state footprint. CSWR is transforming utilities by utilizing technology and innovation to rebuild failing infrastructure, thereby ensuring systems are meeting stringent safety standards and providing communities across the U.S. access to safe, reliable, and environmentally responsible water resources.
  • Ron Fleming, Chairman, President & CEO, Global Water Resources, a water resource management company that owns, operates and manages water, wastewater and recycled water utilities in strategically located communities, growth areas surrounding the metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.

“The move to increase the size of the NAWC board expands the representation of smaller companies,” Powelson said. “The addition of Central States Water Resources and Global Water Resources allows for better representation of smaller water companies and is a nod to the rapid growth, expansion and partnerships being created by these companies in our communities.”

“I am honored to continue to serve as a board member of the NAWC,” Cox said. “Rob Powelson and his team have done an outstanding job providing opportunities to communicate the challenges our aging water and wastewater infrastructure is experiencing across the U.S., and how investor-owned utilities can be a real solution. I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the industry to continue to facilitate this important dialogue between regulators, stakeholders and elected officials.”

“As a part of the board, I look forward to working with my colleagues from throughout the U.S. to prioritize providing high-quality service as well as rate structures and programs to assure access to safe, reliable water service,” Fleming said. “NAWC provides us with the opportunities to share expertise, best practices and more in order to achieve these goals – no matter the size of the community or company.”

NAWC also welcomes one new member to its 2023 Board of Directors:

  • Sherlock “Shockey” Gillet Jr., President, Peoples Water Service Company, an investor-owned water company founded in 1929 operating in Florida.

A full listing of the NAWC 2023 Board of Directors is available here.

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