Term focuses include workforce development, young professionals, Water Equation Campaign
Jeanne Bennett-Bailey of Fairfax, Va., began her one-year term as president of the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) following a gavel-passing ceremony at the conclusion of the association's Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE16) in Chicago in June.
As an active member of AWWA, Bennett-Bailey was the association’s Volunteer of the Year in 2014, has served as chair of the Public Affairs Council and was a member of the board of directors, the Executive Committee, the Utility Quality Management Committee and the Diversity and Member Inclusion Committee. Now retired, she most recently served as the public affairs officer for Fairfax Water, Virginia's largest water utility.
During her term as president, Bennett-Bailey will focus on workforce development, young professionals and the association’s Water Equation Campaign, which supports programs such as the Community Engineering Corps and the One AWWA Operator scholarship.
“What better way to tell the next generation we’re interested in them than to invest in them,” Bennett-Bailey said. “I want to make sure they have all the information and materials they need, when, where and how they need it.”
In light of the water crisis in Flint, Mich., solving the problem of lead in water continues to be a focus of AWWA’s work and will be a focus for Bennett-Bailey.
“I want to support initiatives already begun,” Bennett-Bailey said. “I’m looking forward to helping members find the solutions we’re looking for in terms of lead and lead removal and corrosion control management.”
Bennett-Bailey accepted the gavel from Immediate Past President Gene Koontz, senior vice president for Gannett Fleming in Harrisburg, Pa., who said her communications background makes her “the right person at the right time.”