WMEL Wins Two Top 2022 Awards from the Alabama Rural Water Association
Jeaniece Slater named General Manager of the Year;
Holland Woodward named Office Worker of the Year;
Awards honor outstanding performance and management of utility operations;
Follows WMEL receiving ARWA’s “Water and Wastewater Utility Vision Award” in 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeaniece Slater, General Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org, (256) 355-3746
Decatur, Alabama, April 22, 2022: The West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority (WMEL) is proud to announce that two of its employees have been given top awards by the Alabama Rural Water Association (ARWA), the non-profit organization that represents water and wastewater systems across Alabama, and provides them with state and federal regulatory assistance, management and operational expertise, and training to promote personnel development and efficiency.
For more than 30 years, the ARWA has honored outstanding employees and individual achievers across the state. Recently at its annual conference, the ARWA named Jeaniece Slater its General Manager of the Year and Holland Woodward its Office Worker of the Year. The two awards are in addition to WMEL receiving ARWA’s “Water and Wastewater Utility Vision Award” in 2021.
ARWA’s “General Manager of the Year” Award recognizes Slater for her “outstanding leadership abilities and accomplishments in water utility management,” including overseeing a variety of functions integral to the utility like developing operational plans and budgets and reviewing profit and loss statements to creatively find ways to increase revenue while keeping services affordable. The ARWA also honors the General Manager of the Year for properly managing personnel – including the hiring, training, and evaluating employees – and keeping morale high by effectively communicating with their customers, employees, and key stakeholders, like their board of directors.
“I’m honored to receive this recognition from Alabama Rural Water,” said Jeaniece Slater, WMEL General Manager. “But make no mistake, I wouldn’t be receiving this award if not for the tremendous work of WMEL’s employees and partners, especially as we brought our reverse osmosis plant online. I’m humbled by the quality of the work they do every day.”
ARWA’s “Office Worker of the Year” Award recognizes Woodward for her “outstanding performance in office management and procedures,” consisting of accounting operations and reporting. ARWA views office employees as the front line of the industry, and the most recognizable and available employees who meet the direct needs of the utility’s customers.
“Our exceptional team strives to make sure our customers and employees are taken care of, especially during their most difficult moments, and that is something that is very important to me and my colleagues,” said Holland Woodward, WMEL’s Accountant. “I’m very proud to have been given this honor.”
The awards following last year’s “Water and Wastewater Utility Vision Award” from ARWA, given to WMEL for its construction of a reverse osmosis plant to address the past health advisories, meet current water treatment challenges, and ensure compliance with drinking water regulations that are anticipated in the future. Today, the plant can produce 10.33 million gallons of high-quality drinking water a day and can be expanded to produce 16 million gallons of water a day to support future development. The award recognizes utilities who demonstrate “vision” for growth, improvement and expansion of their system operation by applying and being approved for a State Revolving Fund (SRF) project. The facility was initially funded by the SRF. On WMEL’s website – www.wmel.org – there is an information page to provide the public with important details about the facility and reverse osmosis treatment process, including a video showing how it works. We have also provided answers to frequently asked questions.