Des Moines Water Works’ CEO and General Manager Ted Corrigan Awarded American Water Works Association George Warren Fuller Award9/23/2020
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) awarded Ted Corrigan, CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works, with the AWWA-Iowa Section’s 2020 George Warren Fuller Award for distinguished service and leadership in the water supply field.
Colin Chung, the chairman of AWWA’s International Council, virtually presented the award to Corrigan during the Board of Water Works Trustees board meeting on September 22. The award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in the professional water industry to provide the benefits of water for all.
“Many characteristics of Ted distinguish him as the perfect candidate for this award,” Chung said. “He has built himself as a true civil engineer from the ground up. During that time, he’s made great contributions for the betterment of water management.”
The George Warren Fuller Award honors individuals who exemplify the qualities of Fuller’s life: sound engineering skills, diplomacy and constructive leadership, and those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the water works practices with the AWWA. Fuller is credited with important innovations in water and wastewater treatment, including the design and construction of the first modern water filtration plant and the first chlorination system that disinfected U.S. drinking water.
“This is the highest honor the American Water Works Association can give to one of its members. The list of Fuller winners in Iowa is a ‘Who’s Who’ in the water industry, the people who water treatment plants and water towers are named after,” Corrigan said. “I’m incredibly honored and humbled to be on that list.”
Chung praised Corrigan for his engineering and technical capabilities and leadership, for proposing a regional governance for drinking water in central Iowa, for being an early adopter of technology, and for being an open communicator and facilitating brainstorming ideas among employees. Corrigan also has previously served as the AWWA-Iowa Section treasurer.
“He’s not afraid to take on new challenges,” Chung said of Corrigan stepping into the Interim CEO and General Manager position after the death of predecessor Bill Stowe. “His new leadership role has coincided with the pandemic. He was quickly challenged with that, and through his past technical skillset and utilizing his communication and leadership skills, he has been able to manage Des Moines Water Works through the pandemic.”
Corrigan was selected by a committee of former Fuller Award recipients in Iowa, including the most recent Fuller recipient, Ed Moreno of Iowa City, who led the Iowa City water utility through a complete transformation of its water source and treatment.
“It takes somebody who is committed to the water industry, somebody who is diplomatic and leadership-wise has made an impact in the industry,” Moreno said. “Ted’s career has been incredible. He’s working in the premier water utility in Iowa. To be a leader in that organization, to inspire and to attain to the level he is now, he definitely was the right guy.”
Corrigan has been with Des Moines Water Works since 1990. He served as Interim CEO and General Manager since April 2019, and was named CEO and General Manager in June. His career includes leadership roles in engineering, water production and water distribution prior to becoming the chief operating officer.