Edward H. Ruehl Operator of the Year
This award was established to recognize outstanding licensed waterworks operators in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VA AWWA Plant Operations Committee will select from a pool of nominations received from the section membership (either Individual, Corporate, or Utility) for recommendation to the Board, which approves the nominee. Members are invited to submit nominations below by July 20th of each year.
The Edward H. Ruehl Operator of the Year Award recognizes eligible Virginia Operators for outstanding service in the promotion of Operator Programs.
Award Description
This is an individual statewide award given to an Operator who exemplifies an exceptional work ethic and demonstrates practices that help sustain and further promote Operator Programs.
Nominee Eligibility Requirements
  •  Must be a licensed waterworks operator in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  •  Be employed as a waterworks operator for a Virginia water utility.
  •  Must meet one or more of the criteria listed under criteria.
  •  Must be a member or employed by a corporate/utility member of the VA Section.
  •  Cannot be a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Section or current Chair of the Plant Operations Committee.
  •  Must have been licensed as a waterworks operator for at least a three-year period.
Nominees for this award must have achieved special performance in one or more of the following areas:
  •  Outstanding Service to the promotion of operator programs.
  •  Consistent and outstanding contribution to plant maintenance.
  •  Continuous compliance with public health standards in drinking water.
  •  Development of new and/or modified equipment or significant process modification to provide for more efficient and/or effective treatment.
  •  Special efforts in training operators.
  •  Special acts not directly related to water treatment, but which demonstrate dedication to the public beyond normal operating responsibilities.
  •  Consistent and outstanding contribution to the operation and/or maintenance of distribution lines, pump stations, and reservoirs.
Nomination or Submission Deadline
The recommendation must be made through the submission of a completed entry form. Entry form submission must be received by July 20th for consideration.  Candidates may be nominated by one or more of the following individuals, organizations, or groups:
     1. A member of the Virginia Section AWWA
     2. A fellow official or employee of a water utility within Virginia
     3. The Plant Operations Committee
Method of Selecting Award Recipient
All nominations shall be in writing and shall indicate the candidate's qualifications. The Section Executive Director will forward all nominations to the Plant Operations Committee for review and recommendations. The Plant Operations Committee will select from a pool of candidates for recommendation to the Board of Trustees which approves the nominee. Only one selection for an award will be made annually, and then only if a qualified recipient exists.
Awarded annually provided a suitable candidate has been nominated.
Presentation of the Award
The Award shall be presented at the Awards Luncheon during the VA AWWA Annual Meeting (WaterJAM).
To download a copy of the guidelines, click here

Past Winners

2021   Jamie Morris
2019   Marshall Clatterbuck
2018   Chris Harbin
2017   Frank C. Young, III
2016   Jonathan England
2014   Gerald Julian
2013   Oakley Johnston
2012   Thomas Wayne Fore
2010   Richard A. Johnson
2009   Don E. Cole, II
2008   Vincent Lofton
2007   Frank L. Davis, Jr.
2006   Dirk A. Weeks
2005   Oakley Johnston
2004   Robert G. Sampson
2003   Susan Watson
2002   Randall Hawkins
2001   Edward Rushia
2000   Donald E. Addison, Jr.
1999   R. Graham Bond
1998   Lawrence E. Taylor
1997   David R. Hinkle
1993   Robert M. Williamson, Jr.
1990   Gregory F. Jefferson
1989   James W. Cox, Jr.
1985   Mark A. Thompson
1984   C. Morgan Rogers
1983   Dewey L. Eanes
1978   Herbert W. Evans, Jr.