The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has elected Rob MacLean Board of Directors chairman for the coming year. MacLean joined Sugar Land, Texas-based SouthWest Water Co. in 2018 as president and CEO after holding various executive positions with American Water. His career has spanned more than 20 years in the water industry, and he has served as a volunteer leader for various regional and national organizations. SouthWest Water owns and operates regulated water and wastewater systems in five states. More than 600,000 people depend on SouthWest Water for high-quality, reliable service.

“We welcome Rob’s guidance and straightforward manner as our member companies continue to navigate the pandemic and ensure the modernization and maintenance of water infrastructure proceeds apace,” said Robert Powelson, NAWC president and CEO. “We take great pride in our sector’s performance during such radically challenging times and know that Rob will provide encouragement and thoughtful focus as we continue our critical work.”

MacLean is co-Board chair of the National Utilities Diversity Council, a national nonprofit organization focusing on the growth of diversity in the utilities industry. A licensed professional engineer, he earned his master’s degree in applied science in civil engineering from Polytechnique University in Montreal and his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University. He also attended the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

MacLean is assuming the role from outgoing Chair Andrew Gere, president and CEO of San Jose Water.

“We thank Andy for his outstanding leadership during an extremely difficult year when the water sector was thrust onto the frontlines as companies worked to maintain public health during the pandemic,” Powelson added. “Andy’s steadfast engagement and support was critical as we worked with regulators and public officials to ensure our members were positioned well to keep the flow of clean and safe water whenever it was needed.”

NAWC also welcomes two new members to its 2021 Board of Directors: Sherlock “Shockey” Gillet, Jr., president and CEO, Peoples Water Service, a closely held company formed in 1929. Shockey joined the 91-year old company in 1989; and Catherine Heigel, executive vice president and COO, Corix Infrastructure (Corix), is responsible for the company’s regulated and unregulated water, wastewater and energy utilities in the United States and Canada.

The 2021 NAWC Board of Directors includes:

  • Rob MacLean, SouthWest Water, chair;
  • Nicholle Taylor, Artesian Water Co., vice chair;
  • Andrew Gere, San Jose Water Co., immediate past chair;
  • Maureen Duffy, American Water;
  • Christopher Franklin, Essential Utilities;
  • Sherlock “Shockey” Gillet, Jr., Peoples Water Service;
  • Joe Gysel, EPCOR USA;
  • JT Hand, The York Water Co.;
  • Catherine Heigel, Corix Infrastructure
  • Patrick Kerr, Baton Rouge Water Co.;
  • Jay Kooper, Middlesex Water Co.;
  • Martin Kropelnicki, California Water Service Group;
  • Nadine Leslie, SUEZ North America;
  • Walter Lynch, American Water;
  • Steve Meininger, Jacobs;
  • Donald Morrissey, Aquarion Water Co.;
  • Robert Nicholson, San Gabriel Valley Water Co.;
  • Keith Oldewurtel, Veolia; and
  • Robert Sprowls, American States Water Co.