A. O. Smith announced Jim Stern, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, as the new president of the Water Quality Association (WQA). Stern will help the association grow through its new strategic plan, which includes advancing the knowledge and professionalism of industry participants, increasing advocacy and driving public awareness and knowledge.
“I can think of no industry or membership more poised to have a major impact on public health and safety than the water treatment industry and WQA,” Stern said. “We can work together on public awareness, product standards, certifications, and policing bad practices to advance the cause of the industry. We all have a similar goal: We want to make water better for people.”
In 2010, Stern played a key role in helping A. O. Smith enter the water treatment industry. Since 2016, he led the acquisitions of six North American water treatment companies, including Aquasana, Water-Right, Hague Quality Water, and Master Water Conditioning Corp, all manufacturing and distributing point-of-use and point-of-entry water treatment products.
“Under Jim Stern’s leadership, these acquisitions have helped A. O. Smith evolve from a company focused primarily on water heating to a global water technology company,” said Kevin Wheeler, A. O. Smith chairman, president and CEO. “Our involvement with WQA has given us the opportunity to influence and educate the industry and learn more about this constantly evolving market.”
Stern earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE: BMI), Stern has served four years on the WQA Board of Directors, two of them on the Board of Governors.