Best in the business: Both of the finalists competing for Living Water Awards are CH2M HILL employees

By Susan M. Mays, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives in CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group

Working at CH2M HILL, I’ve always believed I work with the best in the water business. So when I learned this week that both finalists competing for Living Water Awards are CH2M HILL employees, I was thrilled but certainly not
surprised. It’s the first time since the awards were established last fall that two people from the same company have competed against one another.

Administrative Specialist Lynn Kronowit of Rio Rancho, N.M. and Project Manager Chris Parker of Temple, Texas are the latest finalists for the National Association of Water Companies Living Water Awards. Both of them work in CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group on projects where we’re responsible for the management of water and/or wastewater facilities. And we couldn’t be more proud of them.

The NAWC Living Water Awards program is an ongoing initiative launched last fall so that private-sector water professionals can recognize those peers they consider best in industry when it comes to providing excellent service or championing environmental stewardship. Any employee of an NAWC member company can participate by nominating a colleague at any time. The voting process takes place every two months on NAWC’s Facebook page. The winner will receive a $100 gift card. At the end of the year, a grand prize winner will be selected from among the winners and will receive a $1,000 gift card.

As a member of the NAWC Board of Directors, I’m so proud that the organization is singling out the operators, mechanics, plant and project managers, and others who work tirelessly in our nation’s water and wastewater systems. This recognition of what they do to provide us with clean drinking water and to protect our environment is long overdue.

Personally, I’m conflicted about who to vote for, so I just voted for both of them.

You can help NAWC choose the winner. Read more about the nominees here, then cast your vote just by liking the image of Lynn. Or Chris. Or both. But hurry! Voting ends May 17.

Meet the Finalists

Lynn Kronowit, Administrative Specialist

Rio Rancho, N.M.

Lynn is “Living Water” through her commitment to educating children on sustainability issues. In 2007, Lynn became involved with the Albuquerque Children’s Water Festival, an event held to teach 4th grade students about the water cycle, where water in New Mexico comes from, and how to protect and conserve this valuable resource. Taking lessons learned there, she helped establish a similar festival in her Rio Rancho community. Lynn visits local elementary schools weekly, teaching lessons on conservation, basic wastewater procedures, how the water cycle works, and ways to reduce water pollution. In 2009, she was hand-picked to join the Operations Management Business Group’s newly formed sustainability team and now leads our sustainability efforts in New Mexico.

Colleagues describe Lynn as a true “sustainability champion” whose tireless efforts have helped educate thousands of young people about water and the need for conservation. Lynn’s leadership in helping plan, design and build sustainability programs has provided positive “triple-bottom line” success for CH2M HILL and our clients.

Christopher S. Parker, Project Manager

Temple, Texas

Chris is “Living Water” through his deep commitment to protecting and improving the quality of the environment through his role as project manager for CH2M HILL, where he is driven to achieve and maintain perfect compliance and accurate reporting of non-compliance issues, and identify and implement solutions to remedy those issues.

But it isn’t just a day job; Chris also has dedicated himself to helping surrounding communities as a volunteer in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality “EnvironMentor” program. In this role, Chris puts his professional experience to work helping small businesses, local governments and independent school districts deal with state environmental regulations such as completing paperwork and answering technical questions. By working with these organizations that lack the resources or expertise to deal with these regulations on their own, Chris helps them avoid inspections, citations and fines, improve their efficiency, and protect the environment. He has been known to drive up to 3 hours one way, on multiple days, to provide this kind of help.

Chris loves working as a water professional and has been employed in the industry for almost 30 years, 18 of them with CH2M HILL. 

About NAWC

The National Association of Water Companies is the voice of the private water industry and the organization exclusively representing this group of quality water service providers, innovation drivers, creative financiers and responsible partners. Founded in 1895 by a handful of small water companies in Pennsylvania, NAWC today is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has members located throughout the nation and ranging in size from large companies owning, operating or partnering with hundreds of utilities in multiple states to individual utilities serving a few hundred customers. To learn more, visit or follow @movinh2oforward on Twitter.

Susan M. Mays is vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives in CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Water Companies and is immediate past chair of NAWC’s Communications Committee. She tweets on water and local government issues as @WaterMizz.