Times staff report
Mac Underwood, general manager of the Birmingham Waters Work Board, has been named board president of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), becoming the first African American to hold this position.
The AMWA is an organization of the largest publicly owned water utilities in the United States. For the next two years, Underwood will help provide oversight on federal water policy issues and direction on innovative utility management.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Underwood said. “I look forward to working with AMWA executive director, board of directors, and executive committee as we are trusted with operational and leadership responsibility to make a positive impact on the water industry.”
Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies was formed in 1981 by a group of large publicly owned water suppliers to represent those agencies in Washington, D.C. Member representatives to AMWA are general managers and CEOs of large water systems.
History was also made when BWWB EnviroLab Manager Drusilla Hudson became the first African American woman to be named chair of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Alabama/Mississippi Section Conference in Point Clear, AL.
“A long time ago, I said ‘if not me, then who?’ I hope to make my company and the board of directors proud,” Hudson said.
Underwood and Hudson were honored recently during a BWWB meeting. Assistant General Manager of Operations and Technical Services Darryl Jones presented Underwood and Hudson with a congratulatory floral arrangement and words of acknowledgment among several of the utility’s managers and staff.
“This is a big day for Birmingham Water Works,” Jones said. “We have to honor our people and the great things they’re doing locally and nationally in the water industry.”
Birmingham will host next year’s AWWA AL/MS Conference at the Sheraton Downtown. BWWB staff has already begun planning for the 2018 session.
The Birmingham Water Works Board serves 600,000 people in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair, and Walker counties.