Employee Profile: Sue Purdy, Accounting & Finance Director

Worked at Louisville Water since 1997

employee profile Sue Purdy“I always knew I wanted to be an accountant,” said Sue Purdy, “although I prefer what some call the more glamorous side of accounting, which is budgeting, cost, and variance analysis.”

As Louisville Water’s Director of Accounting & Finance, Purdy leads a team involved in a wide range of both “glamorous” and routine tasks, including accounting, procurement, and payroll processing.

“I must say that my entire team is awesome. Each and every one of them help make my job much easier,” Purdy said. “I can always count on them to get their jobs done and our processes run like a finely oiled machine! If we have a hiccup, we are quick to get it resolved and move on.”

Born and raised in Louisville, Purdy earned an undergraduate accounting degree and an MBA from the University of Louisville. She worked at Brown & Williamson Tobacco for 15 years in various finance positions and then for Coca-Cola for two years.

She said downsizing was a recurring issue at her previous employers, so when she saw an ad for a Louisville Water financial analyst, she applied because she was thinking “what could be more stable than water?”

“I also knew Louisville Water had the best water I had ever tasted – even back then! The quality of our water is second to none in my opinion. I can remember as a young girl when we went to Florida for vacations we would always take jugs of water from Louisville because the water just didn’t taste good down South.”

She got the job at Louisville Water and started in 1997 in the Budget and Water Rates area.

“I worked one year in the old building [where part of the Omni Louisville Hotel is now] before moving to the one at 550 South Third Street,” she said. “My favorite thing about the new one is the attached parking garage. I always had to walk a few blocks in rain or snow to get to my office at the old building, so having the garage is just fantastic! I still tell job applicants about that garage when they ask me what I like most about my job.”

At the new building, she was promoted to Senior Financial Analyst and then to Process Owner: Budget, Water Rates, and Projects a couple years later. She was promoted to Director of Finance & Accounting in 2012. Processing the payroll is now one of the most challenging parts of her job, she said, because it’s a weekly task.

“I do not personally perform the numerous processes it takes to complete payroll every week,” Purdy explained, “but I am responsible for it, and I offer support for that process every time I can. Employees depend on us to get their paychecks done on time and accurately, and we know how important it is to everyone.”

Of course, she thinks the overall financial condition of the company is critically important too – so important that she said her most memorable day at Louisville Water was December 7, 2009, which was “the day we found out we received a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s, an increase over our previous AA-plus rating. This is something very few utilities can boast about. We are a very financially sound water utility, and we worked very hard that year to make presentations to Moody’s and S&P, both very large credit-rating agencies.”

“It was the first time I had ever been involved in a process like that,” she added. “It was time consuming and very involved but also a learning experience. We were all so proud to get the very much deserved ‘best of the best’ credit rating, and we have maintained that to this day!”

Sue Purdy with UofL collectablesWhen she’s not working, Purdy likes to collect UofL memorabilia and is a big fan of the university’s sports programs. She often attends “football games, women’s basketball games, and – I hope, with our new coach recently hired – men’s basketball games too!”

“I also go to the gym regularly and work out with a trainer,” she said, “and I enjoy walking and spending time with my rescue Yorkie, Cooper. He makes me smile every day!

“I have one son, Alex, who worked here in 2012 and 2013 in the summer program. He is now married and a process engineer at Ford Assembly Plant on Chamberlain Road. Going to football games with him and my husband, Steve, is probably my favorite thing to do!”