Five questions with Scott Clark

Kentucky water industry veteran recently honored with prestigious George Warren Fuller Award

Louisville Water Company’s Scott Clark has worked in every sector of the water industry. During his decades-long career, he has been a water treatment plant operator, installed water mains, fixed leaks, exchanged meters, and performed many other duties before moving into management roles.

In August, Clark was awarded the 2020 George Warren Fuller Award at the KY/TN Water Professionals Conference in Chattanooga, TN (presented at this year’s conference because it was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). George Warren Fuller Awards are presented annually by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) to the sections’ respective selected members.

The AWWA says recipients are honored for “their distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill, the brilliant diplomatic talent, and the constructive leadership which characterized the life of George Warren Fuller.”

We chatted with Clark about his background, his award, and the reasons he chose the water industry for his career.

How long have you been at Louisville Water?

I started with Louisville Water in March 2020, two weeks before COVID-19 changed how our company would operate forever. However, I am not new to the water industry. I retired in November 2018 from Hardin County Water District No. 2, after 28 ½ years of service. Most of my time there I was the Administrative/Customer Service Manager responsible for the daily operations of the finance, human resource, customer service, information technology, project management and the meter testing department.

While employed with the District, I earned my Class IV Distribution license, Class IIIA Water Treatment license, and Large Meter Testing Certification. From December 2018 until coming to Louisville Water, I worked for GRW Engineering in a consultant/business development role. I also have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management.

What do you do in your current position?

I am the AMI Analyst II, working on the AMI Meter Conversion Project. Since one of the objectives of AMI is monthly billing, I am the project lead for this effort as well.  What I like most about my job is assisting and supporting others. I can use my past experiences in ways outside of my normal duties.

What does it mean to you to receive the George Warren Fuller Award from the AWWA?

I joined AWWA and the Kentucky/Tennessee Section over 20 years ago and have served on and chaired the customer service committee, Water for People committee, and have served as a board member and treasurer for our section for almost 10 years, leading the section through the best financial years of our organization.

Receiving the award was overwhelming for several reasons. One, to be recognized by the best group of, not only water professionals, but people I have ever met, was amazing. The other reason was my dad, Earl Clark. My dad retired from the Army and then worked in the water industry. I spent many summers as a kid in water treatment plants. I didn’t know for sure what I wanted as a career, but it wasn’t going to be anything to do with water. Well, he “suggested” I take a job as a water treatment plant operator of a new plant he was bringing online and after 30+ years, I am still in the business. He passed away in 2020, and one of the last conversations we had was whether I should take this position at Louisville Water. I would always seek his wisdom on jobs or job changes, and he thought this would be a great opportunity.

It is only fitting that I was awarded the George Warren Fuller Award while employed at Louisville Water. Fuller spent part of his career at Louisville Water developing new treatment techniques that changed the water industry.

Tell us about the surprise attendees at the awards luncheon.

During the award celebration, which is a surprise to the awardee, the past awardees walk the audience, while the announcer reads clues about the awardee without revealing their name. By the third comment, I knew it was me and became overcome with emotion. While the announcer continued to talk, I was able to gather myself as the past awardees gathered around my table. I then made my way to the stage and it was then that I was told my wife, kids, mom, and mother-in-law had made the 4+ hour trip to share in that moment. It was a truly a humbling and overwhelming experience.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

I have been married to best person I know, Julie, for 23 years. We have two amazing and funny kids–Cara, who will soon be 16 and a son, Casen, who is six. And like most parents, my hobbies are my kids’ activities. Both kids play tennis, so I spend a lot of time at the tennis courts. I also enjoy traveling and fishing.