Larry Bryant donates award money to employee memorial project
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has presented Louisville Water Company’s Larry Bryant with the Kentucky Labor-Management Conference’s 2021 Management Award. The award recognizes a leader who promotes cooperative partnerships with labor and management. Bryant is the Director of Production Operations for Louisville Water and has been with the company for more than 18 years, starting as an electrical engineer. Bryant oversees the production of drinking water at Louisville Water’s Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant and B.E. Payne Water Treatment Plant.
Usually the award is presented at the annual Kentucky Labor-Management Conference, but this year conference officials held the awards ceremony Tuesday at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, which was broadcast live via Facebook. The event included remarks from the governor and Kentucky Secretary of Labor Jamie Link.
In his acceptance speech, Bryant told the governor and others in attendance about the work ethic of Louisville Water employees, saying “none of our customers received any loss of service or degradation of water quality during the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and that was a testament to the workforce, including organized labor and management, that makes this happen on a daily basis.” Louisville Water serves nearly one million people in its service area.
Nearly half of Louisville Water’s employees are members of ASFME Local 1683 (American Federation of State, Federal and Municipal Employees) and two members of the Local nominated Bryant. They agree he’s an exceptional manager who has created a collaborative environment and truly understands the jobs in the plant.
“Larry has an excellent leadership style where he practices an open-door policy,” said Plant Maintenance Mechanic Lee Lorimor, who is an Executive Board Representative for Local 1683. “Larry will listen to our concerns and take them into consideration when making decisions. He speaks honestly to his employees and makes us feel part of a team.”
“When I got hired, Larry was the electrical engineer at the plant,” said Plant Maintenance Mechanic Steve Nalley, who is Recording Secretary for Local 1683. “We worked directly with him on many projects. I believe his career path at the company has made him the leader he is today. Still to this day if we are troubleshooting something, he will jump right in and help in any way he can. He’s the kind of leader that you’re proud to work for.”
Bryant was awarded $1,000 to give to a charity of his choice, which he donated to the Jimmy Stone Memorial Locker Room Project. Louisville Water employee Jimmy Stone was killed while working at a job site in July 2019. He and fellow employee Chad Harper were hit by a car as they were repairing a hydrant at 23rd and Oak streets. To honor Stone’s memory, his widow Carla Stone, along with Louisville Water, partnered with the Rajon Rondo Foundation in December 2019 to establish the Jimmy Stone Memorial Locker Room Project. The Rajon Rondo Foundation started locker room projects around Louisville to help at-risk youth earn a variety of items and incentives with positive behavior.
Bryant received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Louisville and started his career in the defense, automotive, and metals manufacturing industries. Bryant is also a licensed Professional Engineer for the state.