National Black Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Illinois American Water with Inclusion and Diversity Award

 (L-R) Larry Ivory, President/CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce; Rhonda Carter Adams, Illinois American Water Diversity Lead; Harry C. Alford, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water President; and James F. Clayborne, Jr., Former Illinois State Senator.

Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk was awarded the 2019 Inclusion and Diversity Award by the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) during its annual conference this past July in Atlanta, Georgia. The award is presented annually to an individual who champions inclusion and diversity within his or her company.

NBCC President Harry C. Alford said, “Mr. Hauk’s focus on inclusion and diversity at American Water has played an instrumental role in increasing the company’s partnerships with minority businesses, diverse suppliers and diverse employee candidates.The National Black Chamber of Commerce was proud to present Bruce Hauk with the 2019 Inclusion and Diversity Award.”

American Water sees diversity as a vital element in creating an environment where differences are celebrated and contribute to

success. This is why the company created a national Inclusion & Diversity Council. The Council is made up of executive sponsors, an advisory council and champions from across the workforce. Hauk is an Executive Sponsor of the Council.

Hauk said of NBCC’s recognition, “I am honored to receive this award and I share it with the entire Illinois American Water team. Our focus on inclusion and diversity betters our organization and the water industry as a whole, while creating opportunities for others to also be successful in the communities we serve.”

Illinois American Water has taken a number of steps to further its position as a leader in inclusion and diversity. A strategic focus on events, relationship building and data improvement has resulted in the following results:

• In 2018, spend with diverse suppliers was 52% of overall spend. Since 2014, the value of goods and services Illinois American Water purchased from diverse businesses increased by 48% or over $68 million. This represents a 25x increased spend with MBE-certified suppliers and a 4x increased spend with WBE-certified suppliers. To help maintain a steady pipeline of diverse suppliers, the company meets annually with entrepreneurs, business owners and contractors.

– In 2018, Illinois American Water purchased more than $138 million in goods and services from certified diverse suppliers.

• Illinois American Water partners with organizations to host and attend diversity outreach events to identify potential new employees with diverse backgrounds.

– Total diverse population at Illinois American Water has averaged 30%.

• In 2015, Illinois American Water joined other Illinois utilities in forming the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council. This council is designed to grow business opportunities for diverse suppliers through closer collaboration, technical development and sharing of best practices.

Illinois American Water’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was also recognized last year by the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce and by the East St. Louis Chapter of the NAACP in 2017 and 2018.