Ohio Rural Water Association bestows highest honor on ACRWD Manager –
By Patricia Beech –
When Rick Adamson does a job he believes in doing it right.
He says it’s a lesson he learned at his mother’s knee.
“That’s advice she gave me a very long time ago,” he says, “If you’re going to do a job, large or small, do it well or not at all.”
Adamson, who is General Manager of the Adams County Regional Water District (ACRWD), was recently recognized by the Ohio Rural Water Association (ORWA) for his commitment to excellence. He was named Manager of the Year at the organization’s yearly conference.
In a press release to the People’s Defender, ORWA Executive Director Joseph Pheil praised Adamson, saying he embodies the true rural Ohio culture and ethic.
“He quit school to support his family, he worked his way up the ladder in the rural water industry obtaining a GED and gaining a full EPA Operator III water license before becoming a General Manager.” Pheil wrote, adding “It is said that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and if you ask me, this man is a giant.”
Tom Reese, President of the ORWA Board, was equally generous in his praise of Adamson’s work ethic, progressive thinking, and willingness to learn and utilize available cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology – all of which contributed to his being chosen as Manager of the Year.
“This year’s Manager of the Year is a great American story ,” says Reece. “Rick has busted his butt all his life, he works through adversity in an excellent manner and he embraces training and employee development, especially when it comes to using the newest technology. He is on the forefront of the way today’s manager should operate.”
For 31 years Adamson worked his way up through the ranks at ACRWD, beginning as a laborer setting taps and repairing leaks, and finally becoming the company’s General Manager.
“I do try to think progressively,” he told the Defender. “I have to do what’s mandated by the Ohio EPA, but I like to go above and beyond what they require, I’ve always done that.”
To Adamson, going above and beyond means being sharply focused on employee development and he encourages his workers to not only pursue various certifications in the water and laboratory, but also to be technologically current.
His goal – to help employees grow their careers.
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in the time I’ve been here, and I want my guys to try and do the same thing,” he says, praising his employees for their commitment and work ethic.
“Utility workers are always here – ice, wind, sleet, and snow – we don’t shut the lights out and say we’ll fix it tomorrow. We stay on the job to get people back in water when they’re out, to make sure they have clean potable water to drink.”
Despite his own passion for and commitment to his job, Adamson says he was surprised when he received the letter from Pheil congratulating him for being selected Manager of the Year.
“It really floored me,” he says. “It’s really quite a thing to achieve something like that after working hard your entire life. You think no one’s noticing, so when you get something like a pat on the back it keeps you moving forward.”
To receive the award, nominees must show great detail and leadership in their work, as well as demonstrate a strong work ethic and reliability, according to Pheil, who wrote of Adamson, “We believe that you embody the true spirit of the rural water culture. Through your hard work and dedication you have risen to the deserved position of General Manager.”
“ As Adams County Regional Water’s General Manger, you have embraced new technologies, and prepared your staff to be successful for years to come.”