IRWA Promoter of the Year
April 11, 2016
Randy Pleima awarded 2015 Promoter of the Year
The Iowa Rural Water Association (IRWA) is pleased to announce that Randy Pleima, General Manager of Mahaska Rural Water System was presented the 2015 Promoter of the Year award. Mr. Pleima was presented this honor during the Iowa Rural Water Association’s 41st Annual Conference held at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center February 22-24, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa.
This award is reserved for those who have significantly supported the water and wastewater industry in Iowa and whose actions and deeds have strengthened the industry and helped to provide safe water to rural Iowans. Randy Pleima began his service to rural water on April 1, 1983 when he went to work for Mahaska Rural Water System. Two-and-a-half years later he became the Manager of Mahaska, a position he still holds thirty years later. Randy is one of the hardest working Managers around. You can’t spend very much time around Randy before his phone begins to ring and he is taking care of an issue. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and do whatever it takes to get the job done and, most importantly, get water to his customers.
He has served on the IRWA Board since January 15, 1996 and has served as either Board Treasurer, Secretary or President during nearly the entire 20 years he has been on the Board. Randy holds a few records on the Board. He is the only IRWA President to have served two non-consecutive terms as President, and he has also served the longest consecutive term as President—over nine years, from January 2006 to March 2015. And he has served the longest time as President overall—thirteen years!
Over the years, Randy has led IRWA through some tough times…during changes in leadership and loss of programs as well as during times of achievement as NRWA’s state association of the year, leading IRWA out of financial crisis and the pay off of the mortgage on IRWA’s building. Randy has led countless delegations to Des Moines and Washington, D.C. on behalf of the IRWA membership to secure loan and grant funding for water and wastewater infrastructure, technical assistance and training programs and advocating on behalf of small systems on regulatory issues. In fact, Randy recently estimated that he has been to Washington, D.C. over 25 times to represent the interests of small water and wastewater systems in Iowa.
Randy is also dedicated to the next generation. Randy has been a staple at the Children’s Water Festival, hardly missing any in the last twenty years. Randy represents the industry as Professor Faucet. In this role he has taught thousands of fifth graders throughout the years the importance of safe drinking water and what a precious resource water is for a healthy, good quality of life.
When Randy stepped down as Board President last year he didn’t rest very long. Within a few months he was serving IRWA in a new capacity…as IRWA’s National Director. Not long after Randy went through orientation training for the NRWA Board he was appointed to National’s Regulatory and ByLaws Committees in addition to his duties as National Director. There is no doubt that Randy will be a great asset to the National Board—and he will honorably serve as Iowa’s voice on the National level.
Randy and his wife Kathy have two sons, Brad, who is an engineer for Bartlett and West, and his wife Hanna; and Bret, who works for Nationwide Insurance and his fiancée, Meghan. Randy’s hobbies are golfing, camping and the Iowa Hawkeyes—and he is such a devoted fan that he even named his dog Hawkeye! Randy also serves on various committees at his church.
Most everyone in Iowa has benefited from Randy’s dedication and commitment to our industry. The Iowa Rural Water Association is proud to take this opportunity to honor Randy Pleima for his many years of service.