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MRWS Award Winner

Vande Haar Named 2016 System Board Member of the Year

The Iowa Rural Water Association is pleased to announce that Rich Vande Haar of Mahaska Rural Water System has been named the 2016 System Board Member of the Year. Mr. Vande Haar was presented with his award during the Iowa Rural Water Association’s 42nd Annual Conference held at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center February 20-22, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa.

This award is presented to an outstanding Rural Water System Board Member who has gone above and beyond the normal requirements of their duties. Mr. Vande Haar began his tenure on the Mahaska Rural Water System Board of Directors in March 2008.

He will complete his tenure on the Board this coming March as he completes his term-limited nine years of service. Rich was elected to be President of the Board in March of 2010 and has since become the longest serving president in Mahaska’s history.

Under his Presidency Mahaska Rural Water has accomplished and grown much. Some of the things accomplished were the construction a new Sanitary Sewer System in Tracy, franchising and updating the City of Fremont Water System, acquisition of Lynndanna Acres Sewer District, acquisition and new construction Westlake Sewer District, the upgrade of Mahaska Rural Water wellfield and water treatment plant, and an emergency connection for water for the City of New Sharon. Mahaska’s customer base has increased from 2,590 to 3,244 during this time.

Rich has attended many IRWA conferences and CoBank customer meetings as well as partaking in the production of a video for CoBank.

Mahaska’s Manager, Randy Pleima, has said that “Rich uses his calm and quiet approach in getting discussion from all board members but always looks out for the best interest of Mahaska and its members and makes sure Mahaska Rural Water is better prepared for the future.”

Rich is engaged in farming and hauling of grain. He was active in hog production but has retired from that part of farming. His wife Nancy has retired from a nursing career and they hope to spend more time at their cabin by Rathbun Lake. Rich and Nancy have two grown sons.

For his dedication and commitment to serving the rural water community, the Iowa Rural Water Association was proud to present Mr. Richard Vande Haar with the 2016 System Board Member of the Year Award.