America's biggest private water provider has promoted the head of its Chattanooga utility to help with its national governmental affairs and appointed one of its New Jersey managers to head Tennessee American Water.
Darlene Williams, a 10-year veteran manager in the utility industry who has served as senior manager of operations for New Jersey American Water for the past two years, will become president of Tennessee American Water, effective March 25. Williams replaces Valoria Armstrong, who will lead American Water's national government affairs and community development efforts.
"We are so pleased to have both Val and Darlene expand their roles at American Water," said Walter Lynch, chief operating officer at American Water. "Val has been a true leader here in Tennessee since becoming president in 2015. She also has a long history of participating in the public process as the first woman and youngest president elected to lead the local chapter of NAACP from 2005 to 2012. We are excited to have her lead our national government efforts and further strengthen our relationships with leaders across the states we serve."
Armstrong, a former Food Lion manager and NAACP leader, has served as president of Tennessee American since November 2015 and will remain in Chattanooga in her new corporate role.
Lynch also praised Williams for leading a team in New Jersey to provide water service to more than 300,000 persons.
"She is passionate about our focus on the customer experience and in building collaborative teams," he said.
Prior to Williams' field operations role in New Jersey, she served as executive projects coordinator to the offices of the chief executive officer and chief operating officer. In that role, she supported strategic initiatives that helped advance American Water's organizational effectiveness and performance results. She also served as president of the American Water Charitable Foundation.
Earlier in her American Water career, Williams served as director of operational education and was responsible for planning and executing the corporate operations learning strategy for workforce education. She led a team of people who worked closely with employees around the company to deliver training on water and wastewater operations, software applications, customer service and safety procedures.
Williams has more than 25 years of experience planning and executing high-value projects and building client relationships. She earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Florida State University and a master's in business administration from Nova Southeastern University.
Tennessee American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in Tennessee and dates back to its founding in 1886 as Chattanooga Water Co.
Tennessee American provides water to about 360,000 people in Tennessee and northern Georgia.