Henry County Chamber of Commerce names HCWA as its 2016 Business of the Year
(McDonough, GA – Feb. 24, 2017) The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA), which prides itself as a water utility that operates according to sound business principles, has been recognized as such after receiving the Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Business of the Year Award. The Authority was honored during the Chamber’s recent 50th Annual Banquet.
The Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award recognizes a local business that stands out among its peers in the business community, as a leading organization both in its approach to business and in its service to the community. Recipients must demonstrate excellence in overall business operations, including customer service, employee development and employee relations, site aesthetics, marketing, integrity, innovation and community contributions.
The HCWA is the first utility or local Authority to receive the Business of the Year Award. The HCWA is a quasi-governmental entity created by Act of the Georgia General Assembly in 1961, which operates as an autonomous Authority separate from and independent of county government. According to the Henry County Chamber, the Authority unquestionably meets and surpasses the requirements for the Business of the Year Award.
“The credit for this tremendous honor really goes to the employees of the Authority, because of what they do every day for our community,” says Lindy Farmer, HCWA General Manager who has led the Authority for 35 years, making him the longest tenured chief executive among water utilities in Georgia. “I also want to thank our Board for providing the necessary resources for us to do our job according to the highest standards in the industry. Their leadership, along with the vision of past Boards, has placed us in this enviable position.”
While highlighting the Authority’s Business of the Year qualifications, officials from the Chamber described the HCWA as a provider of essential services to Henry County businesses, non-profits, and residents. In addition, the Authority and its employees are recognized continually for excellence, serving as a model water utility in Georgia and consistently scoring some of the highest marks in the industry for technical competence.
As for the Authority’s role in the community, the Chamber notes how the HCWA is integral in attracting business and industry to Henry County. Since 2014, the Authority has reduced industrial and commercial impact fees to assist the County and Henry County Development Authority in attracting new industrial and commercial customers to boost economic development. In addition, thanks to long-term strategic planning, the Authority has secured water resources to meet the drinking water demands of the community during drought conditions and well into the future.
“By being recognized as the Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business of the Year, the Henry County Water Authority joins a distinguished group of members of the business community who have demonstrated excellence both in their primary product and in customer service,” says David Gill, President and CEO of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud that Henry County’s water resources were well managed during one of the highest growth periods in our country’s history, while remaining poised to meet the water and sewer needs of present and future customers for years to come. I join many in congratulating the Water Authority on this well-deserved recognition.”
During 2016, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and other industry associations awarded the HCWA with more than a dozen awards or honors for employee, facility, and system excellence, including the Water and Wastewater Plant of the Year Awards in Georgia, as well as the annual awards for the top-rated Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Systems in the state.
HCWA customer service initiatives recognized by the Chamber include its multiple methods of payments offered to customers, such as direct bank draft, automatic draft, and online bill pay services. As for community contributions, the Authority offers a Charitable Assistance Program to help customers in need with their monthly water/sewer bills. The HCWA also provides citizens with outdoor recreation opportunities, such as public fishing and hunting, and public education programs, such as facility tours and field trips, including the annual visits by every Henry County third-grade student to the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center.