Rhonda Carter Adams, Illinois American Water’s Diversity Lead, was recognized by Who’s Who Diversity in Color in the Most Intriguing People category. Who’s Who is an annual publication that documents and celebrates the achievements of all people of color in the St. Louis
Along with recognition at an awards ceremony in St. Louis on June 13, an article about Adams is featured in the 2019 Who’s Who Diversity in Color magazine, alongside other nominees, detailing the path that led her to a career in supplier diversity.
Prior to joining Illinois American Water in 2018, Adams was a supplier diversity manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and executive director for the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council. Her career in supplier diversity began at Caterpillar Inc., where she started as a computer programmer and systems analyst. Networking and a cross-training program opened up the opportunity for her to have a role in their supplier diversity program.
“I just knew, that’s what I am here for; that’s the direction I would like to go because naturally I had the passion for developing my own community,” Adams said.
Adams’ enthusiasm for inclusion and diversity is further nurtured in her role at American Water.
“Without inclusion, we cannot have innovation, a culture of acceptance or be able to truly obtain a diverse body of talent that will carry the organization forward,” she said. “Seeing diverse board members at American Water, who have a key influence and stake in the direction of the company, actively engaging in relationships with labor unions, community organizations and legislators is admirable to me. It speaks to our customer-obsessed culture.”
Adams serves on the board of the Tennessee Williams Festival, the Center of Creative Arts, Ignite Theater Company and the Illinois Division of United Way.