p08 waterBruce Hauk, center, receives the Corporate Business of the Year award for Diversity and Inclusion by the East St. Louis Chapter of the NAACP in St. Louis. To his left is Stanley W. Franklin, president of the East St. Louis NAACP Branch and to his right, Teresa Haley, president, NAACP Illinois State Conference. (Photo courtesy of NAACP.)    On Oct. 8, Illinois American Water was named the Corporate Business of the Year for Diversity and Inclusion by the East St. Louis Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at a ceremony in St. Louis. This award is presented to companies who visibly exceed standards in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
    Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water, accepted the award on behalf of the company. His wife and their two children, as well as a team of Illinois American Water employees accompanied him.
    Illinois American Water aims to keep the focus on changing company culture – both inside the company and with customers. Since the company’s initial report filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission on April 15, 2015, the company more than doubled its diverse spend in 2016 when compared to 2015 (27.43 percent) and increased by more than seven times the 2014 base-year figure. Additionally, in 2016, almost 70 percent of Illinois American Water’s new hires were diverse.
    “The Illinois American Water team is proud of the progress being made to increase diverse representation in the water utility industry,” Hauk said, “and to do so in a way that reflects the communities served and positions the company for long-term success. Diversity and inclusion lead to a higher quality of life, economic growth, and is one of our strategic imperatives, Hauk added. “At Illinois American Water, we aim to keep the focus on changing company culture – both inside the company and with our customers.”