American Water Honors Illinois American Water Employee and Diverse Suppliers

Belleville, Ill. (June 10, 2021) — During American Water’s 2021 National Supplier Diversity Summit and Matchmaker event, American Water honored Illinois American Water Western Division Senior Operations Manager Eric Larson as well as Illinois American Water diverse suppliers M3 Engineering Group and Sumac, Inc.

Larson was presented with the Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award. The honor recognizes performance which significantly exceeds expectations due to exceptionally high-quality of work performed in all essential areas of responsibility, resulting in an overall increase in spend with diverse suppliers that was superior and made an exceptional or unique contribution.

According to Sharon Manker, Sr. Diversity Program Lead, American Water National Supplier Diversity, Larson led Illinois American Water as a “champion of supplier diversity.” She said “Eric strengthened networks both internally and externally to support inclusion within our supplier diversity program. He has embraced and demonstrated American Water’s commitment to building a prosperous, vibrant, and sustainable Indigenous business sector.”

Several regional suppliers were also recognized at the event including M3 Engineering Group out of St. Louis, MO and Sumac, Inc. in Chicago, IL. M3 Engineering Group received the Safety Award. The award is given to a Diverse Supplier which models a zero-injury mindset, investing in and implementing a formal, measurable safety program while supporting American Water Works Service Company, Inc., its subsidiary and affiliated companies. Sumac, Inc. was honored with the Pathfinder Award which is presented to a small diverse supplier that has delivered outstanding efforts and/or improvements during the year.

Lawrence Wooten, Sr. Manager for American Water Supplier Diversity, said, “The American Water Supplier Diversity initiative demonstrates the values of American Water in terms of our goals of mirroring the communities we serve on a daily basis. Supplier Diversity provides for the economic growth of communities across our footprint of operations. I want to thank our internal and external partners for their continued support and congratulate all award winners for their commitment to Supplier Diversity.”

2021 marked the third year for the Summit, which is organized to enhance the business through meaningful and cost-effective solutions in American Water’s supply chain. The event was held virtually May 19 and 20.

Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. For more information, visit and follow Illinois American Water on Twitter and Facebook.


About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts

Karen Cotton

External Affairs Manager