Missouri American Water names Matthew Barnhart as Director of Operations for Southwest Missouri


JOPLIN, MO (March 21, 2022) – Missouri American Water today announced that Matthew Barnhart has been named Director, Operations for Missouri American Water. In this role, Barnhart will continue to oversee operations for the company’s southwest district and work with communities facing water and wastewater challenges to facilitate economic growth and long-term sustainability in the region. 

“Matt is the embodiment of a servant leader, consistently doing what’s right for the communities we serve and supporting the growth and development of his team,” said Missouri American Water president Rich Svindland.  “Our customers have greatly benefitted from his leadership and hard work, from restoring service quickly after the Joplin Tornado to helping communities keep up with health and environmental regulations.” 

Barnhart began his career with Missouri American Water in the Warrensburg district as a utility operator in 2000. He was named a field operations supervisor in 2002 and promoted to manager of the Joplin district in 2005.   

Barnhart commented: “I am proud to work for a company with employees dedicated to providing a service that is both critical to public health and to the overall vitality of communities.  It’s rewarding to work with communities throughout the region to find solutions to issues as more regulations are mandated in the water and wastewater industry, “ 

Barnhart earned an associate degree from Crowder College.  He holds a Missouri Department of Resources Class “C” water operator license and a DSIII distribution license. In 2010, he was recognized by the Missouri Water and Wastewater Southwest Section for outstanding dedication and public service.  In 2011, Barnhart was recognized at the American Water Works Association’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. for leadership and dedication in the restoration of water service to Joplin after a devastating tornado.  

In addition to his professional roles, Barnhart serves on the board of Joplin Workshops and is a member of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.  He is currently the President of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition, serving his second two-year term, and previously served as treasurer. 



Missouri 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 wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people. For more information, visit and follow Missouri American Water on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Media Contacts

Christie Barnhart

External Affairs Manager