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American Water Announces Recipients of 2018 James LaFrankie Scholarship Awards

June 14, 2018

American Water Honors 10 Students Nationwide for Scholastic Achievement

VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation's largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, today announced recipients of the 27th annual James V. LaFrankie Scholarship Awards. The awards were distributed nationwide to 10 college-bound children of full-time American Water employees who demonstrate an interest in science and water-related industry occupational fields.

Out of 63 complete applications, an independent, third-party organization selected 10 of the high school seniors based on their outstanding high school records, academic honors, participation in extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded for one year, and may be renewed for up to three years based on the student's academic progress.

"We are proud to award these scholarships to such extraordinary students who not only achieved the highest academic standards but also have an interest in science and water-related industry occupational fields," said Melanie Kennedy, senior vice president of Human Resources. "Now, in its 27th year, the James LaFrankie Scholarship is helping attract extremely bright, dedicated students who have much to offer for our industry's future. We congratulate all of our winners and look forward to witnessing their success and the great things they will accomplish."

The scholarship award recipients are as follows:

  • Danielle Hillof Florissant, Mo., daughter of Brandy Hill, workers compensation claims analyst in St. Louis, Mo.
  • Devin Jonesof St. Louis, Mo., son of Danita Jones, collections representative in Alton, Ill.
  • Caroline O'Neill of Lexington, Ky., daughter of Brent O'Neill, director of Engineering in Lexington, Ky.
  • Megan Purcell of Pittston, Pa., daughter of Michael Purcell, Operations process support supervisor for Pennsylvania American Water.
  • Rachel Runzer of Mullica Hill, N.J., daughter of James Runzer, director of Operations for Iowa American Water.
  • Zachary Seals of Carmel, Ind., son of Michael Seals, Engineering manager for Indiana American Water.
  • Benjamin Sheridan of Philadelphia, Pa., son of James Sheridan, vice president of Operations for Pennsylvania American Water.
  • Brett Towersof Williamstown, N.J., son of Ruthanne Towers, learning consultant for American Water in Voorhees, N.J.
  • Landree Wilkinof Orangeville, Pa., daughter of Randy Wilkin, Operations supervisor for Pennsylvania American Water.
  • Henry Woodburnof Pontiac, Ill., son of Kent Woodburn, Operations supervisor for Illinois American Water.

The American Water Board of Directors established the scholarship program in 1991 in honor of former American Water president, James LaFrankie. LaFrankie demonstrated the value he placed on college education by earning a degree at Georgetown University night school while working days at the Alexandria Virginia Water Company, now known as Virginia American Water. After that, LaFrankie excelled, climbing the ladder to increasingly responsible positions over his 44-year career with American Water, retiring as the company's president in 1991.

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 6,900 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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American Water
Joseph Szafran
External Affairs Manager

Source: American Water

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