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Kenneth J. Miller Founder’s Award
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Kenneth J. Miller Founder's Award

For Outstanding Volunteer Service to Water For People


The Kenneth J. Miller Founders’ Award was established in 2001 by the Board of Directors of Water For People to honor outstanding volunteer service being contributed to this International humanitarian effort. Water For People was conceived as a North American response to the water, sanitation and health needs of millions of families living in the developing world. From its beginnings, Water For People was envisioned to be a volunteer effort of the North American water community. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) leaders who organized Water For People believed that water professionals throughout North America would recognize the urgent necessity to support such a cause by contributing their financial assistance, organizational skills, and professional expertise. This they have done, as local groups of water and sanitation professionals launched active programs in support of Water For people. As the organization grew and began to accomplish its vision of service, it became evident that extraordinary volunteer efforts were being made at the local level and that this dedicated work ought to be publicly acknowledged and honored. The Founders’ Award was established to do this.

The search for a model individual to exemplify the value of volunteer service and to underscore the importance of this award led immediately to Kenneth J. Miller of Denver, Colorado, one of the founders of Water For People and its first president.


Ken Miller has been a volunteer leader in AWWA and its related organizations for 40 years. He has held every office in the AWWA – Rocky Mountain Section and is one of its prestigious Fuller Awardees. His honors in AWWA include Honorary Membership, the Diven medal for Outstanding Service to AWWA, and the Abel Wolman Award of Excellence. Ken is the only person to serve as the chief elected officer of the American Water Works Association, the AWWA Research Foundation and Water For People.

Now retired, Ken was a Senior Vice President and Director of CH2M Hill Consulting Engineers. Previously he served with Denver Water and the Denver Health Department. Although his entire career was dedicated to public water service, he made time for volunteer work in the Denver Chamber of Commerce, Colorado University and the Community College of Denver; the National Academy of Science Assembly of Engineers; the American Chemical Society; Christ Congregational Church; the Water Environment Federation, and numerous other social, civic, and educational organizations.

Now, after his distinguished career of national and local service, Ken Miller is deservedly retired. But when he is in Denver, not a week ever goes by without his contributing volunteer time at Water For People headquarters. The man is an unsurpassed model for those who would aspire to contribute to their community, their professional societies, their country and the needy of the world. That is why Water For People has named the Founders’ Award after Kenneth J. Miller – in the hope of inspiring others to emulate his example of self-sacrificing volunteer service.

Kenneth J. Miller Award Committee


 Name Affiliation Term Expires

Dan Dawson Searcy Water Utilities 2020
Blake Weindorf Central Arkansas Water 2020
Eric Lee  Tulsa Water and Sewer Department 2020
Don Broussard Southwest Section AWWA 2020
Donna Skidmore Retired



Southwest Section Kenneth J. Miller Awardees




Name and Home City(* Deceased)




Conference City

2019 Dan Dawson, Searcy, AR Branson, MO
2018 No award presented Baton Rouge, LA
2017 No award presented Oklahoma City, OK
2016 Sandra Patterson, Hope, AR Rogers, AR
2015 Marcia St. Martin, New Orleans, LA Shreveport, LA
2014 Donna Skidmore, Oklahoma City, OK Tulsa, OK
2013 Perry Nelson, Prescott, AR Little Rock, AR
2012 Elizabeth Jones, New Orleans, LA Lafayette, LA
2011 No award presented Oklahoma City, OK
2010 No award presented Hot Springs, AR
2009 No award presented Shreveport, LA
2008 Jackie Barrett, Tulsa, OK Tulsa, OK
2007 Harold Seifert, Little Rock, AR Springdale, AR
2006 No award presented Baton Rouge, LA
2005 Gene Barker – Marion, LA Oklahoma City, OK
2004 No Award presented Little Rock, AR
2003 Curtis Davis – Shreveport, LA Lafayette, LA
2002 Harold Gorman – New Orleans, LA Tulsa, OK
2001 Les Patterson – Hope, AR Hot Springs, AR