Illinois American Water Announces Changes in Southern Illinois Leadership Team

Illinois American Water has promoted Karen Cooper to senior manager of field services and production for the company’s Southern Division serving the Metro East, Alton, Cairo and Hardin County service areas.

Cooper, who previously served as operations superintendent for the Alton District service area, has more than 40 years of water utility experience. Prior to her time at American Water, Cooper was an applications engineering manager with CPC Engineering Corporation and a water quality analyst for the Ohio EPA.

Cooper began her American Water career at Indiana American Water as a water quality superintendent.  She then joined Illinois American Water in 1992 as water quality director. Beginning in 1997, Cooper served as manager of the southern division for Illinois American Water.

Cooper has a bachelors of science degree from The Ohio State University and has completed MBA program coursework at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“Karen has a proven track record of working successfully with employees, businesses, city officials and community organizations,” Mike Smyth, Illinois American Water Vice President, said. “In her new role, she will continue to lead our efforts in safety, operational efficiencies and growth.”

Cooper began her new role in January 2017, while continuing to lead operations in the Alton District.

On May 8, 2017, Doug Wagner assumed Cooper’s previous role as operations superintendent for the Alton District service area. Wagner joined the Illinois American Water team from Virginia/Maryland American Water, where he served as business process supervisor the past three years.

“Doug’s diverse and extensive background will serve our employees and customers well,” said Cooper.

Since arriving at Virginia American Water in 2002, Wagner has worked in several capacities. He began on the frontlines as utility personnel and two years later moved to the meter department. He then transitioned into the water quality department, followed by serving as a network supervisor for six years until he accepted the position of business process supervisor for Virginia/Maryland American Water. Prior to joining American Water, Wagner worked in the environmental field for more than 15 years.

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