Three pieces of Legislation that Kevin worked on that were signed into law.
From the right, Rob MacLean, President of NJ American Water and Congressman Frank
Kevin with Alec Baldwin
Our April Spotlight Member is Kevin Watsey. Kevin is the Vice President of Government Affairs at NJ American Water. Kevin has been a member since 2008 and has volunteered his time working with the WFP, Water Utility Council, and served as Chair of the Public Information Committee. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Section from 2011-2014.
Why did you decide to go into the field of water?
I did not actively choose the water industry, I applied for and was offered a job with NJ American Water in 2006. While I was not seeking a job in water, I cannot imagine working in any other field. Over the last 12 years, I have had the privilege of working with some of the smartest, most dedicated, and underappreciated professionals in the state.
How did you become a volunteer for AWWA? What motivates you to be active in the Section?
A gentleman named David Legg, who retired from NJ American Water after more than 30 years with the company told me to join AWWA NJ. After attending my first conference, Laura Cummings and Carol Storms recruited me to Chair the Public Information Committee. In my time as chair, our committee helped organize Water Day at the Statehouse, sent press releases on various Section activities and placed a Section billboard on the Garden State Parkway. The billboard is still in place below the Union water sphere at exit 139.
My motivation to stay active is simple, I like the people. Whether, public or private, big system or small, water professionals are good people who share a common goal. I enjoy talking with the folks who have been around for decades and I learn something every time I attend a meeting or the conference.
How long have you been an AWWA member and what have you gotten from your membership?
This year marks my 10th year as a member of AWWA NJ. In Government Affairs, part of my job is building up resources, knowing who to call, and building coalitions to promote mutual interests. Being a member of AWWA has allowed me to greatly expand my professional universe and has allowed me to work with other members to change the industry for the better.
I have also been fortunate enough to represent the section at national meetings around the country and during fly-ins to Capitol Hill. Hearing the successes of other Sections allowed me to be a better Trustee.
Hobbies and outside interests?
My life outside of work consists of golf, cooking, and family, that’s it. When I am not working, I am with my family, cooking for my family, or golfing. It may sound boring, but it’s all I need.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
When I am ready to retire, which won’t be for another 20-30 years, I hope people will say that I was good at what I did, that I was an honest person to work with, and that I had a substantive and positive impact on the water industry through legislative and regulatory change. I am very proud to have worked very closely on three pieces of water-related legislation that have been signed into law, including the Water Infrastructure Protection Act and the Water Quality Accountability Act. As a Government Affairs professional, there is no greater thrill than to work on legislation that becomes law.