Eric at the Main Entrance of the NBWU Plant.
Top to bottom and left to right: Hector R, Carlos O, Mike P, Hiram S, Scott T, Elvin L , Alexei W( Lex),Richard J,
Willy W, Carlos P, Eric E, Kevin H, Mike A.
Eric at the NBWU booth at the Raritan River Festival 2018
From the left to the right: Eric Ekoue, Carlos Junior Perez, Gladys P. Gomez, Kianny Gomez, Guissella Jeanz.
Eric with his children for Bring Your Children to Work Day!
Congratulations to our Spotlight Member, Eric Ekoue. Eric has been working for the New Brunswick Water Utility for the past three years. He is currently serving as Superintendent of the Utility and he is the backup License Operator for the Utility. He holds a Public Water Distribution System W-3 License and Public Water Treatment System T-3 License and is a Certified Public Manager. He is an AWWA Member and a member of the American Society for Public Administration. Prior to working for New Brunswick, Eric worked for the City of Newark. While at Newark, he served on the Safety Committee at the Pequannock Water Plant and was a 40 hour HAZWHOPPER.
Why did you decide to go into the field of water?
Eric stumbled into the field of water. He was working at various jobs but hadn’t yet found one for which he had a passion. Through his network, he met John Gordon who saw something in Eric and was instrumental in getting Eric to work for the Newark Watershed at the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant in 2006. This is where Eric found his passion!
At Newark, he began his career as an operator and then moved to lead operator, then to lab technician and instrumentation. Eric was always looking for ways to move his career forward and he eventually moved from the plant operators’ side of water to the distribution system side of water.
In 2014, Eric had what he called the longest and best interview ever with Jim Cowley at American Water Enterprise. Eric made an impression on Jim, and Eric moved from Newark to the New Brunswick Water Utility where he currently serves as the Superintendent of the Utility.
Eric credits his passion and success in the water industry to the individuals he has met and worked alongside of and to his great mentors. He credits Jim Cowley with pushing his limits of knowledge and helping him mature and build his confidence in his knowledge of water. Whenever Jim would ask him a question and Eric’s answer was “I don’t know,.” Jim gave Eric one week to find the answer … and Eric always did. A few of his other mentors include Mike, Andrew, Joe, Scott, Jim and Lex. However, Eric also told me that there are many others who helped him along the way too. From all their advice and words of guidance, there was one thread that wove it all together for him, “Don’t just do it. Please do it for the love of water. FLOW it’s my motto.”
How long have you been an AWWA member and what have you gotten from your membership?
While Eric has been in the industry for a number of years, like many of us, he has been busy tending to his career, education, and family. He joined us for our Annual Conference in the Spring and immediately realized that this is an organization that can help him with his career because of the educational opportunities and the networking with people who have the same passion for water as he does.
Hobbies and outside interests?
I love to play Rugby and read water magazines. Lately, my greatest joys are playing hide and seek with my kids, cooking and enjoying an exotic meal with my wife and family.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Eric says that he is blessed to have the family support and a nice group of co-workers. They are the corner stones of the Great Pyramid they are building in New Brunswick. His legacy can be summed up in three statements:
I would love to be a stamp, not a stain.
I would love to infuse the love of the water world to my fellow teammates.
I would love to renew the trust in the tap water to all of our residents.