American Water Works Company, Inc., the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, has announced that it has promoted Valoria Armstrong to Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Inclusion Officer reporting to both Melanie Kennedy, senior vice president, Human Resources and Maureen Duffy, senior vice president, Communications and External Affairs.
Armstrong will strengthen the company’s commitment to inclusion & diversity by creating a comprehensive and integrated strategy to drive diversity, equity, mutual respect, and inclusiveness across the organization. She will also engage with key external stakeholders like the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and serving on the board of directors of the National Utilities Diversity Council, among others, to elevate awareness of our culture and values.
“Val is a fantastic leader and dedicated advocate and supporter of a respectful and inclusive culture at American Water,” said Walter Lynch, president and chief executive officer. “Creating an environment where everyone can bring their whole selves to work is essential for the emotional safety of our employees and makes us more successful in providing the best possible service to the diverse communities we serve.”
Since joining American Water in 2011, Armstrong has been instrumental in guiding our Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Council since inception in 2017. She has also served the company as president of Tennessee American Water and as a director in Human Resources. Armstrong began her career at Food Lion and held several key positions, including diversity manager, during her 15-year tenure there.
“Val started her career in Human Resources, served as a state president and most recently has worked to connect with our external stakeholders,” said Kennedy. “She knows the value of connecting with our employees, our customers and our communities, which makes her a perfect fit for this role.”
She was also the first woman and youngest president elected to lead the Chattanooga, Hamilton County Branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) from 2005 to 2012 and currently serves as the first African American female chair of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
Armstrong has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in Human Resources Development from Villanova University.