NEWS RELEASE: Board of Water Works Trustees Announces Finalists for CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works

The Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa, announces two finalists for the position of CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works.  The Board selected Colin Baenziger & Associates, a national search firm, to assist the Board in filling the position for Des Moines Water Works, a regional utility serving approximately 500,000 people in Central Iowa.  The Board began the search process in February; however, the COVID-19 public health emergency has adjusted the original timeline and process.

“The field of candidates for the position of the next CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works, and their extensive experience and knowledge was impressive,” said Diane Munns, Board of Water Works Trustees Chair. “The Board wanted to conduct a national search for a leader with a proven track record in the industry, the skills to focus on regional issues, and the ability to meet Des Moines Water Works’ critical mission of producing safe and affordable drinking water.”

The search firm received 122 applications for the position of CEO and General Manager, and forwarded 8 strong candidates to the Board of Trustees for consideration. The Board interviewed four candidates, and chose the following two individuals as finalists.

Ted Corrigan, P.E. 
Mr. Corrigan has been with Des Moines Water Works since 1990.  He has served as the Interim CEO and General Manager since 2019.  Previously, he has held the positions of Chief Operating Officer for five years, Director of Water Distribution for seven years, Director of Water Production for six years, Engineer and Senior Engineer for ten years. Prior to joining Des Moines Water Works, Mr. Corrigan was an engineer at Alvord, Burdick and Howson Consulting Engineers in Chicago. Mr. Corrigan has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University.

Aaron Kraft, MPA  
Mr. Kraft has worked for Veolia (a private utility contract management firm), for Rialto [California] Water Services since 2009. He has served as the General Manager since 2018, and Assistant General Manager for two years before that.  Previously, he was a Project Manager for Vancouver, WA (population 164,632) for six years and the Central Region Operations Director for the American Water Enterprises in Sioux City, IA for two years.  He was also the Environmental Services Director for the City of Sioux City, IA (population 148,402) for eight years. Mr. Kraft has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology and a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University. 

The Board intends the recruitment of the next CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works be as open and inclusive as possible at this time, using available resources and technology. The next stage will include the virtual participation with Des Moines Water Works staff, Central Iowa community partners, and individual customers. The search process will include the following:

  • Audio recordings of the finalists’ interviews with the Board of Trustees are available on Des Moines Water Works’ Board of Trustees page for the public to review.
  • Finalist interviews with Des Moines Water Works employees, including local union leadership and senior staff will be scheduled.
  • Panel discussions with community partners and stakeholders, and City of Des Moines representatives will be scheduled. 
  • Additional finalist interviews with individual Board members may be scheduled.
  • Additional finalist interviews with the full Board of Trustees will be scheduled at a future public meeting.
  • The Board of Trustees will accept comments from the panel discussions and general public on the CEO and General Manager finalists. The public may send comments by mail to Board of Trustees, 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, IA 50321 or by e-mail to DMWWBoard@dmww.com.
  • Additional processes that the Board of Trustees may deem appropriate – including a possible public virtual open house via web meeting platform.
  • Additional discussion and deliberations with the full Board of Trustees will be scheduled at a future meeting.

Following these steps, the Board of Trustees will make a determination on the process going forward.

Des Moines Water Works’ previous CEO and General Manager Bill Stowe passed away in April 2019, after serving in the role since August 2012.  The utility’s Chief Operating Officer Ted Corrigan, P.E., has served as Interim CEO and General Manager since April 2019.

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