Illinois American Water Announces Changes in Southern Illinois Leadership Team

May. 18, 2017 3:18 pm |  More About American Water Works

Karen Cooper promoted to senior manager; Doug Wagner joins team as operations superintendent

Karen Cooper has been promoted to senior manager of field services and production for Illinois American Water’s Southern Division serving the Metro East, Alton, Cairo and Hardin County service areas. She was previously the operations superintendent for the Alton District service area. Doug Wagner has joined Illinois American Water to fill that role.

Cooper has more than 40 years of water utility experience including her superintendent position in Alton. Prior to that, she was the manager of business services for the American Water Customer Service Center in Alton.

She began her American Water career at Indiana American Water as a water quality superintendent prior to joining Illinois American Water in 1992 as water quality director. Beginning in 1997, Cooper served as manager of the southern division for Illinois American Water. Prior to American Water, Cooper was an applications engineering manager with CPC Engineering Corporation and a water quality analyst for the Ohio EPA.

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

Mike Smyth, Illinois American Water Vice President, said, “Karen has a proven track record of working successfully with employees, businesses, city officials and community organizations. 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. Effective, May 8, 2017, Doug Wagner assumed the operations superintendent role 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, he worked in the environmental field for more than 15 years.

About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

Illinois American Water
Karen Cotton, 309-566-4126

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May 18, 2017 - 3:18 PM EDT

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