The Kansas Rural Water Association recognized area rural water district employee, Tammy Pence, as office manager of the year. Pence received the award at the organization’s 46th annual conference and exhibition on March 27 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
Pence has been employed as the office manager for Wabaunsee Rural Water District 2 for 15 years. The district serves users south of the Kansas River from just east of Manhattan, to south of Alma and east of Paxico area. In making the presentation, Elmer Ronnebaum, General Manager of the Association says that somehow Tammy Pence manages to do the bookkeeping, customer correspondence, billings, invoices and whatever else the manager/operator and board members ask of her working half-time in a water district that has more than 650 members. “That’s nearly unprecedented,” he commented.
Pence has been a major facilitator of the district’s conversion from a self-read billing process to an automated meter reading system, establishing various auto pay options, system expansions, construction projects and many other special duties. In the district’s customer feedback forms, she routinely receives high marks. She has been known to be a courier for the district’s manager in times of emergencies and is constantly on-call to assist with customer communications during line breaks and other outages.
The conference, which was attended by almost 2,300 people from more than 300 cities and 190 rural water districts, included 56 training seminars on all aspects of water and wastewater utility operations and management and 309 exhibits of products and services for municipal water and wastewater utilities.
The Kansas Rural Water Association provides training and technical assistance to cities and rural water districts and also supports a variety of other community programs from GPS mapping to the popular KAN STEP self-help program through the Department of Commerce.