At the Macon Water Authority (MWA), a handful of retirees have received special recognition from the Board of Directors and their fellow employees for dedicated and distinguished service on behalf of the Authority and its customers.
Mark Potts, Ricky NeSmith, Chester Stewart and Joel Tapley have nearly 150 years of combined experience working at MWA.
Mark Potts, the first of the four to retire, ended his 34-year tenure with the MWA on May 31, 2007. Potts, a Macon native, spent his career in the Authority’s engineering department, where he mapped and located utility lines. As a result of this work, the Authority has been able to more accurately reference and access water and sewer lines for maintenance and upgrades, such as work typically conducted during capital improvement projects and renewal and replacement initiatives.
Ricky NeSmith is another 30-year-plus veteran of the Authority who retired shortly after Potts. NeSmith began working for the MWA in August of 1976 as a pipe fitter, though he eventually took on more responsibilities through positions such as equipment operator, crew leader, supervisor and distribution assistant manager. He retired as Manager of Distribution after 31 years of service to the Authority and its customers.
Like Potts, Stewart retired on August 31 as the Maintenance Superintendent of the MWA Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant. Stewart started out working in the Authority’s old Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant boiler room before moving on to maintenance, where he thrived because of the “hands on” work experience. Thoguht he made his career in maintenance, Stewart obtained all three classifications of certification as a water treatment plant operator, including the difficult Class I license, which is the highest degree of certification for a plant operator in the state of Georgia.
Joel Tapley started working for the MWA in 1961 as a maintenance mechanic at the Lower Poplar Street wastewater treatment plant. He has a Class II Wastewater License and is retiring this month as a Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor. In 1989, he transferred to the Authority’s Rocky Creek wastewater treatment facility to help the maintenance personnel there maintain plant operations. The Georgia Associaton of Water Professionals and the national Water Environment Federation have both recognized Tapley for outstanding achievement and service in the field, including the valuable training he has provided others in the area of operations and maintenance.