The Bridget O’Grady Excellence in Service Award

2022 Recipient: Kay Coffey, Water Quality Division, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
For 2022, our members honored Kay Coffey in recognition of her commitment, outstanding professional performance, and many years of service to improving public health through her work with state and territorial drinking water programs and ASDWA. Kay is the epitome of service excellence, dedicating her career to protecting public health. We thank Kay for her many contributions!

Access the Nomination Form

Purpose of the Award:  An award of excellence and service to recognize those whose careers with the state drinking water programs and work with ASDWA exemplify commitment and outstanding professional performance characteristics of Bridget O’Grady’s long and productive career.

The Award: A plaque engraved with the recipient’s name.

Frequency of the Award: One award annually.

Eligibility for the Award: To qualify for the award, the nominee must be an employee of one of the 57 ASDWA member programs. To be eligible for consideration, the nominee must have established himself/herself in the water profession with considerable years of service to their state or territorial program. The nominee must also be active or previously engaged in ASDWA workgroups, committees, or projects. The nominee’s work must exemplify vision, commitment, and excellence and must have had a recognizable impact on their water program or ASDWA.

Entry Requirements: Please complete this form and include a color photograph, a career review, and examples of specific accomplishments. An ASDWA member or ASDWA staff must make a nomination. ASDWA’s Executive Committee and its staff are ineligible for the award while serving on the Executive Committee. Board members (outside the Executive Committee) and their staff are eligible to receive the award.

Nomination Procedure: The nomination form and additional support documents should be submitted electronically.  Nominees may remain under consideration for up to three years. Nominators will be notified if their nominee has not been selected within that time. If the candidate is not re-nominated after 3 years, his/her name will be dropped from the list. A candidate may be re-nominated.

Nomination or Submission Deadline: Nominations must be received by COB Friday, June 30, to be assured of receiving full consideration.

Award Selection Committee: The selection committee shall consist of ASDWA Executive Committee (current president, immediate past president, and president-elect) and ASDWA’s Executive Director. Selection is anticipated to be made by Monday, July 31, and the awardee will be notified soon after that.

Method of Selecting Award Recipient: The Executive Committee shall use its best judgment in selecting a candidate using materials and information submitted with the entry form. The criteria used for selection will be the length of service, depth of service above and beyond what is requested or required, and engagement with ASDWA.

Presentation of the Award: The award will be presented at the ASDWA Annual Conference. The recipient of this award shall have their travel costs to this event to receive the award sponsored by ASDWA.

Questions? Contact Anthony DeRosa of ASDWA at

In Memory of Bridget O’Grady

For those that knew Bridget O’Grady, she was a force to be reckoned with as she advocated passionately for the states’ and small systems’ perspectives. She worked longer (1993-2019) at the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) than any other employee and was a steady source of knowledge for ASDWA’s members and staff.

Bridget worked tirelessly for ASDWA on a wide range of drinking water issues. She worked closely with Hill staff on the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments and continued to monitor water legislation and appropriations. She worked on small systems issues, partnerships, capacity development, operator certification, and security and preparedness.

Bridget grew up in Richmond, VA, and graduated from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA in 1971. Bridget began her career as a Benefits Analyst at the General Life Insurance Company in Richmond, VA followed by becoming a Promotion Manager for the Bank of Virginia. She unknowingly began her “water career” when she took a position with Booz, Allen & Hamilton in 1981 where she worked on the Superfund Project where she assisted on helping design background training for On-Scene Coordinators at various Superfund sites. She eventually moved on to work as a Legislative Assistant at the National Water Resources Association and as a Technical Support Coordinator at the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies in Washington, D.C. until 1993 where she began her employment with ASDWA.

Bridget loved learning something new or interesting every day, often discovering a new piece of trivia off a bottle cap from her ice-tea bottle made her the happiest. She loved humor and being of service to others, and every day she strove to do whatever she could to make implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) a little easier to accomplish.

Past Recipients

2019 Recipient: June Swallow, Chief, Rhode Island Department of Health
June Swallow is one of the longest-serving drinking water administrators and has been an ardent supporter of ASDWA from the beginning. She is a highly qualified engineer and a fierce protector of public health. She generously shares her knowledge and expertise with others, and has helped many new administrators deepen their engagement in ASDWA. June’s remarkable career in drinking water exemplifies excellence in service – it is most fitting that June is the first recipient of this special award.

2020 Recipient: Sarah Pillsbury, Administrator, Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
For 2020, our members honored Sarah Pillsbury in recognition of her commitment, outstanding professional performance, and many years of service to improving public health through her work for the people of New Hampshire. We thank Sarah for her many contributions to the national drinking water program and participation in ASDWA.

2021 Recipient: Diane Moles, Water Supply Engineering Section, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
For 2021, our members honored Diane Moles in recognition of her commitment, outstanding professional performance, and many years of service to improving public health through her work with state and territorial drinking water programs and ASDWA.