BOSTON — In a spirited event at the conclusion of the American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE14) in Boston, John Donahue, chief executive officer of North Park (Ill.) Water District, accepted the ceremonial AWWA gavel and began his term as president, according to a press release.

The Gavel Passing Ceremony was the culmination of a five-day conference that drew more than 11,000 water professionals and water technology providers to Boston.

Saying he considered this to be “the most exciting time in recent memory for AWWA,” Donahue summarized a plan for stronger Association-Section alignment and elevated efforts to open a new AWWA office in India, noted the release.

“We will utilize the combined strength of the Association and Sections to form one AWWA,” Donahue said. “We will work together to combine our brands and align our strategic plans, which will allow us to look like one AWWA. We will work together to provide educational opportunities to our members, especially rural and small systems with the Association preparing the content and the sections delivering it.”

Donahue has been an active member of AWWA’s Illinois Section for more than 20 years, earning the George Warren Fuller Award in 2009. At the Association level, Donahue has served as an association vice president, represented the Illinois Section as a member of the Board of Directors and has chaired or participated on numerous Association committees including the Distribution Plant Operations Division, Heroism Award and Operator Involvement Committees.