The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

White: Patience of a saint…great to work with…always helpful.

Dennis WhiteThere are many ways Dennis White can be described. Those written above are just a few. As Dennis retires at the end of this month, he leaves in his wake a depth of expertise in the water and wastewater business. He also leaves knowing he is admired by many for his patience in explaining how things in this business work, and how to do the math calculations and scientific processes this business requires. Steve Robinette takes over as the new Region Manager for Iowa. Heath Draeger is the new Assistant Region Manager who knows he has big shoes to fill.

Steve Robinette Steve Robinette is the new Region Manager of Iowa
Heath Draeger Heath Draeger is the new Assistant Region Manager of Iowa

“Dennis’s broad range of experience in the field has given him the ability to be an effective problem solver. He has vast experience in this industry and that includes plumbing, natural gas, water and sewer. The ultimate goal of being a good problem solver for Dennis always revolved around providing excellent service to our clients and keeping the environment at the forefront,” said Heath. “What I appreciate most about Dennis is how he wants to see his operators succeed. He always went the distance to provide a quality work environment by providing the tools and resources he felt were needed. At the end of each conversation, he would always ask ‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ Dennis has helped prepare me in this career by setting a good example. Not just in operations, but more importantly, by mentoring me to become an effective resource to others in operations,” Heath added.

“Dennis showed up and helped us months before we even decided to make the transition to PeopleService,” chimed in Lory Young, the former City Administrator of Riverside, Iowa. “We had issues and Dennis was there with ideas and solutions. We were dealing with chemical costs and lab issues. Dennis helped us understand what we could do to run our plant more efficiently. He was always very nice and very helpful. He is a great advocate and has a way of working with people, talking with them to help them understand on their terms.

Before we hired PeopleService, I never felt secure that everything was being done properly. Dennis helped me feel better about things. He was there for council meetings. He took the time to win over the council and educate them about the process of the plant,” Lory added. “It was like he waved a magic wand and sprinkled fairy dust on the council and suddenly they were involved and understanding what was necessary and why we were doing what we were doing. It is that kind of dedication and level of service that makes working with PeopleService such a positive and rewarding experience.”

Jennifer Cowsert, the City Administrator of Elkader, Iowa, describes Dennis as an expert in the field. “I always knew that when I needed expert advice, I could turn to Dennis and get answers,” she said. “In fact, I can think of only one time in fourteen years where I asked Dennis a question and he had to pause and say, ‘I’ve never had that happen before. Let me do some checking and I will get right back to you.’ And he did. That was in 2014 when we had unexpectedly cold weather and massive water lines all started freezing at once. That was new for Dennis and he got the answers and brought in the necessary manpower to get the job done.

Dennis knows the industry and he has the experience to make a difference. When we were constructing our new water plant, Dennis was able to look over the plans and make some critical suggestions. He had done this type of work before for PeopleService and so he knew about options that the engineers and designers hadn’t incorporated that were essential to making our water tower work best for our city. That’s why we work with PeopleService, they are a great partner – always looking at how our investments will work for us long term.

A true leader, Dennis works with his team. I can look at the operators who have worked in Elkader over the years and see how much time Dennis has put into fostering their personal growth and taking them to the next level. It’s impressive to see that kind of commitment and to see people who you have worked with directly grow, prosper and move ahead in the industry.”

“Water is a big deal. For a City Administrator it’s a really big deal.”

“Dennis has the patience of a saint,” added Becky LaRoche, the City Administrator for Riverside, Iowa. “Dennis worked tirelessly to help our council understand the why and what of
our plans. As new councilmembers got elected, Dennis took the time and effort to edify them about what PeopleService does and why we make the decisions we do for our community.

Dennis made the changes we needed to make with his positive attitude, expertise and his ability to share that vision for the future of Riverside with everyone,” Becky said.