Utilities Manager recognized as OWEA Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Steve Hardeman, City of Norman Utilities Manager, was honored as the Oklahoma Water Environment Association’s (OWEA) Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the 2023 Spring Conference on May 24, 2023 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Hardeman, who began at an entry level position at the City of Norman in January of 1984, now oversees all day-to-day operations at the Water Reclamation Facility and leads a staff of 20 team members.

“Steve is a great leader and promotes a genuine ‘team’ concept at his facility,” said Utilities Director Chris Mattingly. “He makes a point to let everyone know what their mission is and why we need them at our facility. He also manages with an open door policy and shares the budgeting process with his staff each year before making any final decisions. We are incredibly fortunate to have Steve serving our community.” 

In addition to serving the OWEA in several capacities, Hardeman has assisted with training programs and strategic planning processes for the Oklahoma Water & Pollution Control Association (OWPCA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) during his time in public service. He was monumental in working with community partners and contractors to complete the Indirect Potable Reuse project, for which the City of Norman received state and national recognition.

“Steve is an exemplary employee and we congratulate him on this tremendous achievement, which is very much deserved,” said City Manager Darrel Pyle.

The OWEA is dedicated to improving Oklahoma’s water environment through leadership, stewardship, collaboration, integrity and passion. The organization consists of a diverse mix of engineers, operators, utility owners and suppliers. Learn more at owea.org.