Contact: Earl Bittner
By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- A Public Works Department Gulfport boiler operator was presented the Mississippi Water and Pollution Control Operator's Association (MWPCOA) 2012 Jim McDonald Award for Outstanding Waterworks Operator of the Year July 20 at the Association's Annual Conference held in Natchez, Miss.
"Thank you to the Operators' Association and everyone," said award recipient Gordon Culpepper. "I really appreciate all of you taking the time to recognize the work that we [operators] do every day to keep our water clean and safe."
Culpepper received the highest award as Water Operator of the Year out of approximately 500 candidates.
"I have been employed at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport for 16 years," said Culpepper. "My title is boiler operator; however, I am also a certified water well operator, lift station operator, and the base pool operator."
Culpepper explained that he has done the planned maintenance on more than 20 boilers, lift stations, three water wells, and the base pool. His work is accomplished at various locations between Lakeside (Pascagoula, Miss.) and for Navy tenants at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
"Culpepper is well deserving of this award," said Cmdr. Brian Nottingham, NCBC Gulfport Public Works Officer. "He is our go to man here in Gulfport and for the other locations we service in southern Mississippi."
The MWPCOA historically selects two deserving operators from across the state as Outstanding Operators of the Year in Pollution Control and Water Supply. All MWPCOA certified operators in the State of Mississippi who have not previously received the award are eligible for consideration.
The Jim McDonald Award is presented each year to a waterworks operator who exemplifies professionalism and dedication to his work. MWPCOA members submit nominations which are reviewed by the Association's Board of Governors. A final selection committee visits the operator's facility and conducts an interview from which the final recipient is chosen.
An inscribed plaque is presented to the winner at the Association's annual meeting. A certificate of merit is presented to each operator attaining finalist status.
The MWPCOA is an independent, non-profit organization managed by its membership with the prime objective of protecting the interests of water and pollution control operators in the State of Mississippi.