Hired by the utility’s Board of Commissioners, Roger Goodson assumed leadership of Consolidated Utility District (CUD) of Rutherford County on May 17. Goodson (below) was formerly the senior operations manager for the Western Division of Illinois American Water.
Goodson’s role with CUD begins as the current general manager, Bill Dunnill, transitions to a consulting capacity that will end in June. Dunnill has led CUD since 2012 and presided over a time of remarkable growth and successful financial stewardship for the utility, as well as the 2020 expansion of the K. Thomas Hutchinson Water Treatment Plant.
“Both the Board of Commissioners and I feel very confident in Roger,” said Dunnill. “He’s held so many different roles in the utility field that he can speak with experience about every aspect of the job. Our ratepayers are in good hands. I’m passing the baton with full faith in Mr. Goodson.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity to guide the continuing success of CUD,” said Goodson. “With the expansion last year of the water treatment plant and the county’s sustained growth, CUD stands in an enviable position as an essential service.”
While with Illinois American Water, Goodson managed operations for seven districts in that state. He began his career in the water industry in 1992 with the City of Aurora, Illinois, where he worked for more than 14 years. His career includes management of operations for a large-site development company and project management in the housing sector.
Goodson holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in business administration, both from Aurora University. He has also earned certifications in water operations.
"I started my career in the Water and Sewer Maintenance Division of Aurora, Illinois,” Goodson said. “One evening in 1995, I was working to repair a water main and suffered a back injury that required surgery. After I was discharged and went through my rehabilitation, I went back to college to pursue my degree in Management, which I earned in 2001.”
"As luck would have it, there was an opening at the water treatment plant for the Manager of Water Administration, which required a degree. If I hadn’t pursued my degree, I would not have been able to enter management. I later received my master’s in business administration in 2004. Because of the injury I suffered in 1995, I will always champion safety in the workplace."
When Goodson learned of the opportunity at CUD, he was immediately interested based on what he knew of the utility’s reputation. “Even in Illinois, I had heard about CUD having a good culture, investing in its infrastructure, and being innovative and customer oriented,” Goodson noted. “As I prepared for my interviews, I became increasingly impressed with the utility overall. Learning about CUD’s values showed me that they align perfectly with my own personal values. Once I met the Board, I knew that I wanted to be part of CUD."
"The GIS (geographic information system) here is incredibly advanced for a public utility. The STEP (Septic Tank Effluent Pump) systems have allowed growth at a lower cost to the residents than a traditional sewer plant and system would have allowed. CUD is upgrading existing facilities to prepare for the future. The most positive quality that I have noticed, though, is the culture and how CUD cares so deeply about each and every one of the employees."
Goodson also gained appreciation for how individuals contribute to teams during his time spent playing minor league baseball. "I played just over two years in the minor league system for the St. Louis Cardinals,” Goodson stated. “In 1989, I was placed with the Class A Savannah Cardinals when I suffered a career-ending injury. On a base hit to center field, I came up to throw a runner out at home and tore my rotator cuff. That was the end of my baseball journey. Yet my baseball experience helped me throughout my career to focus on teamwork."
"My goal is to continue the great things that are already going on here while learning everything about how CUD operates, meeting with local and state stakeholders, and becoming part of the CUD family. I plan to emphasize employee safety, continuous improvement, and customer service so that we’re doing what’s best for our current and future customers at all times."