| AWWA Member Spotlight – Amy Wrigley, Veteran, U.S. Army, Naperville, Illinois
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AWWA Member Spotlight – Amy Wrigley, Veteran, U.S. Army, Naperville, Illinois

Amy Wrigley, a technical specialist with the City of Naperville, Illinois, works at the Springbrook Water Reclamation Center. She served in the U.S. Army for six years on active duty and four years in the reserves, including being activated in support of Operation Desert Storm. In recognition of Veterans Day later this month, the American Water Works Association salutes her and our many other members who have served their countries in military service.

Why did you join the U.S. Army, first as a reservist while you were in college, and then on active duty? As a kid growing up in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, I was fascinated any time I saw a military vehicle or someone in uniform. When recruiters visited my high school, I talked to all of them. When I couldn’t decide military or college, I chose both. (Pictured from left, in the Army, at work with City of Naperville, with son, Ethan.)

Amy Wrigley, U.S. Army Veteran, IllinoisDo you have family members who served in the military? Both my grandfathers served in World War II and my dad in Vietnam. I also had several uncles and cousins in the military.

What skills did you gain from your service? I specialized in transportation and intelligence and served as a voice interceptor, squad leader and paratrooper. On top of many job-specific skills, I learned teamwork, patience, problem solving, vigilance, and respect.
How did your service impact your life outlook? It puts daily life into perspective. I am eternally grateful for what our service members endure for the benefit of us all.

What drew you to work in environmental consulting? I was influenced by early exposure to the outdoors as a Girl Scout, combined with a general interest in science and how things work. An internship while I was earning a B.S. in engineering management at Wilkes University introduced me to the role of consultants. 

What prompted you to work for a municipal water utility? I was simply ready for a change and something about working for my own community appealed to me. It was a logical transition from remediating contaminated groundwater to reclaiming wastewater. 

Amy WrigleyWhat is your current job with the City of Naperville? As a technical specialist, I support our operations, maintenance, and lab sections. This includes sampling, reporting, biosolids, outreach, emergency preparedness, and special projects.
What is one of the water challenges you’re most focused on right now? Helping our utility stay on top of current and future regulatory requirements. 

How have you benefited from your involvement with AWWA? Education, publications, and communications tools. 

Please describe your family and/or hobbies and interests. I have a 25-year-old son and we are working on renovating his 80-year-old home. I like off-season travel and guided tours. Exploring Yellowstone by snowmobile was one of my favorites.  

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you? I’ve lived in five states and I’m working towards visiting all 50.   

Note: Because military experience is so valued in the water sector, AWWA has compiled a Veterans Workforce initiative and network to help veterans and members of the military secure jobs in the water industry.