Essential Utilities Announces Appointment of Trusted Leaders for Aqua Illinois and Texas Operations

March 31, 2022

New state leadership builds on success, business continuity and positions Aqua for growth and enhanced community impact

BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 31, 2022-- Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) announced this month that two esteemed leaders within Aqua, Craig Blanchette and Bob Ervin, will serve as the next presidents of Aqua Texas and Aqua Illinois, respectively. The leaders will position these key states to continue the utilities’ strong tradition rooted in community partnerships, infrastructure investment and safe and reliable water and wastewater services.

“Our state presidents play a pivotal role in driving operational excellence so we can deliver on our mission for our customers,” said Colleen Arnold, president of Aqua, the water and wastewater segment of Essential. “Craig and Bob have been strong leaders for decades. Their deep utility knowledge, dedication to innovative infrastructure solutions and commitment to the people and communities they serve will be instrumental in bolstering our water and wastewater systems for decades to come.” Blanchette and Ervin will report to Arnold.

Essential chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin praised the new appointments. “The people of Texas and Illinois have true champions in Craig and Bob when it comes to providing essential services to our customers. We are proud to have such talent within the Essential family and look forward to this next chapter of their accomplished careers with us.”

Blanchette will head the Aqua Texas operations after an eight-year tenure as president of Aqua Illinois, and as a proven industry leader with more than 20 years of experience managing water and wastewater systems. His commitment to mission-driven service and operational excellence empowered Aqua Illinois to enhance its impact and invest millions in infrastructure improvements throughout the state. Before assuming the role of president in 2014, Blanchette served as vice president of Illinois operations and vice president and regional manager of Aqua Illinois’ Kankakee and Will County divisions. As President of Aqua Texas, Blanchette will fortify the utility’s commitment to reliable water and wastewater service to 276,000 people in 53 counties.

“I am honored to accept this new role as president of Aqua Texas, and eager to serve the company’s mission in the Lone Star State,” said Blanchette. “The outstanding Texas team has a proven record of going above and beyond to serve our customers. I look forward to building on the team’s successes to strengthen community partnerships, improve our infrastructure and invest in reliability across our territories.”

Ervin ascends to the top leadership role of Aqua Illinois with 24 years of experience managing utilities, including senior positions at Aqua, Consumers Water Company and subsidiaries since acquired by Essential. Following eight years serving Aqua Illinois’ Danville customers as area manager, Ervin was promoted in 2019 to operations director where he streamlined systems and standards across 30 water systems, 16 wastewater systems and 100-plus employees.

“Working alongside such a hard-working, dedicated team over the years has been a highlight of my time at Aqua Illinois. I am honored and humbled to further our customer-centered mission in my new role as president,” Ervin said. “Together, with our core values as a guide, we can continue to achieve new milestones, elevate the customer experience and improve the value we bring to Illinois communities. Building on Craig’s outstanding work, I am eager to get started as we continue growing our impact across the state.”

About Essential

Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions; the successful integration of the customers and the facility; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Essential Utilities’ business, please refer to Essential Utilities’ annual, quarterly and other SEC filings. Essential Utilities is not under any obligation — and expressly disclaims any such obligation — to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Brian Dingerdissen
Investor Relations
O: 610.645.1191

Erin O’Donnell
Communications and Marketing

Source: Essential Utilities Inc.