Denver — Duyen Tran likes to say she was green before green was cool. Sustainability has played a significant role throughout her 28-year career — 25 of them with CH2M HILL — in the water and wastewater industry. The National Association of Water Companies honored her commitment to the profession by naming Tran its 2014 Living Water Award Grand Prize recipient. The announcement took place at the NAWC Water Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“It is overwhelming to think that I have been selected from among all the dedicated water professionals and my peers to be the 2014 NAWC Living Water Grand Prize winner,” Tran says. “Thank you for the nomination, support and recognition of my efforts and passion. Thank you CH2M HILL for providing me with opportunities to serve the water industry.”

CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Services group recently named Tran director of sustainable operations. As project manager in Fayetteville, Ark., where CH2M HILL has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of wastewater facilities since 1987, she continually challenged her team to come up with new ideas. Together they implemented initiatives ranging from reducing chemical costs and energy consumption to creating a certified wildlife habitat at one of the client’s wastewater treatment plants, and a first-of-its-kind facility that combines solar and thermal drying processes to enable beneficial reuse of biosolids.

“Duyen is a shining and rising star on the CH2M HILL team. We’re so proud to have her represent our company and thrilled by her selection for this award,” says Susan Mays, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives, OM Services group, and NAWC Board member. “She’s been a committed leader for our wastewater staff and a champion of sustainability in the city of Fayetteville. Everyone who has the pleasure of working with Duyen knows how deserving she is of this recognition.”

“Duyen is recognized throughout the industry for her commitment to educating and promoting the value of clean water in her community, and she is a role model for all of us,” adds Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “The Living Water Awards recognize the exceptional work of water industry professionals throughout our nation and Duyen is truly deserving of this prestigious award.”

Tran has previously been recognized as Wastewater Manager of the Year by both the Arkansas Water Environment Association and the Northwest District Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Federation and receiving the AWW&WEA Individual Achievement Award. She was confirmed as the 2014-15 Water Environment Federation House Delegates Speaker of the House at WEFTEC in September.

The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community. The grand prize winner was selected from three finalists who were named throughout the last year.