Chuck Cortez, manager of Big Creek Water District and Hammond Water District was recently named “Manager of the Year” by the South Carolina Rural Water Association. Cortez was presented the prestigious award on February 8 at the South Carolina Rural Water Decision Makers Conference held at the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms.
The SCRWA acknowledged Cortez for his excellent work operating the two water districts which operate under separate board of directors. Big Creek Water District has approximately 4500 customers and 185 miles of water mains, while Hammond Water District has approximately 6,600 customers and 201 miles of water mains respectively.
During his 10+ year career at Big Creek and Hammond, he played an immense role in getting employees enrolled in the SC Retirement System. Under his leadership, many capital improvement projects have been completed such as the construction of a 1.5 million gallon storage tank and another 750,000-gallon storage tank to ensure quality water for years to come.
Currently, Big Creek Water District is approaching the completion of a $4.5 million USDA project for infrastructure improvements. Additionally, while managing both of these systems, Cortez attended Anderson University at night. He received a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, graduating Summa Cum Laude in the class of 2010.
Cortez is quick to give credit to his staff for their hard work and dedication during all of his accomplishments.