After a distinguished 28-year career with Beaver Water District (BWD), Alan D. Fortenberry, P.E. is retiring.
“Beaver Water District offered me the job of a lifetime and I’ve used quite a lot of mine just trying to do it right,” Fortenberry said. “It’s been a great and rewarding experience to be a part of the growth and history of the District and of Northwest Arkansas and to work alongside some of the greatest people in the world.”
A resident of Springdale, Fortenberry joined BWD in 1991, as Plant Engineer, and in 2001, he was named CEO. During his tenure with the District, he led the expansion of the District’s facilities from 50 MGD to 140 MGD, including the completion of a nationally-recognized raw water intake facility on Beaver Lake, construction of a new solids handling facility, and renovation of the original Joe M. Steele Water Treatment Plant. Additionally, Fortenberry oversaw the development and construction of the current Administration and Water Education Center, on-site at the District’s campus, which earned LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.
Fortenberry, a native of Leachville, Arkansas, attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering and M.S. in Environmental Engineering. Prior to joining Beaver Water District, he worked as a Project Engineer for McGoodwin, Williams & Yates of Fayetteville and as an Engineer Supervisor for the Arkansas Soil & Water Conservation Commission (now known as the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission) in Little Rock.
Over his many years with the District, Fortenberry led efforts toward, and advocated for, the protection of Beaver Lake and the surrounding watershed. He was involved with many organizations that bolstered those watershed protection goals, including the Beaver Watershed Alliance, Ozarks Water Watch, the Northwest Arkansas Council, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, Audubon, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. In addition, Fortenberry has been a member of the Springdale Kiwanis Club for 35 years. He served on the national Water Utility Council of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and was a governor-appointed member of the Arkansas Board of Health
Fortenberry’s professional accolades include receiving the 2010 AWWA Southwest Section Glen T. Kellogg Leadership Award, the George Warren Fuller Award in 2007, and he was inducted into the Arkansas Water Works and Water Environment Association’s Glen T. Kellogg Water & Wastewater Hall of Fame in 2013. He was one of the inaugural recipients of the John Lewis Leadership Award by Elevate Performance.
He is a member of both the Academy of Biological/Agricultural Engineering and the Academy of Civil Engineering, and he serves on the Advisory Council for the Dean of the College of Engineering. In 2007, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of the College of Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and holds both Grade IV Water Treatment and Distribution Licenses.
Fortenberry and his wife, Trish, have been married for 48 years and have three children and six grandchildren. They are members of the Johnson Church of Christ, where Fortenberry serves as an Elder.