Our CEO Kin Hill announced his retirement effective August 12 after 35 years with the utility. Our Board of Commissioners appointed Assistant CEO Mark Cline as CEO effective upon Hill’s retirement. The board also re-appointed William E. Koopman, Jr., previous CEO and Commissioner, to its vacant Commissioner seat replacing Dr. David E. Rivers who passed away February 4. Koopman’s term concludes December 2027.
“Charleston Water System will always have immense gratitude for Kin’s servant leadership, outstanding innovations and successes, and his complete dedication to our mission of supporting public health and protecting the environment,” said Thomas B. Pritchard, Chairman, CWS Board of Commissioners. “Mark Cline is clearly the right choice to succeed Kin, and his ascension is the culmination of a multi-year leadership development and succession planning process. Mark has led many of the most critical areas of our utility for nearly 40 years, but he’s also expertly skilled at developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure our continued prosperity.”
“It has been an honor to serve Charleston Water System, and I want to offer my sincere thanks to our board and employees whose hard work and dedication have allowed us to achieve so much,” said CEO Kin Hill. “I’m most proud of our team’s passionate support of our mission, culture, teamwork, and commitment to serving those most in need.”
Cline earned a civil engineering degree from North Carolina State University before starting a career in the water and wastewater industry as city engineer in Albemarle, North Carolina in 1982. He came to CWS in 1984 as an associate engineer and was promoted to engineer, engineering manager, water plant engineer, water plant superintendent, and director of design and construction before becoming capital projects officer in 2006. His current role as Assistant CEO began in 2018, with responsibilities including oversight of water treatment and the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant, laboratory services, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment and the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“CWS will always thrive because we have an incredible team of employees driven to serve our customers to the very best of their ability,” said Cline, Assistant CEO. “It’s always been my honor to work amongst such a dedicated workforce, and I’m very excited to continue to help our utility improve and achieve excellence every day.”
A native Charlestonian and veteran public servant, Koopman worked for more than 20 years at CWS, including eight years as general manager (GM title is now CEO) before retiring in 2005. He was appointed to the utility’s Board of Commissioners in 2006 to fill the unexpired term of Chairman Howard Burky who died while in office. Koopman became an elected Commissioner in 2014 and fulfilled that term in 2020. He accepted his latest appointment to the board March 29, 2022, following the passing of Vice Chairman Dr. David E. Rivers earlier this year.
Pritchard added, “Losing Dr. Rivers was truly heartbreaking to everyone at Charleston Water and this City as a whole. He was a great man, and we’ve accomplished so much because of his selfless service throughout the years. Billy Koopman has generously returned to public service for a second time following a great loss, and his involvement and guidance will once again serve our customers well.”
“I’m very grateful to return to the board because this utility is managed and operated by an intensely dedicated and highly qualified staff and associates that truly care about their work and the impact it has on our community,” said CWS Commissioner Koopman. “I take great pride in serving our customers because clean water services are vital to public health, the environment, and the continued prosperity of our region.”