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Josiah Cox

President and Founder
Central States Water Resources

Location: Des Peres, MO
Founded: 2014
Industry: Water and Wastewater Utility

There is one mantra that denotes our reality, according to Josiah Cox: The road to success is always under construction.

“We are all works in progress, both organizationally and personally, in our pursuits of continuous improvement,” said Cox, president and founder, Central States Water Resources (CSWR), an investor owned water and wastewater utility company.

CSWR brings safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable water resources to every community in the U.S. and is achieved by purchasing water and sewer utilities, doing large infrastructure investments in the communities served by the utilities, and operating the utilities in a manner that provides safe and reliable water and sewerage service.

Cox worked many years on the design, design/ build, and design/build/operate side of the water and wastewater industry as an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor. During that time, he was exposed to the unique challenges that small water and sewer utilities face earlier in his career.

“I saw how fragmented the U.S. water utility market is with 51,000 water utilities and over 30,000 sewer utilities in the U.S.,” Cox said. “For comparison, England has less than 30.”

He had seen it all and decided he could make a difference.

In founding CSWR, Cox has built a company from the ground up that operates now in seven, soon to be 10, states across the U.S., a top 15 water and sewer investor owned utility company (IOU) in the US, and the fastest growing water and sewer (IOU) in the US for almost three years.

“CSWR has removed numerous systems from state appointed utility receiverships, and has brought, or is bringing, hundreds of systems back into EPA mandated compliance for the provision of safe, reliable, water and sewer utility service to hundreds of communities across the U.S.,” Cox said. He added, “CSWR has turned around some of the largest environmental, health, and safety distressed utilities in the U.S. purchasing intractable water and sewer issues in every state it operates.”

Looking to become the No. 1 investor owned utility water and sewer utility company in the U.S. serving small communities across the country, Cox believes that in five years CSWR will be operating in 14 states, with over 600 utilities, providing safe and reliable service to over 800,000 people.

And under his leadership, everything is possible.

“I think my greatest leadership lesson is learning to have grace for myself, the people who I manage and the people I interact with,” Cox said. “It’s ongoing but keeps me going through the best and worst of times.”

He said the organization that he leads will always strive to be the best at what it does — provide clean and affordable water resources to every community in this country.

“And if we can do that,” Cox said, “the rest will take care of itself.”

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Honoree fun fact

Josiah is married with 4 children and is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, deep-sea fishing, and hiking.

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