McDONOUGH — The Henry County Water Authority celebrated a historic election of officers during its first meeting of 2021.

The HCWA board of directors elected Cletonya LaGrand-Stidom as chair, making her the first woman and African American to chair the Utility’s Policy Board. In addition, LaGrand-Stidom is joined by Sandra Rozier as the first female African American vice chair and Siddiqa Gibson as a female African American secretary/treasurer, to complete the current HCWA slate of officers.

LaGrand-Stidom has represented District II for the last two years on the authority board. Rozier and Gibson are newly appointed members of the HCWA board, representing Districts IV and V, following their appointments by Henry County Commissioners Vivian Thomas and Bruce Holmes, respectively. Rounding out the 2021-22 HCWA board is Jimmy Carter, representing District III, and Warren Holder, who will continue to represent District I.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of its founding this year, the HCWA has grown from a small rural water system to one of the largest and most accomplished water and sewer utilities in the state. The current HCWA board of directors reflects the growth and diversity Henry County has experienced through the past several decades. The former rural community transformed into one of metro Atlanta’s fastest growing counties. That growth in diversity is now reflected in the authority’s leadership on the board, as the current chair vows “this will be a major strength moving forward.”

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected to chair the board of this outstanding authority, and I hope we’ll build upon the accomplishments of previous boards who have provided such outstanding leadership, along with our General Manager Lindy Farmer and his staff,” said LaGrand-Stidom. “We have an excellent board, and our diversity is one of our greatest assets. We have natives and newcomers, women and men, Black and white, and we will work together to advance the vital role our water and sewer utility plays in the community.”

“The significance of our election as officers of the Water Authority board is monumental in that it provides an example of what is possible for women and African Americans aspiring for leadership positions in their community,” said LaGrand Stidom. “Equally important is the message that our community needs all of us to step forward and serve.”

LaGrand-Stidom, who has been a resident of Henry County since 2013, is the president of C.K. LaGrand Accounting & Tax Solutions LLC.

HCWA Vice Chair Sandra Rozier, who has resided in the Eagle’s Landing community of Henry County for 18 years, was inspired by her daughter to serve on the HCWA board of directors. Little did she know three years ago, when she and her husband Randall drove their daughter, Mary, to Flint, Mic., to hand out bottled water to residents dealing with drinking water contamination, she would end up serving on the HCWA board as vice chair.

“I look forward to diligently supporting practices that provide and protect our precious water resources, and I will drive environmental, innovative, social and economic change to help the HCWA continue to provide quality water and sewer services, and superior customer service, for our more than 60,000 customers,” said Rozier, who adds that additional goals include helping the Authority reach the highest possible (AAA) bond rating, while expanding its bidding processes to include more small minority-owned, women- and veteran-owned local businesses.

Professionally, Rozier is an entrepreneur and CEO of TeamHOPE LLC, which provides marketing, business development, project management, community engagement, and consulting services for clients. She also is a Code Ninja franchisee, one of 484 Code Ninjas located across the United States, Canada, and the UK, who make coding fun for kids.

HCWA Secretary/Treasurer Gibson has been a resident of Henry County for 21 years. While serving on the Authority board, she hopes to ensure that the citizens of Henry County continue to receive proper water, sewer and related services at an affordable price.

Gibson is the current director of Best Life Golden Years LLC. She also is the founder and director of Golden Years on Wheels and More LLC, specializing in older adult support and advocacy.

Jimmy Carter, who represents District III on the HCWA Board, is the owner and operator of Southern Belle Farm in McDonough with his son Jake and family. He was first appointed to the Authority board in 2005, and he served as HCWA chairman the past decade. Carter is a native and sixth-generation resident of Henry County who has previous public service experience on the Henry County Board of Education for 18 years, prior to being appointed to the HCWA board by Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham.

Finally, Warren Holder represents District I on the HCWA board of directors, following his appointment by Henry County Commissioner Johnny Wilson. He is the owner of Warren Holder Equipment LLC in Locust Grove, where he assists customers with their lawn maintenance, landscaping and home improvement needs.

Holder is a former Henry County commissioner and former member of the Henry County Board of Education, and he served 18 years on the Locust Grove City Council prior to that. He has additional experience in leadership for public utilities, as he has served on the board of directors of Central Georgia EMC for the past 21 years.

For the complete profiles on all current HCWA board members, as well as photo galleries from the swearing in ceremonies, please visit our website at www.hcwa.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please log in, or sign up for a new, free account to read or post comments.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by subscribing or making a contribution today.