Valoria (pronounced like the traditional spelling of Valerie – “Val –er–ee”) Armstrong is Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice President, External Affairs, for American Water, the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, providing high-quality and reliable water services to more than 14 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. In her role, Mrs. Armstrong is responsible for strengthening the company’s inclusion & diversity strategy by creating a comprehensive and integrated focus on driving diversity, equity, mutual respect, and inclusiveness across the organization. Armstrong is also responsible for leading government and regulatory affairs across American Water’s regulated and market-based businesses. She engages with key external stakeholders like the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Utilities Diversity Council by serving on their board of directors, among others, to elevate awareness of our culture and values.
She previously served as president of Tennessee American Water, where she was responsible for overall operating and financial performance, including leading a dynamic team of professionals who delivered on business targets related to safety and employee engagement, field customer service, distribution, water quality, environmental excellence, and growth. As the principal external contact for the company, she reinforced customer, regulatory, and governmental relationships.
Armstrong joined American Water in 2011 as a human resources business partner, supporting Tennessee and Kentucky. In 2013, she was promoted to director of human resources for American Water’s Central Division, leading a team of human resources professionals in seven states. Her responsibilities included employee and labor relations, workforce planning and staffing, performance management, and organizational development.
Prior to joining American Water, Mrs. Armstrong was employed by Food Lion as human resources manager among several other key positions over 15 years.
Mrs. Armstrong was the first woman and youngest president elected to lead the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 2005 to 2012. She currently serves as chair of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Hamilton County Partnership Advisory Board. She is a committed board trustee of the Tennessee Aquarium, Benwood Foundation, River City Company, and Orange Grove Center. Mrs. Armstrong was elected as a director of the National Utility Diversity Council (NUDC) in 2019. Mrs. Armstrong is an alumna of Leadership Tennessee and a graduate of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce Diversity Initiative Fellows Program. She previously served as chair of the Chattanooga chapter of the American Cancer Society and was actively involved in the Chattanooga chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellors’ Diversity Advisory Council, and the Volkswagen Diversity Council.
Mrs. Armstrong has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in human resource development from Villanova University. A top priority for Mrs. Armstrong is challenging the community and leaders to be intentional when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Motivating and encouraging young girls to know their value and to exceed any glass ceilings in their paths are also among her passions, reflected in much of her community involvement. Mrs. Armstrong resides with her husband Lawrence in Ooltewah, Tennessee.