A look back: SRP’s Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award

Started in 1982, the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award is given to employees who exemplify the importance of volunteerism at SRP.

Karl Abel pictured shaking hands with SRP employees.
Karl Abel, the namesake of the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award, was elected to the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association Council in 1964 and in less than 10 years became SRP President in 1972.

A legacy of leadership at SRP

Karl Abel, the namesake of the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award, truly embodied the spirit of volunteerism at SRP, working with organizations such as The Salvation Army and John C. Lincoln Hospital. Abel was elected to the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association Council in 1964, and in less than ten years had become SRP President in 1972. He left a lasting impression on those he knew and worked with. Bob Amos, the Deputy General Manager under Abel, had this to say about him, “I have never been associated with anyone who had more innate, natural and genuine empathy for people than Karl Abel.”

Honoring those who serve the Valley

Abel retired as SRP President in 1982. That same year, the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award was created in his honor and awarded to 15 employees. This award, along with the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award, continues to be given to employees who exemplify the importance of volunteerism at SRP. It serves as a fitting legacy for a man who was a member of 25 different state and community organizations at the time of his retirement.

Over the coming months, we’ll introduce you to six employees doing great things to serve our community.

Learn more about how SRP works for the betterment of Arizona at srpcares.com.

Jodi Silvio

Jodi Silvio

Jodi Silvio is a Historical Analyst with SRP’s Research Archives. Jodi is a native Phoenician and two-time graduate of ASU, where she earned a Master’s degree in Public History. She researches and writes about the history of water and power in the Valley.

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