A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

Eric Larson leads a team of more than 110 employees as senior manager of operations for Illinois American Water’s Western Division, which stretches from I-55 west to the Mississippi River and spans north to south from I-70 to I-80. In this role, he organized and led daily customer service meetings to review and resolve customer complaints, positioning his team to win the J.D. Power Customer Service Award in both 2020 and 2021. An advocate for minority- and woman-owned businesses, he was recognized nationally as the 2021 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year, and he has led his team to over three years of injury-free work by championing a variety of safety programs and procedures.

Not only does Larson work to build relationships in the community for his employer, he is active with a diverse range of nonprofit and community-based organizations. For three years he led efforts to collect used shoes for the WaterStep shoe drive, giving them new life in developing countries and helping to fund safe drinking water projects around the world. He is currently a board member for the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Promise and the American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter. He is also a longtime board member for JULIE, Illinois’ free notification service for requesting the location of underground utilities, assisting in damage prevention across the state.

A 2017 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, Larson has been a soccer coach at Pekin Community High School and Peoria Notre Dame. In 2007 he was named the Mid Illini Soccer Coach of the Year.From 2016 to 2020, he volunteered as a soccer coach for the Morton Fury community travel soccer team, and from 2015 to 2021 he was a volunteer soccer coach for the Morton Park District. He also volunteers with the children’s ministry at Summit Point Church. PM