Gwendolyn Hargrove Ruff

Gwendolyn Ruff

Gwendolyn Hargrove Ruff
Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations & Customer Service
Columbus Water Works
Columbus, GA

READ WHY Gwen thinks that Veterans have values that the water and wastewater industry needs!


Gwen Ruff, SPHR, has over thirty-five years of HR and Public Administration experience in the public, private and government sectors. As a member of the Columbus Water Works’ executive team, she provides Executive support to HR programs and compliance initiatives and has management responsibility for communications, public education, stakeholder relations and educational outreach programs. She has a BS in Biology from Mercer University, an MS in Administration from Columbus State University, and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the Army War College.


After graduating from Mercer University in 1981, I was commissioned in the U.S. Army in the Adjutant General Corps (Personnel Administration). I served four years on Active Duty before transferring to the Active Reserves. I continued to serve in progressively responsible staff and leadership positions, including Staff Officer (Ft Benning, GA), Executive Officer to the G1 (Ft. McPherson, GA), Chief, Enlisted Career Systems, G1 (Pentagon, Washington, D.C.), Assistant Deputy Director, HRC (Alexandria, VA) and Deputy Director, US Postal Service Agency (Alexandria, VA). I officially retired from the Active Reserves in 2011.

Current Position and Transition:

While a member of the Active Reserves, I served in various roles with the Columbus Consolidated Government (Human Resources and Affirmative Action) and Synovus (Employee Relations) before joining the Columbus Water Works family in 1996 as the Human Resources Manager. Since then, I have served in progressively responsible leadership roles in Human Resources, Customer Service, Accounting and Strategic Planning before being appointed to my current role as Senior Vice-President, Customer Service and Corporate Relations.

Advice for Veterans and Transitioning Service Members:

As a member of the military, you develop valuable skills, competencies and experience wonderful and challenging opportunities, both mentally and physically. These skills and talents are very valuable to many organizations.

One of the biggest challenges for transitioning veterans is “translating military terminology [jargon] into civilian language(s)”. Spend time with the military career center to craft your resume, hone your interviewing techniques, and learn the importance of networking. These are the keys to landing that perfect job!

Organizations in the water industry focus on providing exceptional and efficient public service and ensuring all our decisions are made with the highest level of integrity and ethics. Without a doubt, transitioning veterans bring these important values when they join the water/wastewater industry.

Connect to Veterans in the Water Sector like Gwen by filling out and submitting the form below. We will contact you and connect you to liaisons in your area who can give you advice, introduce you to other contacts, and point you to job and training opportunities.

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