H.A. “Bill” Mills, CEO of 2M Co. Inc., in Billings, Mont., has received the Supplier of the Year Award from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates leadership and volunteerism in promoting groundwater and groundwater issues to the industry and the public. This includes demonstrating qualities of honesty, integrity, accountability and dependability. The award will be presented at the 2015 Groundwater Expo, Dec. 15-17 in Las Vegas.

When asked about the inspiration for his work, Mills said, “Serving others. Being a productive person. I love working.” He lists among his credentials a “Ph.D. in relationships.”

Mills began his career in the water well industry in May of 1965 as a parts clerk for Polson Co. in Seattle. From 1967 to 1977, he worked in manufacturing and later wholesale distribution. In 1978, Mills started 2M Co. Inc., a wholesale distribution company. Today, 2M has grown to 15 locations with more than 160 employees.

A lifelong member of NGWA, Mills joined the American Ground Water Trust in 1990, and served as a board member of the Water Systems Council from 1997-2000. He was recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Businessman of the Year” in Montana. He has been actively involved in lobbying efforts at the federal level on behalf of the water well industry since 1998. He also started the Baron Buying Group in 1996 to help smaller distributors compete with larger ones. Today, the Baron Buying Group has 17 water systems distributor members.

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit www.ngwa.org.