Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the New York CFO Community

Melissa Wikle

SVP, Chief Accounting Officer

American Water Works

Melissa K. Wikle is the SVP, Chief Accounting Officer at American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. Melissa leads the company’s corporate accounting, external financial reporting, Securities and Exchange Commission compliance, tax, payroll and accounts payable functions. Melissa has deep experience in both market-based and utility industries. Prior to joining American Water, she was the Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Columbus McKinnon Corp and has previously served as the VP of SEC reporting at MetLife. 

Melissa earned her BS, Accounting in 1987 from The University of Alabama, is a Certified Internal Auditor, and a Certified Public Accountant.

Learn more about the New York CFO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I am a CPA with progressing levels of leadership.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

It’s important to facilitate leadership using Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CFO going in the next 1-2 years?

To withstand disruption in the future, my focus is in developing the next generation.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CFO?

Seek to understand before being understood, and always stay true to yourself and your ethics.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. My hobbies include knitting, gardening and travel.
  2. I live part-time in Tennessee and New Jersey.
  3. I am a big Alabama fan.

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