Dirk began American Water & Air, Inc. in 2000 with a dedication to providing quality products and customer service for customers in the greater Central Illinois region. In the early days, Dirk’s wife Sarah kept the books while Dirk ran the sales and installation departments. Many years later, the company has expanded along with his family. He is a proud father of an adoptive, foster, and “home-grown” family of 8 energetic and incredible children.
As their family grew, Dirk and Sarah learned first-hand about the grace and beauty of the gifts freely offered to them through Jesus Christ. In February 2012, Dirk sustained nearly fatal injuries in a bicycling accident which almost bankrupted his business and family. But thankfully, through God’s mercy, he recovered and is back to work again. With a renewed vision of quality customer service and care, Dirk is working to build and restore relationships with his customers and community. Dirk is reminded daily, “All we have is God’s and all good things come from Him!”
American Water & Air is a family that pitches in and makes a positive social impact with our water. We want to connect people and their water to a bigger purpose. With every water system sold, a percentage goes to one of the missions American Water & Air supports—buying beds for The James Project, or assisting My Hope put in wells in Myanmar.
Thank you For Partnering with us in Making a Difference in the lives of others in Our Community. If you would like to Make a Difference, please print off this form. When Others become aware, they will Make a Difference too; and that will Make the Greatest IMPACT.
The James Project is a not-for-profit Christian ministry in Springfield, Illinois which provides homes and support for fostering families in Sangamon County. They give help to fostering parents and the children they serve through the provision of homes with larger than average spaces, enabling a foster family to care for the maximum number of foster children allowed by Illinois state law. The James Project also includes Closet 1:27—a ministry which serves hundreds of foster families each year by distributing clothing, beds, and necessities to newly placed foster children. They also understand the importance of having quality foster parents to care for the displaced children in our midst, and the Call 1:27 ministry was designed specifically to provide mentoring to prospective foster and adoptive parents.
Most foster children come into care due to emergent situations bringing nothing with them but the clothes on their backs. Foster parents are called unexpectedly and are typically expected to bring a child into their home within a few hours. Beds are one of the most expensive and immediate needs for these children and their foster families. DCFS requires that each child have a bed of his/her own in the home in which they are placed. Closet 1:27 provides a complete bed to the foster family at no cost to help lessen the financial burden of taking in children so unexpectedly. The James Project relies on donations to cover these expenses while partnering with Bemco, a local mattress manufacturer, who supplies the beds at their cost of $150. American Water & Air is dedicated to helping The James Project by donating a portion of each sale to help purchase beds for foster children. We invite you to learn more about The James Project at: www.thejamesproject127.com
Myanmar Hope Christian Mission, Inc., (MyHope) is a non-profit corporation formed in 2007 in order to bring help to the people of Myanmar. Access to fresh clean water is something we take for granted in the West. It is a different story in places like northwest Myanmar! People there rely on streams, rivers, and shallow wells for their drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. A lack of proper infrastructure means that the rivers and streams are very polluted.
Most of the existing wells are not deep enough, and many of them are little more than holes in the ground, used by both people and animals. The result of all of this is that the people are sickly from water-borne diseases and parasites. It only costs about $1500.00 to put in a new concrete-lined well that is deep enough to provide clean pure water to several families. American Water & Air supports the efforts of God's work in Myanmar by providing funds through the sales of our water systems to help My Hope to dig wells.
To learn more about My Hope, please visit their website at: http://www.myanmarhope.org/
Dakota Shaffer, Customer Experience Service Technician
I’m Dakota, I’m a believer that life is a journey and every step of the way is a lesson to be learned and that every day is an opportunity to do something great, for yourself, for a loved one, or for a complete stranger. Since I can remember I have always been someone whom loved doing things for others. As a high school teen mentor for 4 years, as a volunteer firefighter until this day, and as a very lucky family man, I have always enjoyed lending a helping hand to anyone and everyone! I love spending time with my friends, family, and lovely girlfriend Jessica, I love going to the gym on a daily basis, and I enjoy most sports! Some things I have accomplished over the years are attending college for my fire science degree and EMT license, buying my first house at 23 in 2019, and continuing to pursue all of my other life goals.
A few fun facts about me, I played football for 8 years, I wrestled for 10 years, and boxed for 2 years. While attending high school not only did I enjoy the above sports, I was a proud member of the FFA for 4 years, the Choir, and I enjoyed coaching the junior wrestlers. I was involved in a few high school musicals and I still enjoy attending musicals and plays until this day. A few things that most people do not know about me is that, I enjoy singing, dancing, and doing anything outdoors.
So there you have it, I’m more than just your trusty service technician, and I hope you enjoyed learning a little about me, make today great!
Jackie Graves, Inside Sales Support Specialist
Jackie began working at American Water and Air in 2009, and has worn various “hats” at the company over the years. She was with us until 2013, and would occasionally come back and help out until 2014. From 2014-2017, she worked for the state of Illinois, as well as focusing on raising two children. She decided to Join us again in 2018, because its more personal and rewarding than any other position she has taken on. Jackie enjoys working at American Water & Air, because she loves knowing that what she does makes a difference. She loves knowing that we are helping families be healthier and giving hope in the process! When not at American Water & Air you may find Jackie in various other roles, such as being a doula, being a mom, or simply helping a friend.
Jackie enjoys spending time with her two children, reading books, & is currently learning the art of calligraphy.
Larissa Berger, Customer Relations Manager
At 19 years old, Larissa started out as District Manager of a Newspaper company, overseeing all of the route carriers for 2 different newspapers. In 2007, she started working at American Water & Air, and helped run the service department for many years. From 2016-2018, she was a Nanny for one of her best friends who is in the Air Force. She then came back to AWA in October of 2018, and was happy to be reunited with all the customers she had gotten to know so well over the years. She is a people person, and really enjoys interacting with and helping customers.
In her spare time, Larissa enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She also loves music, and loves to sing. In school, she did a lot of singing in choir, Madrigals, and vocal jazz. Her 15 year old daughter also sings, acts, plays several instruments, and is a Brown Belt in Karate. Her partner Clay has taught Martial Arts at his dojo for 13 years. They have a home on 5 acres, enjoy gardening and landscaping, and are starting a Daylily farm.