MILWAUKEE — A.O. Smith Corp. announced that D. Samuel Karge has been named president of the newly created North America water treatment business unit.

In this new position, Karge will have profit and loss responsibility for the unit, which consists of A.O. Smith branded water treatment products for North America, the Aquasana line of drinking water solutions, and the Hague line of water softening products. He will lead all functions of the business, including sales and marketing, manufacturing, product development, and quality as well as business and strategic planning.

“Sam brings a wealth of global experience in the water treatment and residential water filtration industries to A.O. Smith,” said Kevin J. Wheeler, president and COO, A.O. Smith. “He is widely known and respected by customers, water associations, and other companies in the industry.”

Karge joins A.O. Smith after serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Zurn Industries of Milwaukee, part of the Rexnord Water Management Platform. While at Zurn, he led a number of strategic initiatives, including a revamp of the company’s marketing function; the development of a national owners accounts team focused on large, national customers; and the launch of critical new products in the commercial channel.

From 2008 to 2016, Karge worked at Pentair Residential Filtration of Milwaukee, holding positions in platform management and marketing management. As vice president and platform leader of the residential filtration platform, he was responsible for the business unit’s engineering, finance, global sales, marketing, product management, and quality functions. Prior to that, he held the positions of vice president of global marketing and director of global marketing and product management.

He has also held positions in global marketing and sales, product management, and new product development at GE Water and Process Technologies prior to its entering into a joint venture with Pentair in 2008. He began his career as a marketing manager with Osmonics, Inc. of Milwaukee. GE acquired Osmonics in 2001.

Karge is a 1997 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in communications and advertising with an emphasis in engineering.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Water Quality Association from 2007 until 2016 and served as the association president during the 2014-2015 term. He also chaired the association’s government relations committee and the convention committee.

Karge received the Water Quality Association’s Hall of Fame Award in 2017, the highest award presented by the organization. He also is a 2009 recipient of a Key Award from the WQA.

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Publication date: 03/23/18