Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leggett and Johnson Recommend New WSSC General Manager

Following is the press release from the two County Executives. The candidate must be confirmed by WSSC's Board of Commissioners.

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2009


UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson today announced their recommendation of David E. Chardavoyne to be the new Chief Executive Officer/General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).

Chardavoyne, 61, comes from San Antonio, Texas, where he served as president/chief executive officer of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), the city-owned utility that provides water, wastewater, chilled water and steam utility services to the seventh largest city in the country. During his tenure with SAWS, he achieved successes in the areas of strategic growth, corporate reorganization, legislative involvement and finance.

His prior experience includes five years as president and director of Thames Water Holdings Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the third largest global water, product and services provider. He also held top-level posts with United Waterworks Inc. in New Jersey, Jamaica Water Securities Corporation of New York and Citizens Utilities Company in Connecticut.

Chardavoyne’s career has provided him with extensive experience in transforming company cultures, resulting in improved performance, profitability, and operational and organizational efficiency. His experience also reflects a sensitivity to the needs of employees, including finding ways to enhance employee relations and increasing employee morale.

The candidate was introduced by Johnson and Leggett during a morning news conference at the offices of the County Executive in Upper Marlboro.

“County Executive Leggett and I felt it was necessary to bring a true leader and professional to lead WSSC,” Johnson said. “This important agency that has a history of delivering high quality services to both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and I am confident David Chardavoyne will improve on that tradition.”

“I’m pleased to announce that, working in concert with Jack Johnson, we have found someone who is an ideal fit for this very important position,” Leggett said. “David Chardavoyne has broad-based managerial experience which involves all levels of corporate structure and government. With his knowledge of water management issues and communication skills, David Chardavoyne would be a strong, energetic general manager for WSSC.”

Leggett and Johnson emphasized the importance of having a strong leader in the position at a time when problems caused by aging infrastructure – as evidenced by the increasing number of major water main breaks within the past months – and an economic downturn are plaguing both counties and affecting thousands of residents.

“Residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have experienced first-hand, the major disruptions and, in some instances, life-threatening situations that have come about as a result of aging water and wastewater infrastructures,” Leggett said.

“I want to thank County Executive Jack Johnson and County Executive Isiah Leggett for their kind words and for giving me the opportunity to serve in this challenging position at this critical time,” said Chardavoyne. “I am looking forward to the challenge of heading this very important organization, and to contributing to its success in serving customers within the two-county area.”

A native of upstate New York, Chardavoyne studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and received an educational delay to attend Cornell, where he received a Traineeship from the federal Water Pollution Control Administration, the forerunner of the Environmental Protection Agency. He received an MS in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Operations Research and an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut.

During his active duty with the Air Force, he was stationed in Italy as part of the USAF Security Service (Air Intelligence Agency). Chardavoyne is a registered Professional Engineer in Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, New York and Ohio.

The WSSC is the eighth largest water and wastewater utility in the country, providing water and sewer services to nearly 1.8 million residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The agency operates and maintains nearly 5,500 miles of freshwater pipe lines and more than 5,300 miles of sewer main lines.

There are about 1,500 employees, and the commission’s budget totals approximately $757.1 million.

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