Dreyfuss-Wells to succeed Ciaccia as NEORSD CEO

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) has announced that Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells will be appointed chief executive officer effective Feb. 11. Dreyfuss-Wells will succeed Julius Ciaccia, who after more than nine years as CEO, will retire on Feb. 10.

Dreyfuss-Wells has been with the Sewer District since 2008, and currently is the deputy director of watershed programs. In addition to her leadership role in the development and implementation of the Regional Stormwater Management Program, Dreyfuss-Wells played a critical role in the negotiations with the federal government of Project Clean Lake, the Sewer District’s program to significantly reduce the amount of raw sewage discharging into the environment.

“Under the leadership of CEO Ciaccia, the Sewer District has become one of the most renowned progressive environmental organizations in the nation,” Dreyfuss-Wells said. “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to build upon those successes.”


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Dreyfuss-Wells has led on the Sewer District’s Green Infrastructure Program, including the implementation of the grants program, which is designed to remove stormwater from the combined system as redevelopment activities occur. She has also been integral in the development of the Member Community Infrastructure Program, a funding program provided by the Sewer District to assist member communities in addressing water quality and quantity issues associated with aging sewer infrastructure that adversely impact human health and the environment.

“Since she began her career with us, Kyle demonstrated significant leadership related to water-quality issues, both at the Sewer District and during her work with national water organizations like the National Association of Clean Water Agencies,” said Ciaccia. “This will be beneficial as the Sewer District continues to lead on local and national sewer- and stormwater-infrastructure issues, from high-performing plant operations to regional stormwater management efforts.”

RELATED: NEORSD CEO Julius Ciaccia to retire

Currently, Dreyfuss-Wells is chair of the National Association of Clean Water Agency’s Stormwater Management Committee and the District 1 Natural Resources Assistance Council for the Ohio Public Works Commission’s Clean Ohio Conservation Program.

Darnell Brown, chief operating officer for the City of Cleveland and Sewer District Board president, said Dreyfuss-Wells has demonstrated enthusiastic leadership and a commitment to this region.

“She has not only played an integral role in addressing wastewater issues like combined sewer overflows, she’s a visionary and a pioneer in matters related to stormwater issues,” Brown said. “This is extremely important as we continue to enhance this piece of our core mission.”

RELATED: NEORSD’s Regional Stormwater Management Program Brings Much-Needed Improvements to Cleveland

Brown went on to say that in her previous work as director of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc., Dreyfuss-Wells worked with local municipalities to improve their stormwater control best practices, protecting our region’s water quality resources.

“She’s perfectly situated to continue our decades-long work in improving sewer infrastructure as well as carrying out our Regional Stormwater Management Program,” Brown said. “I’m also pleased that we had such a strong internal candidate to promote to the CEO position. It speaks highly to the talent we have in this organization.”

“Kyle’s passion is second to none, and that’s saying a lot when you’re among Julius Ciaccia’s senior staff,” added Jack Bacci, mayor of Cuyahoga Heights and Sewer District Trustee. “Notably, I’m impressed with Kyle’s commitment to continuing the Sewer District’s role in protecting our region’s most valuable asset, Lake Erie, ensuring its sustainability for future generations.…We are also excited that Kyle will continue the Sewer District’s high level of attentiveness to the needs and concerns of our elected officials and customers.”

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Dreyfuss-Wells received her B.S. in Biology Summa Cum Laude from The Ohio State University. She received a MPA and a M.S. in Environmental Science with honors at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa. Before joining the Sewer District, she was director of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc., a non-profit organization serving 35 municipalities on Cleveland’s east side improving land-use decision-making in the 267 square-mile Chagrin River watershed.

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