Hampton Roads Sanitation District GM sets retirement date; successor named


Following 15 years of dedicated service, Hampton Roads Sanitation District General Manager Ted Henifin has set a retirement date of Feb. 22, 2022.

Highlights of Henifin’s career with HRSD include advancing regionalization through a comprehensive, regional approach to Sanitary Sewer Overflows, implementing the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) to provide the region with multiple environmental and economic benefits. Henifin also fostered and encouraged innovation throughout the organization – HRSD earned more than 10 patents during his tenure.

Henifin notified the HRSD Commission and staff in May 2021 of his plans to retire, setting in motion a months-long nationwide search for his replacement. The HRSD Commission Executive Search Committee enlisted the services of executive recruiter Baker Tilly to assist in the search which yielded several qualified candidates for consideration.

Related — 2021 Water Finance & Management Award Winner Ted Henifin


The Executive Search Committee presented its recommendation during its monthly Commission meeting where the full eight-member commission appointed Jay Bernas in a unanimous vote.

“Selection of a chief executive is the most challenging task any Commission faces. I am so proud of the entire Commission’s engagement throughout this long and thorough process. It is especially gratifying to find the most qualified candidate, after a national search, right here within HRSD,” stated Commissioner Willie Levenston, Chair of the Executive Search Committee.

Bernas currently serves as HRSD Director of Finance, a position he has held since 2015. Bernas joined HRSD in 2005 as an Interceptor Engineer before being promoted to Chief of Planning and Analysis.

“I am excited, humbled, and honored that the Commission has entrusted me to ensure HRSD remains a world leader in the wastewater industry,” said Jay Bernas. I know I have some big shoes (and colorful socks) to fill but know I am not alone; we have a great team and I have the support of a great Commission.”

Commissioner Nancy Stern emphasized the Commission’s complete confidence in Jay’s selection reminding him that, “new leaders bring their own size, style and color shoes!”

Bernas begins in his new role of HRSD general manager on Feb. 23.

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