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MSD Board of Trustees Announces Next Executive Director

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December 6, 2023


The MSD Board of Trustees has selected the next Executive Director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.  Bret Berthold was chosen Tuesday after an extensive nationwide search, led by GovHR.

Berthold, a registered professional engineer for more than 30 years, has been with the District since 2009 and has served as the Director of Operations since 2018.  As Director of Operations, he oversees operations and maintenance of one of the oldest, largest, and most complex wastewater systems in the U.S.  He also oversaw the creation and implementation of MSD Project Clear’s Capacity Management, Operations, and Maintenance (CMOM) program, an essential part of the District’s agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

“This decision comes at the end of a rigorous selection process that involved nearly 40 candidates from across the country,” said Board of Trustees Chair Amy Fehr. “Bret stood out for many reasons, including his deep understanding of our organization at an operational level.  His insights, experience, and leadership qualities assure us that he is well-prepared to lead MSD forward and hit the ground running at a crucial time for the organization.”

Berthold will replace Executive Director Brian Hoelscher, who is retiring in June.  “After 28 years at MSD and eleven years as Executive Director, I can’t think of a single person better suited to continue and improve upon the amazing progress we’ve made,” said Hoelscher.  “Bret is undoubtedly the best person for the job, and we will work closely together the next six months to ensure a seamless transition.”

“I came to the District in 2009 to solve complex problems.  I’m still here because our mission to protect the public’s health, safety, and water environment is so important,” said Berthold.  “Being asked to lead this organization and its hundreds of dedicated and passionate employees in the years ahead is one of greatest honors of my life.”

The MSD Board of Trustees will formalize its decision at its December 14 meeting. Berthold officially takes over as Executive Director on July 1, 2024, after Hoelscher’s planned retirement.

MSD Board of Trustees Announces Next Executive Director