Commission Appoints Jay Bernas as Successor
NEWPORT NEWS – Following 15 years of dedicated service, HRSD General Manager Ted Henifin has set a retirement date of February 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.
The Executive Search Committee presented its recommendation during today's 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.
Mr. 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!"
Mr. Bernas begins in his new role of HRSD General Manager on February 23, 2022.
HRSD's mission is to protect public health and the waters of Hampton Roads by treating wastewater effectively. A political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, HRSD was created by public referendum in 1940 and currently serves 20 cities and counties in southeast Virginia, an area with a population of 1.9 million.
Should you have any questions or comments, you may contact:
Leila Rice, APR – 757.460.7056
Director of Communications