July 9, 2010
New director appointed to lead county Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Experienced manager with successful track record of community engagement, project and change management
King County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed Christie True to lead King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP). True currently serves as the director of DNRP’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) and is a 25-year veteran of King County and Metro, where she started work in 1984 as a water quality technician.
“Christie is well known for her work ethic, her leadership skills, and her record of getting big jobs done,” said County Executive Dow Constantine. “As director of DNRP’s Wastewater Treatment Division, she oversaw a regional system that serves 1.5 million local residents, supervised more than 600 employees, and led the successful effort to improve our sewer bond rating, which saves money for ratepayers.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Christie’s caliber in our ranks and I am pleased that she has accepted this opportunity to continue her track record of accomplishments with King County.”
The Department of Natural Resources and Parks and its four major divisions – Parks and Recreation, Solid Waste, Wastewater Treatment and Water and Land Resources – perform tasks ranging from improving water quality, to enhancing parks and trails, to protecting citizens from flooding, to restoring crucial fish and wildlife habitat, to recycling and reusing wastewater and solid waste byproducts.
Its overall mission is to safeguard the environment, ensure public safety and preserve the region’s quality of life.
As WTD director, True took on the challenge of leading the team that sited, permitted, and designed the Brightwater project – the largest expansion of King County’s regional wastewater system since the 1960’s.
A respected supervisor and manager known for holding employees accountable and working collaboratively with them, True has also demonstrated a knack for positive community engagement, managing change and being dedicated to continuous system improvement. Among candidates considered for the position, she stood out for her experience in establishing processes to better manage and deliver complex projects and budgets, and for her technical expertise and analytical approach to challenges. In 2006, she was named Local Official of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders for her work on the Brightwater project.
During her tenure at WTD, True worked to improve her division’s sewer revenue bond rating, continuing the task she began in her seven-year stint as major capital improvement program section manager.
"Christie was not only instrumental in advancing critical sewage treatment infrastructure that will serve growth and protect regional water quality for decades to come, but she played a key role in innovative efforts to involve WTD employees in an efficiency program that is improving our bond ratings and saving ratepayers money," said Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett.
“As Christie has put it, she ‘comes to work to protect the environment every day’,” said Constantine. “I’m confident that her commitment will continue and develop in new ways as she takes over as head of DNRP.”
Born here in Washington state, True received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Western Washington University’s Huxley College. Upon graduation, she was one of the few women in the wastewater treatment field who was also certified as a treatment plant operator. She began her career with the city of Bellingham’s Public Works Department before coming to Metro, prior to its merger with King County.
She begins work on July 12. Her appointment must be confirmed by the King County Council.
This release is also posted on the King County Executive's Web site, at http://www.kingcounty.gov/exec/news/release/2010/July/09NewDNRPDirector.aspx
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks