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MWMO Executive Director Announces Retirement
Minnesota Ag Connection - 01/26/2022

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) Executive Director Doug Snyder will retire at the end of February, after nearly 20 years of service at the MWMO.

"It has been my great privilege to lead the MWMO and watch it grow into the organization it is today," Snyder said. "Although leaving is bittersweet, I'm excited for the future -- both for myself personally as well as for the MWMO."

Snyder's retirement will precipitate a slate of leadership changes at the MWMO, which will begin searching for a new permanent executive director. In the meantime, former Minneapolis City Council Member and long-time MWMO Board Chair Kevin Reich will take over as interim executive director.

The MWMO is also set to welcome four new commissioners in the coming weeks, with new appointments from Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, St. Paul, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. (See details below.)

Snyder was one of two original staff hired by the MWMO in 2002. Over the course of two decades, he oversaw the development of the MWMO into a robust organization with a full staff complement, a riverfront office facility, and wide-ranging impacts on the community.

"Building relationships and creating opportunities for collaboration have been key to our success over the years," Snyder said. "Because we lack regulatory authority, we needed to seek out partners and build trust with our member communities in order to achieve our shared goals."

Snyder will continue working on a part-time basis through the end of February to help ease the transition. After that, his plans include traveling, golf, and spending time with his family.

The MWMO plans to post the executive director position in late January/early February and anticipates selecting a final candidate sometime between May and June. An executive search firm has been hired to aid in the selection process.

The MWMO Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Kevin Reich as interim executive director.

Reich, the former Minneapolis City Council Member from Ward 1, has spent a total of 12 years on the MWMO Board of Commissioners, including the last 10 years as board chair. He will serve as interim executive director effective until a permanent replacement is announced.

"During Doug's tenure, the MWMO has seen expanded organizational capacity and deep, meaningful advancement our mission serving community and improving the river," Reich said. "I am committed to the uninterrupted trajectory of this success moving forward."

The board will elect new officers at its March 8 meeting, following anticipated new appointments from the Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The City of Columbia Heights and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) recently appointed new commissioners to the MWMO.

Current members of the MWMO's Board of Commissioners are: Columbia Heights/Hilltop: Connie Buesgens, Bertha Risdahl (alternate); Fridley: Steve Eggert (Vice-Chair), Tom Tilberry (alternate); Lauderdale: Jeff Dains, Mary Gaasch (alternate); Minneapolis: LaTrisha Vetaw; MPRB: Becka Thompson, Billy Menz (alternate); St. Anthony Village: Randy Stille (Treasurer), Jan Jenson (alternate); and St. Paul: Vacant.

The city council or governing body from each MWMO member community appoints a commissioner to the MWMO in accordance with state law.


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