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Communication’s Role in Being THE World-Class Utility with Carla Reid, GM & CEO at WSSC


Carla Reid serves as General Manager and Chief Executive Officer (GM/CEO) at WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission). She is the first woman to serve in this capacity. Reid is a civil engineer and senior executive with more than 30 years of business and leadership experience in the public sector. 

As GM/CEO, Reid leads the 101-year-strong water utility, the largest in Maryland, in all aspects of the business. She serves as a board member of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Prince George’s County Workforce Development Board and the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce and is an active member in the community. A true champion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, Reid also advocates for programming that increases the number of girls and other under-represented groups in these disciplines. In recognition of her professional achievements, community leadership and mentoring, Reid was named one of The Daily Record’s 2019 Maryland’s Top 100 Women.

Top Takeaways

  1. If you want to earn employee buy-in include them in the process. Carla invited any of her employees to participate in the recent strategic planning process. They conducted a S.O.A.R analysis together and revisited their core values.
  2. “Collaboration and communication are key to becoming world-class.” Whether it’s engaging staff or customers, WSSC is dedicated to working together. Carla believes that to get people to advocate you must collaborate and demonstrate that you were listening and that you care.
  3. Building diversity and inclusion begins by starting early, meeting people where they’re at, and bringing people in to see the awesome work you’re doing. That means getting into schools at a younger age, encouraging STEM programs in schools, and even bring-your-child-to-work days.


This episode is powered by Moonshot Missions, the non-profit organization seeking to disrupt the current approach to delivering improvement to water systems. Led by seasoned and skilled experts, Moonshot Missions designs replicable models that help utilities overcome the challenges they face in order to move forward. Moonshot can help you assess your system, select solutions from a pre-vetted menu of projects, plus develop innovative financing approaches. Collaborate with other leaders to work together, develop tailored mission plans and share lessons learned. Together you can build water systems that work more efficiently and effectively to protect and provide for the residents you serve, while also saving your customers money.

If you’d like to learn more or even share your own experience that might be helpful for a struggling utility to adopt and start on a positive path, visit or email”

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