Snohomish County Public Works
Contact: Fay Lim
Contact: Allison Tabiando
Communications Specialist II
Snohomish County Public Works Director Recognized For Outstanding Professional
and Technical Accomplishments
Washington State American Public Works Association Roy Morse Award
Rounds Out Year of Recognitions Among Leadership
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 16, 2015 – With the responsibility of overseeing 600 employees who serve more than 745,000 county residents, Snohomish County Public Works Department Director Steve Thomsen is a notable leader guiding the department through difficult challenges and countless successes. His leadership, professionalism, and technical accomplishments have earned in him the 2015 Washington State American Public Works Association (WA APWA) Roy Morse Award. The recognition honors the top Public Works leaders in Washington State.
“Some leaders work in the trenches with their team; others step back and let people do what they do best. Steve is that rare leader who can do both,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick. “The staff and community of Snohomish County have benefited from Steve’s vision for the future, his leadership, hard work, and expertise. I am amazed by his ability to work alongside his fellow engineers while guiding them through the most challenging experiences of their careers.”
Thomsen has worked for the Snohomish County Public Works Department for 30 years, including nine years as Public Works Director. His focus and ability to strengthen partnerships both inside and outside Snohomish County contributed to this recent acknowledgement. This capability and his collaborative style has resulted in many successful joint projects with agencies from federal, state, other counties and local cities, including:
• The county’s response to the March 2014 State Route 530 landslide: Thomsen drew upon his years of experience and relationships with the myriad of governments and organizations – federal, state, county, city, tribes, and private – to create a virtually seamless line of communications to provide a broad range of services and equipment in the aftermath of the slide.
• Thomsen’s strong belief in multimodal solutions: To combat county and regional transportation challenges, he built close relationships with Sound Transit and Community Transit. These partnerships have helped generate important initiatives benefiting those who live in and travel through Snohomish County.
• His support of salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest: Under Thomsen’s leadership and in coordination with multiple organizations and agencies, the county will restore more than 390 acres of Snohomish River estuary for salmon habitat. This work is helping the Snohomish Basin achieve the Puget Sound region’s ten-year target for restoration of this critical habitat.
"This award is a representation of the Public Works staff,” said Thomsen. “Without their dedication to our citizens, none of these accomplishments would have come to light. It’s their execution and understanding of what Public Works is and does for the community that made this recognition possible.”
Throughout Thomsen’s nine years of leadership, his department has received nearly three dozen awards for innovation and excellence of programs and projects. Thomsen’s guidance and support of his county staff has also merited the recognition of several staff and management members. Within the last year alone, Public Works Deputy Director and County Engineer Owen Carter was appointed president of the Washington State Association of County Engineers (WSACE); Public Works Solid Waste Division Director Matt Zybas was named the 2015 Project/Program Manager of the Year by WSACE; and Traffic Operations Manager and County Traffic Engineer Jim Bloodgood was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Service Award by the Washington Section of The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
A complete list of Public Works recognitions is available at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PWAwards.
About Snohomish County Public Works
The Snohomish County Public Works Department employs approximately 600 staff members that develop and maintain county roads; control and manage surface water quantity, quality, and fish habitats; and oversee the recycling and disposal of solid waste. The department’s main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. For more information about Snohomish County Public Works, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks.