COO Luncheon with Scott Jellison

Feb 13, 2014

Since 1929, the MDC has been a part of Hartford's history, and we are thrilled that Scott Jellison, MDC's Chief Operating Officer agreed to hold a COO Luncheon with HYPE. Jellison has been with the MDC since 2006, and has had a major impact on the work they have done and their future plans.

From the 1920s through the 1940s the MDC was THE place for engineering expertise on how to build things. By the 1980s there was a concerted effort to reduce spending and budgets were cut for building and infrastructure. The MDC became a reactive company rather than a proactive company. When Jellison came on board in 2006 he saw this as a huge problem and got to work fixing it.

Jellison is a strong believer in knowing how to run a business. In order to be successful, he believes you need to know how to manage staff well, how to make money, and how to spend money. He also said it's important to understand the bureaucracy in your industry so that you know how to manipulate it to get things done.

In 2005, the MDC spent $5M on construction projects. By 2008 it was $40M, and in 2013 it was $100M. The MDC is currently spending $100M per year on sewer improvement in the towns they serve. The State of Connecticut and the EPA have imposed regulations on the MDC to have them reduce overflow and dumping into the Connecticut River, so the company has been working on, and will continue to work on plans and new construction to fix these problems. Hartford's treatment plant is the largest plant in the state, and will be expanded to hold more and reduce overflow.

Jellison said that he is fortunate to have a CEO (Charles Sheehan) who is supportive of spending money to implement new, more efficient business practices. One project was to find a more efficient way to clean the pipes - which in the past was only done once every 10 years because it was expensive and time consuming. Now, the MDC cleans the over 1,000 miles of piping they own less than every 2 years, which helps prevent overflow and makes their system more efficient.

The MDC knows they are doing something right, because the EPA labeled the MDC's Clean Water Project as the greenest project in the company. And when Jellison compared us to other major cities, he said that we are a model for the other water commissions in the New England. The MDC has a forestry group that works on their watershed projects, they have a recreation program and are looking to do more educational projects on the Connecticut Riverfront.

"We're stewards for the environment, we're stewards for the communities we serve. We own 30,000 acres of land. The only organization that owns more than we do in Connecticut is the State of Connecticut. We have a responsibility to protect that." - Scott Jellison, MDC

See more photos from this luncheon on our Facebook page.


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