Pierce County Public Works Director named Top 10 leader

Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Director Brian Ziegler was named one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year by the American Public Works Association on March 23. This national award recognizes outstanding career achievements of public works professionals in both the public and private sectors and focuses on career service to the public works profession overall, rather than on singular projects. Nominations for the Top Ten are reviewed by an APWA Committee. The association has over 29,000 members across the United States and Canada.

Ziegler has served as the Public Works and Utilities director since September 2003. He supervises over 600 employees who deliver transportation and environmental services to over 800,000 Pierce County residents. He oversaw several high-profile projects at Pierce County including the Chambers Bay Golf Course, and the newly constructed Central Maintenance Facility. While at the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ziegler managed the design and environmental work on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Under his leadership, Pierce County received many awards and recognitions, including being the first county in Washington State to be accredited by the APWA.

As a manager, Ziegler developed and implemented project delivery systems at Pierce County and WSDOT, which helped projects remain on schedule and within budget. These systems complement his focus on employee development by bringing clear direction and consistent accountability to project managers. He believes in employee empowerment and focuses the department’s energies to help foster satisfied, efficient employees.

“This award is an extremely prestigious honor and I am thankful for the nomination from the Washington State Chapter of APWA. The credit truly belongs to the department and every individual who works for Public Works and Utilities. Our business is messy sometimes, but we always commit ourselves to safety, service, and stewardship every day,” says Ziegler.

In 2001, Pierce County was recognized nationally when the APWA named the previous director, John O. Trent, as a Top Ten recipient.

The APWA was chartered in 1937 as an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services.

APWA provides a forum in which public works professionals can exchange ideas, improve professional competency, increase the performance of their agencies and companies, and bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.