Our Team: Leaders & Experts


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Marianne Bohren, Executive Director

Marianne Bohren provides strategic leadership for all aspects of WLSSD and is responsible for the operational, environmental and financial performance of the organization. In this capacity, Bohren strives to fulfill the organization’s public health and environmental mission while ensuring safety and service excellence, strategic planning and growth, as well as innovation and stewardship of the organization’s human and financial resources.

In addition to her more than 10 years at WLSSD, Bohren served for 17 years with Potlatch Paper Company in various positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Services. At WLSSD, Bohren held previous positions of Director of Organizational Development and Business Services Manager.

Bohren has a B.S. degree in chemistry and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is a 2012 inductee into the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Academy of Science and Engineering.

Caroline Clement, Manager of Planning and Technical Services

Carrie Clement oversees a broad range of functions including WLSSD’s capital budget and projects planning, solid waste operations, environmental compliance, engineering and planning functions to ensure the district provides the region with the wastewater and solid waste services needed today and into the future. With WLSSD since 2000, Clement ensures the integrity and long term reliability of WLSSD’s wastewater and solid waste infrastructure. Through integration of state-of-the-art technologies, exceptional planning and management of WLSSD’s capital improvement program, management of the interceptor inspection and maintenance program, and ongoing project management and technical support, Carrie and her team support facility operations to ensure the reliability, effectiveness and longevity of WLSSD’s facilities and infrastructure.

Clement earned a B.S.degree in Civil Engineering (BSCE) from the University of Minnesota.  She is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Minnesota and holds a Minnesota Class A Wastewater Operator license.  She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and active in the Duluth Chapter of ASCE, serving as its President in 2009.   Clement is also a member of the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association and the Central States Water Environment Association and Water Environment Federation.

Al Parrella, Manager of Operations and Maintenance

Al Parrella oversees all operations and maintenance of the wastewater treatment system including WLSSD’s regional treatment plant and 75-mile network of large interceptor sewers and 17 wastewater pumping stations. Parrella and his team strive to meet and exceed rigorous environmental standards, while maintaining the reliability of treatment and equipment associated with wastewater operations.

With WLSSD for nearly 40 years, Parrella brings broad knowledge of the business, including an in-depth understanding of wastewater treatment. His career has spanned multiple positions, beginning his career working in WLSSD’s treatment plant shortly after it opened in 1978.

Parrella holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Fordham University, Bronx New York. He holds a Minnesota Class A wastewater operator’s license, Land Application Operator’s certification, and various other certifications. Parrella promotes and supports the wastewater profession as an active member in the Minnesota Wastewater Operators’ Association, the Central States Water Environment Association and the Water Environment Federation.  He is currently the President of Minnesota Wastewater Operator Association.

Karen Anderson, Director of Community Relations

Joining WLSSD in 2001, Karen Anderson and the Environmental Programs Team work to establish mutually-beneficial relationships in the region and beyond in order to ensure WLSSD achieves its clean water and landfill abatement goals. Anderson is responsible for the development, planning, management and execution of strategies for all aspects of public and legislative affairs for WLSSD. Additionally, Anderson leads the daily operations and development of WLSSD’s environmental programs related to pollution prevention, recycling and waste reduction, hazardous waste management, biosolids management program development and education, and water quality programs.

Anderson earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Political Science from the University of Minnesota Duluth and an M.A. degree in Management from the College of St. Scholastica. Anderson is a graduate of the Blandin Leadership Institute and the Leadership Duluth program and is a member of the national and Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Minnesota Government Communicators Association.  Active in the region, Anderson serves as Past Chair of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Past-President of Duluth Superior Eco Rotary, and on various non-profit boards.

Grant Brown, Director of Management Information Systems

Joining WLSSD in 2010, Brown is responsible for developing technology and communication strategies and policies that will support WLSSD’s needs now and into the future.  Under Brown’s leadership, WLSSD utilizes advanced technologies to increase the effectiveness, security and efficiency of the organization. Brown and the MIS Team ensures the organization has the technological tools it needs to achieve its clean water and landfill abatement mission.

Brown earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science, B.A. in Psychology, and an A.A. degree in Criminalistic Chemistry, all from Bemidji State University.

James Hietala, Electrical Supervisor

As WLSSD’s Electrical Supervisor, James Hietala leads and manages the electrical and instrumentation department, ensuring the efficient and effective functioning all electrical and instrumentation systems within WLSSD’s facilities. He provides long-term planning and budgeting to upgrade and maintain electrical and instrumentation systems to ensure these systems are aligned with WLSSD’s needs, goals and strategies.

Prior to joining WLSSD in 2011, Hietala served as Grand Rapids, MN Public Utilities Commission Electrical Department Manager and owned Energy Renaissance, a renewable energy company.

Hietala holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Master A Electrician license in the State of Minnesota

Todd MacMillan, Supervisor of Operations and Maintenance, Biosolids Program

Todd MacMillan joined WLSSD in 1989, and was named Supervisor of Operations and Maintenance for WLSSD’s Field Green® biosolids program in 2010.  MacMillan’s responsibilities include strategic planning, regulatory compliance, equipment purchase, operation and maintenance, and long-term sustainability of WLSSD’s Biosolids Program.

MacMillan has an Associate Degree in Hydrology  from Vermilion Community College, and holds Class A Wastewater Operator and Type 4 Land Application of Biosolids certificates from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  He also earned an Associate Degree in Quality Assurance from the American Society for Quality, and a conflict management certificate from Mediation Training Institute.

Julie Macor, Laboratory Lead

Julie Macor provides technical leadership and oversees the daily operation of WLSSD’s certified laboratory to ensure permit compliance, optimum plant operation, and fair distribution of treatment costs to customers.  Julie oversees WLSSD’s pretreatment program for industrial customers and businesses to ensure protection of the  treatment plant, conveyance system, and, ultimately, Lake Superior.

Macor earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a Major in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry.  Prior to hire at WLSSD, she worked as a Project Manager for a certified independent laboratory specializing in wastewater, drinking water, lake water, and solid waste testing.  Julie joined WLSSD in 1994 as Chemist to operate specialized equipment for determination of trace metals in wastewater and to oversee adherence to certified lab standards. Macor has served on Laboratory Certification Rules Steering Committees for both Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She was promoted to Laboratory Lead in 2015.

Joseph Mayasich, Ph.D., Director of Environmental Services

Joining WLSSD in 2005, Dr. Joe Mayasich oversees WLSSD’s compliance with various environmental permits, WLSSD’s industrial pretreatment program and laboratory. Dr. Mayasich is responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing guidelines that promote compliance with the regulations and permits.

Dr. Mayasich obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, his M.S. from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and his B.S. from Bemidji State University.

Cathy Remington, Director of Finance

With WLSSD since 2006, Cathy Remington works to position WLSSD for long-term, financial stability. In collaboration with the board and Executive Director, she effectively manages the organization’s finances while ensuring WLSSD is in compliance with all public purchasing regulations. She sets the financial direction and develops strategies designed to drive WLSSD’s sustainable financial position, while keeping rates stable. Under Remington’s leadership, WLSSD has continued its exceptional record in financial reporting, receiving the Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for more than 30 years.

Remington holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from University of Wisconsin, Superior. She has earned the Certified Management Accountant credential, and is a member of the GFOA, Minnesota GFOA, National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) and Minnesota Chapter of  NIGP. She also serves on the Finance Committee of the Head of the Lakes United Way. 

Joseph Schleret, Supervisor of Operations and Maintenance, Mechanical Maintenance

Schleret joined WLSSD in 2013, and is responsible for the reliability, effectiveness, and performance of the physical and mechanical systems and equipment in WLSSD’s wastewater treatment plant, wastewater conveyance system, and solid waste facilities. Schleret heads up WLSSD’s skilled, multi-disciplinary maintenance team who work in troubleshooting, maintaining, repairing, installing, fabricating and modifying District machinery, equipment and structures. His team develops and implements WLSSD’s Asset Management Program and various maintenance activities.

Schleret has a long history in industrial maintenance planning and supervision, and also served as a longtime Fire Chief in the region. Schleret’s robust educational background includes certification from the Mining Safety and Health Administration, fire fighter and first responder certifications from regional colleges.

Brandon Stall, Supervisor of Clean Water Production

Brandon Stall joined WLSSD in 2009 and was promoted to Supervisor of Clean Water Production in 2016.  Stall is responsible for the operation of the wastewater treatment and biosolids processing facilities, working to ensure compliance with environmental permits while also improving facility performance and economy.

Stall earned a Water Quality Science degree from Vermilion Community College before pursuing his career at wastewater treatment facilities across Minnesota including Hutchinson, St. Francis, and the Whitewater River Sanitary District.  Stall holds a Minnesota Class A Wastewater Treatment License and is a member of the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association and the Central States Water Environment Association. Stall is an avid St. Louis River fisherman and is active in the Lake Superior Chapter of Muskies, Inc.

Melissa Williams, Director of Human Resources

As WLSSD’s Director of Human Resources, Williams leads and manages WLSSD’s human resources department including employee benefits administration, labor relations, recruitment, organization development, worker’s compensation and legal compliance. Williams also oversees the organization’s Administrative Team, responsible for various internal and external support activities. She joined WLSSD in 2004.

Williams holds a B.A. degree in Human Resources from Concordia University, St. Paul and holds a certification as a Human Resources Professional.  She is also a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Step I and Step II instruments. She has a strong background in human resources, serving for several years in the Northland Human Resource Association, and on its Board of Directors.  She also serves on the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s Maintenance Advisory Board. 

AJ Axtell, Environmental Program Coordinator (Recycling and Waste Reduction)

AJ Axtell joined WLSSD in 2006, with responsibilities including coordinating programs, outreach and public education in the areas of Recycling and Waste Reduction and Recovery. Daily responsibilities include program development, compliance assistance, grants management, advertising, and online and written communications.

Axtell holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry, and an M.S. degree in Microbiology, both from Central Michigan University. Axtell serves on the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Duluth Program Steering Committee, and is active in FUSE Duluth, formerly serving on its Leadership Council. She is also an Ambassador for Business Networking International. 

Lorilee Blais, Environmental Program Coordinator (Recycling, Reuse and Waste Reduction)

Lorilee Blais has been with WLSSD since 1996, with responsibilities including coordinating programs, outreach and public education in the areas of Recycling, Reuse, Waste Reduction and Organic Waste Recovery. Blais coordinates WLSSD’s rural recycling initiatives and works closely with various townships and elected officials to improve recycling in WLSSD’s rural communities. Daily responsibilities include program development, advertising, marketing, and publication development.

Blais holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Minnesota Duluth. She serves on the Recycling Association of Minnesota Board of Directors.  

Sarah Lerohl, Environmental Program Coordinator (Organics, Pollution Prevention and Wastewater Treatment)

Sarah Lerohl has been with WLSSD since 2010, with responsibilities including outreach and education in the areas of Organic Waste Recovery, Pollution Prevention, and Wastewater Treatment. Daily responsibilities include program development, grants management, marketing, and online and written communications.

Lerohl holds a B.A. degree in Biology from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and a M.Ed. in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota,  Duluth.

Craig Lincoln, Environmental Program Coordinator (Wastewater Treatment and Biosolids)

Craig Lincoln joined WLSSD in 2005 with responsibilities including coordinating programs, outreach and public education in the areas of Wastewater Treatment and Biosolids. Daily responsibilities include program development, communications planning and support including publications development, customer support, coordinating research and online and written communications.

Lincoln holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the College of Idaho, and a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Professional activities include serving on the Water Environment Federation’s Public Communication and Outreach Committee, and the WEF Residuals and Biosolids Education and Outreach subcommittee. He also is incoming chair of the Public Education Committee for the Central States Water Environment Association, Minnesota chapter.

Sam Lobby, Environmental Program Coordinator

Sam Lobby joined WLSSD in 2018, with responsibilities including coordinating programs, outreach and public education in the areas of Pollution Prevention and Household Hazardous Waste. Daily responsibilities include program development, public education, compliance assistance, grants management, advertising, and digital and written communications.

Sam completed his B.A in Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 2010, and completed a dual master’s program in Sustainable Land Use Planning and Geography from the University of Kansas in 2016. Sam is a member of the Central States Water Environment Association and actively participates in the Resource Recovery and Energy Committee of the Future through CSWEA.