Kurt Woolford Named Executive Director for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission

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April 26, 2021

Kurt Woolford Named Executive Director for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission


We are pleased to announce that Kurt Woolford has been selected as Executive Director for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC)!

Kurt, a Lake County resident, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master’s in Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School. He began his career as an energy management intern with the Chicago Housing Authority while serving in the military. Kurt worked for companies such as Tishman Construction and I.G. Consulting, Inc. before joining the SMC team.  

Kurt began his career with SMC in 2007 as an engineer where he worked with over 80 units of local government in Lake County and provided program oversight to SMC's regulatory, engineering and flood response operations. 

In 2010, Kurt was promoted to chief engineer, a position he held until his promotion to executive director. During his tenure as chief engineer, Kurt was responsible for integrating and streamlining the permitting process for property owners, consultants, and permit review staff.

Kurt was also a driving force behind Lake County's updates to the Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO), a countywide ordinance that sets minimum requirements for the stormwater management aspects of development within Lake County. With Lake County receiving significantly higher rainfall amounts, it was imperative that new development not increase existing stormwater problems or create new ones by establishing minimum countywide standards for stormwater management, including floodplains, detention, soil erosion/sediment control, water quality treatment, and wetlands. The updated WDO went into effect earlier this year. 


Kurt (center) in the Emergency Operations Center during the 2017 flood with former SMC executive director, Mike Warner (left) and former District 19 County Board Member, Craig Taylor (right).

"The best part of my job is collaborating with public and private professionals committed to water resources in our region. If you’re someone who has an interest in engineering, there really is no substitute for being out in the field and having hands-on experience. The other great thing about this job, and working for SMC in general, is that I get to work with an extensive network of people, ranging from landowners and Lake County residents to local governments, which includes our project partners at the State and Federal levels." 

"The strong relationships I've built with staff, government officials and residents enables me to work efficiently and effectively on projects that matter most to our residents. Leveraging the collective resources of local and state government officials, as well as working closely with them on a project's implementation, provides for a seamless completion of a job."     

"This year, we will be focusing on our Capital Improvement Program, which is designed to identify and partially fund projects that resolve multi-jurisdictional drainage and flood damages and to preserve and improve water quality. I look forward to helping ease the burden of flooding for our residents and business owners through our projects."

KW on site

Kurt is dedicated to protecting, conserving and promoting the beneficial functions of water resources and green infrastructure. He strives to mitigate flood damages to the greatest extent possible, including loss of life and property, threats and inconveniences to public health, safety, and welfare and assures that development does not increase flood and drainage hazards to others.  

Kurt will spend the next few weeks acclimating to his new role. We sincerely congratulate him and are excited to see where the future will take us.