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Spotlight on Bernie Bullert

May 24, 2014

By Georgina E. Stanley-Woidyla and Erica Larsen, SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

Bernie Bullert has devoted the better part of his life to making sure our drinking water is safe. But after more than 46 years working in the water supply industry, Bernie has finally traded his galoshes for dog leads and art supplies.

A thoughtful and respected leader, Bernie has spent most of his career in the public sector.

After graduating college in 1968, Bernie began his 35-year tenure with Saint Paul Regional Water Services. From 2003 to 2009, Bernie performed water quality work for TKDA before transitioning back to the public side as the director of water treatment and distribution for the City of Minneapolis until 2013. Today, Bernie enjoys working part time for two firms, CH2M Hill and SL-serco.

Throughout his career, Bernie served as an active member of various organizations.

In 2011, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA-MN) honored Bernie with the Director of the Year Award. As a member and past director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Bernie received several awards including the Fuller Award, Leonard Thompson Award, and the President’s Award. In 2014, Bernie received the AWWA’s Honorary Member Award.

Bernie has also spoken at past APWA chapter events about his work in drinking water supply.

While Bernie has made several contributions to the water supply industry, he offers these words of wisdom to public works professionals: “Our infrastructure made this a great country,” says Bernie. “We need to convince today’s decision makers how critical infrastructure is to keeping our society successful.”

Now that Bernie works part time, he and his therapy dog-- a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Duchess--are regular visitors at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, a hospital dedicated to treating children who have disabilities. Bernie especially enjoys seeing the kids’ faces light up when Duchess visits.

“It is very rewarding to see the children smile,” says Bernie. “Very heart warming.”

When Bernie and Duchess aren’t busy visiting patients in the hospital, Bernie also keeps busy with the North Star Herding Group Club, a youth dog training and showing program.

Bernie has also fulfilled several roles in his community including scoutmaster, planning commission chair, church president, high school language booster club president, and Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee member, to name a few.     

A current member of the Public Art Saint Paul board, Bernie’s love for the arts occupies his remaining free time as he works on stained glass projects and attends painting classes. Like most Minnesotans, he looks forward to a warmer spring to enjoy other outdoor activities such as fishing and golfing.

Bernie and his wife, Rosalie, live in Cottage Grove. They have two sons: Kurt (St. Pete’s Beach, Fla.) and Brent (San Diego, Calif.). Their family also includes four “adopted” granddaughters who help show their dogs.

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