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(Lawrenceville, Ga., May 2, 2023) – The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners today ratified employment agreements County Administrator Glenn Stephens executed with two new department directors.

Rebecca Shelton was named director of the Department of Water Resources after having served as acting director since last July.

Matthew Dickison was promoted to director of the Department of Planning and Development Department following Susan Canon’s recent retirement. 

Rebecca Shelton named Director of Water Resources

Shelton started her career as a utility planner at what was then known as the Gwinnett County Department of Public Utilities. After climbing the ranks within the industry and serving in various roles, including in the cities of Atlanta and Alpharetta and an engineering firm, she returned to Gwinnett. Since her return, she has taken the lead in operations, technical services and construction.

Gwinnett County Water Resources handles water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management. Assets include 1,400 miles of stormwater pipe, two water filter plants that produce 70 million gallons of drinking water per day, 3,000 miles of wastewater pipes, and the internationally recognized F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center, which can treat up to 60 million gallons of effluent per day.

Under Shelton’s leadership as acting director, Gwinnett County received the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Platinum Distribution System Excellence Award, and she served on the leadership team that helped guide Gwinnett in winning the ‘Best Tasting Water’ in the state.Shelton also was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia Engineering by Georgia Engineering Magazine.

Stephens highlighted the county’s commitment to succession planning and promoting from within, citing both Shelton’s and Dickison’s appointments as examples.

We are honoring those values with both appointments today,” said Stephens. “Rebecca’s more than 25 years of experience in civil engineering and management of local government infrastructure and her proven leadership in that space will serve her well in this new role.”

Shelton said it is an honor to be trusted to lead Water Resources.

“Gwinnett is a recognized leader in the water industry, and protecting public health by providing safe drinking water, proper wastewater treatment and effective stormwater services is at the heart of what we do every day,” said Shelton. “I am fortunate to work with amazing, passionate water professionals who care about serving our residents.”

She holds a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Central Florida and M.S. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Matthew Dickison named Director of Planning and Development

Dickison joined Gwinnett County Planning and Development in 2021 as deputy director before being promoted to assistant director the following year.

The department serves to promote and enhance the well-being of residents and businesses in Gwinnett County by planning for growth and maintaining adopted standards for development. The department, consisting of the planning, development, building, housing and community development, code enforcement and administration divisions, is responsible for community planning, authorizing permits for site development and building construction projects, issuing business licenses, enforcing county codes, and ordinances. 

“Matthew holds exceptional knowledge and understanding of all aspects of planning, zoning and development,” said Stephens. “During his short tenure with Gwinnett, he has shown a great willingness and ability to lead the department into the future, and I look forward to witnessing those results.”

“I am honored to lead the department at a time when there are so many exciting planning and redevelopment projects underway now, and on the horizon,” Dickison said. “Gwinnett’s future is bright, as we continue to promote people-centered development that meets the needs of all residents. I look forward to advancing these efforts and ensuring that our team continues to provide exceptional service to our community,”

Before joining Gwinnett County, Dickison served as Planning and Development Director for the city of Chamblee and an associate planner at Clark Patterson Lee and Associates. He has also served in leadership positions in the cities of Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Suwanee.

Dickison began his career in urban planning working for the city of Louisville, Ky., where he also earned a master’s degree at the University of Louisville.

He is a certified planner with a bachelor’s degree in geography in addition to a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois.

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