Bailey named interim director of Sarasota County Public Utilities Department

Mylett retirement marked in November

Brooke Bailey. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Brooke Bailey has been named interim director of the Sarasota County Public Utilities Department, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis notified the county commissioners on Nov. 17.

Mike Mylett, who had served as director of the department since the latter part of August 2019, retired last month, having announced in June that he had made the decision to do so.

In a Nov. 17 email to the board members, Lewis noted that Bailey’s appointment was effective as of 5 p.m. that day. “Brooke will serve in this capacity until I have completed the recruitment process,” Lewis added.

Responding to a Sarasota News Leader request on Dec. 1, county Media Relations Officer Sara Nealeigh provided details from county staff about the interim Public Utilities director.

Bailey joined Sarasota County Government in 2021, coming from Wichita, Kansas, where she had served as the operations manager and lab director of a 160-million-gallon-per-day water treatment facility that served more than half-a-million residents. She was Sarasota County’s Water Division manager for nearly three years before she was named to the interim director’s position for Public Utilities.

Bailey holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Miami (Ohio) University, the email continued. “She has experience using Six Sigma Principles, developing cost savings measures, and starting up and commissioning multimillion-dollar projects worldwide,” the email added.

The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) explains, “Six Sigma is a term used to define various techniques and management tools designed to make business processes more efficient and effective. It provides statistical tools to eliminate defects, identify the cause of the error, and reduce the possibilities of error. Thus, Six Sigma creates an environment of continuous process improvement, enabling businesses to provide better products and services to customers. It was developed by Motorola, Inc. in 1986.”

CFI adds that the term “Six Sigma” is “derived from the bell curve in statistics, in which sigma represents the standard deviation from the center. Hence, a process with six sigmas will achieve an extremely low defect rate. The failure of a business process or product is regarded as a defect. When a process produces less than 3.4 defects for one million chances, it is considered efficient.”

The information that county staff provided also said that Bailey holds a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. A February 2020 article by Trisha Radulovich, provided through the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering, quoted Corey Krueger, then-president of the student chapter of Industrial & Systems Engineers: “ ‘Six Sigma and Lean training are two different certifications that employers want. … Six Sigma improves the quality in a process to make sure there is less randomness and Lean Certification is about reducing the waste in a process.’ ”

Perdue University points out, “The Black Belt marks a professional’s capability to implement improvement processes in the workplace. Black Belts know the ‘nuts and bolts’ of their organization, recognize and analyze obstacles and ask the right questions. Often known as casual thinkers, they constantly ponder cause-and-effect relationships. Whether it is an issue with low-quality products, late deliveries or medical errors, Black Belts perceive what is faulty with the current approaches utilized in their organization.”

The details Nealeigh sent the News Leader about Bailey also noted that Bailey holds Certified Project Manager (CPM) certification through Florida State University.

In an email response to County Administrator Lewis’ announcement about Bailey’s appointment, Commissioner Michael Moran wrote to offer his congratulations to Bailey.

Commissioner Neil Rainford offered his congratulations to her during the board’s regular meeting on Nov. 28.