Mr. Brian R. Usher served as Director of the Department of Public Works, serving the City in this capacity from 2007 until his retirement in 2019, capping a career in public service dating back to the early 1970’s.
In his career Mr. Usher managed operating divisions which included Street, Stormwater, Facilities, Solid Waste, Fleet, and Forestry Management, Engineering, and Administration. Together these activities accounted for services on more than 700 miles of street, over 60 public buildings, and over 1000 Government owned vehicles including Police and Fire apparatus.
Mr. Usher was born and raised in Itasca, Illinois and began his life of public service when he began working for the Itasca Police Department when only 15 years old as a cadet and dispatcher. He served as a firefighter/EMT with the Itasca Volunteer Fire Department for four years until suffering a disabling injury in a training accident. This unique combination of education and experience has driven his interest in emergency management and the concept of integrating emergency services. His previous employment includes Deputy Director Public Works for Itasca, Illinois, Street Superintendent for the Glendale Heights, Illinois, Maintenance Superintendent for Arlington Heights, Illinois and Director of Public Works & Engineering for the City of Zion, Illinois.
Mr. Usher served on the DHS/FEMA Resource Typing – Credentialing Working Group for 8 years, is a member of the National Incident Command System Consortium, and is a charter member of NFPA’s 1026 Professional Qualification Committee. He has presented at the American Public Works Association International Congress, addressing Public Works role in Emergency Management for 8 years. Mr. Usher has been an instructor for DHS-FEMA at the Emergency Management Institute since 1997.
Mr. Usher is active in the American Public Works Association where he has served in numerous leadership roles, including as a member of the Board of Directors 2011-2017, and as 2015-2016 National President. He has had numerous articles published in the national trade periodicals Public Works magazine, APWA Reporter, and Better Roads magazine. He served the National APWA as both a member and past chairman of the Emergency Management Committee, member and past chair of the Engineering and Technology Committee, is currently Chair of the Certification Council, and member of the Governmental Affairs Committee.
Mr. Usher attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he studied criminal justice, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eckerd College in American Studies with a History Focus.
Mr. Usher lives in beautiful Largo, Florida with his wife Teri.