“I’ve had allies along the way.”

Lisa Francisco reflects on a 33-year career journey and the leadership role she embraced

Lisa Francisco spent more than three decades in public service. Photo by Nicole Harvel.

If you want it, go for it. That’s the mindset that championed Lisa Francisco through a successful 33-year career at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Lisa retired from her role as Manager of Facility and Administrative Support just last month where she managed building operations. Her three-decade journey began as a secretary and evolved to becoming Building Supervisor. She was the first female to serve in that role for our Environmental & Maintenance Services Center in Cuyahoga Heights.

“When I started, leadership at the [wastewater treatment] plants was almost all male. Now there are a lot more females and a lot of diversity as a whole,” she said.

Along the way, Lisa received support from fellow leaders, who let her express herself and offered advice as needed. “It hasn’t just been one person. I’ve had many allies along the way,” Lisa reflected.

As a woman in the wastewater industry, Lisa says it is important to focus on your talents and not your gender. “I always looked at myself through the lens of being a qualified, skilled employee. If you’re interested in a job and you’re qualified to do it, just do it. Don’t hold back.”

During Women’s History Month, our Women’s Employee Resource Group will be sharing stories of imapctful women in our workforce. Learn more about your opportunities at https://workforcleanwater.com. Story by Kyla Presto.



Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Official Medium channel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, OH