Area attorney named to water authority board


By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

Water has been long viewed as Michigan’s most precious natural resource, a fact that underscores the importance of attorney Jaye Quadrozzi’s recent appointment to the six-member Great Lakes Water Authority Board.

Quadrozzi, a litigator with the Farmington Hills based law firm of Young & Associates, will serve as Oakland County’s representative on the panel, according to Rodger D. Young, founder of the boutique firm that specializes in complex business litigation.

“I am honored and privileged to serve the residents of Oakland County in this very important role,” Quadrozzi said in a release announcing her appointment by Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Never has there been more attention on the importance of water quality, accessibility, and wastewater treatment on our state. Our residents deserve the highest quality water and services, and it is our obligation and responsibility to ensure the efficient delivery of the nation’s best water and wastewater services.”

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was formed in 2014 as an outgrowth of the Detroit bankruptcy case, and its board includes representatives from the State of Michigan, the City of Detroit, and the counties of Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb.

The regional authority was “designed to leverage the assets of the Detroit-owned water and sewerage system,” which provides nearly 40 percent of Michigan’s population (4 million residents) with quality water as well as effective wastewater services to nearly 30 percent of the state, according to GLWA officials.

Quadrozzi is joined on the board by two other newcomers.

Also recently appointed to a two-year term on the board was Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, the president of Mott Community College in Flint, who will serve as the state’s representative on the panel.

Other members include Chairman Brian Baker of Macomb County, Vice Chairman Abe Munfakh of Wayne County, Freman Hendrix of the City of Detroit, and Gary Brown of the City of Detroit.

“I’m excited to get started and I’m confident that my history serving Oakland County will be of benefit to the board,” Quadrozzi said in a phone interview.

That service, she said, dates back to representing Oakland County and its Water Resource Commissioner in a “long standing federal lawsuit under the Clean Water Act case involving the Detroit Water and Sewer Department.” The origins of the legal tangle began in 1974 “when I was still in elementary school,” Quadrozzi quipped. Years later, she represented Oakland County in the Detroit bankruptcy case.

In 2013, Quadrozzi was chosen by Oakland County to serve as its representative on the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board.

“The Metropark systems includes some of the most beautiful parks in the state, and I have been honored to serve on its governing board,” said Quadrozzi, who once was a lifeguard at Metro Beach.

She and her fellow board members are charged with overseeing the 13 parks in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties, featuring more than 25,000 acres of scenic land, 10 public golf courses, and two marinas.

Such experience will complement Quadrozzi’s new role with the GLWA, according to her colleague Rodger Young, a prominent Detroit area attorney who has served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Assembly.

“Jaye will be a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors and the residents of the state of Michigan,” said Young, who founded his firm in 1990. “Her experience with the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board, legal experience and expertise, and her deep understanding of, and passion for, the issues, challenges and opportunities will serve the mission well.”

Clean water issues, of course, have been a statewide concern since the Flint water crisis became a national story in 2014. The problem also surfaced recently in the cities of Birmingham, Oak Park, Royal Oak, and Hazel Park where lead-tainted water was discovered in test sites.

Then, of course, there was the December 2016 sewer collapse in the Macomb County city of Fraser that created a giant sinkhole, costing upward of $75 million to repair.

“As has become obvious in recent years, cities and counties across the region are facing important water and sewer issues,” said Quadrozzi. “GLWA’s focus on the safe and efficient delivery of water and wastewater services while at the same time identifying and addressing infrastructure needs is so important to this area. I am honored to add my skills and to help with that work.”

Knowing the value of ‘going the distance’

An avid runner, Jaye Quadrozzi (right) took part in a half-marathon race Oct. 19 on Amelia Island. She is pictured with her running friend, Sharon Lipp Koenig.

– Photo courtesy of Jaye Quadrozzi

By Tom Kirvan

Legal News

In various cases during a career that spans more than three decades, attorney Jaye Quadrozzi has been called upon to display a healthy dose of stamina, the kind needed to successfully resolve multi-year legal battles that have taken clients to the brink and back.

Similarly, she has made “stick-to-itiveness” a characteristic of her life outside the courtroom, a place where she has regularly tested her mettle as a marathoner and triathlete.

Earlier this year, Quadrozzi reached a marathon milestone, completing her 20th 26.2-mile race in the Scottish capital of Edinburg, an event along the North Sea that attracted more than 7,300 runners.

“I have to admit that there was a certain satisfaction in finishing my 20th,” said Quadrozzi. “It’s a milestone and a nice round number, which has given me thoughts about ‘retiring’ as a marathoner.”
But more about that thought later.

A University of Michigan grad who earned her juris doctor from the U-M Law School, Quadrozzi has traveled far and wide in pursuit of her running passion, sampling the magnificent sights at the New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Big Sur marathons.

And while those four races rank high on almost every marathoner’s bucket list, Quadrozzi said her favorite 26.2-mile challenge was in Bordeaux, the hub of the famed wine region in southwestern France.

It is there that organizers annually stage “The Marathon du Medoc,” neatly described as a “race with a twist.”

That would be an understatement, as the race is spiced with 23 wine stops, where participants are encouraged to sip some of the finest vintages from the world-renowned wineries in the region.

For good measure, the combination running/wine connoisseurs are invited to gorge themselves with local specialties such as oysters, foie gras, cheese, steak, and ice cream.

Costumes, of course, are compulsory race attire, according to Quadrozzi.

“I was a princess,” she said, acknowledging that by race-end she was a slightly tipsy one at that.

“The typical bell curve for marathons is somewhere around 4 or 4-1/2 hours,” Quadrozzi said of the time it takes most runners to cross the finish line. “At du Medoc, it was 6:30, which gives you an idea of how much fun was had.”

Now, with 20 notches in her marathon belt, Quadrozzi said she is rapidly becoming an enthusiast of the half-marathon (13.1-mile) distance. For instance, she and several close running friends recently journeyed to Amelia Island on the Atlantic coast of north Florida for the Zooma Women’s Half-Marathon.

“The half-marathon doesn’t flatten you for days,” Quadrozzi said of her new running love.

And yet, Quadrozzi said she could be lured out of “marathon retirement” in a heartbeat.

As the mother of two grown sons, one of whom was married last year, Quadrozzi is holding out hope of someday becoming a grandmother.

“It would be great to someday be running a marathon and to look ahead and see a familiar face holding a ‘Run Grandma, Run’ sign,” Quadrozzi said with a smile. “That would really make my day.”


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