Out on the Town is HCAM's limited series produced by HCAM Journalist Intern Sidhi Dhanda.
View this Out on the Town episode here.
Hopkinton recently welcomed Kerry Reed as the new Department of Public Works Director. Reed grew up in New Jersey and moved to Hopkinton with her family over a decade ago. Before joining the DPW, Reed served on the Conservation Commission in town.
Reed’s journey to public works started in middle school. As a young girl, Reed dreamt of becoming a famous author, following in the footsteps of literary icons like Judy Blume.
Her dream started to change after she took her first earth science class in seventh grade. Reed had a mentor who encouraged her to attend an environmental science camp sponsored by her local utility company.
“We toured wastewater treatment plants, water treatment plants, landfills, and incinerators, all this stuff that I’ve been driving past and never knew what they did,” Reed said. “It really started getting my mind thinking about going into an environmental field.”
Reed initially thought she was going to be a scientist.
“Even throughout high school, I thought I wanted to do environmental science,” Reed said. “I didn’t think of myself as an engineer. I thought engineers are people that really like math and like to build things, and that wasn’t me.”
At West Point, the difference between the engineering and environmental science majors was two classes, either engineering classes, which Reed was doing well in, or two computer science classes, which Reed disliked. So, Reed ended up majoring in environmental engineering.
While in the military, Reed started to think of herself as an engineer.
“I realized engineering is just a fancy way to say that you’re a problem solver,” Reed said.
After serving in the military and working in consulting, Reed found her calling in public works – a domain where she could merge her problem-solving skills with her passion for public service.
Reed’s interest in public works started in middle school because of a summer camp, and she is also hoping to create some youth programming at the DPW.
“Not only does it help the next generation understand what we’re doing, but we need more people in this field,” Reed said.
As the new DPW Director, Reed is excited to work with her team and continue providing excellent services to the community. She is mainly focused on improving the town’s drinking water system. Additionally, she plans to engage with the community, increasing awareness of the DPW’s role.
Outside of the DPW, Reed enjoys reading books and kayaking with her husband on Lake Maspenock. Reed also enjoys watching her sons play hockey and football, and she plays softball herself.