With immense appreciation for his leadership, wisdom, and dedication, WSSI announces the upcoming retirement of our colleague and friend, Mark Headly.

Throughout his career at WSSI, Mark has been a mentor to so many. Please join us in wishing him a fulfilling retirement and in thanking him for his work over the past 45 years before we say goodbye at the end of March.

Mark came to WSSI in 1997 as our 12th employee. Before that he spent 20 years with Dewberry, where he worked with floodplain management and later helped develop and was responsible for wetland services. You may have gotten to know Mark through working on projects together or through his service to the industry and the community. He has contributed his time and effort to many endeavors over the years, including:

  • Lecturer for the Engineers and Surveyors Institute, George Mason University, and Howard University, and others including the Virginia Association of Surveyors, the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers, and the Northern Virginia Planning District Commission
  • NVBIA and in particular the Prince William Chapter; he has served on numerous committees over the years
  • Past President of the Virginia Association of Wetland Professionals
  • Numerous workshops and trainings for local government staff, private land use attorneys, non-profits, and community groups.

He has accomplished – and given – so much in his 45 years, but when we asked him to pick some highlights he said it’s the people and relationships that have mattered to him above all.

Most important to me: the people I’ve met – the clients, consultants, and regulators that I’ve worked with over the years but also the many WSSI staff that I have had the privilege to get to know over time. Some of those original employees are still here and they, along with the other youngsters of that era, are now the backbone of WSSI’s leadership.

I started my career with people at Dewberry who were mentors and are still great friends, and met Mike Rolband before he started Wetland Studies and Solutions. That relationship developed into my joining WSSI and working with Mike to grow the company. It has been quite a journey!

Mark is proud to be associated with the environmental restoration and mitigation work WSSI has completed over the years, from Julie J. Metz Wetlands Bank to North Fork and Cedar Run, as well as the Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank and the acres and miles of other wetland and stream projects. For years, Mark has been glad to share his love of fishing and being outdoors by volunteering at the Reston Trout Fishing Day, the popular annual event held in NVSRB.

Over Mark’s tenure, WSSI has

  • Grown to over 200 more staff, expanding from water resources engineering, science, and permitting to include many more staff in those disciplines as well as survey, GIS, ecosystem restoration, cultural resources, compliance, and urban forestry consulting, as well as our training branch, CivilTraining, LLC
  • Expanded operations to five offices and two field offices in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Florida
  • Added hazardous materials work and NEPA to our services, thanks to strategic acquisitions

In this time, Mark has

  • Led WSSI through hundreds of miles of staff canoe trips over the last 25 years
  • Helped host a lot of NVBIA crawfish boils (always a great time)
  • Grilled a LOT of burgers on the patio and played dozens of games of softball.


We are well prepared to continue the excellent work that has been his standard – and ours – at WSSI.