Board of Commissioners
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is governed by a nine–member Board of Commissioners. Commissioners are elected at large and serve on a salaried, part-time basis. Three Commissioners are elected every two years for six–year terms. Biannually, the Board elects from its membership a President, Vice President, and Chairman of the Committee on Finance. As a policy-making entity, the Board of Commissioners is responsible for establishing policies and procedures which meet the MWRD’s objective of protecting the water environment for the citizens of Cook County. The Board of Commissioners is responsible for providing financial oversight of the MWRD. In May 2019, the MWRD Board of Commissioners entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cook County to share the services of an Inspector General to promote integrity in government and provide independent oversight. More information can be found at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/metropolitan-water-reclamation-district-greater-chicago.
President Kari K. Steele was elected November 6, 2012 to her first term as a Commissioner at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and re-elected in 2018 for a second term. In January 2019 she was elected President of the Board of Commissioners. President Steele currently serves as the Chairman for the Public Information and Education Committees and the State Legislation and Rules Committee, and she is Chairman of the MWRD Employees Credit Union Board of Directors. She also is the Vice Chairman of the Engineering and Monitoring & Research Committees.
Vice President Barbara McGowan has served as a MWRD Commissioner since 1998. She was the first African American Vice President at the MWRD, and she served as the first interim African American female President in December 2012 and December 2014. She is the Chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee and the Procurement Committee. She is also Vice Chairman of the Public Information and Education Committee and the Real Estate Development Committee.
Commissioner Frank Avila was elected to the MWRD Board of Commissioners in 2002 and re-elected in 2008 and 2014. One of his first jobs out of engineering school was at the MWRD, where he was inspired by the ambitious civil engineering projects that improved the health and environment of the greater Chicago area. Commissioner Avila started his own engineering company, Avila & Associates, Inc. but never forgot his early formative experiences working for the MWRD. After Commissioner Avila sold his successful company, he decided to lead a life of public service and return to the agency that started his career. Commissioner Avila drives the MWRD to stay on the forefront of fiscally sound and environmentally forward policy. As Chairman of Finance, he continues to ensure that the MWRD maintains AAA/AA+ bond ratings, undertakes pension reform, creates local jobs and adds billions to the local economy.
Cameron Davis was elected to the MWRD Board of Commissioners in November 2018. He is a vice president at GEI Consultants, Inc. Before joining GEI, he was appointed by the Obama Administration to coordinate the work of 11 federal departments and serve as liaison to Congress on Great Lakes matters. As Senior Advisor to two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators in Washington, D.C., his responsibilities included coordinating Great Lakes policy and more than $2 billion in investments to state, municipal, tribal, business and civic stakeholders for contaminated sediment cleanups, invasive species prevention, habitat restoration, runoff reduction, and related water resource matters.
Kimberly Neely Du Buclet was elected to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners in November, 2018. As a native resident of the South Side and a lifelong Chicagoan, she is proud to serve the residents of Cook County. Commissioner Du Buclet is Chairman of the Federal Legislation and Stormwater Committees. She also serves as Vice Chairman of the Labor & Industrial Relations Committee, Pension, Human Resources & Civil Service Committee and the Municipalities Committee. Commissioner Du Buclet is also a trustee for the MWRD Pension Fund.
Marcelino Garcia is an attorney with expertise in local and international governments, healthcare and community affairs. He is a public servant who has spent years helping people address their legal difficulties through his public interest law work. He also works arduously to bring resources to communities to ensure their economic and health development. Marcelino is the Director of Community Affairs for Cook County Health, the nation’s third largest public health system. He is also a Partner with Overseas Strategies, LLC an international business development consulting firm that helps small and medium sized companies with the logistics of import/export and market development.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Commissioner Josina Morita became the first Asian American elected countywide in Cook County. Commissioner Morita is currently serving as the Chairman of the Industrial Waste and Water Pollution Committee and the Public Information and Education Committee. She is also the Vice Chairman of the Information Technology, Procurement and State Legislation and Rules Committees. Commissioner Morita is director of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, a multiethnic alliance of community organizations working together across 30 communities in Cook County. She serves on the State of Illinois’ Racial Profiling and Data Oversight Board, the Asian American Employment Plan Council and the city of Chicago’s Commission on Equity.
Debra Shore was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2006, and was re-elected in 2012 and 2018. A strong advocate for resource recovery and cleaning up the Chicago waterways, she received the Public Officials Award from the Water Environment Federation in 2013. Debra lives with her partner-in-life, Kathleen Gillespie, in Skokie, Illinois. She has climbed 42 of Colorado’s 54 mountains more than 14,000’ high.
Mariyana Spyropoulos was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2016. She was elected as Chairman of Finance in January 2013 and Board President in January 2015 and 2017. Commissioner Spyropoulos serves as Chairman of three committees: Judiciary; Labor and Industrial Relations; and Pension, Human Resources and Civil Service. She is also Vice Chairman of the Ethics Committee and serves as a Trustee on the Pension Board. In January 2011, the Board of Commissioners appointed her to the Public Building Commission. Commissioner Spyropoulos has championed transparency and fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of Cook County. She has been a strong supporter of labor and veteran initiatives at the District.