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.
Commissioner Barbara McGowan has served on the MWRD since 1998. She is currently the Board Vice President and Chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee and the Procurement Committee. She is also Vice Chairman of the Pension, Human Resources and Civil Service Committee and the Public Information and Education Committee. She also serves as a Trustee on the Pension Board. Commissioner McGowan is a life long Democrat and has worked on several local and national Democratic political campaigns. She served as the Office Manager of the Political Education Project created by the late Mayor Harold Washington; Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director at the Chicago Housing Authority; and worked as an Assistant to a Commissioner at the MWRD.
Commissioner Frank Avila was elected to the MWRD Board of Commissioners in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2014. He is Chairman of the Engineering Committee and the Finance Committee. He is Vice Chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee and the Industrial Waste/Water Pollution Committee. Commissioner Avila works to protect the health and safety of the public and protect the quality of water in the Chicago area water- ways. His top priorities include cost-effective wastewater treatment, flood prevention, and the regulation of waste disposal to protect our waterways including eliminating toxic chemicals from the source to prevent endocrine disruption.
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 born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and is a life-long resident of Chicago. As a former Illinois State Representative, Commissioner Du Buclet represented the 26th District where she was given an award for consistently voting with the Illinois Environmental Council. In her current role as the Legislative and Community Affairs Director for the Chicago Park District, she works with elected officials and community organizations around the city and state to improve parks throughout Chicago. She also closely monitors legislative activity at all levels of government to assess the impact it will have on the Chicago Park District.
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 Strate- gies, 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.