About MWRD Management
The MWRD Executive Director reports to the Board of Commissioners and manages day-to-day operations. Eight appointed department heads report to the Executive Director; these departments include Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Law, Maintenance & Operations, Monitoring & Research and Procurement & Materials Management. Another department head level position is the Treasurer, who serves as the chief financial officer and is appointed by and reports to the Board. General Administration is a support unit reporting to the Executive Director and includes the Administrative Services Division, the Diversity-Affirmative Action section, the Environmental Justice section and the Public Affairs section.
The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Commissioners and manages the MWRD’s day-to-day operations. Eight appointed department heads, the Administrative Services Officer, the Diversity Administrator, and the Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer report directly to the Executive Director.
Officer: Brian Perkovich, Executive Director
After a nationwide search, the MWRD Board of Commissioners selected civil engineer Brian Perkovich to serve as its Executive Director in December, 2018.
Brian has 25 years of experience working at the MWRD, a majority of it in the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Department. He began his career at the MWRD in 1993 and later was selected to lead operations at the Egan Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) in Schaumburg and at the Hanover Park WRP before being promoted to lead operations at the Calumet WRP in Chicago in 2005. Most recently, he served as Assistant Director of M&O.
Brian represents the MWRD in the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies and as a Past President. He was named the recipient of the 2021 Illinois Award from the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies, its highest honor. He is also a member of the Water Environment Federation.
Brian received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Master’s degree in Business Administration in Finance from DePaul University.
The Engineering Department is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing a Capital Improvement Program that meets the MWRD's statutory responsibilities.
Officer: Dr. Catherine O'Connor, Director of Engineering
Catherine O’Connor is the Director of Engineering for the MWRD. The Engineering Department is responsible for planning, design and construction of projects prioritized in the Capital Improvement Program and projects in the Stormwater Management Program. The department also administers the county-wide Watershed Management Ordinance and regulates the construction and maintenance of local sewers which are tributary to the MWRD’s intercepting sewers. Catherine is involved in the efforts to manage stormwater to build a resilient community and efforts to transform MWRD operations from waste treatment to resource recovery operations, particularly with phosphorus recovery and methane utilization projects.
Catherine is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Illinois and has earned a Doctoral degree in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. Her doctoral research focused on removal and recovery of silver from dilute solution to support water reuse in industry.
The mission of the Finance Department is to provide accurate, economical, and efficient financial payment, collection, accounting and reporting services on the transactions of the MWRD.
Officer: Jacqueline Torres, Director of Finance/Clerk
Jacqueline Torres was appointed to the position of Clerk/Director of Finance July 2003. She is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Finance Department, including payments, revenue collections, and financial reporting in compliance with relevant statutes and professional standards. She maintains official records of Board of Commissioners proceedings and minutes. Jacqueline joined the MWRD as Assistant Treasurer in December 1999 and managed the daily Treasury operations, including oversight of investment and debt portfolios, tax levy collection and distribution processes. She also assisted in the issuance of long term debt and created related policies and procedures. Prior to joining the MWRD, she held various accounting and treasury positions with a privately held corporation and the Chicago Park District.
Jacqueline earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago and a Master of Business Administration degree from Roosevelt University.
General Administration supports the office of the Executive Director in implementing Board policies. The organization includes Diversity, Environmental Justice, Facilities, Management and Budget, Police, and Public Affairs.
Rich Martinez, Acting Diversity Administrator
Allison Fore, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer
Allison Fore has served as the Public & Intergovernmental Affairs Officer at the MWRD since 2013. She has 30 years of experience in government communications, having also worked for the Illinois State Treasurer, Illinois General Assembly, Indiana Secretary of State, and Indiana Department of Environmental Management. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Indiana University’s School of Public Health and Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She is the 2020 recipient of the Water Environment Federation’s Public Communication and Outreach Program Award, and the Office of Public Affairs received the National Association of Clean Water Agency’s 2022 Public Information & Education Award for their “Where Does IT Go?” animation.
Shellie Riedle, Budget Officer
Shellie Riedle has served as the Budget Officer for the MWRD since October 2015. She is responsible for preparing and administering the $1.2 billion annual budget. Prior to coming to the MWRD, she spent four years as the Deputy Budget Director for Cook County, Illinois and 12 years at the City of Chicago serving in the Departments of Environment, Streets & Sanitation, Buildings, and Business Affairs & Consumer Protection. She received a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University.
Edward Coleman, Human Resources Manager - Environmental Justice
Edward Coleman is the Human Resources Manager of the Environmental Justice Section and former Human Resources Manager over Employee Selection at the MWRD. He has over 25 years of experience in Human Resources and Human Services. As an alum of Bradley University, he began his career in public service in Peoria, Illinois with the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) program. Prior to joining the MWRD, he also worked for the City of St. Louis’ Department of Human Services as a Community Program Specialist and in the Human Resources Department for South Shore Community Hospital on the South Side of Chicago. He is committed to serving overlooked and underrepresented communities through public service.
Lolita Thompson, P.E., Principal Civil Engineer - Environmental Justice
Lolita Thompson, P.E., is the Principal Civil Engineer for the Environmental Justice Section of the MWRD. Her MWRD career includes work as a Treatment Plant Operator in Maintenance & Operations, an Environmental Specialist in Monitoring & Research, and a Senior Civil Engineer in Engineering. Prior to MWRD, Lolita’s vast engineering experience includes work in the refining, conduit, and battery industries. Lolita received both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.
The mission of the Human Resources Department is to provide effective human resource management by developing and implementing policies, programs and services that align with the stated organizational mission and goals.
Ted J. Kosowski, Acting Director of Human Resources
The mission of the Information Technology Department is to provide cost effective business technology, communication, and data security services that support business practices and provide access to information for decision-making for all departments.
Sean Kelly, Acting Director of Information Technology
The Law Department provides legal counsel and representation for the MWRD, including litigation, transactional, and real estate administration services. The General Counsel heads the department of 38 staff members. Reporting to her are the Deputy General Counsel and five Head Assistant Attorneys who manage the five divisions of the department: Contracts & Legislation; Environmental, Construction & Torts; Employment; Real Estate; and User Charge & Industrial Waste. The General Counsel also serves as the MWRD’s Ethics Advisor.
Officer: Susan T. Morakalis
Susan T. Morakalis is the first female General Counsel of the MWRD. In this capacity she leads the following Divisions: Contracts and Finance, Environmental Construction and Torts, Employment, Real Estate and User Charge and Ordinance Enforcement. Susan was appointed in 2017 and previously served as the Head Assistant Attorney of the Real Estate Division. She joined the MWRD in 1997 as a Senior Attorney. Prior to joining the MWRD, she worked in private practice.
Susan received her Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School and her Bachelor's of Art degree from the University of Illinois–Champaign Urbana.
The Maintenance and Operations Department consists of four divisions, three of which are field divisions that relate logistically to the MWRD's 872 square mile service area, and a centralized General Division that provides administrative support throughout the Department.
Officer: John P. Murray, Director of Maintenance and Operations
John P. Murray serves as the Director of Maintenance and Operations. He has worked in the water industry for over 18 years and is in his 17th year of service at the MWRD. He previously served as Section Head for the Stormwater Management and Local Sewer Systems Sections and worked in the Biosolids Management Program.
John is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.
The Monitoring and Research Department conducts environmental monitoring to assess regulatory compliance and impacts of MWRD operations, applied research to provide technical support for operations and administers the MWRD’s Resource Recovery, Industrial Pretreatment and User Charge programs. The M&R Department also provides analytical laboratory support for use in controlling treatment and other operations, and leads long-term capital planning.
Officer: Edward W. Podczerwinski, P.E., Director of Monitoring and Research
Edward W. Podczerwinski, P.E., is the director of the MWRD's Monitoring and Research Department, where he has been employed since 1997. The M&R Department is comprised of 300 employees with a $32 million budget.
The mission of the Department of Procurement and Materials Management is to procure materials and services required for MWRD operations.
Officer: Darlene A. LoCascio, Director of Procurement and Materials Management
Darlene LoCascio is the MWRD’s Director of Procurement and Materials Management. She joined the MWRD in 1994 after working several years at the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. She supervises 63 staff members and is responsible for procuring all materials and services that are used in the MWRD’s day to day operations. The Purchasing Act outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Director in the various areas of purchasing supplies and services, requesting and receiving bids, determining control and operation of the storerooms, disposing of obsolete, surplus, and unusable materials, and verifying quality and testing of materials.
Darlene graduated with her Master's degree in Business Administration from Dominican University, and she received her Bachelor's of Business in Accountancy from Western Illinois University. She is the MWRD's first female director of Procurement and Materials Management.
The mission of the Treasury Section is to provide quality management of the MWRD’s financial resources by maximizing income on investments with minimal risk; issuing bonds to finance the wastewater collection, treatment, and flood control facilities’ capital needs; cost-effectively meeting the cash requirements of the MWRD’s operations, utilizing appropriate technology and efficient banking practices; and maintaining the MWRD’s outstanding bond ratings.
Officer: Mary Ann Boyle, Treasurer
Mary Ann Boyle was appointed Treasurer of the MWRD by the Board of Commissioners in March, 2011. Mary Ann had previously served as the Assistant Treasurer for 6.5 years prior to assuming her current role. Her responsibilities include the oversight of the MWRD’s cash and investment portfolio which approximates $1 billion and the completion of all bond financings for the MWRD. Prior to joining the MWRD, she was Director of Finance for Georgia-Pacific Corporation.
Mary Ann holds a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Click here for more information about the treasury department, investments and investor relations.