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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

WHO: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD)

WHAT: Virtual Business Roundtable

WHERE: Register on Zoom 

On Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m., the MWRD will host a virtual roundtable to discuss environmental justice issues and how community leaders advocate for equity in contracting.

MWRD staff, including Dr. Regina Berry, Diversity Administrator; Dr. Catherine O’Connor, Director of Engineering; and Darlene LoCascio, Director of Procurement and Materials Management, along with business leaders, will participate.

Business representatives

Larry Ivory, President/CEO at Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce The Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce

(ILBCC) is the largest, most active voice for African American businesses in the state of Illinois. The organization was incorporated in 1997 through the work of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ivory is also past Chairman of the Board of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

Jonathan Jones, Director of Diversity, Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council.

Jonathan Jones was appointed Director of Diversity for the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Counsel to facilitate the UBC’s Diversity/Equity/Inclusion (DEI) expansion initiatives. He has been a proud member of Carpenters Local 10 for the past 32 years and has served as an organizer and representative for the Carpenter’s Regional Council for the past 20 years.

He has many years of experience recruiting and working with various DEI groups and community-based organizations. In this position he will be working with the Sisters in the Brotherhood committee, pre-apprenticeship program, and he will diversify membership and better support minority members and signatory contractors.

Omar Shareef, President, African American Contractor’s Association

Omar Shareef is the president of Universal Construction Services Corporation and founder and president of the African American Contractors Association (AACA), a professional association dedicated to business development, professional ethics and standards, job procurement, equitable financing and bonding for minority vendors. Mr. Shareef has achieved national recognition for in-depth labor research, practical construction training forums, legitimate and even-handed negotiations, and a thorough understanding of media and community business relations. He has headed the 300-plus membership of AACA since 1989, and the value of the contracts which he has facilitated and/or negotiated over the last decade is over $200 million.



Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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