MWRD Re-Elects Officers to Another Term

Jan. 13, 2017
Mariyana Spyropoulos, Barbara McGowan, Frank Avila retain leadership roles

Three officers of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners were re-elected to their positions of leadership to serve the people of Cook County, Ill., and protect the region's water environment.

Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos was re-elected for a second term as board president of the MWRD, while Commissioner Barbara McGowan was re-elected vice president for her fourth term, and Commissioner Frank Avila was re-elected as chairman of finance for a second term.

Vice President McGowan motioned to nominate Spyropoulos to serve as president, complimenting her pride in the work of the MWRD and her willingness to perform outreach throughout Cook County to spread the word of the MWRD's work.

"I thank my colleagues on the Board of Commissioners for their support as President and look forward to pursuing our mission to protect the health and safety of Cook County," said Spyropoulos. "I am humbled to represent the taxpayers of Cook County, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf for clean water, flood protection and fiscal responsibility."

Spyropoulos was appointed to the Board in 2009 and was elected to a full term in 2010. She was elected as chairman of finance in January 2013 and board president in January 2015. President Spyropoulos has served as chairman of three committees: Judiciary; Pension, Human Resources and Civil Service; and Real Es­tate Development. She has also served as a trustee on the Pen­sion Board. In January 2011, the Board of Commissioners appointed her to the Public Building Commission. Presi­dent Spyropoulos received her law degree from the John Marshall Law School and her MBA from Loyola University Chicago. She also completed graduate work in American government at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. With her attorney experience, she brings a unique legal and business perspective combined with environmental activism.

Commissioner Debra Shore motioned to nominate McGowan to serve as vice president. "Vice President McGowan is the dean of our board, not by the number of years she has served, but for her wisdom and experience gained from serving," said Shore. "She has been an advocate for women and minorities and worked to provide fairness in the workplace and is known for her booming laugh and deep faith. I am proud to nominate her as vice president."

McGowan has served on the MWRD Board since 1998. Besides serving as vice president and twice as acting president, she has served as chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee and the Procurement Committee and vice chairman of the Pension, Human Resources and Civil Service Committee and the Public Information and Education Committee.

"Thank you to my colleagues for supporting me as vice president and the voters who have elected all of us to serve the larger community," said McGowan. "As vice president, I vow to protect our water environment, advance our work in resource recovery and shelter our homes and businesses from flooding."

Based on a motion from Commissioner Bradford, Avila was nominated and re-elected as chairman of finance for a third straight year. Avila was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2014. He has served as chairman of the Engineering Committee, the Maintenance and Operations Committee, and the Public Health and Welfare Committee. He also has served as Vice Chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee and the Industrial Waste/Water Pollution Committee.

Avila received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois-Champaign in 1961 and his master's degree in finance from the University of Arizona-Tucson in 1968. He owned a civil engineering company and practiced engineering and land surveying for over 45 years. Under his leadership, Avila helped MWRD main­tain its financial health, stabilize the pension fund, and bolster high credit ratings, garnering a AAA rating with Fitch Ratings and a AA+ rating from Standard and Poor's. The Civic Federation recently announced its support of the MWRD fiscal year 2017 budget.

"I thank my colleagues for this honor and our committed staff for their valuable efforts to ensure the District is on solid financial footing," said Avila. "We will continue to work together in 2017 to strengthen our financial standing and grow our value in services, resource recovery revenue and energy savings."

Source: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago