Lt. Governor Sheila Simon chairs the thirteen member Mississippi River Coordinating Council. The Council is comprised of seven citizen members that are appointed by Governor Pat Quinn and the remaining five members are designees from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Agriculture. Additionally, several institutions and federal agencies serve on the Council as ex-officio members.
If you are interested in applying for an appointment on the Mississippi River Coordinating Council, please nominate yourself at www.appointments.illinois.gov
Meet the Mississippi River Coordinating Council
George Andres, Kaskaskia Regional Port District
Mr. Andres grew up on the Mississippi River in Monroe County and has spent his whole life working to improve communities on the river. After the Great Flood of 1993, he help the town of Valmeyer relocate out of the floodplain, serving as the overall Project Manager to plan, design, finance, and build the new town. He is serving as General Manager of the Kaskaskia Regional Port District, responsible for river development for 70 miles of the Mississippi River and 36 miles of the Kaskaskia River, as well as serving on the board of the Kaskaskia Watershed Association and is vice-president of the Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc. He is also active in the Inland River, Ports and Terminals, Inc. and on the National Waterways Conference.
Dr. Valerie Barko, John A. Logan College
Dr. Barko has spent more than fifteen years conducting research within the Mississippi River System on small mammals, fish assemblages, floodplain structure and function, turtle-excluding devices, invasive species, and sampling methodology. Prior to accepting her current position at John A. Logan College as an Associate Dean for Instruction, Dr. Barko was the Systems Ecologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Open Rivers and Wetlands Field Station. In this position, Dr. Barko assisted in the development of the “Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carps in the United States.” Currently, Dr. Barko is serving on the Research, Assessment, and Monitoring Committee for this Plan. In addition, Dr. Barko is a member of several professional societies, serves as a Managing Guest Editor for the Northeastern Naturalist, and instructs an Environmental Science course at John A. Logan College.
Sherri DeVrieze, Trinity Regional Health System
Ms. DeVrieze has spent the last 40 years living in the Quad Cities, a community separated and united by the Mississippi River. As the marketing and sponsorship coordinator for Trinity Regional Health System, she has pushed for support of community organizations that work to conserve and promote the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the river and its riverfront, such as River Action and River Music Experience, and has worked on events that encourage enjoyment of our waterways and riverfronts, such as the Quad City Marathon, Ride the River and many health and awareness walks. Sherri served on the town council for Panorama Park, IA for 10 years, working on storm water management and flood plain issues. She currently serves as a plan commissioner for the City of East Moline, and serves on the board of Jason’s Box, a charitable organization providing support to deployed troops.
Tim Dimke, Rockford Park District
Mr. Dimke is the Executive Director of the Rockford Park District. As Executive Director he has a great deal of knowledge and experience with development projects along the Rock River, and the Park District has a commitment to environmental education and providing more natural areas in urban parks. He is personally involved in conservation practices with 90 acres of land he owns and manages in Jo Daviess County adjacent to Hanover Bluffs near the Mississippi River. He maintains active membership in and is associated with the National Recreation and Parks Association, Illinois Association of Park Districts, Illinois Park and Recreation Association, Natural Land Institute, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Jo Daviess Soil & Water Conservation District, Eastern Illinois Athletic Alumni Association, and serves on the Rockford College MBA Advisory Board and Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Board.
Mr. Nowack is an engineering consultant with Quigg Engineering in Jacksonville. He has a wealth of experience as a long-time member of the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. He is retired from the Illinois Department of Transportation where he working on environmental transportation issues, storm water management issues, scenic byways and bicycle trails. He is also a junior college instructor of environmental issues in the area of storm water and a registered instructor with the National Tribal Transportation Program.
Pam Peter, Illinois Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Ms. Peter is the district conservationist for the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District and serves on their state board. She has over 35 years of experience in the field of natural resources conservation and has been a leader in implementing and promoting important programs like the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Non-Point Source Water Quality Management Plan.
Wendell Shauman, Illinois Farm Bureau
Dr. Shauman represents the Illinois Farm Bureau on both the Mississippi River Coordinating Council and the Illinois River Coordinating Council. He is also on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the US Grains Council where he serves as treasurer. He has participated in many Gulf of Mexico meetings and was chair of the Illinois Farm Bureau Floodplain Task Force. He has also served on the American Farm Bureau Water Quality Task Force and American Farm Bureau Watershed Heroes Program. His nomination is supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau. He farms near Kirkwood.
Anne Walker, Freedom Trails
Ms. Walker is the founder and executive director of Freedom Trails. Freedom Trails is an organization focused on African-American heritage tourism and development and has a strong focus on Illinois’ connection in the Underground Railroad. While studying public affairs at the former Sangamon State University she worked as a news reporter for the public radio station which starter her on her career of experience in community, cultural, economic development, empowerment, tourism, education, and communication in the Metro East area.