KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Public Works Association (APWA) announced today its 2021 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year. In its 62nd year, this award is one of APWA’s highest honors, and is based on a lifetime of professional contributions. Recipients of the awards are chosen by past Top Ten recipients and embody professionalism, expertise, and personal dedication to improving the quality of life in their communities through the advancement of public works services and technology. 

The Top Ten Public Works Leaders award focuses on outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials from both the public and private sectors in North America. Each of the Top Ten Leaders is recognized for their accomplishments in federal, state, provincial, county, or municipal engineering or administration including career advancement, contribution to technology or job knowledge, commitment to the profession as evidenced by education, training, certification or registration and continuing education, as well as professional excellence and service to the community in large and small municipalities. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, it is important to acknowledge these dedicated leaders who make possible the core services their communities need to maintain a high quality of life. Because of their planning, foresight, technical contributions and leadership, public works departments and their private sector partners continue to provide essential municipal services, such as solid waste management, clean drinking water, and emergency management operations.

APWA’s 2021 Top Ten Public Works Leaders are: 

  • Ms. Brigitte Berger-Raish, PE, Director of Engineering & Public WorksVillage of Wilmette, IL
  • Mr. Tom Brady, PE, Director of UtilitiesCity of North Las Vegas, NV
  • Mr. Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi, Director of Public WorksTown of Franklin, MA 
  • Ms. Jeannine Clancy, Assistant General ManagerMetropolitan Council Environmental ServicesSaint Paul, MN 
  • Mr. Patrick Collins, PE, CPWM, F. ASCE, Director/City EngineerCity of Valdosta, GA 
  • Mr. William (Bill) Ebel, Jr., City ManagerCity of Overland Park, KS 
  • Ms. Delora Kerber, PE, Director of Public WorksCity of Wilsonville, OR 
  • Mr. Terrence W. Nealy, Public Works DirectorCity of Rock Hill, SC 
  • Mr. Wilfrid Nixon, PE, PhD, PWLF, President, Professional Snowfighters Association, Iowa City, IA
  • Ms. Ginger Spencer, Public Works Director, City of Phoenix, AZ

 “Congratulations to the top ten outstanding Public Works leaders for their devotion to advancing the quality of life for all in their communities across the United States. It is an honor for APWA to celebrate these outstanding professionals who not only provide the technical expertise to deliver critical services, but to demonstrate servant leadership in their public works professional accomplishments. It was an extreme honor and unforgettable experience to notify each of these leaders who represent the best in Public Works,” said APWA President Mary Joyce Ivers.

For more information about the APWA awards program, please contact APWA Awards and Chapter Relations Associate Rhonda Wilhite at rwilhite@apwa.net, or by phone at 816-595-5261.

For more information about the individual leaders or APWA, please contact APWA Production Editor Thea Voutiritsas at tvoutiritsas@apwa.net or by phone at (816) 595-5258.