By federal court order issued February 2011, the Board of Water Commissioners is made up of seven members who oversee DWSD operations, management and major contracts, and set rates for water and sewer services. The Board includes four members from the City of Detroit, and one each nominated by the Wayne County Executive, the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner and the Macomb Public Works Commissioner with confirmation by the Mayor of Detroit. All members must have at least seven years of experience in a regulated industry. Commissioners receive $10,000 in compensation and an additional $250 per meeting, not to exceed $20,000 per year in total.
James Fausone, Esq.
By Federal Court order issued November 4, 2011, Mr. Fausone became the chair of the Board of Water Commissioners. He is a resident of Canton Township. He is a partner in Fausone Bohn LLP, of Northville, where he practices business law, municipal law, veterans disability law, and environmental law. He was also president of an environmental remediation, industrial service, and waste transportation company for three years. Mr. Fausone holds dual bachelor’s degrees in environmental engineering and oceanography from the University of Michigan and earned his law degree from Gonzaga University. He was elected a Schoolcraft College trustee, and a Canton Public Library trustee. He is a Director of the University of Michigan College of Engineering – Civil and Environmental Engineering board, and the Livonia Chamber of Commerce, among other affiliations.
James F. Thrower
Mr. Thrower is President and CEO of Jamjomar Inc., and the owner of seven McDonald’s restaurants in Detroit and the surrounding metropolitan area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and physical education from East Texas State University, now known as Texas A&M University – Commerce. Following a career in professional football playing as a defensive back for the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles, Mr. Thrower served as loan executive and Executive Assistant to the Board Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City, Director of Community Affairs at Stroh’s Brewery, and Regional Manager of Public Issues and Planning at Michigan Consolidated Gas. Mr. Thrower is a member of the Administrative Council of OPNAD (Operators’ National Advertising) for McDonald’s Corporation. Recently, he was inducted into his college hall of fame for excellence in track and field, basketball, and football. Mr. Thrower received the most prestigious award for McDonald’s franchisees, the Ronald Award; he is affiliated with several corporate, community, and charity groups, such as the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities and Youthville.
Fred Barnes, P.E.
Mr. Barnes is a registered professional engineer from Sterling Heights. He owns and operates Fred W. Barnes Associates Inc., a consulting engineering firm. Before starting his own company, he was a Senior Project Engineer with Atwell-Hicks Inc., where he managed engineering projects and supervised engineers, planners, and designers. Mr. Barnes, a former Chief Engineer for the Office of the Macomb County Public Works Commissioner, was involved with the design, operation, and maintenance of more than 700 county drains, supervision of two CSO facilities, as well as the review of residential and commercial developments for 24 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Mary E. Blackmon
Ms. Blackmon is a retiree of Ameritech and served for 10 years as a member of the Detroit Board of Education. She is the President of the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency Board of Education (Wayne RESA), a Central Region Director on the National Black Caucus of School Board Members, and serves on the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition Executive Board. Mrs. Blackmon is also on the Executive Board of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), and is a past Chair and Vice-Chair. A graduate of Leadership Detroit, Mrs. Blackmon remains active in a number of civic and community organizations.
Ms. Forte, a Senior Vice President at Comerica Inc., brings more than 30 years of business, finance, and commercial banking expertise to the board. A member of Comerica’s senior leadership team, she is responsible for defining and driving business strategies that establish Comerica as a leader in diversity and corporate responsibility practices. Ms. Forte earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and received her master’s of business administration degree in finance and accounting from the University of Michigan. She serves as a Director of the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit and serves on many other agency and organization boards as well.
Mr. Kenoyer brings more than a decade of cross-functional problem-solving experience in delivering customer-driven results to technical and service quality issues for Ford Motor. An honoree of the Ford/Massachusetts Institute of Technology/University of Detroit Mercy program for engineering excellence, Mr. Kenoyer holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and earned a master’s degree in product development from the University of Detroit Mercy. He has served on the Board of Directors of Preservation Wayne and has volunteered at the Ruth Ellis Center.
J. Bryan Williams
Mr. Williams is an attorney with the Dickinson Wright law firm. Mr. Williams, a resident of Birmingham, practices in the areas of corporate and municipal law. He has served as counsel to the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner in municipal bond financings, and has a wealth of experience in providing counsel to both privately and publicly-held companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame and received his juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the City of Birmingham Planning Board, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Club of Detroit. He is also a past vice chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.