The Suffolk County Legislature at its meeting on Tuesday voted unanimously to reappoint Mario Mattera to a second five-year term on the Suffolk County Water Authority Board and appoint Elizabeth Mercado to a first term ending in 2021.
Both Mattera, of St. James, and Mercado, of Brentwood, will be sworn in at the SCWA Board meeting on Tuesday, March 26. Mercado will fill the seat vacated by Patrick Halpin when he resigned his seat in December to become the new SCWA chairman, replacing James Gaughran, who had resigned the chairmanship after being elected to the New York State Senate.
"In his first term, Mario brought to the table decades of business expertise that has been extremely valuable to the board and SCWA as a whole as we prepare the organization for the future," said Halpin. "He’s been a key member of a board and senior management team that has ensured we always provide high quality water to our customers and maintain bond ratings that are the highest of any water utility in the state."
"I’m also very excited to welcome Elizabeth Mercado to the board," Halpin added. "It takes a special individual to serve as president of a school board of a large school district, and she also has extensive experience in the field of customer service. We know she will bring the insights and experience that will add a totally new dimension to the SCWA Board."
"I’m honored to be given the opportunity to continue to offer my business acumen to SCWA," Mattera said. "We’ve worked hard as a board to maximize efficiency in our operations for the benefit of our customers, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do so for another five years."
"I’d like to thank the members of the Suffolk County Legislature for allowing me to serve my community in this important role," said Mercado. "I believe my diverse professional background provides me with a unique perspective that will be an asset to this board, and I look forward to working with Chairman Halpin and my fellow board members to ensure that all Suffolk County residents have access to safe and affordable drinking water."
Mattera currently serves as business agent for Plumbers Local Union #200 of Ronkonkoma, managing $250 million in pension funds, welfare and annuity, and providing supervision over more than 1,100 members, 80 signatory contractors and 100 general contractors. He also serves on the Suffolk County Workforce Housing Committee, the Consumer Affairs Plumbing Licensing and Fire Protection Board and as a board member on the Community Association of St. James, among other affiliations. Recent awards include the Golden Lion award for 2019 Labor Leader of the Year from the Order of Sons of Italy, the 2017 Theodore Roosevelt Award from St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and the 2016 Community Service Award from the Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
Mercado has more than 20 years experience as a customer care sales representative for Verizon and currently serves as an executive board member of Communications Workers of America Local 1105 and on CWA’s National Women’s Committee. She also served for three years as president of the Brentwood Board of Education and is a member of Islip Town branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the National Association for Latino Elected Officials (NALEO).
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.