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The original item was published from 5/6/2020 8:47:00 AM to 8/1/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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City of Elmhurst News

Posted on: May 5, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Elmhurst Public Works Director, Howard Killian receives top leadership award from APWA

PWD Howard Killian

The American Public Works Association (APWA) announced its 2020 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year which included City of Elmhurst Public Works Director, Howard Killian.

In its 61st 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.

Howard Killian has been employed by the City of Elmhurst as Public Works Director since 2014. In his tenure with the City, Howard has proven himself to be an excellent leader and mentor for the Public Works Division. Howard currently oversees roughly 100 employees within the Division; including union and non-union employees.

Howard has had a direct role in some major and historic infrastructure improvements within the City. Most notably Howard has been directly involved with planned major highway improvements by the Illinois Tollway along the City’s eastern boundary, a recent emergency repair to the Police Station after a water pipe burst and caused water damage to 3 levels of the building, reorganization of the 2nd floor of City Hall to more efficiently utilize work areas, and many major capital infrastructure projects. Some of his accomplishments in regards to infrastructure projects include overseeing over $30M in stormwater improvements over the last 4 years to reduce neighborhood flooding, over $30M in wastewater treatment plant upgrades, the installation of new water meters across the City, the installation of a new “first of its kind” zone scan system across the City to detect water leaks, etc. Howard’s efforts with these infrastructure projects have yielded the City multiple awards from APWA, ENR Midwest, and DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference.

Besides the major infrastructure improvements that Howard has been involved with he, maybe most importantly, has created a culture within the Public Works Division of pride, mentoring, and professional development. He has instilled within his department managers to nurture a work environment centered on working hard, having fun, and bettering employees so they can go out and be the best employees and public servants they can be.

Please join us in congratulating Public Works Director, Howard Killian for his outstanding accomplishments!

For more information about the APWA and their awards, visit


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