The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

Board Members

Gary Bechtel, Chairman (Elected Countywide)

Mr. Gary Bechtel is the Chairman of the Macon Water Authority (MWA), after being elected to the countywide post following victory in a runoff in December of 2022. He began his term in office as MWA Chairman after being sworn in prior to the January 2023 Board Meeting. However, he is no stranger to the MWA Board, having served the Authority as the Macon-Bibb County Representative from 2017-2018.

In addition to serving as the Chairman of the MWA, Mr. Bechtel also serves the Authority on the Finance, Personnel, Pension, and Policy Committees, while representing the MWA on the New Town Macon Board. He also serves on the Boards of the MWA's Macon Water Alliance (non-profit subsidiary) and Macon Soils.

Mr. Bechtel has served Macon-Bibb County most recently as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner, in addition to prior service on the Macon-Bibb County Commission from 2014-2018, the Bibb County Commission prior to consolidation from 2013-2014, and the Bibb County School Board from 2001-2012. Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Mr. Bechtel in 2003 to the Professional Standards Commission, which he served on from 2003-2007.

Mr. Bechtel is a 1984 graduate of Georgia College & State University and a 1989 graduate of Leadership Macon. He currently works in the real estate industry as a commercial associate for Bob Lewis & Associates, Inc. in Macon, where he specializes in commercial properties throughout the Southeast. Mr. Bechtel is a New Life Member of the Middle Georgia Association of Realtors, having completed transactions of over $1.5 million dollars for the last four years.

Mr. Bechtel started his career in the banking industry as a wholesale account executive for Southstar Funding in 2002. In 2006, he was named Vice-President of the Mortgage Operations Division at Atlantic Southern Bank. In 2010, he was appointed to the Asset Manager position in Atlantic Southern's Special Assets Division. Following his time at Atlanta Southern, he was hired by Certus Bank as an Asset Manager in their Credit Risk Department, where he was responsible for a $40 million dollar portfolio of criticized assets and complicated credits.

A lifelong resident of Macon-Bibb County, Mr. Bechtel is married to the former Laura Meadows of Macon, and they have two children -- their daughter Tarver, who is married to son-in-law Justin Mills, and their son Sam. Mr. & Mrs. Bechtel are expecting their first grandchild in February of 2023, and they are members of First Presbyterian Church in Macon, Georgia.

Contact Gary Bechtel, MWA Chairman:

478-390-7719 (Phone) (Email)


Dr. Anissa Jones-Aiken, Vice Chair (District 1)

Dr. Anissa Monique Jones-Aiken, DC, is Vice Chair of the MWA, in addition to representing the citizens of District 1 on the MWA Board. She is a Macon who first won election to the District 1 seat in 2018, and she was re-elected to office in 2022, beginning her second term after being sworn in on January 5, 2023. 

Dr. Jones-Aiken chairs the Personnel Committee and Benefit Plan Trustees Committee, in addition chairing the Macon Soils Board. She also serves on the Finance, Engineering, Pension, and Policy Committees, while representing the MWA on the New Town Macon Board.

Professionally, Dr. Jones-Aiken is the first African-American Chiropractor in Macon, Georgia, who has been practicing locally for more than 20 years. She received her B.S. in Biology from Fort Valley State University in 1994, and then continued on her path to a Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in 1998. In addition, she also graduated with an MBA from Wesleyan College in 2005. 

Following a one-year residency and Associateship with Gaudet Chiropractic Center, she established her own practice -- Total Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center -- in 2002. As the first African-American in Macon to practice Chiropractic, Dr. Jones-Aiken is committed to providing stellar care to all people, but especially those from her community. She is renowned for addressing the cause of symptoms by properly aligning the spine and by incorporating other natural methods of healing.

Dr. Jones-Aiken is a celebrated physician in the region, being named as a top American Chiropractic by the Consumers' Research Council of America. She was awarded the 2005 Heritage Registry of Who's Who and the Foxington Registry of Who's Who Executives and Business Professionals. In 2013, Dr. Jones-Aiken was given the distinct honor of becoming the first African-American and the first female to be the President of the Georgia Chiropractic Association for District 14. In 2017, she also was voted Best of the Best Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Facility in Macon. The following year, she was the recipient of the Viewer's Choice Award's "41's Top 41" by WMGT, Channel 41 NBC.

Dr. Jones-Aiken is a distinguished member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a 2004 alum of Leadership Macon, and a 2018 Middle Georgia Regional Champion. She is a State Committee Member of the Georgia Democratic Party, as well as an Executive Board Member of the Macon-Bibb County Democratic Party, where she serves as Chairman. Dr. Jones-Aiken is President-Elect of the Main Street Macon Board, which is committed to the economic development and revitalization of the Central Business District of Downtown Macon. She is an Advocate with Citizen Advocacy, and she serves as a member of the Sisterhood Organization, which promotes HIV/AIDS awareness and testing in Middle Georgia. She also sponsors several adolescent and teen sports teams, proving uniforms and funding for children and youth in the region.

Dr. Jones-Aiken is a serial entrepreneur, owning businesses in the area that include the Pink Chief Boutique, Pink Confetti Rentals, and Vanguard Motor Group. 

Contact Dr. Anissa Jones-Aiken, District 1:

478-508-2253 (Phone) (Email)


Desmond D. Brown (District 2)

Desmond D. Brown was first elected as the District 2 Member of the Macon Water Authority (MWA) Board in 2020, when he filled the seat previously occupied for more than 30 years by lond-time MWA Board Member and friend, Javors J. Lucas. Mr. Brown was then re-elected to the District 2 seat in 2022, prior to being sworn into office on January 5, 2023.

In addition to representing District 2 on the MWA Board, Mr. Brown serves on the Finance and Outdoor Recreation Committees, as well as the Authority's non-profit Macon Water Alliance Board.

Mr. Brown says he couldn't refuse the request by members of the Lucas family who asked him to run for office to fill their late father's seat on the MWA Board. Perhaps, he says, because he knows the District well -- able to recall his district from memory, street by street, and neighborhood by neighborhood.

"That was special," says Brown, when reflecting on the encouragement he received to run for office from the family of the late Javors Lucas. "I plan to work in the same respect as Mr. Lucas did, and I pray that my service (on the MWA Board) will be sufficient."

Mr. Brown's successful bid for the MWA District 2 seat in 2020 was his first campaign for public office. His promise to his constituents is to be accountable, transparent, and accessible, while working to improve economic growth and development for District 2 in Macon-Bibb County. Mr. Brown says he intends to keep campaign promises of improving water and sewer infrastructure, while addressing neglected storm drains and other needs of the local stormwater system, which the MWA took over in 2021.

Mr. Brown is a Macon native who attended Bibb County Public Schools. He says his desire to serve his community as the District 2 Board Member of the MWA was first and foremost a personal decision, since he grew up in and around several historical neighborhoods, such as Bloomfield, Pleasant Hill, Bellevue, Greenbriar, West Macon, Unionville, and Cherokee Heights. His district is noted for several historical landmarks of the Macon-Bibb County community.

One of Mr. Brown's overarching goals for the MWA is to make the Authority a beacon of light for other rural cities and counties to emulate, when attempting to bring economic growth to their respective communities.

Mr. Brown's professional career includes experience as an economic growth developer, a commercial mortgage broker, a loan officer, and as a certified investment banker. He says his familiarity with economic growth and development, especially, is one of his greatest assets that he brings to the MWA Board. Mr. Brown says that gathering knowledge about the issues impacting the water, sewer, and stormwater system of the Authority, as well as corresponding and collaborating with MWA staff, comes naturally.

Mr. Brown has provided oversight on several construction projects locally, including as Assistant Superintendent for Stafford Builders & Construction, Inc. in the completion of the Tubman African American Museum. This and other professional accomplishments received the attention of Dollar and Sense Magazine, which recognized Mr. Brown as one of "America's Best and Brightest Business and Professional Men."

As for Mr. Brown's civic interests, he is a past Board Member of Loaves & Fishes, representing Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., where he and his family are members and where he is an Ordained Deacon. He and his wife Keshia have three daughters.

"I'm ready to work," says Brown, who is hopeful his service on the MWA Board will leave a legacy that honors God, his family, and Mr. Lucas. "I take nothing for granted," he says. "I thank God that He saw fit for me to serve."

Contact Desmond D. Brown, District 2:

404-630-3546 (Phone)


Dwight Jones (District 3) 

Dwight Jones joined the Macon Water Authority (MWA) as its District 3 Member in the summer of 2014, after winning a special election against three challengers without a runoff, to fill the vacated seat. Mr. Jones was re-elected in May of 2016 and again in 2020, when he ran unopposed for the District 3 seat. As a result, he was last sworn into office prior to the January 2021 Board Meeting, beginning his second full term as the District 3 Member of the MWA. 

In addition to serving on the MWA Board from District 3, Mr. Jones Chairs the Authority's Finance and Pension Committees, while also serving on the Policy, Engineering, Personnel, Outdoor Recreation, and Benefit Plan Trustees Committees.

A life-long resident of Bibb County, Mr. Jones is a local small business owner who specializes in leasing and managing commercial properties, as well as agricultural and timber operations. In addition, as a licensed general contractor, he offers businesses the ability to build to suit projects for their operations.

A noted self-starter who loves opportunities to improve business operations while providing vision for long-term objectives, Mr. Jones has experience overseeing all aspects of operations for multiple entities, in addition to planning and executing strategic investments, which are primarily in commercial and agricultural real estate. It is his extensive business experience that he hopes will benefit the citizens of District 3 during his public service on the Macon Water Authority.

“As a life-long resident and small business owner in Bibb County, I am committed to helping move our community forward,” he says. “At its core, the Macon Water Authority is a business, and I believe my background is useful in attracting new jobs, while maintaining our clean and abundant water supply. I’m honored that the voters of District 3 have entrusted me with this serious responsibility, and it is one that I do not take likely.”

Mr. Jones notes that to ensure that future generations in Macon-Bibb County continue to live and work in a prospering community, the Water Authority must make sure its drinking water remains affordable, while its system offers capacity for growth and continues to meet the highest quality standards in the industry. 

“By marketing this (affordability, capacity, and quality) to industries and by putting a focus on job recruitment, the Authority becomes a catalyst for economic development and job creation,” he says.

Contact Dwight Jones, District 3:

478-238-3770 (Phone) (Email)


Frank Patterson (District 4)

Frank Patterson was first elected as a Board Member of the Macon Water Authority in 2004, to serve the people of District 4 in Macon-Bibb County. Mr. Patterson was last re-elected to the District 4 seat in 2022, after running unopposed, and sworn back into office on January 5, 2023.

In addition to representing the citizens of District 4 on the MWA Board, Mr. Patterson chairs the Authority's Engineering and Outdoor Recreation Committees, while serving on the Personnel, Pension, and Policy Committees. He also chairs the MWA's non-profit Macon Water Alliance Board, in addition to serving on the Macon Soils Board.

Mr. Patterson worked in local government for over 53 years. He spent 35 years with Bibb County Government, working at the Tobesofkee Recreation Area as the Assistant Director. He also spent four years with the Bibb County Engineering and Public Works Departments. Additionally, he served as an Inspector and Project Manager with Moreland Altobelli Associates, LLC, an Atlas Technical Consultants (Atlas) Company.

Mr. Patterson was born in McRae, Georgia, but has lived in Macon since 1965. He graduated from the Georgia-Alabama School of Commerce with a certificate in accounting. He also has received certification from the National School of Conservation and the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government's Management Development Program.

Mr. Patterson and his wife Patricia have been married for over 50 years and have three children and five grandchildren. They are members of the First Evangelical Church in Macon.

"I have made it my goal to make sure that the people in my district and all of Macon-Bibb County have the best water authority in Georgia, and I'm honored to have been selected by the people of District 4 to serve them in this position," says Patterson. "Since joining this Authority Board, we have made tremendous strides, reflected in honors such as having the Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America. My goal is for the Authority to continue to improve facilities and services, while representing the people of District 4 to the best of my abilities."

Contact Frank Patterson, District 4:

478-808-2020 (Phone) (Email)


Bill Howell, Macon-Bibb County Representative

Bill HowellBill Howell serves on the MWA Board as one of the two elected Macon-Bibb County Commissioners who are appointed to serve on the Authority's seven-member board. His term on the MWA Board began in January of 2021.

In addition to serving as a Macon-Bibb County Commission Representative on the MWA Board, Mr. Howell serves on the Authority's Finance and Engineering Committees.

Mr. Howell was born and raised in Bibb County, and he has spent the majority of his life here. He has been self-employed since 1986, owning and operating a number of businesses both in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia and in East Tennessee.

After living away from Macon-Bibb County, Mr. Howell and his wife of 30 years Melinda, moved back to Bibb County in 2018 for their retirement. As a result, he decided he wanted to give back to his hometown through public service. He then was elected as the Macon-Bibb County Commissioner for District 7.

Among the many areas of interest Mr. Howell has as an elected Macon-Bibb County Commissioner, and as one of the two appointments from the Commission on the MWA Board, is to address stormwater issues. This was one of his major campaign promises that he is looking forward to fulfilling by helping to solve stormwater related problems in the community through service on the MWA Board.

Mr. Howell says that as a Commissioner and MWA Board Member, he will have a unique perspective that he hopes brings value to his dual role in the community to better serve the citizens of Macon-Bibb County.

Contact Bill Howell, Macon-Bibb Commission - District 7:

478-731-9178 (Phone) (Email)


Valerie Wynn, Macon-Bibb County Representative

Valerie Wynn is one of two appointments to the MWA Board of Directors from the elected members of the Macon-Bibb County Commission. Mrs. Wynn is the Macon-Bibb County Commissioner from District 1. She was first elected to a partial term in June of 2018, prior to being re-elected for a full four-year term in June of 2020.

In addition to serving as a Macon-Bibb County Commission Representative on the MWA Board, Mrs. Wynn serves on the Authority's Engineering and Personnel Committees.

As a Macon-Bibb County Commissioner, Mrs. Wynn has chaired the Public Safety Committee, in addition to co-chairing the Economic and Community Development Committee. She also serves on two Pension Boards for Macon-Bibb County.

Professionally, Mrs. Wynn retired in 2017, from a 46-year career in the insurance industry. She worked for several major insurers during this time, including Travelers, Prudential, GEICO, and her last 10 years in business at Selective Insurance Company.

Mrs. Wynn's civic interests over the years have included volunteer service with the Salvation Army, a tenure as Co-President of the former YWCA, as well as volunteering with local animal rescue groups and participation in fundraising. She is a current member of the Historic Macon Foundation, where she volunteers for their "Flea Market" fundraiser. In addition, she has volunteered for food drives to assist local families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among her hobbies, Mrs. Wynn enjoys buying and selling antiques, and she has three "booths" at Payne Mill Antiques, where she can be found most Mondays. She and her husband Rusty are residents of Northwest Macon.

"I have been following the work of the Macon Water Authority for years, particularly during the leadership of Frank Amerson," says Mrs. Wynn. "I feel the MWA is an important component of our city, providing a superior product -- water -- for our community. I wanted to be a part of the leadership of this Authority, and I hope to become more knowledgeable about the many functions of the MWA."

Mrs. Wynn says that as a County Commissioner, she is very familiar with Stormwater Management operations and needs, locally, noting that she hopes her perspective and experience brings value to future policy decisions.

"With the MWA overseeing Stormwater Management for our community, I look forward to working with the Authority to help in this endeavor," she says. "I can now view it from another perspective beyond my role as a County Commissioner."

Mrs. Wynn is humbled by the opportunity to serve as a Macon-Bibb County Representative on the MWA Board.

"I feel it is an honor to serve on the MWA Board, and I look forward to learning and contributing however I can during my time in this leadership position."

Contact Valerie Wynn, Macon-Bibb Commission - District 1:

478-731-7725 (Phone) (Email)



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