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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

Customer Service: 503-823-7770


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Gabriel Solmer, Director, moved in to this role after four years as Deputy Director.  

As the Deputy, Gabe oversaw staff working on some of the bureau’s top priorities, including equity, strategic communications, technology, and employee development. She has built strong relationships with Commissioners and City Hall staff. Gabe has led initiatives for bureau-wide policy and planning, developing and monitoring the strategic plan, and employee engagement.  

Her priorities as Director include a commitment to the people we serve, with a focus on equity and anti-racism, transparency in decision-making and openness to new ideas, and a focus on planning as shown in the continuing implementation on the bureau’s strategic plan.  

Prior to joining the Water Bureau, Gabe worked in various public roles, including Chief of Policy for a San Diego Councilmember and a legal director for Coastkeeper, a non-profit in Southern California. She has a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Communications from the University of California at San Diego, and a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. 

Edward Campbell, Director of Resource Protection and Planning, is responsible for resource protection and planning, including coordination with federal, state and local partners on source protection efforts for both of the Bureau's drinking water sources, long-term planning and policy development work, compliance with environmental regulations, and leading the Bureau's regulatory compliance efforts for the LT2 Rule and the federal Endangered Species Act. He joined the Bureau in 2004 as an assistant to the Administrator and was selected to lead the Resource Protection and Planning Group in August 2005. Prior to coming to the Bureau, Mr. Campbell served as a senior policy advisor, sustainability coordinator and chief of staff to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and before that as communications director for Multnomah County Chair Beverly Stein. Mr. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia.

Teresa Elliott, Director of Engineering, is responsible for overall management of engineering, its support functions, and administration of the CIP including planning, design, and construction as well as emergency management. Ms. Elliott joined the Bureau in 1996 and was previously a principal engineer in charge of the LT2 Storage Program. Ms. Elliott has 30 years of experience leading and managing a wide variety of engineering activities. She is a registered professional Civil Engineer. Ms. Elliott has Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

Cecelia Huynh, Director of Finance and Support Services, manages financial planning, budgeting, rate setting, accounting, and support services. Ms. Huynh has been working in the Water Bureau since 1990. She joined the Finance & Support Services Group in 2002 as the budget manager, then served as the finance manager beginning in 2008, and was appointed as the finance director in 2012. Ms. Huynh has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Management from Portland State University, Oregon.

Kathryn Koch, Director of Customer Services, is responsible for the overall management of customer services including account services, billing and collection, quality assurance, meter reading, meter maintenance and repair, and data processing. Ms. Koch joined the Bureau in 1990. She serves as a member of the National American Water Works Association Customer Service Committee, the Pacific Northwest Customer Service Committee and is founding member and board member of the international Water Customer Care Forum. Ms. Koch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Ms. Koch has received the AWWA Pacific NW Section Heart and Soul Award and the AWWA National Management and Leadership Division Exceptional Service Award.

Ty Kovatch, Director of Maintenance and Construction, is responsible for overall management of maintenance, construction and support functions, including repair and maintenance of the distribution system, maintenance management system, purchasing and stores operation, fleet, and apprentice programs. Mr. Kovatch joined the City of Portland in 2002 where he served as Chief of Staff to Commissioner Randy Leonard, who has overseen the Portland Water Bureau since 2005. Mr. Kovatch also served as Interim Director of Portland’s construction and land use permitting Bureau of Development Services, and joined the Portland Water Bureau in 2012. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Pacific University.

Chris Wanner, Director of Operations, is responsible for management of operations and maintenance of the Bull Run and groundwater supply systems, including treatment, compliance, water quality, laboratory analyses, transmission, terminal storage, pump stations and tanks, system analysis, and the SCADA system. He has State of Oregon certifications at the highest levels for both Water Distribution (WD4) and Water Treatment (WT4) and is the bureau’s Direct Responsible Charge for compliance. He is a veteran Non-Commissioned Officer with the US Army and maintains his State of Oregon electrical license. Mr. Wanner has been the Incident Commander on multiple large scale events and is the current vice-chair of ORWARN. Mr. Wanner was appointed as Director of Operations in 2005.