CHA Board of Commissioners Bios

Commissioner Z Scott

Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Chairman

On November 22, 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott to the CHA Board of Commissioners succeeding James Reynolds, Jr.

Zaldwawynaka “Z” Scott is currently a Partner at Kaye Scholar LLP. Previously, she was the Executive Inspector General for the Office of the Governor of Illinois, where she established and managed an internal compliance and investigative agency for Illinois government and Illinois public universities and worked closely with the state’s internal auditor and the Illinois Auditor General in matters related to integrity of state government functions.

Previously, she was a federal criminal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office from 1987–2003, where she held various management positions, including chief of the General Crimes Section.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served in the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. Scott was named to Illinois SuperLawyers in 2009-2011.

Matthew Brewer

Matthew Brewer, a partner at the law firm Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, will serve on the agency’s Board of Commissioners.

At Bartlit Beck, Brewer practices commercial litigation in federal and state courts and advises clients on legal and business issues. His practice includes breach of contract, patent infringement, false advertising, employment, antitrust, and other commercial disputes.

Brewer attended Stanford University where he served as student body president and obtained his B.A with honors. After college, he worked in the Chinese music industry as a consultant on marketing and intellectual property issues.

Brewer earned a J.D. from Yale Law School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he received the prestigious Bert King Award, which recognizes individuals for their dedication to service as well as their academic, professional and leadership accomplishments.

Brewer grew up on the South Side of Chicago. He is married to Constance Brewer.

The Chicago City Council approved the appointment of Brewer as a member of the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.


Mark Cozzi

Mark Cozzi currently is a Senior Managing Director for The Electrum Group, the investment arm for the Kaplan Family.

He is involved in numerous civic and charitable activities including: treasurer, West Lakeview Neighbors; board member, Equality Illinois; board of regents, the Point Foundation; and member, the Society for Contemporary Art, part of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Cozzi received his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his BBA in accounting and finance from the University of Wisconsin.


Commissioner Mildred Harris

Dr. Mildred Harris

Commissioner Mildred  C. Harris is a retired schoolteacher, mentor, and ordained minister. She was first appointed to the CHA Board of Commissioners on July 7, 1999, and has since received three reappointments due to her exemplary leadership and continued commitment to CHA improvement.

As a commissioner, Dr. Harris has pioneered and contributed to various CHA-related efforts. She created the “Adopt-A-Senior Building” program, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to refurnish the sitting areas in more than 57 CHA senior buildings. As a result, CHA received an award lauding the program from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Dr. Harris is Founder, President and CEO of God First Church and Ministries, which has contributed well over $40,000 in scholarships for CHA students. She also established a food pantry for CHA senior residents.

Commissioner Harris participates in numerous civic and religious organizations. She serves on the Advisory Board for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and on the Advisory Council for Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford; she sits on the Women’s Board of the Goodman Theatre, is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and is an Honorary Board Member of Windows of Opportunity.

Commissioner Harris earned a B.A. Degree in Education from DePaul University in Chicago; an M.A. in Early Childhood from Columbia University in New York ;  an M.A. in Human Development from Governor's State University in Park Forest, IL; an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago; and a PhD in Ministry from the International Bible Institute and Seminary in Plymouth, Fla. She has also completed studies in Real Estate Management.

Harriet Johnson

The Chicago City Council approved the appointment of Harriet Johnson as a member of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners on April 18, 2012.

Ms. Johnson is retired from the University of Illinois Hospital, where she worked in various clerical positions for 32 years. She has been a resident of the CHA’s Zelda Ormes Senior Apartments since 2002, where she has served as the building president since 2005.

In her role as president, Johnson has addressed issues such as building maintenance, community safety, and the overall needs of seniors in her community. She has also been successful in planning and coordinating special events for residents in an effort to energize and keep the constituents healthy and active.

Johnson has received several honors and awards, including a Certificate of Excellence from the West Pullman Park Senior Alive Club, and a Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation from the Senior Housing Central Local Advisory Council.   Johnson is a mother of three, grandmother of 12, and great-grandmother of six.

Commissioner John Markowski

John G. Markowski

John G. (Jack) Markowski, President of Community Investment Corporation (CIC), oversees the leading source of loans for the rehabilitation of multifamily residential buildings in the Chicago region. Capitalized by investments from 35 financial institutions, since 1984, CIC has originated $1.1 billion in loans for the acquisition and rehabilitation of 1,800 buildings with 46,000 units.  Markowski also serves as President of Community Initiatives Inc., that through receiverships and the acquisition of troubled properties, directly intervenes in the preservation of affordable rental housing.  Since April 2011, Markowski has served as Chairman of The Preservation Compact, a regional initiative to preserve affordable rental housing in Cook County. 

From 1999 through June 2007, Markowski served as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing.  During his tenure, the Department spent more than $3 billion to assist more than 100,000 housing units in Chicago, including more than 5,200 SRO units, 5,700 units for senior housing, and 2,000 new single family homes. In addition to overseeing the administration of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and the country’s largest locally funded rental subsidy program, Markowski dramatically increased the Department’s use of tax-exempt bonds and Tax Increment Financing. He helped to enact legislation in  support of affordable housing, including the Illinois Donations Tax Credit, the Statewide Mortgage Document Recording Fee (for rental subsides), the Chicago Downtown Density Bonus and Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance.

Prior to joining the Department of Housing in 1992, Markowski served as the first Executive Director of the North West Housing Partnership, an organization that promotes and develops affordable housing in Chicago’s North and Northwest suburbs.

From 1981 to 1990, Markowski served as Executive Director of the Edgewater Community Council, which under his leadership, reversed a cycle of decline and stimulated more than $55 million in investment and rehabilitation of 5,200 units of housing in the Winthrop-Kenmore corridor.

Markowski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Oregon. A resident of Chicago’s Edgewater community, he is married and the father of three daughters.

M. Bridget Reidy

Commissioner M. Bridget Reidy

On July 22, 2009, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed M. Bridget Reidy to the CHA Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Reidy currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Supply Officer at Exelon Corporation, where she is responsible for supply operations and sourcing for Commonwealth Edison, the Philadelphia Electric Company and Exelon Generation.

Prior to her current position, Commissioner Reidy served in a number of leadership positions at Exelon Corp., including senior vice president of Customer Operations at Exelon Energy Delivery, deputy general counsel of client services for Exelon BSC legal services and senior vice president of Exelon Business Services and operations.

From 1999 to 2001, Commissioner Reidy served as the chief operating officer of the Chicago Housing Authority, where she led the negotiation, planning, coordination and implementation of the agency's Plan for Transformation.

Prior to her work at CHA, Ms. Reidy served as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, where she coordinated major projects including Millennium Park, McCormick Place expansion and Soldier Field negotiations.

Commissioner Reidy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and a juris doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law.

Rodrigo A. Sierra

Commissioner Rodrigo A. Sierra

Lauded as a trailblazer, Rodrigo A. Sierra is chief communications and marketing officer and senior vice president of the American Medical Association (AMA). There, he is leading a transformation of the 165 year old organization to reclaim a leadership position in shaping the evolving healthcare system for the nation. The brand repositioning, media and public affairs expert is responsible at the AMA for public relations, enterprise marketing & communications, digital & social media, leadership positioning and brand strategy.

Over a distinctive and award-winning career, Sierra has been instrumental in achieving meaningful results in high-profile corporate, media, government and regulatory positions. He has a proven record of developing innovative solutions for individuals, companies, governments and not-for-profits in challenging marketplace circumstances. His brand and crisis management expertise and experience in strategy, policy and organizational issues have equipped him to create and implement proactive initiatives that effect positive change for both brand and social impact.

Sierra has a demonstrated ability to transition between public and private sectors, which has been a key element in his success in building mutually beneficial partnerships that leverage both resources and brand equity. Over his 30 year career, he has led change for Johnson Publishing Company, Integrys Energy Group, Peoples Energy, Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago, WGN Radio, ABC News, and others.

Sierra served on the Chicago Board of Education with a mandate to overhaul the public school system with an annual operating budget of $5.2 billion to ensure the 400,000 students it serves graduate college and career ready. He also served on the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund board with fiduciary responsibilities for a $10.4 billion fund. Sierra also serves on numerous non-profit boards including the Goodman Theatre and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.

He earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management through the Executive Master of Business Administration program in June 2008.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Northwestern University.