Best known for her volunteer leadership since moving to St. Marys 16 years ago, Elaine Powierski brings her skills and knowledge of diverse neighborhoods and citizen needs to the City Council. Dedication to community goes back many years for Elaine. After spending two years as a young head nurse in a hospital emergency department coping with minute by minute crisis, she volunteered to spend four years as a nurse in Guatemala, Central America during the revolutionary era. It is where she learned the value of community spirit. Working with Mayan Indians who were combating poverty, isolation and political upheaval, she witnessed their ability to create a community of support and optimism that carried them through challenging times. It caused her to begin thinking about serving her own community in a similar way.
Returning to the United States, she obtained a BA in business and sociology from the University of Detroit and spent 15 years as a high level manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. In 1999 she moved to St. Marys and shifted her energies to volunteering. She was on the Board of the Humane Society raising more than $250,000 for the organization. She is a co-founder of the Coalition for a Better Community, created to change the tone of political debate. She continues advocating for civil discourse as the most productive way to exchange differing views. She is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Ethics for the city of St. Marys and was a member of the Police Consolidation Study. She is a citizen advocate for the Camden Criminal Justice Council, is active with Kiwanis and is a past member of the Board of the Navy League.
The combination of a healthcare background and years of volunteer service provide her a unique background as a Councilwoman. She knows how to listen and is experienced in operating on shoestring budgets while making necessary investments to move key projects forward. Recognized as a team player, but an independent thinker, she welcomes both questions and ideas from all citizens in St. Marys as she researches decisions and formulates city policy.