Today we’re talking to John Sudduth, CIO of the MWRD of Greater Chicago; and we discuss what it’s like running the IT function at the largest water treatment facility in the world, their approach to cybersecurity as attacks on critical infrastructure have become more common, and how working with Rimini Street has freed up John’s IT team to spend more time on IT-related tasks. 

All of this right here, right now, on the ModernCTO Podcast! 

Learn more about Rimini Street at

Learn more about the MWRD Chicago at

About John Sudduth:

Results-driven IT executive with expertise envisioning and leading technology-based revenue and growth initiatives. Impressive, fast-track management career marked by demonstrated ability to build high performing teams and achieve cross-functional business objectives. Valued member of senior executive teams, contributing a broad perspective to create pragmatic IT strategies and implementation plans designed for maximum return with the lowest costs. Consistent success in guiding information technology teams in the design, development, execution, and support of leading-edge technology to solve business problems.

About MWRD Chicago:

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois. The MWRD provides services throughout an 883 square mile area which includes the City of Chicago and suburban communities. The MWRD serves an equivalent pop. of 10.35 million citizens; 5.25 million people, a commercial and industrial equivalent of 4.5 million people, and a combined sewer overflow of .6 million people. 

The MWRD’s 554 miles of intercepting sewers and force mains range in size from 12 inches to 27 feet in diameter and are fed by approximately 10,000 local sewer system connections. 

The MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) is one of the country’s largest public works projects for pollution and flood control. Four tunnel systems total 109 miles of tunnels, nine to 33 feet in diameter and 150 to 300 feet underground, are in operation. Three TARP reservoirs are in operation and construction is in progress on the remaining 6.5 billion gallon portion of the McCook Reservoir. 

The MWRD owns and operates the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, the world’s largest, in addition to six other plants and 23 pumping stations. Treating an average of 1.4 billion gallons of wastewater each day, the MWRD’s total wastewater treatment capacity is over 2 billion gallons per day. 

The MWRD recycles all biosolids and has an aggressive outreach program.

Joel Beasley

Joel Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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