Port Commission

    Meet our Commissioners


Timothy E. Hoschek, Chairman

Chairman Hoschek  represents Des Moines County, Iowa. 

 "I am third generation public servant. My father, Stephen M. Hoschek, is a 36 year veteran of the Burlington Fire Department, now retired. My Grandfather served as Mayor of Burlington, the county seat of Des Moines County. He was a former State Senator and State Representative in the Iowa Legislature. Grandpa Carl Hoschek was my inspiration for running for political office. In 1992, I was elected to the Board of Supervisors and have continued to be re-elected serving my fourth term. I really enjoy working for all the people of Des Moines County."

Commissioner Hoschek also serves on the following Boards, Commissions and Committees:

National Association of Counties (NACO/Transportation)
Des Moines County Emergency Management Commission
Department of Corrections - 8th Judicial District - Vice-Chairman
ISAC/County Case Management Services Board of Directors
ISAC Board of Directors
South Iowa Crime Commission
South Iowa Area Juvenile Detention Agency
Regional Workforce Investment Board/Chief Elected Officials Board - Region 16 - Chairman
Des Moines County Joint Safety Committee
DHS Advisory Board
Caring CommUnity Des Moines/Louisa County Empowerment Board
Emergency Food & Shelter Board of Des Moines County
Home Caring Services Board of Directors
Great River Gateway Committee
Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission - Alternate
Grow Greater Burlington, Inc./Chamber of Commerce-Alternate


Ronald L. Brink, Vice-Chairman

Vice-Chairman Brink is a native of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. The County Board Chairmen elected him to the Mid-America Intermodal Authority Port District with the approval of Governor George Ryan in 1999. The MAIA Port District Board of Directors then appointed him to the Mid-America Port Commission, the three state Commission engaged in the important work of establishing a port in the region.

Early in his career, he engaged himself in organizing a Brink Construction Company. Between 1961 to 1980 he worked hard to establish it as a reputable and dependable construction firm. Ron kept his eyes open for expansion and diversification. Slowly between 1975 and 1987 he acquired two trucking companies, Thompson, Inc., and Lesser TX, Inc. besides establishing Brink Ready-Mix and Brink Asphalt and Paving Company. He has avid interest in interstate trucking and both inland and seaports.


John Schaffer, Secretary/Treasurer

Commissioner Schaffer represents Lewis County Missouri, and assumed the role as Secretary/Treasurer in 2006, relinquishing his role as Chairman where he served since 2004.

A graduate from the University of Missouri, John Schaffer owns and manages a farming operation near LaGrange, Missouri, where he produces soybeans, corn, and commercial Angus cattle. Mr. Schaffer has served on the Mid-America Port Commission since its inception. 

Commissioner Schaffer is a past chairman of Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and currently secretary-treasurer of the LaGrange Community Fire Association and Union Township Drainage District. He has served on the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission and on the EIERA and is currently serving on the board of Mid-America Bio-Fuels. 

He belongs to and remains active in Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers, and Farm Bureau.


Douglas H. Aeilts PE, Commissioner

Commissioner Aeilts is a professional engineer and Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative in Palmyra, Missouri. He represents northeast Missouri for the Mid America Port Commission.

Concern for community and quality of life in rural America, Commissioner Aeilts is committed to the rural electric development. He began his career at Adams Electric Cooperative, a distribution cooperative in Adams County, Illinois. Hired as their Energy Counselor, he soon advanced to System Engineer, Assistant to the General Manager and General Manager from 1994 until 2004 when he became CEO and General Manager of Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative. While attending Carthage High School, he worked for Merritt Farm Equipment working with livestock, farming, welding and RV sales.

Commissioner Aeilts currently serves as Director and Finance Committee Chairman for Associated Electric Cooperative and is a Director for the Iowa Area Development Group. He also serves as Chairman of Great River Economic Development Foundation and Director of United Way of Adams County. Prior commitments include Director and serving on numerous committees for Continental Cooperative Services and Soyland Power Cooperative, was past Director for the Illinois Cooperative Workers Compensation Group and Rochdale Services, Inc., serving as the Claims Committee Chairman for both organizations. Other organizations Commissioner Aeilts has served include former Director of United Utility Supply Cooperative, past Director and officer of Rural Adams Development Corp., past Director and officer of River Valley CDC and past Director and officer of Illinois Electric Council.

A member of the Palmyra United Methodist Church, Aeilts and his wife Pam live south of Palmyra and have two sons and one daughter.


Max Edlen, Commissioner

Max Edlen is a native of Scott County, Illinois. The County Chairmen elected him to the Mid-America Intermodal Authority Port District Board of Directors with the approval of Governor George Ryan in 1999. The MAIA Port District Board of Directors then appointed him to the associated Mid-America Port Commission. Vice-Chairman Edlen had been a Commissioner in Scott County for a number of years until 1999. After his graduation, he has been actively involved in the public sector. Max has actively worked for the public interest in the field of economic development while pursuing a career in the public school system and later in the construction field. As Chairman of the Scott County Board from 1997 to 1999, he had the opportunity to watch the progress and be associated with the development of a major grain terminal, "Consolidated Grain and Barge Company", at Naples, Scott County, Illinois. Over a short period of time, this terminal has grown tremendously almost resembling a mini-port. He had encouraged this operation to invest and create jobs, which in return rendered substantial help to the county residents and farmers. Max has great interest in the rivers and inland water transportation. He and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Bluffs, Illinois.


Lowell Junkins, Commissioner

Commissioner Junkins represents Lee County, Iowa, and served as Secretary/Treasurer  from 2004 to 2006.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack  appointed Lowell Junkins, from Donnellson, Iowa to serve on the Commission. Commissioner Junkins, whose current position is executive director for the Lee County Economic Development Group, Inc., located in Montrose, Iowa, states that he welcomes the opportunity to serve on the Commission.  He is Executive Director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic & Port Authority (SIREPA).

"The Commission is charged with improving the region-wide system for freight movement by supporting the development of terminals, industrial parks, and multi-modal facilities that can provide warehousing and distribution services, freight consolidation and de-consolidation and a Foreign Trade Zone and other projects and programs throughout the jurisdiction of the Mid-America Port Commission. The regional port district concept is another tool we can use to increase Lee County, southeast Iowa and the tri-state region's marketability and competitiveness throughout the world. It is indeed an honor and great responsibility to serve as a Commissioner for such a vital endeavor,"

Commissioner Junkins was born, raised and educated in Iowa. While always maintaining his roots as a farmer and agrarian, he also has been an entrepreneur. After attending Iowa State, he was involved in a number of successful business ventures from home and business development, construction, real estate to owning a health care delivery business. Junkins' career in politics has been as successful as his business practice. His political career began with the Montrose City Council from there he was elected Mayor of Montrose, Iowa. He was the Democratic candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives in Lee County in 1970. Although that race was unsuccessful, he was determined to continue in public service and was elected to the Iowa State Senate in 1972. He was reelected by an ever-increasing margin in each subsequent election. In 1982, he ran unopposed in his bid for a fourth term in the Iowa Senate.

He was elected Minority Leader of the Iowa State Senate in 1981 and elected Majority Leader of the Iowa State Senate in 1983. Lowell was instrumental in the passage of many important initiatives. He is remembered for writing and passing the most sweeping jobs bill in Iowa history in 1983, which focused on stimulating economic development in many different sectors of Iowa's economy. After winning a closely contested primary, Lowell was the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate for the State of Iowa in 1986. After that race, he decided to form the firm of Lowell Junkins & Associates to combine his knowledge of public and private sectors into a political consulting firm that specializes in areas of political strategy and campaign management.

He then developed American Management and Consultants, Inc. to provide an additional range of services that allow him to advocate for both public and private organizations. He also served as Clinton/Gore 1992 National Deputy Campaign Manager, and has since continued to build the political side of the consulting firm into a group with a national presence.

As LCEDG Executive Director, Lowell serves in advisory capacities on the Boards of Directors for the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, Region 16 Workforce Investment Board, Fort Madison Economic Development Corporation, Keokuk Economic Development Corporation and Committee of 82 Think Tank.

Lowell's community involvements include Rotary and Lions Club. On the regional and national level, and in addition to his service as secretary-treasurer for the Port Commission, Presidents Clinton and Bush appointed him to the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac Board) where he now serves as Vice Chairman.


Jim Langland, Commissioner

Commissioner Langland represents Wapello County, Iowa.

Jim was born in Burlington, Iowa, the second of four children.  He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with degrees in Liberal Arts and a Masters of Business Administration.  Currently, he co-owns and operates APQS, Incorporated, a manufacturing company.  The company is located in Carroll, Iowa, producing handcrafted quilting machines for home and industrial use.

During the late 1980s through 2001, Jim worked as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Al-Jon, Incorporated.  Al-Jon is a manufacturing company which builds heavy equipment for the recycling industry.  While there, he spent a great deal of time overseas, developing markets in Europe, Asia and South America.  During this time, Al-Jon, Inc. earned the Governor's Export Award, recognizing exporting excellence.

In 1994, Jim was selected as a member of the 1994-1995 Leadership Iowa class.  Leadership Iowa is a statewide organization founded in 1982.  This organization promotes an awareness program that develops, educates and motivates future leaders of Iowa and its communities.

Commissioner Langland lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife Cherie and their three young boys.


Gordon Spilker, Commissioner

Commissioner Spilker has been serving on the Commission since May 2005.  He was born and raised on a family farm north of Bethel , Missouri in Shelby County.  He is involved in the operation of the farm, raising grain and Angus cattle.  Serving in the Missouri Air National Guard, he was called to active duty on October 1, 1961 during the Berlin crisis.

Commissioner Spilker has lived in Hannibal, Missouri since 1979, and was appointed to the Hannibal Board of Public Works in 1992.  Serving two terms until 2000, he served 5 years as president of the Board.  He presently is serving as president of the Northeast Missouri Development Authority.  He is also presently serving as member of the MCM bank board of directors where he serves on various committees.

Commissioner Spilker was instrumental in getting the first ethanol plant in the State of Missouri located in Macon off the ground.  He and a few others worked for 4 years on this project, up until the ground breaking on April 17, 1999.  He serves as vice-president, on both the NEMO Grain, LLC; and the NEMO Grain CO-OP board of directors.  The Macon ethanol plant currently produces in excess of 40 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Commissioner Spilker was appointed in June of 2000 to the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) by Governor Mel Carnahan, and then re-appointed for a second term in January of 2005 to the in January 2005 by Governor Matt Blunt.  He is currently serving a chairman of this commission.  The authority is administered by a seven-member commission, which is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.  The Director of Agriculture serves as an ex-officio member.  This commission is charged with administering various financial programs to qualified Missouri entities.

Commissioner Spilker has an avid interest in aviation, having held a pilot’s license since 1966.  Among his other interests are traveling and motorcycling.  He and his wife, Regina , also enjoy traveling in their motor home.  They have one son.


Merritt W. Sprague, Commissioner

A Pike County, Illinois, native and former senior executive in the federal government, Merritt Sprague was appointed to the Mid-America Intermodal Authority Port District Board of Directors and the associated Mid-America Port Commission by Governor George Ryan in 1999.  

A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Agriculture in 1954, he manages a farm producing over 2,800 acres of corn and soybeans. Merritt and his wife, Pat, live on family farm property first acquired by his great-grandfather shortly after the Civil War. His appointments to public service include being named Chairman of the Illinois State ASCS Committee and member of an Illinois blue-ribbon Commission of Regional Public Education in the 1970’s. 

During the 1981-1993 time period, Merritt was in Washington, D. C. serving: first, the U. S. Department of Agriculture as the Deputy Administrator for Commodity Operations of ASCS and as Manager of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation; then, the US Department of Interior as Director of the Office of Policy Analysis and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy. 

Commissioner Sprague is a past President of the Hull Lions Club and spent 16 years as a 4-H Club Leader.

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welcome letter

meet our staff

meet our Commissioners

meet our Directors

statement of purpose


foreign trade zones

Permits Required in Illinois

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