Fortune appointed to Westlands Water District Board

Three join Metropolitan Water District board of directors

Three new directors representing the Municipal Water District of Orange County and Central Basin and West Basin municipal water districts have joined the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Longtime Orange County water professional Karl W. Seckel succeeds Sat Tamaribuchi on Metropolitan’s 38-member board. Communications consultant Juan Garza follows Central Basin representative Robert Apodaca, and engineer Desi Alvarez replaces Harold C. Williams as West Basin’s representative.

“I have known our three new directors for decades in past capacities. Directors Seckel, Garza and Alvarez bring vast experience and perspectives that will serve us well as we tackle the tough challenges ahead of us,” said Metropolitan board Chair Adán Ortega, Jr. “Their appointing agencies made wise selections. I look forward to working with them to ensure water reliability for the communities we serve across Southern California.”

A Costa Mesa resident, Seckel retired in 2020 as MWDOC’s assistant general manager after 37 years with the agency. During his tenure, Seckel was also responsible for planning, engineering, emergency preparedness management and studies to improve and enhance water supply reliability.

A registered professional engineer, Seckel earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Maryland.

With more than 20 years of experience in communications and government relations, Garza has been a principal at Six Heron, a Bellflower-based strategic communications and public relations firm, since 2019. He began his career at the Long Beach Water Department in 2002 as a government and public affairs representative and previously served as a councilmember and mayor for the city of Bellflower.

Garza received his master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degree in geography from California State University, Long Beach. He also has a certificate in urban studies from California State University, Long Beach.

Alvarez has more than 30 years of experience in the water sector. He has served as city engineer for the cities of Glendale and Santa Monica, the deputy city manager and director of public works for the city of Downey, and the chief executive officer of Chino Basin Watermaster. In 1992, he became the director of public works and city engineer for the city of Redondo Beach. Alvarez has also served as an engineering manager at the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

He earned his master’s degree in engineering with an emphasis on water resources and environmental engineering from the University of California, Davis and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Alvarez is a California registered engineer.

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