First rays of sunlight at Black Metal Peak near Gene Camp. Photo by Frank Faulk.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
August 19, 2019
Honoring Two Visionaries in Lasting Ways
Two former Metropolitan leaders who provided bold visions to meet Southern California's water challenges will soon be celebrated with facilities named in their honor, thanks to recent action by the Board and its Facilities Naming ad hoc committee.

The East Dam at Diamond Valley Lake will be named for former General Manager, Carl Boronkay, and the Lake Mathews Multi-Species Reserve will be named in honor of Lois B. Krieger who was Metropolitan’s first board chairwoman, serving in that role from 1989 through 1992.

Events to formally dedicate both facilities are being planned for this fall.

Carl Boronkay served as Metropolitan’s general manager from 1984 to 1993 and general counsel from 1980 to 1984. His nine-year stretch as Metropolitan's chief executive was filled with many achievements, including identifying the need for the projects that later became Diamond Valley Lake and the Inland Feeder.

As an early supporter of agricultural-urban water transfers, Boronkay was a water industry pioneer who never shied away from forging new paths and policies.

In taking action to name the Lake Mathews Reserve in Lois B. Krieger’s honor, the Board noted that she was a ‘trailblazer with a passionate commitment to solving the state’s water problems.’ The Reserve is in Riverside County, which Krieger represented for 25 years as a board member for Western Municipal Water District. 
Where New Perspectives and Experience Meet
The Engineering Services Group launched a Mentoring Program in 2013 to help develop employees and strengthen the group’s succession pipeline. To date, more than 180 employees have benefited from the program and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
This program would not be successful without staff who are committed to succession planning and workforce development. “Based on the positive feedback and support, I’m excited and look forward to what the future holds for mentoring, not just in Engineering, but for the District,” said Program Coordinator Barbara Rogers .

Volunteer senior-level staff and managers are paired for a six-month program. Mentees reap the benefit of new connections and the chance to work with staff who can provide inside knowledge and understanding that would otherwise take years to learn. Mentors share their knowledge and experience. 
Onsite activities include trips to construction projects and facilities, a flash mentoring session with managers, opportunities to attend board meetings and dry run presentation sessions. 

Through a close partnership with HR, participants attend leadership classes, personal development assessments, coaching sessions – as well as Engineering’s Brown Bag lunchtime sessions.

Like all educational opportunities, it’s a win-win for all participants. And for Metropolitan. 
Catching Fish, Waves and
the Metropolitan Mission
As far back as Alex Marks can remember, he was drawn to water and the great outdoors. Today, he is an avid fly fisherman as well as an excellent surfer (according to his wife).

It was a joy for Alex that he was able to mix his passion with his occupation when he joined Metropolitan five years ago as part of the Environmental Planning Section.  Alex oversees the management of three of Metropolitan’s largest reserves, the Multi-Species Reserves at Lake Mathews and Southwestern Riverside County as well as the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.

Previously, Alex worked for UC Irvine's Environmental Planning and Sustainability Office. With a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in regional planning, he was attune to thinking long range. "With conservation planning, it is important to think about your programs with a bird’s eye view - comprehensively and long-term,” he said.

This forward-thinking perspective has helped Alex with many large-scale planning projects. He is especially proud of his work to successfully negotiate permits for the Orange County Feeder/Newport Back Bay Blow Off project. He choreographed an offsite mitigation project to provide funds to restore wetlands and riparian habitat in Newport Bay with the California Coastal Commission’s Marine Education Project.

Alex also enjoys spending time at home with his wife and six-year-old daughter. 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
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