Hoover Dam, photo by Luis Cetina.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
September 24, 2018
Management Forum
Last Monday, September 17 managers from every corner of Metropolitan met to discuss Strategic Priorities, Leadership Principles, and Innovation.
General Manager Jeff Kightlinger addressed the group and answered questions on topics ranging from updates on California WaterFix, strategic priorities, and recruitment and staffing. COO Deven Upadhyay , CAO Shane Chapman , Interim CFO June Skillman , and External Affairs Group Manager Sue Sims provided updates on their respective goals and shared their own perspectives on leadership.
Highlighting the conference was a keynote address from one of the foremost leaders in the water industry, Pat Mulroy, Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law. Mulroy served as General Manager for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority from 1989 to 2014. 

She talked about Metropolitan’s rich history, and its vital role as the West’s preeminent water industry leader. In looking at the complex water issues and impacts of climate change on the Colorado River watershed, Mulroy noted “the level of cooperation and regional thinking that Metropolitan created and has continued to foster is the hope for the future of Westerners.”
The day concluded with several managers and staff receiving Innovation Awards to recognize creative approaches to getting work done, and improving how Metropolitan does business.
Let's Talk (Machine) Shop
In August, Metropolitan’s board approved funding for a Vertical Machining Center, the final piece of equipment to be installed for the La Verne Shops Upgrade Program.

WSO’s Manufacturing Services Unit Manager Silvia Perez , who made the presentation, said the new equipment “will increase service capabilities by allowing staff to machine larger equipment and work on multiple projects at the same time.” The work table for this mill is 16 feet long by 10 foot wide, and can hold up to 66,000 pounds, providing increased capabilities and flexibility to work on large projects. 

The La Verne Shops provide 24/7 service to refurbish major mechanical equipment and fabricate large-diameter pipe that support maintenance activities, capital projects and emergency repairs. The Shops also provide support to DWR member agencies and other government agencies on a reimbursable basis.

The Shops are located on the grounds of the F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant and have been in service since 1941. Recent work includes manufacturing a 25-foot, 6.5-inch-diameter shaft for a slide gate at service connection LA-35. Under a reimbursable agreement, the shops also provided support to DWR by manufacturing a 78-inch-diameter pipe spool for the Castaic Outlet Valve Structure.

This new equipment will replace existing equipment that is up to 35 years old. Procurement contracts for the hydraulic shear, hydraulic press brake, and water jet cutting system were awarded in January 2018. See the full presentation here .
A Talent for Teaching
Joaquin Urrutia is a teacher at heart – as a mechanical instructor in Metropolitan’s Apprenticeship Program, a parent to two foster children, and a volunteer at his local church.

With a 25-year history in machinery and maintenance, it was five years ago when Joaquin applied for three different positions at Metropolitan. Although he was first hired in the machine shop at Weymouth, six months later he was offered a position as a mechanical instructor in the Apprenticeship Program.

As the senior training specialist at Diamond Valley Lake, Joaquin says it’s rewarding to see his students grow and cultivate new skills, particularly those who have overcome obstacles.

“I really enjoy being a part of their educational and training process that they will use in years to come in their career,” he says.

At home, Joaquin and his wife Gina provide comfort, guidance and unforgettable memories to their two foster children, who are brother and sister. Just last month, the family traveled to Maui, where they had the opportunity to swim with turtles and fish.

Joaquin teaches third- through fifth-graders in the children’s ministry at his church and facilitates discussions in the men’s ministry. He also enjoys traveling with his wife, going deep sea fishing, and restoring his 1951 convertible Mercury.

When asked how he does it all, Joaquin credits his dedicated wife, as well as his faith that drives his ability to pursue his passions. 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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