Enjoy Metropolitan's animated holiday card

However you celebrate, we wish you much joy and a wonderful 2019.  
 This issue of WaterTalk showcases some of the recent holiday events around the district.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
December 17, 2018
Sharing Joy and Celebrating in the Desert
Many of Metropolitan’s offices and field facilities held holiday activities last week, including the traditional (and delicious) Gene Camp event. About 80 employees attended this year's party which featured a feast of turkey, steak, many side dishes and a dessert table that was described by one guest as “unbelievable and incredible.”

The cooks at Gene are well-known for their culinary excellence, so it’s no surprise that the holiday party featured lots of five-star cuisine. One of the highlights of the party was the raffle. AFSCME donated prizes and the proceeds from ticket sales were split among six worthy charities serving the nearby Lake Havasu community. 

Interim Unit Chief Hector Enriquez talked about the tremendous support he's received, not just from his fellow Gene Camp staff members, but also from Met staff at other plants and facilities, including those who stepped in to help repair a problem in the system that occurred on Hector's second day in his new role. To him, that teamwork embodies the Met spirit, not just at the holidays but year-around. 

Photos of the dessert table:
MWD Groups Show Off Trees and Talents
The competitive spirit was in full swing during last week's Tree Decorating Contest. Fifteen teams decorated trees at HQ and in the field sites, with the hopes of winning bragging rights for the year. 

Teams had three weeks to design and decorate using various themes and creative ideas. Some trees included employee photos -- both current and baby pictures. A couple of teams wrote creative stories, one themed to “The Night Before Christmas,” but with a twist to focus instead on Met's mission. Some trees showed the CRA aqueduct, other Met facilities and even had water flowing through the tree.  See the slide show of the trees.

Employees saw it as a great team-building opportunity. Barbara Rogers from Engineering Services said, "At first, I wasn't looking forward to decorating since we are so busy right now. But our team really got into it and I got to know some new employees better. I am very happy we won for the ‘Most Metropolitan’ tree."

Three independent judges chose winners in several categories:

  • Real Property for “Traditional”

  • Water Resource Management for “Creative”

  • Office of the GM and Board Support Staff for “Tree Topper”
  • Engineering Services for “Most MWD”

  • External Affairs for “Modern”

Honorable Mention awards went to the trees from Water Systems Operations and Audit and Ethics.
This 'Wise Man'
Doubles as Santa
And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but Pete Wiseman (aka Santa) bringing goodness and cheer. This marks the eighth year that Metropolitan employees have seen Santa in the HQ lobby raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. As a card-carrying Santa, having graduated from the Professional Santa School of Denver, this is a busy time of year for Pete, who attends many events to support organizations and spread good cheer.

When he's not Santa, Pete has been a professional land surveyor at Metropolitan since 1991, working on right-of-way engineering for Real Property. His projects have included the Inland Feeder, Diamond Valley Lake and San Diego 6.

Pete says the work of a surveyor complements the work of engineers, often helping to address impacts on local communities. “Now we have tools like Google Earth that can help people see a project and understand what will be happening at their property,” he says.

Pete had retired and was happily riding his motorcycle through Alaska when he was asked to return to do survey and acquisition work – this time as one of six Metropolitan staff working with the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority based in Sacramento.

But he still finds time to be Santa. In fact, he couldn’t escape it even if he wanted to. “The first time I was recognized as Santa,” he says, “a car pulled up by me and a child yelled, ‘Are you Santa?' I told the boy ‘yes’ and after briefly conferring with his Dad, I got to tell him the elves were already busy working on his Christmas gift!” 
WaterTalk will be taking two weeks off and returns on January 7, 2019
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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