Rick Bishop is the Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), a joint powers authority consisting of 17 cities, the County of Riverside, the Eastern and Western Municipal Water Districts, the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The subregion remains among California’s fastest-growing areas; the current population of 1.7 million is forecasted to grow to 2.7 million by 2035. He is responsible for developing and implementing programs important to member agencies in diverse subject areas such as transportation, energy, environment, growth and economy. Among these responsibilities is the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) Program, a multi-jurisdictional development fee program which will provide nearly $4 billion in arterial and transit improvements during the next three decades. The Agency’s HERO Program provides financing to business and residential property owners throughout the state for retrofitting properties with energy efficient and water conservation retrofits; more than 200 jurisdictions in California participate in the Program. Rick is the Treasurer of SWMA.
Simon Bluestone is Vice President, Western Division Director, for MWH, now part of Stantec. He has been delivering environmental, water and energy solutions to private and governmental clients for over 30 years. He spent almost 10 years as a consulting hydrogeologist and engineering geologist with Woodward-Clyde Consultants before joining MWH in 1994. He has since held various management positions and currently leads the Western Division of MWH’s Energy and Industry Operations. He spent 9 years practicing in Europe, Africa the Middle East and India in project delivery, regional client service management and then corporate strategy and operational leadership functions.
Simon is an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Board Certified Environmental Scientist, a Coro Executive Fellow and a California Professional Geologist with dual Bachelor Degrees from the University of California in Aquatic Biology and Geology, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco.
Celeste Cantú is CEO of WELL, Water Education for Latino Leaders. Prior to this, she was General Manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) from 2006 through June 2017. At SAWPA she led the development of a crest-to-coast, corner-to-corner Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan called One Water One Watershed (OWOW). Her leadership addressed all water-related issues and stakeholders to create a new vision of resiliency for the Santa Ana River Watershed. OWOW was awarded many honors including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Innovation Award.
Celeste served as the Executive Director for the California State Water Resources Control Board, and as the USDA Rural Development State Director for California. She has a BA from Yale in Urban Planning and Policy and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Greg Devereaux served as Chief Executive Officer for the County of San Bernardino from January 2010 through June 2017. He worked effectively with the Board of Supervisors to focus the County’s efforts toward fiscal responsibility and proactive solutions, including the development of a Countywide Vision.
Greg has served in state and local government for more than 38 years, holding various administrative leadership positions, including city manager in the cities of Ontario and Fontana. He is a Fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the Advisory Board of the graduate programs in planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC, a Past President of the California Redevelopment Association and has served on multiple California League of Cities committees. Greg is also a member of the advisory board for the Department of Public Administration, CSU San Bernardino, and is the visiting resident at the West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Public Administration. Among many distinguished awards, in 2015 he became the 59th recipient of the Clarence A. Dykstra award for Excellence in Government from the Southern California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.
Chris Frahm is a shareholder and attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and is the head of their San Diego office. Law, politics and business converge around nearly every issue concerning water, energy and infrastructure. Chris practices at that intersection, coordinating and strategically planning at the state and local level to help her clients achieve project objectives. She is known for her track record of success in getting water and infrastructure projects done, from initial strategic planning, through agreements. When necessary, she also assists with the defense of those projects against attack in the media, in litigation or otherwise.
Chris is a frequent speaker before a wide variety of professional and community forums, including public agencies and local ratepayer groups, on the subject of water reliability and rates, water distribution system access, level playing field for utilities, and other current water law and public policy issues. She was previously Chair of the Board for the San Diego County Water Authority.
Gail Goldberg was named Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles in June of 2011. Prior to joining ULI-LA, she was Director of the Los Angeles City Planning Department, and also worked for 17 years in the City of San Diego Planning Department, serving as Planning Director from 2000 through 2005. While in San Diego, she oversaw a planning process to update the city’s 20-year-old General Plan which resulted in an international model for urban revitalization and a long-term strategy for achieving that vision known as the “City of Villages.”
Gail is a native Californian and holds a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from UCSD. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for USC’s Center for Sustainable Cities and the Price School Masters of Planning Program and also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of California’s District 9 Transportation Center. Gail was recently appointed to the California Strategic Growth Council that, among other things, distributes 20% of California’s Cap and Trade Funds. She has formerly served as an Urban Land Institute Trustee, is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society and has also served in numerous capacities for APA San Diego Chapter.
Cliff Graves is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California. He has also taught planning and public policy at many universities throughout the US. He retired as General Manager, Economic Development for the City of Carson, CA in 2013. Prior to that he was General Manager of the Los Angeles Community Development Department. In total, Cliff brings more than 40 years’ experience in planning, urban development and finance to his engagements. His career includes executive roles with federal, regional, local and special- purpose agencies, and professional services in finance, urban development and environmental management. He is an expert in managing complex urban development projects.
Cliff is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Full Member of the Urban Land Institute, and a member of Lambda Alpha honorary land economics fraternity. Among his many professional and civic contributions, he was a founding Board member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and Commissioner of the San Diego Unified Port District. Cliff holds a Master of City Planning and Bachelor of Arts degrees from UC Berkeley.
Hasan Ikhrata was appointed Executive Director of SCAG in January 2008. SCAG is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. He has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in transportation planning in Southern California. Prior to joining SCAG in 1994, Hasan worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and he also worked abroad for the USSR government, Moscow Metro Corporation.
Hasan has received several awards and honors from various organizations and agencies including MOVE LA, for Outstanding Leadership as Executive Director of SCAG in preparation of the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union; a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning and Transportation from USC.
Fran Inman is Senior Vice President for Majestic Realty where she directs government relations and community affairs activities. In addition, she also serves as the founding President of the Majestic Realty Foundation.
Recognized as a national leader in the transportation sector for her work on the global supply chain, Fran serves as a member of the California Transportation Commission. In 2013, she was also appointed to the National Freight Advisory Committee and co-chairs the sub-committee on project delivery and operations.
In addition to her numerous awards and honors for her work in these areas, she was recently awarded Visionary Business Leader of the Year at the region’s Mobility 21 summit. A civic and philanthropic leader, Fran serves and has served on a diverse range of business, economic development and transportation boards and organizations throughout the region. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and an MBA in Finance from Cal State Fullerton.
Larry Kosmont is President and CEO of Kosmont Companies which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions, economic development and public finance. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty Corporation, a company which sources private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, infrastructure funding and economic development. Larry is also Managing Partner of Renaissance Community Fund, which has invested in and develops mixed use, residential and commercial projects throughout California, and a Principal of California Golden Fund, an approved EB-5 Regional Center.
Larry’s 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12 billion. He has an extensive track record as a public/private real estate consultant and public finance advisor.
Larry created the Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey©, an industry standard for comparing city taxes and economic incentives. He has previously served as Interim City Administrator, City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Montebello, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank; and began his career as an Assistant to the City Manager in Santa Monica. Larry holds an MPA from USC and a B.A. in Political Science from the SUNY – Binghamton.
Art Leahy was appointed as Metrolink’s Chief Executive Officer in April 2015. He brings more than 40 years of public transportation leadership and experience to Metrolink.
One of the nation’s leading transit officials, Art previously served as CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for six years. During that time, he guided implementation of one of the largest public works programs in United States history, securing billions in federal and state dollars to help finance construction of dozens of transit and highway projects.
Prior to his tenure as Metro CEO, Art led OCTA (2001-2009) and served as the general manager of Metro Transit (1997-2001) in Minneapolis-St. Paul. He began his career in transportation as a bus operator for Los Angeles Metro in 1971 and rose through the ranks to become chief operations officer. He has an MPA from the USC, a BA from CSULA in political science and a certificate in transportation management from UCLA.
Susan Lien Longville was elected to the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves as Board President. She was the Director of the Water Resources Institute at California State University San Bernardino until she retired in 2013.
Susan led the Southern California task force that authored “The Integrated Approach for Sustainable Development on Alluvial Fans”. She is currently working on a publication describing how Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts provide the means for local governments to maintain wide floodway corridors to capture stormwater within the footprint of new development. Susan is a former Councilmember from the City of San Bernardino.
Felix Oduyemi is the Manager of External Engagement for Transportation Electrification Policy and Strategy at Southern California Edison. His responsibilities include policy development for transportation electrification, vehicle-grid integration, smart grid, and renewable integration. In addition, he manages the department’s relationships with key local, state and federal governmental agencies and policy leaders.
Felix collaborates with company’s representatives to California Council on Environment and Economic Balance (CCEEB), California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Energy Commission (CEC), and CalStart, and is appointed to various policy committees of governmental associations including League of California Cities, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
Prior to Edison, Felix was the Senior Regional Planner for SCAG and Senior Land Use Planner for San Bernardino County. He has also served as a consultant to many cities in Southern California on land use, transportation, energy and environmental planning issues. He sits on the Boards of Coalition for Clean Air, FG Energy Global, and New City Development Group.
Bev Perry serves as a civic engagement consultant for public and private organizations, primarily in the field of strategic planning. She recently stepped down as the Executive Director for SWMA, remaining as the corporation’s Secretary. Prior to that, Bev was Assistant Director at USC’s Bedrosian Center on Governance, Manager of Member Relations at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and an Associate at Greer/Daily/Minter Public Affairs.
Bev served as Mayor and Councilmember for 12 years in the City of Brea, CA and was also the elected City Clerk for two years. She served as Vice Chair for the River & Mountains Conservancy, President of the Southern CA Association of Governments and the CA Councils of Governments, Director for the Orange County Transportation Authority and a member of the Speaker’s Commission on Regionalism. Bev was on the Board of Directors for the League of CA Cities and the National League of Cities. She holds a BA from the University of the Pacific in Geology and an MSEd from USC in Counseling/Higher Ed.
Mark Pisano is the Senior Advisor and President of the Southwest Megaregion Alliance. He is also a Professor of Practice of Public Administration in USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. As the Co-Chair of the Infrastructure Working Group of CA Forward, he was involved in the development of the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District legislation (SB628). Mark is also Chair of the National Academy of Public Administration Working Group on Infrastructure and Co-Chair of the NAPA Federal System Standing Panel. He is Co-Chair of America 2050, a national organization dedicated to developing the third century growth strategy for America.
Mark previously served for 31 years as Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest regional planning agency. The association consists of a voluntary group of local governments that focuses on dealing with many vital local issues, including aspects of environmental conditions, transportation, housing and development. Before joining SCAG, Mark was Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Quality Planning Division. He has also co-founded and held positions at various nonprofit and governmental associations such as the California Center for Research and Development, California Federation for Energy and the Environment, California Hazardous Waste Management Authority, LINC Housing, and California Leadership. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Georgetown University.
Nancy Steele, Interim Executive Director
Dr. Nancy Steele serves as the Interim Executive Director for the SWMA while managing her own consulting firm and serving as the Conservation Director at the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy. In addition she is on the board of the Marine Conservation and Research Institute of the Aquarium of the Pacific and is co-owner of the Chaparral Mountain Honey Co. She is a Stanton Fellow of the Durfee Foundation and Fellow of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation.
Prior to beginning her own firm, Nancy was the Executive Director of the Council for Watershed Health for ten years and served as an environmental regulator for California EPA for fourteen years. Nancy earned her doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA, and has degrees in the biological sciences from Arizona State University and Occidental College.