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Dean's Leadership Board

Ahmed Al-Khatib Ahmed Al-Khatib
Founder & CEO
SIGMAnet, Inc.
Electrical Engineering, ‘83
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Ahmed is the proud founder of SIGMAnet Inc. in 1989. SIGMAnet is a leading provider of technology products, solutions and services for businesses, government, education, and healthcare. SIGMAnet is also a Cisco Gold DVAR, an Intel Channel Partner Premier member, an HP Elite Partner, a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, a VMware Premier Partner and holds certifications with various storage partners including EMC and NetApp. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the company and leading the senior management team.

Ahmed graduated with a B.S. in computer science at Cal Poly Pomona where he earned his M.B.A. and M.S.E.E. Shortly after he had graduated he wanted to share his admiration for Information Technology by teaching at Mount San Antonio Community College from 1985-1990 while starting SIGMAnet. Ahmed recognizes the importance of the foundation for education and hopes to continue his support of it through the NDC.
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Lindon Baker Lindon Baker
Sr. Partner & Co-Founder
Pentad Design Corporation
Engineering Technology, ‘78

Lindon Baker is currently a Senior Partner and Co-Founder of Pentad Design Corporation, a Product Development and Engineering Consulting firm specializing in Embedded Systems.

In addition, Baker has worked as an independent Embedded Systems consultant working with numerous firms in and around Orange County. He has been central to the development of many highly successful products incorporating Embedded Systems. Many products were for the medical industry where there is extensive worldwide regulation of the products, including significant requirements for performance, safety, EMC, and development processes.

Lindon is a contributing author of one textbook (Neonatal and Pediatric Pulmonary Graphics) and is listed as an inventor on several patents.

Baker graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1978, and then began his career at the Scientific Instruments Division of Beckman Instruments as a Microprocessor Systems Specialist, a field we now know as Embedded Systems.
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Stephen Bedolla Stephen Bedolla
Sr. VP - Project Director
Fluor Corporation
Engineering Technology, ‘90

Stephen Bedolla serves as a senior vice president, project director within Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals Group, having just successfully completed the $2.2 billion Marathon Petroleum Company Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project, located at their Detroit, Michigan refinery. In this role, he was the project director responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction.

Previous experience includes several scheduled driven explosion-related fire damaged projects; PEMEX’s cryogenic gas processing plant located in the remote area of Cactus, Chiapas, Mexico, and Esso’s gas processing facility, that included rebuilding three gas processing units and a crude unit, located in Longford, Victoria, Australia. On the Esso project, Bedolla was the consortium project director comprised of Fluor, Brown & Root AOC and Worley ABB.

Bedolla received his B.S. in engineering technology from Cal Poly Pomona in 1990.
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Jeff Berk

Jeff Berk
Senior Vice President
West Region Business Line Leader, Water

Civil Engineering, '88
Jeff Berk is a Senior Vice President with AECOM based in Los Angeles, California. He has over 27 years of experience in engineering design, construction, and research and is currently responsible for operating AECOM’s Water Business in Southern California. In addition, Jeff is a frequent contributor to many professional organizations and is a Board Member of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.

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Lindon Baker Jimmie I. Cho
Sr. VP, Gas Operations & System Integrity
Southern California Gas Company

Jimmie I. Cho is Senior Vice President of Gas Operations & System Integrity for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).

Previously, Cho was Vice President of Gas Operations, as well as Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion of SoCalGas. He was also Director of Customer Communications, Research and Web Strategy, Director of Safety and Emergency Services, Director of Customer Service Field Operations, and held positions of increasing responsibility in Environmental Engineering, Corporate Affairs, Gas Operations and Customer Services.

Cho also held positions with Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, a member agency of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as Director of Resource Conservation and Public Outreach, and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in various environmental engineering roles.

Cho holds a bachelor's degree in geology from Brown University and a master's degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. He serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.
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Martin J. Colombatto Martin J. Colombatto
Independent Consultant
Engineering Technology, ‘82
Distinguished Alumni 2013
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Martin Colombatto is a Semiconductor Industry Executive and former chairman and CEO of Staccato Communications, a leading supplier of Ultra Wideband (UWB) silicon and software solutions. With 25 years of experience in the semiconductor and electronics industry, it is no surprise that he’s held management positions with some of the nation’s top organizations. While at Staccato Communications, Colombatto provided his expertise in engineering, strategic marketing, product development and sales.

In 1982, Colombatto earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology from Cal Poly Pomona. As a member of the NDC, he is interested in contributing to renewable energy, resource conservation and other green initiatives.
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Mark Czaja
Group Vice President, Technology & Innovation
Parker Aerospace

Mark Czaja is the group vice president of technology and innovation for Parker Aerospace.  Appointed to the position in August 2004, he is responsible for technology and innovation across the entire Parker Aerospace Group, with focus on innovation, new and derivative products, technology, and implementing the group’s standardized design and development process. The Parker central engineering team reports to Mark.

Mark joined Parker in 1985. In 2000, he was named engineering director at Parker’s Control Systems Division - Military. In this role, Mark was responsible for forming a technology and engineering center, consolidating the engineering resources of three Parker divisions.  In 2003, Mark’s role expanded to lead the strategic initiative team in charge of Parker’s standardized design and development project.

Mark has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s of business administration degree from Pepperdine University. Mark is also a registered professional engineer.
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Frank Flores Frank Flores
VP, Engineering and Growth and Advancement
Engineering and Gloabl Product Development

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Sys.

Frank Flores is vice president of Engineering Growth and Advancement for the Engineering and Global Product Development (E&GPD) organization at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

Flores leads all aspects of E&GPD’s people initiatives such as engagement, employee technical development, rotation programs, diversity and inclusion and technical conferences. Flores also oversees all aspects of Northrop’s University and STEM Relations programs.

His previous role was vice president of E&GPD for Unmanned Systems, where he managed and deployed teams, processes, tools and test resources in support of the company’s autonomous programs. Prior to that, he served as sector vice president, Engineering and Programs within Northrop Grumman’s former Integrated Systems sector. Before that, as a program manager and systems engineer, Flores led the successful development of satellite and avionics communications systems for advanced fighters and terrestrial radio systems. Flores holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the USC.

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Nato Flores Nato Flores
Independent Consultant
Flores Consulting Services
Mechanical Engineering, ‘79
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Nato Flores is currently an independent consultant, assisting owners and institutions to develop building projects from inception, through final construction in order to meet their growth needs.

Before this, Flores founded Tower General Contractors in 1986, and served as its president and CEO for 27 years. The company specialized in projects in education, healthcare/biomedical, entertainment, retail, industrial, and government and defense industries.
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James Fruth James Fruth
Founder & CEO
Fruth Custom Plastics
In 1991, James Fruth began operations of its first extruder, allowing the company the opportunity to extrude their own film.  Over 20 years later, Fruth Custom Plastics is now home to over 10 extruders, multiple class 100 clean rooms, and a plethora of hand and automatic machinery, all run and operated by a “family” of dedicated and hardworking employees.

Jim’s entrepreneurial spirit and engineering expertise is the backbone of the company, that which allows Fruth Custom Plastics a wide array of capabilities to service a multitude of industries and packaging needs. Jim's education involves a B.S. industrial engineering from the University of Toledo and a M.B.A. from Pepperdine.
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Larry Gates Lawrence M. Gates

DRC Engineering, Inc.
Civil Engineering, ‘87
Distinguished Alumni 2006
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Lawrence Gates graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1987 with a B.S. in civil engineering and completed his M.B.A. from Pepperdine in 1994.  He is the President of DRC Engineering which he founded with another Cal Poly Pomona alumni, Warren Williams Jr., in 1997. 

DRC Engineering has 35 employees and concentrates on providing civil engineering design services for the land development community with a majority of the work being large-scale shopping centers. Gates has had a long affiliation with Cal Poly Pomona since graduating and was the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni in 2006 and has been on the National Development Council for the last few years.
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Michael P. Smith Kevin P. Grundy
CTO/Board Member
Trusight Inc.

Electrical Engineering, ‘79
MS Electronic Engineering, ‘82
Distinguished Alumni 2015

Kevin P. Grundy is CTO and board member of Trusight Inc. He is responsible for the technology direction of the company.
Previously, Grundy was a lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona, teaching undergraduate courses in computer architecture and electrical engineering before moving on to Adaptive Data Systems Inc. (ADSI) as a principal engineer.
In 1986, Steve Jobs hired him (as employee number 34) as an engineer at NeXT Computer, where he supervised the hardware design and production of several generations of personal computers. He also developed and delivered Bell Atlantic’s encoder technologies for their VOD service, TeleTV. Grundy co-founded Telocity in 1996. That company went public in 2000 with a $1 billion market valuation and was acquired by DirecTV in 2001, becoming DirecTV Broadband. Grundy went on to hold top positions with SiliconPipe, NextNet Wireless, Sezmi Corp., and Dish Digital.
Grundy earned his bachelor’s and master’s in electrical engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.
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Brian Jaramillo Brian Jaramillo, Chairman
Pres., CEO & Majority Owner
Tilden-Coil Constructors
Construction Engineering Technology, ‘87
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Brian Jaramillo is President of Tilden-Coil Constructors. In his first 12 years with Tilden-Coil Constructors, Inc., he managed hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects and was a leader in production growth and service. For the past fourteen years, he has overseen and guided all company operations.

Mr. Jaramillo received his B.S. in construction engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.
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Dr. Brian H. Jones, Chairman Dr. Brian H. Jones
Encore Composite Structures, Inc.
Dr. Jones is a Consultant for Encore Composite Structures Incorporated, the originating company (Compositek Engineering Corporation) he founded in 1975. Since that time, he has participated in transferring the ownership of the company to Fruehauf Corporation, Shell Chemical Corporation, Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics, BAE Systems and most recently to Encore Aerospace. Encore Composite Structures, located in Brea, designs and manufactures products that utilize composite materials for the aerospace industry.

Prior to founding Compositek Corporation, he was Vice President of Engineering with Goldsworthy Engineering (then a subsidiary of Monsanto) where he directed the design of automated production systems for composite structures.

He attended the University of Liverpool earning the degrees of B.Eng. and Ph.D., the latter for research relating to the design of gas turbine discs. He also received a Certificate in Business Administration from UCLA.
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Bob Kallenbaugh Bob Kallenbaugh
RBF Consulting
Civil Engineering, ‘74
Distinguished Alumni 2012
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

CEO of RBF Consulting, a company of the Michael Baker Corporation, is a publicly-traded professional service firm providing civil engineering, land surveying, planning, construction management and related services in the natural and built environment. 

Founded in 1944 and located in Irvine, California, RBF’s multi-disciplinary workforce has over 500 employees located in California, Arizona and Nevada.  RBF supports public and private clients in a diverse range of engagements in the urban development and infrastructure markets at every stage, from initial concept and feasibility to project completion.

Bob graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering Degree from Cal Poly Pomona, and holds a M.S.C.E. from Stanford University.
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Kevin Klowden Kevin Klowden
Dir., California Center,
Managing Economist

Milken Institute
Kevin Klowden is director of the Milken Institute California Center and a managing economist. His focus is on the distribution of resources, business and labor in a region, the effects of public policy on these factors and the impact on job creation, technology-based development and access to capital, particularly in California.

Klowden is the lead author of "Film Flight: Lost Production and Its Economic Impact in California" and the follow-up "Fighting Production Flight," as well as the latest "State Technology and Science Index." He has written about the effects of transportation and freight infrastructure on job growth; the role of technology-based development on regional economies; and the effect of long-term obligations and international factors on municipal finances in California. Klowden is a frequent speaker on state fiscal issues and has served on multiple advisory boards on business growth, economic development and infrastructure.

He holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and London School of Economics.
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Lynne Lachenmyer Lynne Lachenmyer
VP of Safety, Security, Health and Environment
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Chemical Engineering, ‘80
Distinguished Alumni 2011
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Lynne Lachenmyer is senior vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical, located in Houston, Texas.  She manages Chemical’s global basic chemicals, intermediates and synthetics businesses.

Previously, she was the vice president of the Global Aromatics and Glycol business for Mobil Chemical Company and the vice president of Operations, ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Company.

Ms. Lachenmyer joined Mobil Oil Corporation in 1980. She worked for 11 years in refining positions that provided experience in the technical, manufacturing operations, planning and environmental arenas.

Lynne has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. She served on the Petro Stopping Center Board in1997 and 1998, the Singapore Economic Development Board in 2006 and 2007, and is a member of the National Development Council for Cal Poly Pomona.
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Michael P. Smith

Jacob Lipa


Founder & CEO

Civil Engineering, ‘77
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Jacob Lipa is founder and CEO of Micropolitan, a subsidiary company of consulting and engineering firm Psomas. He is responsible for the company's direction, ensuring that its culture, client service, public service and commitment to sustainability align with Psomas’ strong tradition of excellence in these areas.

Previously, Lipa was president of Psomas and tripled the size of the company during his 13-year tenure. Psomas is rated nationally as one of the top engineering companies and has been involved with notable facilities, infrastructure and development projects in Los Angeles such as Playa Vista, LA River, LAUSD, LACCD and LA Metro.

In 2009 Jacob Lipa, in partnership with FMG, founded PsomasFMG to provide solar solutions to commercial clients such as municipalities, school, hospitals and any other tax exempt clients. Within less than 3 years, PsomasFMG has become one of the largest distributed generation companies in Southern California.

Lipa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and earned his master’s degree in civil engineering from CSU Northridge.
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Michael P. Smith Leslie Livesay
Director of Engineering and Science Director

Leslie Livesay is JPL’s director of the Engineering and Science Directorate and has over 30 years of experience in autonomous space exploration. Currently, she has overall management responsibility for JPL’s 3500 engineers and scientists. Before her position as director, she was the project manager for the Kepler Project, a mission to conduct a census of extrasolar terrestrial planets, deputy director of the Astronomy and Physics Directorate, and project spacecraft manager for New Millennium Deep Space 1. Leslie has received Aviation Week’s Laurels Award, NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal (twice), and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, also two times.
Leslie holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from USC.
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Dr. William H. Luebke Dr. William H. Luebke
Div. Technical Director (SES)
Nav. Sur. War. Ctr. Corona Div., NAVSEA
Dr. Luebke began his civil service career through appointment as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) on January 24, 2005. Since mid-2009, he has served as the Technical Director for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Division. His responsibilities encompass leading a 1,000-person civilian team in all aspects of independent performance, readiness, engineering and training assessment of a wide array of Navy and Marine Corps combat and weapons systems.

Dr. Luebke graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree and the Naval Postgraduate School with a M.S.M.E.
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Nestor Martinez
Vice President of Engineering
and Technical Services in
Transmission and Distribution

Souther California Edison

Nestor Martinez is responsible for overseeing the planning, engineering and design of SCE’s transmission and distribution systems. He also directs the organization’s efforts to provide studies for new contracts for interconnection, transmission, or distribution service for both generation and load projects. He also participates in transmission regulatory policy and rulemaking.

Martinez joined SCE in 2006 and held positions including Director of North West Distribution, Construction & Maintenance, Director, Central Design and Field Accounting, Region Manager, Desert Region, Business Advisor ERP R/3 and Manager, Special Projects. that organization. Martinez represented Power Delivery as the primary witness for DC&M in the 2012 GRC.

Prior to joining SCE, Martinez worked for over 25 years in various subsidiaries of TECO Energy (TECO) based in Tampa, Florida. Martinez held various transmission and distribution leadership positions in Tampa Electric Co. including engineering management staff and operational roles.

Martinez earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Electrical) from the University of South Florida and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.

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Maria Mehranian Managing Partner and CFO
Cordoba Corporation

Maria Mehranian is the Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer for Cordoba Corporation, a Los Angeles based civil engineering and construction management firm specializing in water, energy, transportation, and education facility infrastructure. The firm’s success has been demonstrated through its work on projects as complex as the California High Speed Rail, move of Shuttle Endeavor from LAX to the California Science Center, and restoring wetlands in the Delta. She also currently serves as chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board and has been a member of the board since her appointment in 2008.

Ms. Mehranian received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the American College in Tehran in 1980 and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1986 with a Master Degree in Urban Planning.  In 2008, Ms. Mehranian was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her vast accomplishments to her community as an Armenian immigrant.
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Renita M. Mollman Renita M. Mollman
VP & General Manager
Burns & McDonnell
Renita Mollman is vice president of Burns & McDonnell, a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm that plans, designs, permits, builds and manages facilities all over the world.

She manages the Orange County and San Diego offices for the employee-owned firm, which is among the top 20 employers on Fortune magazine’s 2013 list of “Best Companies to Work For.” Under her leadership, the offices have expanded work in renewable energy technologies, environmental studies and permitting, facilities design, environmental remediation and electrical transmission and distribution.

Mollman, PE, LEED AP, has 25 years of experience in design and construction of commercial, industrial, military and aviation projects. She is a licensed professional engineer in 10 states. 
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Michael P. Smith

Mel Melaku Negussie, Esq.
Dir. of Engineering
Ethio-American Doctors Group Inc.

NT Group LLC

Chemical Engineering, ‘87
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Mel is COO and general counsel of Ethio-American Doctors Group, Inc. He is responsible for all business and legal matters related to the mission of the company to establish a state-of-the-art, for-profit hospital in Ethiopia. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of NT Group LLC, which focuses on providing IT solutions and staffing for the federal and local government and legal recruiting and placement division.
Previously, he served as vice president/general counsel of, Inc. Negussie was also a founder and board member of Nimbus, Inc. Prior to joining the business world, Melaku practiced at private law firms for eight years, including at Dewey Ballantine and Graham & James. Before law school, he worked as a chemical engineer for Dow Chemical Company.
Mel obtained his Juris Doctorate from the USC, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.
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Michael P. Smith

Rebecca Ritt Rhoads
CIO and President, Global Business Services

Raytheon Company

Electrical & Electronics, ‘80
MS Electrical & Electronics, ‘86
Distinguished Alumni 2008
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Rebecca Rhoads is the president of Global Business Services (GBS) and also CIO for Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world, with 2014 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide. As GBS president, Rhoads is responsible for establishing common business operations, including sectors of Raytheon’s supply chain management, finance, information technology (IT), human resources and advanced media functions. As CIO of Raytheon, she has global responsibility for all IT strategy, architecture, systems, functions, security, investments, and processes.
Rhoads has more than 35 years of defense industry experience in both engineering and IT leadership and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. She is a CIO Hall of Fame 2007 inductee was awarded the Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership by the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
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Bipin Shah Bipin Shah
CEO & Chairman
Kovair Software
Bipin Shah is the CEO and Chairman of Kovair Software a startup based in Santa Clara, Calif. with offices in India and Australia.  He has been involved as a founding general partner of INC3 Ventures, a seed venture fund that he raised and managed with a partner in Silicon Valley and invested in more than 15 technology startup companies.

His prior professional experience includes being vice president of Operations for Altera Corporation, a programmable logic chip company and as president of Altera Japan at the Company’s Tokyo office.  Shah has served on the boards of several Silicon Valley technology star up companies  

Shah holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Jadavpur University and a M.S.E.E. from the University of Wisconsin. He is also involved with several nonprofit organizations.
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Michael P. Smith Peter S. Silva
Silva-Silva International

Civil Engineering, ‘77
College of Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Peter S. Silva is president of Silva-Silva International, a San Diego-based consulting firm providing expertise in all aspects of water resources management.
Previously, Silva, appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was sworn in as assistant administrator for the Office of Water (Office) at the Environmental Protection Agency. Silva provided administrative direction and oversight through the supervision of the Office’s staff, which included approximately 700 personnel.
In addition, Silva has been in multiple executive boards and operations related to water, including water policy, quality, and supply. He has been an executive policy advisor for the Metropolitan Water District, board member for the California Water Resources Control Board, deputy general manager for the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, and deputy director for the City of San Diego Water Utilities Department
Silva obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.
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Michael P. Smith Michael P. Smith
Dir. of Engineering
CBS Inc. - KCBS Radio
Engineering Technology, ‘85

Michael P. Smith has held various technical and engineering positions with CBS Radio and CBS Television and was the director of engineering for CBS Radio West Coast from 1990 to 1996

Since then, Smith is currently the director of engineering for CBS Radio San Francisco.

Smith graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1984 with a B.S. in engineering technology.
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Michael P. Smith Enrique C. Zaldivar
LA Sanitation

Civil Engineering, ‘85
Distinguished Alumni 2014

Enrique Zaldivar director and general manager of the LA Sanitation (LASAN). Zaldivar oversees the City of Los Angeles Clean Water, Solid Resources and Watershed Protection programs, which combined have a revenue value of over $1.1 billion, with a staff of nearly 3000 employees. LASAN is also the lead environmental agency for the City.
Zaldivar’s efforts, Los Angeles has achieved one of the highest recycling rates among large cities in the world; over 76%, to the implementation of the Low Impact Development (LID) Ordinance for stormwater capture and infiltration.
Zaldivar serves on the board of several organizations such as the US Water Alliance, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and others. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.
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