(323) 349-0661 info@latinosforwater.org

Meet Our Board

Cástulo R. Estrada

Cástulo R. Estrada

Director, Coachella Valley Water District

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Cástulo R. Estrada was elected to a four-year term on the Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. He is the Utilities Manager at the City of Coachella. He is a native of the Eastern Coachella Valley, a graduate of Coachella Valley High School, and has a civil engineering degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has served on the Salton Sea Authority Board of Directors since 2014, including serving as President of the Board in 2019/2020. Cástulo formed the Coachella Valley Disadvantaged Communities Task Force which works to secure access to safe affordable drinking water, wastewater and flood control services in historically disadvantaged Coachella Valley regions through strategic planning, funding procurement, needs assessment, and reporting – all in collaboration with community members and stakeholders. Cástulo was appointed in 2019, and reappointed in 2020, as a member of the State Water Resources Control Board’s SAFER Program Advisory Group. He lives in the City of Coachella with his wife, Cindy, and two children. Cástulo’s term ends in 2022.
Joone Kim Lopez

Joone Kim Lopez

General Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District

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Joone K. Lopez is the General Manager of the Moulton Niguel Water District, which provides water, wastewater, and recycled water services to six cities in South Orange County.  Before joining Moulton Niguel, she served as the General Manager of Calaveras County Water District located in Northern California.  Joone’s prior experience includes working for Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company as its Assistant General Manager and serving as the Deputy General Manager of Central Basin Municipal Water District.

Joone is a Board Member of California WateReuse Association, California Water Data Consortium, Southern California Water Coalition, South Orange County Wastewater Authority, and WaterNow Alliance. Additionally, she serves on The Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, The Water Environment Federation’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, UC Irvine Water Leadership Board, The Smart Water Networks Forum Utility Advisory Group, BAYWORK Advisory Committee for its Digital Worker Initiative, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People California/Hawaii Executive Committee, The California State University, Fullerton Center for Real Estate Advisory Board, and The Korean American Coalition Board of Directors. She’s also a founding member of The California Data Collaborative, a non-profit representing 21 million Californians, focused on leveraging data and technology to enhance statewide water management policies.

In her personal time, Joone serves as a Board Member for Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Orange County & Inland Empire Chapter, Tilly’s Life Center, and United Way Orange County Leadership Council to End Homelessness.

Preceding her career in the water industry, Joone was a Police Officer for the City of Pasadena, where she received the Silver Medal of Courage for valor under fire. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the California State University of Northridge and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of California San Diego.

Diana Mahmud

Diana Mahmud

Councilmember, City of South Pasadena

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Councilmember Diana Mahmud was elected to the South Pasadena City Council in November 2013. She is the eighth woman to serve on the City Council. With her election, two women simultaneously serve on the City Council for only the second time in City history. Councilmember Mahmud obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UCLA, where she was elected undergraduate First Vice President. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from UC Davis. Councilmember Mahmud isretired from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), where she worked as a public works, contract and energy lawyer. Prior to that, she was employed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where she began her legal career as a criminal prosecutor. She later transferred to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she negotiated complex agreements and litigated large construction cases. Prior to her election, Councilmember Mahmud served as Chair of the Water Council and as a member of the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission. She is former Co-President of Women Involved in South Pasadena Political Action, and is a member of South Pasadena Beautiful, South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, Vecinos de South Pasadena, Friends of the Library, and local chapters of the League of Women Voters and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Councilmember Mahmud has volunteered in numerous community organizations during her twenty-five year residence in South Pasadena, and currently serves as a lector at Holy Family Church. In addition to serving as City Council liaison to several South Pasadena Commissions, Ms. Mahmud is Chair of the Clean Power Alliance, a joint powers authority consisting of the unincorporated area of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and 29 cities that will soon provide energy to their residents and businesses. She is also the City’s representative to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and represents the SGVCOG as its representative to the six county Southern California Association of Government’s Energy and Environment Committee. Diana is a member and immediate past Chair of the COG’s Water Policy Committee and member of its Transportation and Committee. Councilmember Mahmud is also one of 12 councilmembers from Los Angeles County who are working to address stormwater funding options. She also serves as a representative of the Arroyo Verdugo region on the League of California Cities – LA County Division’s Board of Directors. Councilmember Mahmud and her husband Richard Helgeson have raised four children in South Pasadena—Joe, John, Marisa and Matt Helgeson.

Tony Estremera

Tony Estremera

Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District

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 Tony began his tenure on Valley Water’s board in 1996, when he was appointed to fill out PatFerraro’s term after the District 2 representative resigned.

The following year, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed him to representthe North County. In 2001 and 2007 he served as the Board’s chairperson.

Tony has extensive government experience in both appointed and elected positions serving on theSanta Clara County Grand Jury, Santa Clara County Housing Task Force, Valley MedicalCenter Advisory Board, Santa Clara County Personnel Board, San Jose Municipal Stadium TaskForce, (San Jose) Mayor’s Committee on Minority Affairs and the San Jose/Evergreen CommunityCollege District Board of Trustees.

Tony is Directing Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, and earned his Bachelor’sdegree from Santa Clara University and a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.He is an active member of the State Bar of California and the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Correspondence to the Valley Water Board Members may be sent viae-mail to: board@valleywater.org.

Irais Lopez-Ortega

Irais Lopez-Ortega

Councilmember, City of Calistoga

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Irais Lopez-Ortega was appointed to Calistoga’s City Council in February 2013. In addition to serving as Councilmember, she represents the City of Calistoga on thefollowing Countywide Board and Commissions: Napa County Gang and Youth Violence Commission, Community Enrichment Grant Subcommittee and Youth Opportunities Commission.

Councilmember Lopez-Ortega is a member of California League of Cities’ Community Services Policy Committee and North BayNominating Committee. She has been an active participant of community workincluding involvement in the Class of 2005 Parent Leadership Institute (MALDEF),the Class of 2010 Alas (Alternative for Auto Sufficience) and the Women’s Initiative of the Bay Area. She has been a member of the Alzheimer Association, Calistoga Community Foundation, CalistogaSoroptimist Club, Mexican Independence Day Committee, 2016 WELL Design Team, and is a Board Member and Liaison of the Spanish Community. Additionally, she is the Founder and Director of the Casa De La Cultura (Children’s Art Program). She is a recipient of the 2006 Women’s Opportunity Award and the 2018 Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce “Women of the Year” award.

Carmen Ramirez

Carmen Ramirez

Supervisor, County of Ventura

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Carmen Ramirez has been a Ventura County Supervisor since 2020. Prior, she was an Oxnard City Councilmember since December 2010, having been elected to a second four-year term on the Oxnard City Council in November 2014.

Ms. Ramirez is active in the Volunteer Lawyers ServicesProgram Committee and the Lawyers’ Referral and Information Service Committee, and has been honored by numerous awards, including the Ben E. Nordman Public Service Award of the Ventura County Bar Association, Paul Harris Award of both the Ventura and Oxnard Rotary Clubs, and El Concilio Latino Leader award. In 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Ms. Maria Carmen Ramirez to the Commission on State Mandates. She also serves on numerous Oxnard City Council committees, including the Fiscal Policy Task Force, Homeless Task Force, Performing Arts and Convention Center Board, and the Transportation Policy Committee. Additionally, she represents Oxnard on the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, the Ventura County Animal Services Commission, and the Ventura County Continuum of Care commission. She is the elected representative to the Southern California Association of Governments, representing Oxnard, Camarillo and Port Hueneme, and now chairs the Energy and Environment Committee. She is also a Trustee for the Colleges of Law for Santa Barbara and Ventura, and serves on the Ventura County Community Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Ramirez is a graduate from the Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles. She has been a resident of Ventura County for the last 36 years, and has lived and worked in Oxnard since 1992.

Victor Griego

Victor Griego

President & Founder, WELL

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Victor Griego is the Founder and Board President of Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). In 2012, recognizing a deep need for an effective way to address California’s ongoing water crises, Mr. Griego brought together leaders across California to establish WELL, whose mission is to ensure that local Latino decision makers have a comprehensive understanding of water policy. Gaining this knowledge has allowed local authorities to be both participants and leaders in crafting sustainable and successful long-term water solutions that benefit their California constituents.

Additionally, Mr. Griego publishes the only Latino-owned and focused political newsletter mailed to 1.5 million voters during every California election cycle. It is the largest newsletter targeted to Latinos that provides news and information about candidates, propositions, and the concerns surrounding various political issues.

Mr. Griego also produces “LA Alliance,” a television program that provides an accurate representation of the relationship between Latinos and African Americans in Southern California; the show provides a forum for positive and constructive dialogue on their in-common issues and concerns.

Mr. Griego has served as staff director for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union. Over the past 30 years, he advised many California Labor Unions on community and political issues. Currently, he chairs the Miguel Contreras Community and Business Council. From 1996 until his death in 2005, Miguel Contreras led the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, transforming California’s electoral politics; the foundation continues his work.

Mr. Griego was recently recognized by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and the highly regarded California nonprofit Climate Resolve for his work with WELL. Mr. Griego grew up in the East Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights, and he is currently a resident of South Pasadena. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Whittier College and a Master of Arts in political science from Claremont Graduate University. He is married to Lily Griego; they have two children and two grandchildren.

Mr. Griego currently serves in the following organizations:

● Water Education For Latino Leaders (WELL) – Founder, President, Board of Directors ● Miguel Contreras Foundation – Vice President, Board of Directors ● AARP-CA – Member, Executive Council ● Climate Resolve – Member, Board of Directors ● MoveLA – Vice Chair, Advisory Board of Directors

Mr. Griego formerly served in the following organizations:

● Whittier College – Member, Board of Trustees ● Cesar Chavez Service Club – President, Board of Directors ● California State African-American Museum – Member, Board of Commissioners ● Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center – Member, Board of Directors ● Pasadena Chamber of Commerce – Treasurer, Board of Directors ● Banc of California – Member, Advisory Board ● Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce/Latin Business Association – Member ● Coalition for Clean Air – Treasurer, Board of Directors ● Coro – Member, Board of Directors ● South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Air Quality Institute – Member

Miguel Angel Luna

Miguel Angel Luna

President, Urban Semillas & Director, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern CA

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Miguel Luna is sought after and respected locally, regionally, and statewide for his expertise in working with diverse communities on social justice issues and advocacy, and for his ability to utilize community reconnaissance in order to develop and implement effective outreach tools and mechanisms for grass-roots coalition building and consensus. He specializes in cultivating relationships with and between community-based organizations, businesses, elected officials, environmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies, and individual stakeholders at the grass-roots level. His practice has a specific focus in fostering participation in planning efforts among people who might not have participated in the past, and moderating effectively among people who might anticipate little common ground.
Over the last two decades Mr. Luna has worked on issues and projects that have led to the augmentation of urban green space, bringing resources to underserved communities, and master planning projects at the city and regional level.

Gary Seratto

Gary Seratto

Former General Manager, Fresno Irrigation District

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Gary R. Serrato: is the former general manager of the Fresno Irrigation District. Mr. Serrato spent 34 years with the Fresno Irrigation District and has worked in the water industry for approximate 40 years. Mr. Serrato formerly served on the Boards of the Kings River Water Association, Friant Water Authority, and Fresno County Water Advisory Committee and was reappointed by Governor Brown to the California Partnership to the San Joaquin Valley for a second term. Mr. Serrato is a former Fowler City Councilman, a former Board Member of the Community Food Bank, Church Board and other various committees. 

Mr. Serrato graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business.