Simon Bluestone, Board Treasurer
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.
Greg Devereaux is a Partner with Worthington Partners, LLC in Chino, CA. He previously 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.
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.
Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and Chicana/o studies, is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. He has served on standing commissions, blue ribbon committees, and ad hoc task forces for the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, and regional bodies in Southern California. He is a source for the media at the local, national and international level and has published in the area of state and local government and urban and ethnic politics.
Fernando received his Bachelors degree in Undergraduate Studies from USC and a Masters & Doctorate from the University of Michigan in Political Science.
Hasan Ikhrata is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), a position he has held since January 2008. SCAG is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. He has over 28 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.
Susan Longville, Board Vice-President
Susan Lien Longville was elected to the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves as Board President. Susan is also the Chair of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA). 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.
Seth is a partner in the Municipal Law practice group and heads the Public-Private Partnership group at Best Best & Krieger LLP. He has 20 years of experience working on the structuring, risk identification and transfer, and legal matters on public-private partnership transactions, and has extensive experience in infrastructure projects. He is a frequent speaker at local, state and national conferences on P3 topics and has written extensively on the topic for state and national publications.
Prior to joining BB&K in 2010, Seth was a shareholder with McDonough Holland & Allen in Sacramento. He served as contract city attorney for the City of Marysville, and was appointed Planning Commissioner in Yolo County. Seth is a member of the Urban Land Institute, serving as part of the leadership of the LA District Council and has served on the national ULI Residential Neighborhood Development Product Council. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law and his BA from UC Davis.
Felix Oduyemi is the Executive Vice President of Caleb-Inland Energy Nigeria Ltd., a new Special Purpose Entity created specifically for the purpose of developing, constructing, owning and operating electric power generating plants in Nigeria. He recently retired as Manager of External Engagement for Transportation Electrification Policy and Strategy at Southern California Edison where his responsibilities included policy development for transportation electrification, vehicle-grid integration, smart grid, and renewable integration. In addition, he managed the department’s relationships with key local, state and federal governmental agencies and policy leaders.
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.
Jan Perry is General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), leading an agency of 130 employees. Mayor Eric Garcetti selected her to run EWDD shortly after his election in July 2013. EWDD provides a broad range of programs offering assistance to business, job seekers and disconnected youth. All of EWDD’s programs are designed to help build local business and strengthen the workforce.
Jan is a former 9th District City Councilmember representing Downtown, Little Tokyo and south LA. during her time in office, she led catalytic projects such as LA Live, Our Lady of Angeles Cathedral and the new Police Administrative Building. Her leadership over the decade brought in $15 million in investment, $40 million in new tax revenue for the City of LA and 90,000 full-time jobs. Jan earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master’s degree in public administration from USC.
Dr. Nancy Steele serves as the Executive Director for the Friends of the Verde River in Arizona. In addition she has served on the board of the Marine Conservation Research Institute, co-founded the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy 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.
Previously 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.
Jose Vera is a Managing Director with Stifel, a full-service wealth management and investment banking firm. Over his investment banking career, he has negotiated the sale of over $4.5 billion of municipal bonds for public agencies in California and Nevada. Jose’s 15 years of public financing experience includes land-secured / development finance, utility enterprise revenue finance, general obligation bonds, and lease revenue financings for cities, counties and special districts.
Jose is a Paul Harris Fellow and the President-Elect of the Rotary Club of LA, one of the largest community service clubs in the U.S. He earned his B.S degree in Economics and a Minor in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bev Perry, Executive Director & Board Secretary
Bev Perry serves as a civic engagement consultant for public and private organizations, primarily in the field of strategic planning. 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 SCAG 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 BS from the University of the Pacific in Geology and an MSEd from USC in Counseling/Higher Ed.
Mark Pisano, Senior Advisor & Board President
Mark Pisano is the Senior Advisor and President of the Infrastructure Funding 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.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
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.
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.
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.