June 20, 2012

SMWD Board of Directors Selects Chief Engineer Dan Ferons as New General Manager

Successor to Ensure Continued Strong Leadership and Innovation

To ensure continued strong leadership and innovation in providing customers with a safe and reliable water supply, the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board of Directors selected an experienced and capable new leader, Dan Ferons, SMWD’s Chief Engineer, to replace retiring General Manager John Schatz, Board President Bill Lawson announced today.

Schatz announced his retirement in April, after more than 35 years of public service in the water industry. Ferons will take the reins on June 30, immediately after Schatz’s June 29 retirement.

“We were sorry to see John retire because he has provided such strong leadership for the District and accomplished so much,” said Board President Lawson. “But we are extremely pleased to be able to name such an experienced and accomplished successor. Dan will provide strong leadership for the District and ensure SMWD will continue to be one of the most efficient and well-run water districts in Southern California. Dan has more than a quarter century of experience at SMWD and a proven track record of developing, managing and completing major projects that have greatly enhanced water reliability for the District’s 155,000 customers.”

Ferons said he is looking forward to working with the Board and the District’s staff to effectively manage all the challenges of providing a safe, high-quality and reliable water supply.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to lead the District and continue my work with the Board and SMWD’s outstanding staff,” said Ferons. “This is an exceptional agency with a history of innovation, and I have been proud to be a part of its success for the past 26 years.  I look forward to building on the strong foundation John created to ensure SMWD will continue to effectively meet the needs of its customers.”

Ferons joined SMWD in 1986, after working with several engineering consulting firms and being involved in the design of public works and the preparation of development plans throughout Southern California.  He has served as SMWD’s Chief Engineer since 1994.

In that job, he has been responsible for the District’s annual budget and its major capital improvement projects, including the creation of the Upper Chiquita Reservoir, the largest domestic water reservoir built in south Orange County in 45 years. He is skilled at creating cost-effective solutions for water and wastewater issues and has adroitly developed and managed programs to enhance community input. In addition, he has successfully negotiated agreements with contractors, resource agencies and major stakeholders in the community.

Ferons holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and is a registered professional civil engineer in California.  He is an active member of the Orange County Water Association, American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.

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