CWC appreciates the many hours and dedication that all of our Board members, past and present, have contributed to CWC.
CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS
Albert Ko, (Member, July 2015 to Present)
Senior Vice President, Intuit and General Manager, Mint and Mint Bills
Al is a Senior Vice President at Intuit and the General Manager of Mint and Mint Bills. Previously, Al led the Product Management function within Intuit's Small Business Division - a group that includes the flagship Quickbooks offerings, payments, payroll, and all of the solutions that comprise the Quickbooks ecosystem worldwide. Areas of focus include increasing Intuit's footprint across the globe while accelerating Intuit's transition to the cloud. Prior to Intuit, Al was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, advising clients on strategy, organizational effectiveness, and supply chain management. His previous experience also includes positions in enterprise sales with Ariba Inc., a B2B software provider, and with McKinsey & Company, a management consultancy.
Ko holds B.A. in History and International Studies from Yale University where he was a member of the Yale Debate Association. He also holds a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.
Amy Vanderwarker, (Member, September 2016 to Present; President, May 2014 to Present and Member, 2008 to September 2016)
Co-Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA)
Amy is the Co-Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA). She leads CEJA's work on Green Zones Initiative, an effort to create statewide policies to help transform California's toxic hotspots into healthy communities.
She has over a decade of experience in the field of environmental justice and organizing. Prior to CEJA, she worked on water and environmental justice issues throughout California as a staff person at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and a consultant for the Community Water Center. She is a print-maker and a member of the San Francisco Print Collective and lives in Oakland, CA.
Bessma joined the board of the Community Water Center at the beginning of 2015, and has worked for a decade on issues that range from water resources, to environmental health, and to women’s rights. She is currently a Program Officer for Water at Skoll Global Threats Fund, where she works on water and climate security. Prior to joining Skoll, Bessma worked with the United Nations Environment Programme, research and writing on topics of natural resource management, conflict prevention, and peace building.
Bessma holds a M.S. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Genoveva Islas was born in Fresno, California and grew up in rural communities of the San Joaquin Valley. Her parents were farm laborers. She is the first in her family to attend college and graduate with an advanced degree. Genoveva holds a B.S. in Health Sciences with emphasis in Community Health from California State University, Fresno as well as an a MPH in Health Education and Promotion from Loma Linda University.
Genoveva’s experience in public health spans over 20 years in both public and private sectors. Currently, Genoveva is the Program Director of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP). CCROPP is dedicated to creating healthier communities in the San Joaquin Valley by creating greater access to healthy foods/beverages and increasing opportunities for physical activity. CCROPP efforts also focus on building community leadership so that residents can be more effective in advocating for change and becoming more civically engaged. Genoveva is the Board Chair for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, a board member of the California Food Policy Advocates, a board member for the California Institute for Rural Studies, a steering committee member for California Convergence and an advisory board member for various other organizations.
Graciela Martinez, (Member, April 2014, currently on temporary leave)
Community Activist and resident of Farmersville, California
Graciela Martinez is a truly inspirational community activist who has been a local leader within the farmworker movement for decades. She is a mom, retired non-profit executive, and trusted resource for farmworker families. Graciela retired as a Program Coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee, the same organization that created Self-Help Enterprises, where she was a board member for 10 years.
Graciela has also been involved with numerous organizations including, Proyecto Campesino, Advocacy Coalition of Tulare County for Women and Girls, and the Quaker Oaks Farms.
Laurel Firestone, (Member, 2008 to Present)
Co-Executive Director, Co-Founder, & Attorney at Law, Community Water Center
Laurel Firestone co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center. Laurel previously served as the Director of the Rural Poverty Water Project at the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment in Delano, California, under a 2004-06 Equal Justice Works Fellowship. Laurel was awarded the Gary Bellow Public Service Award by the Harvard Law School in 2013, awarded to one alumnus and one student each year. In 2010, she and her Co-Executive Director, Susana De Anda, were co-awarded the Carla Bard Advocacy Award from Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER), awarded to one water advocate in California each year. In 2009, she authored the comprehensive Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy.
She also served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007-2012, and Co-Chaired the Governor's Drinking Water Stakeholder Group. Laurel graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Brown University.
Omar Carrillo, (Member, August 2016 - present)
Richard Haberman, (Secretary, May 2014 to Present; Member, 2010 to Present)
Retired Regional Engineer for the California Department of Public Health
Richard Haberman is an engineer with more than 35 years of experience with the California Department of Public Health San Diego, Santa Rosa, San Bernardino, and Fresno district offices, and with almost all water suppliers and wastewater reclamation systems in these districts. He also has assisted in the oversight of water suppliers in Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Stockton, Bakersfield, and Richmond offices, which has provided him with insight into the various problems faced by all types of water systems in the state of California. Rich retired from State in December 2009 as Supervising Sanitary Engineer responsible for 5 Districts covering the San Joaquin Valley.
Rich is a member of professional associations including American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Water Works Association. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa.
Susana De Anda, (Member, 2008 to Present)
Co-Executive Director and Co-founder, Community Water Center
Susana De Anda co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center. Susana is a seasoned community organizer and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including: the 2009 Petra Foundation Fellowship award; “150 Fearless Women in the World” by Newsweek Magazine (2012); “Women on Top – Top Activist” by Marie Claire magazine (2012); AOL sponsored PBS 3-part series titled, Makers: Women Who Have Shaped America (2012); and “Las Fabulosas” and “Inspiring Latinas” by Powerful Latinas (2011). In addition, Jill Iscol’s book, Hearts on Fire, features a chapter on Susana De Anda and CWC (2011).
Susana’s experience includes planning and organizing positions at the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment; the County of Merced Planning Department; the Santa Barbara County Water Agency; and the Santa Barbara non-profit Community Environmental Council. Susana earned a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara while completing a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography. Susana served for the past few years on the Community Funding Board of the Grassroots Fund through the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and now serves on the Tulare County Water Commission and the Board of Directors of the Tulare County United Way.
PAST BOARD MEMBERS
Jack Daniel (deceased)