The Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) Commission unanimously selected Teresa Herrera as manager, succeeding Daniel T. Child, who retired from public service and has begun his own wastewater consultancy business.
Herrera becomes the third manager in SVCW’s nearly 50-year history following Child and James Bewley, and the first woman to fill the post. She joined SVCW in March 2008 as plant engineer to create its first engineering department and implement its then $339 million Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
In 2012, she was promoted to assistant manager/Authority engineer, broadening responsibilities to include Information Services, Safety, and Administrative Services Divisions, and continuing to oversee a now $833 million CIP and $2 million annual operating budget. In 2016 her position was reclassified to assistant manager/chief engineering officer with broader responsibilities for SVCW’s Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade program (RESCU).
SVCW Commission Chairman John Seybert said “our Board is delighted to unanimously appoint Teresa as manager. Teresa’s background in private-sector leadership, and her years at SVCW as the assistant manager and chief engineering officer, have prepared her well to lead the organization into the future. We are excited for Teresa’s leadership and completely confident she will provide excellent leadership and build on the already great reputation SVCW has in the community and industry.”
Following her earning a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1988 from University of California at Davis (preceded by her B.S. in civil engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Herrera launched a nearly 20-year period with Whitley Burchett & Associates in Walnut Creek before joining SVCW in 2008. WBA (since merged with another company) was a civil/environmental consulting business whose clients included wastewater and water public agencies. She started as an entry-level engineer and worked her way up to serving as company president from 2001 to 2008. She was responsible for business development, company growth and management, and employee development.
Herrera has been an award-winning participant in several professional affiliations. She has served as a board member of the California Water Environmental Association’s (CWEA) San Francisco Bay Section, California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), Society of Women Engineers’ Mt. Diablo Section, Cal Poly Industrial Advisory Board, and Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.
She is a recipient of the Al Ditman Professional Development Award that recognizes an individual who has greatly contributed to the professional development of CWEA San Francisco Bay section members. She also is a recipient of the CWEA 5-S Shovel award that recognizes individuals active in protecting the water environment through participation in local, state, and/or federal sponsored activities. The Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) is used by water environment associations to honor those who have contributed to the industry.
“I am grateful to the SVCW Commission for its confidence in me,” Herrera said. “My major focus over the past 10 years and now continuing forward has been improvements and replacement of SVCW’s aging and failing infrastructure and resource recovery in the form of water and energy.
“As manager my focus is maintaining strong leadership and mentorship within SVCW, ensuring success with the Agency’s RESCU program, and maintaining positive relationships with SVCW’s member agencies, Commission, and our 220,000 customers.”