SCV Water seats 2023 board leadership, celebrates fifth anniversary

SCV Water logo
SCV Water Agency logo. Courtesy

 News release 

Gary Martin has been re-elected by the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency board of directors to serve as board president for another two-year term. Maria Gutzeit and Piotr Orzechowski were selected to serve as vice presidents.

The trio will lead the agency in 2023 as it continues to build upon the foundation of success from its formation five years ago, the agency said in a prepared statement. 

“Our customers, and meeting our water supply obligations to them, is our top priority. Through the diligent efforts of our team at SCV Water, we’ve been able to deliver on that promise in these first five years of operation,” Martin said in the statement. “We’ve also made transparency a priority, offering more ways for customers to ask questions, find solutions and learn about their water service. We’ve taken great strides to provide a best-in-class customer care experience with a unified billing platform, central customer care location, and expanded bill pay methods, which is available to our customers 24/7.” 

Martin was a member of the inaugural SCV Water board of directors. He served as a board vice president in 2019 and as the board president since January 2021. Prior to serving on the SCV Water board, he served on the Castaic Lake Water Agency board of directors for five years after retiring from a 19-year career at the Mojave Water Agency. 

“We’ve also established a unified voice for our groundwater basin with the development of the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency,” Gutzeit said in the statement. “As part of our ‘one watershed’ approach, we’ve laid a strong foundation that will move us toward more sustainable water resources and operations, which will benefit our valley for generations to come.” 

Gutzeit was re-elected to the SCV Water board in November after filling a Division 3 vacancy since May. She is also a chemical engineer with more than 30 years of experience in environmental compliance. Prior to her current service, Gutzeit was a member of the inaugural SCV Water board of directors and served as a board vice president from 2018 through 2020. Prior to that, she served on the Newhall County Water District board from 2003 to 2018. 

Orzechowski joined the SCV Water board in January 2021 and has served as board vice president since June 2022.  

“I joined the board as many planning efforts were underway to enhance water reliability, environmental sustainability and delivery in the valley,” Orzechowski said in the statement. “A unified agency allowed us to tackle these watershed-wise challenges with a single voice.”  

In addition to serving on the SCV Water board, he is an environmental water programs manager for Holland America Group (serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia), ensuring vessels follow compliance standards and laws for wastewater treatment and discharge. 

SCV Water’s five-year anniversary 

“In our first five years as the SCV’s full-service regional water agency, we’ve been put to the test and have shown our resiliency,” said Martin. “We’ve navigated challenges of both the expected and unexpected varieties and are better prepared to face what comes our way in the future. And through it all, we will remain committed to serving our community and providing safe, reliable water at a reasonable cost.” 

The SCV Water board meets on the first and third Tuesdays each month at 6 p.m. All board meetings are open to the public and are conducted in-person at the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant Boardroom, with phone and Zoom webinar options offered as a convenience to the public. 

Gary Martin
Maria Gutzeit
Piotr Orzechowski

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