The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency announced the hiring of its new communications manager this week.
Kevin Strauss, former communications specialist with the city of Santa Clarita, is now moving from Santa Clarita City Hall to its Central Park, where the agency’s business offices sit at the top of a hill.
Strauss’ new duties include overseeing a team of 12 who conduct public outreach and education for SCV Water, the area’s full-service regional water agency that serves approximately 75,000 business and residential customers.
Strauss also is expected to handle employee engagement and legislative affairs, according to a news release from the agency.
He started his new role Monday, which will allow him to work alongside outgoing PIO Kathie Martin. Martin was hired by the agency In December 2017 as it was created with the merger of several local water districts and the Castaic Lake Water Agency.
“It is a great honor to join the incredible team at SCV Water and continue working for the residents and businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Strauss said. “Kathie is one of the top communicators in the state, and I look forward to learning from her during this transition.”
Martin is planning to retire June 15, according to SCV Water.
“I feel fortunate to have been with SCV Water since its inception on Jan. 1, 2018,” said Martin. “But as I retire, I know Kevin and the team will take our award-winning communication strategies to even greater heights.”
Strauss, who lives in Santa Clarita with his wife and two children, has been responsible for a number of award-winning communications in his career, the agency noted in the release announcing his hiring.
Strauss’ former work in the city’s Communications Division was recognized with the 2020 Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) for its response to the Tick Fire and Saugus High School shooting in 2019. He also garnered recognition for his work on the city’s Heads Up traffic safety campaign.
Prior to joining the city, Strauss worked in the Athletics Department at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for six years, first as an assistant sports information director before being promoted to assistant athletic director for digital marketing.