For the second time in 2018, three California Water Association (CWA) member companies received an award from a veteran-focused organization for their procurement of goods and services from Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE). The prestigious Above & Beyond Corporation of the Year Award, presented by the Veterans In Business (VIB) Network at its 2nd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, honored the positive impact California American Water (Cal Am), California Water Service (Cal Water), and Golden State Water (Golden State) made in the veteran business community. The three utilities previously were honored in May by the U.S. Veteran Business Alliance for their expenditures with DVBE in 2017.

(L-R): Danny Rodriguez, Liberty Utilities, Supervisor, Building Services; Edward A. Simon II, Director, Business Performance and Supplier Diversity, Cal Am; Emma Maxey, Supplier Diversity Manager, Golden State; Jose G. Espinoza, Supplier Diversity Program Manager, Cal Water; Jeanette Diaz, Supplier Diversity Program Coordinator, San Gabriel Valley Water Company. CWA Diversity Program team members not pictured: Lauren James, Communications Manager, Suburban Water Systems; Timothy McLaughlin, Manager, Supplier Diversity & Community Involvement, San Jose Water; and Keith Switzer, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Golden State Water Company.
2008 Winners of the VIB Network’s Above & Beyond Awards

The VIB Network awards committee selected winners based on the nominees’ expenditure levels, inclusion programs, and outreach efforts with consideration for how close they came to achieving the 1.5 percent goal established by the California Public Utilities Commission’s General Order 156 for procuring goods and services from DVBE. All three utilities exceeded that expenditure goal in 2017 with Cal Am at 6.52 percent, Cal Water at 2.75 percent, and Golden State at 1.53 percent. Both Cal Am and Golden State met or surpassed their DVBE goals two years in a row, a testament to their advocacy efforts and success.

The awards committee also acknowledged the successful inclusion of diverse suppliers through Cal Water’s Procurement Policy and CWA’s Meet the Primes Events and Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Programs, which partnered with Minority Business Development Agencies in San Jose, Fresno, and Los Angeles.

“We’re proud to earn this second veteran-focused award,” said Jose Espinoza, Supplier Diversity Program Manager for Cal Water who accepted the award on CWA’s behalf. “CWA member companies remain committed to opening contracting opportunities for those who serve our nation.”

The bronze Above & Beyond Award was created by VetArt, a nonprofit organization offering programs where veterans and active duty military can create and connect through art.

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