After 36 years in engineering, utility operations and management, Jeanne-Marie Bruno, President of Liberty Utilities California, retired on October 20, 2017. Bruno spent the last half of her career with Liberty Utilities (formerly Park Water Company), and her warmth, positive attitude, honesty and patience made her an ideal leader. In addition to leading Liberty Utilities California, she had leadership roles in the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association, where she served as Section Chair, National Director and Water Utility Council Member. Bruno also served as a Director for the Central Basin Water Association and was a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council. She also served as an officer of the California Water Association and was active in the Association of California Water Agencies.

Bruno and her husband have two children, and she is looking forward to spending more time with her family, giving back to her community and pursuing her hobbies. CWA congratulates Bruno on her long service to the industry and on her retirement. She will be missed.

Liberty Utilities recently hired three new employees at various locations in California. Frank Heldman took the helm as Director of Operations in late September, responsible for managing the Liberty Park Water Distribution, Field Services and Production groups. With 30 years of water experience in progressively significant leadership roles, Heldman previously served as Water Utility Manager with the City of Monterey Park. Prior to that time, he worked at Golden State Water Company for more than 12 years as a Water Supply Superintendent and an Assistant and Interim District Manager. Heldman has D5 and T4 certifications, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

In late August, Alison Vai assumed the position of Program Manager, Communications and Media Relations at Liberty’s Downey location. She will be focusing on public relations and community outreach efforts as well as organizing Liberty Day events and managing Liberty’s website and social media platforms. Vai has an extensive background in marketing, communications, community outreach, project management, strategic planning and problem solving. She recently served as Community Engagement Coordinator for the Pasadena Unified School District where she also worked as Marketing Manager and Director of Development. Vai earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Education.

Sarah Rae accepted the position of Liberty’s Water Conservation Coordinator and joined the company’s Downey office, also starting in late September. She previously worked at the Municipal Water District of Orange County on water conservation, efficiency programs and public outreach. Rae earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from California State University, Long Beach, where she gained insights into environmental law, policy, economics, biological statistics and geographic information science.

Jeanne-Marie Bruno

Frank Heldman

Alison Vai

Sarah Rae
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