Dawn Smithson Selected as District Manager for Los Altos Service Area

Cal Water has selected its Bear Gulch District Manager Dawn Smithson to also lead the utility’s nearby Los Altos District. Smithson succeeds District Manager Ron Richardson, who retired June 30, after 35 years of service to the Los Altos community.

Smithson has been with Cal Water for 17 years and has extensive hands-on knowledge of water distribution, operations, and treatment systems. She started her Cal Water career as an engineer, then moved to operations as the Bear Gulch Local Manager in 2012, before being promoted to District Manager in 2015. Smithson has Water Treatment Grade Two and Water Distribution Grade Two certifications from the State Water Resources Control Board, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California. She also holds a bachelor’s of science from Olivet Nazarene University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from San Jose State University.

According to Vice President of Operations Mike Mares, Cal Water chose to have Smithson lead both districts to utilize employee resources as optimally as possible.

“Dawn brings her engineering background and extensive experience in water quality, operations, and community involvement in the Bay Area to our local operations in Los Altos,” said Mares. “She will evaluate optimization potential and operational resilience in these neighboring servicing areas and is the perfect choice to keep the system running smoothly. With Dawn at the helm, I am confident that our Los Altos District customers and community will continue to receive the quality, service, and value they have come to expect and deserve while under Ron’s leadership.

“We also thank Ron for his dedicated service to Cal Water and the Los Altos community over the past three-and-a-half decades, and we wish him the very best in his retirement,” Mares added.