Skip links

CAAWEF Board of Directors

CAAWEF Officers

Gwen Moore

Chairwoman

Gwen Moore is founder and President /CEO of GeM Communications Group.  Prior to founding GeM, Ms. Moore distinguished herself as a member of the California Assembly for 16 productive years.  She served in Assembly leadership as Majority Whip.  She gained a national reputation as Chair of the prestigious Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee which had jurisdiction over the California cable television industry, emerging business enterprises, international trade and tourism, California ports, tucking issues, and all investor-owned utilities including water, telecommunications, and energy.

During her tenure in office, she was a member of every major Assembly committee:  Revenue and Taxation, Finance and Insurance, Education, Governmental Organization, and Higher Education, Public Employees and Retirement, Health, Public Safety, Government Efficiency and Consumer Affairs, and Housing.

As an Assemblywoman, Gwen Moore developed legislative and political strategies on a variety of issues encompassing diversity in procurement, taxation and international trade, consumer affairs, business and labor issues and consumer protection. She had over 400 bills signed into law. Her Assembly Bill that continues to govern the way Utilities do business with diverse businesses has generated billions of dollars in contracts for Women, Minorities and  Disabled Veteran Business enterprises. Her reputation as a problem solver and coalition builder had led to her appointments on numerous committees, and commissions.

She is a member of the National Board of the NAACP. She is 1st Vice President of the California State Conference of the NAACP. She also serves as Co-Vice Chair, Ca Utility Diversity Council and Chairman of the board of LA Black Business Association.  She serves on numerous local and national boards including among others California Small Business Association. She is a past appointee to the California State Bar of Governors. Serves now as a corporate member of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women and LA African American Women’s Political Policy Institute.

Enrico (Rick) Callender (Esq.)

Vice Chairman

Attorney Rick Callender is Chief of External Affairs, Santa Clara Valley Water District. Based in San Jose, Valley Water is one of the largest urban water agencies in California. They provide wholesale water and flood protection for 2 million people in 15 cities in Santa Clara County. As a senior executive at Valley Water, Callender is responsible for the federal, state, local government and media relations for the company. A campaign strategist, Callender has lead several successful water ballot measures including Measure B, a campaign for Clean, Safe Creeks in Santa Clara Valley. The countywide effort targeted over 500,000 voters and raised over $375 million dollars for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. A former Special Assistant to the Mayor of San Jose, Callender is active in South Bay Peninsula issues. He is the Immediate past chair, Public Relations Society of America, Public Affairs and Government Section and President, San Jose Chapter, NAACP. Callender, has an Engineer Degree, California State University Chico; Master’s Degree, Public Administration, San Jose State and Law Degree, Northwestern California University School of Law.

Carolyn Veal Hunter (Esq.)

Secretary/Treasurer

Carolyn J. Veal-Hunter is a Governmental Advocate with the lobbying firm of Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates. Carolyn has over 25 years of legislative, legal and management experience. Prior to starting her lobbying career, she was an insider at the California State Assembly as the Chief Consultant to the Utilities and Commerce Committee providing regulatory oversight of the state’s largest electric, gas and telephone companies.

Carolyn has an in-depth understanding of state government and represents clients before the California Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Insurance, and the Board of Equalization. Carolyn has a broad policy background in procurement services including having served as the Regional Counsel and Manager for Cordoba Corporation, a technical consulting firm as well as a Manager in the Government Consulting Services Practice of KPMG Peat Marwick.

Carolyn started her lobbying career as the Director of Government Affairs for AT&T. At Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, she has served as the key lobbyist for companies such as SBC, Pacific Gas and Electric, California State University System, DirectTV, DISH Network, BMW North America, Verizon Wireless and Verizon Communications.

A licensed attorney, Carolyn has served as General Counsel for the Black American Political Association (BAPAC) and the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women). Carolyn is also a Charter Member of Future PAC, has served as President of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and is currently serving as Treasurer to the California State Conference of the NAACP and is on the Board of the Greater Sacramento Urban League. She hold an Undergraduate Degree from UC San Diego and Law Degree from UCLA Law School.

CAAWEF Board Members

Gloria D. Gray

Board Member

Gloria D. Gray, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). She is the first African American to lead the MWD Board and only the second woman to do so in the District’s 90-year history. MWD is the nation’s largest supplier of drinking water and has been a leader in initiatives and innovation to support water quality and reliability, sound planning, fiscal integrity, climate change, stewardship and diversity. Headquartered in Los Angeles, MWD delivers water to its 26 member public agencies comprised of 14 cities, 11 municipal water districts and one county water authority serving 19 million people. Gray is also an elected representative and Board President of West Basin Municipal Water District. Located in Carson, West Basin serves the water supply needs of the South Bay Region of Los Angeles County. Gray represents District 2, which includes the city of Inglewood and the communities of South Ladera Heights, Lennox and Athens. She is the first African American woman elected to the West Basin Board in its 65-year history. Gray also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies and previously was a state assembly appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council. A long-time Inglewood resident, Gray is the former President of the Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education. She has been honored with numerous awards and recognition for exemplary leadership and service. A graduate of the University of Redlands, Gray is a retired health care administrator for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and has been a proud member of SEIU Local 721 for more than 30 years.

Robert Luke

Board Member

Robert Luke, Managing Director, Strategic Global Marketing Group, a full service marketing company, managing the export business for U.S. based companies. Current clients include Straight Arrow Products, Bio Creative Enterprises and Levlad (Nature’s Gate). Market coverage spans 58 countries including the U.S. Based in Sacramento, Luke has more than 30 years’ experience with business start-ups and corporate acquisitions. He started his career with Johnson and Johnson Company and segued to marketing with the Clorox Company. Luke has a strong history of brand building for major US companies and a portfolio of accomplishments including the launch of Coors Light Beer, and the development of the award winning “Silver Bullet” campaign. Luke is on the Board of Directors, Future Foundation of Sacramento and former Chair, University of California Library Associates Board. He also served on the San Francisco Produce Association Board. The armed forces veteran attended Law School at the University of San Francisco, BA Degree, University of California Davis and Master’s Degree, California State University, Hayward.

Jasmin Hall

Board Member

Jasmin Hall, Vice President, Board of Directors, Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA). Recently re-elected, Hall represents Division 4 which include a large portion of the City of Fontana, the City of Rialto and the Bloomington area in San Bernardino County. She is the Chair, IEUA, Finance and Administration Committee and the Community and Legislative Affairs Committee. She is the Agency’s representative to the California Special Districts Association, Association of California Water Agencies and the Chino Basin Desalter Authority. In addition, Hall is the President, Chino Basin Regional Financing Authority. The Inland Empire Utilities Agency is a water wholesaler and regional wastewater treatment agency. Based in Chino, IEUA provides water service to more than 800,000 people in the rapidly growing San Bernardino County, Riverside County Inland Empire Area. Director Hall, created the innovative process that earned Inland Empire Utilities Agency the Special District Leadership Foundation’s Award for Excellence. Hall is a former City of Fontana, Planning Commissioner and Chairwoman, Fontana, Parks and Recreation Commission. The San Bernardino community leader holds an MBA Business Degree, National University at San Diego.

Emma Maxey

Board Member

Emma Maxey, Retired, Supplier Diversity Manager, Golden State Water Company (GSWC). Maxey led the implementation and management of GSWC’s Supplier Diversity program in compliance with the goals of the California Public Utilities Commission. Under her leadership, the company greatly increased the number of small, minority, women and disabled veteran business partners. As an investor owned water utility, the company is under the jurisdiction of the CPUC. Located in San Dimas, Golden State Water Company is a subsidiary of American State water Company, one of the largest private water service companies in the country. They provide water service to about 250,000 customers in Northern, Coastal and Southern California. They also distribute electricity to more than 25,000 customers in the Big Bear recreational area of California. The University of Redlands graduate is active with business and elected leaders in the Greater Los Angeles area, and is a strong advocate for the Los Angeles African American Women Political Policy Institute. An excellent speaker, Maxey serves on the Advisory Councils for many Community Based Organizations and she speaks at panels, workshops and hearings around the state.

Harold Williams

Board Member

Harold Williams, Vice President, Board of Directors, West Basin Water District. Williams was first elected to the West Basin Board in 2014. He represents Division 1, the Cities of Carson, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates and the unincorporated Los Angeles County areas of Rancho Dominguez. He is Chair, West Basin Board, Engineering and Operations Committee. He was appointed by his colleagues to serve as one of two West Basin representatives on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board of directors. He is also a board member of the National Water Research Institute and CalDesal Executive Committee. Williams has been a California registered civil engineer for 40 years. Throughout his career, he served as City Engineer or Director, Public Works for the cities of Gardena, Carson, Hermosa Beach and Lawndale. A long time Carson resident and community leader, Williams was elected to the Carson City Council in 2004 and represented the South Bay City on the Board of Directors, California League of Cities. An active member of the professional community, Williams served as the President, Southern California Chapter, American Public Works Association and President City/County Engineers Association. He earned Civil Engineer Degree, California State University, and Long Beach.

Steve Welch

Board Member

Steve Welch, Contra Costa Water District (CCWD). Welch was appointed General Manager in December 2019. Based in Concord, he leads a staff of about 300 people and budget close to $360 million dollars. His 30 years of experience includes planning, design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of water systems for urban and industrial service area. Welch has a strong track record of success in completing over $1 billion in projects and programs on schedule and on budget. Formed in 1936 to provide water for irrigation and industry, CCWD is now one of the largest urban water districts in California. They are a leader in drinking water treatment technology and source water protection. CCWD delivers drinking water to approximately 500,000 people in eastern Contra Costa County in Northern California. Welch is a registered Civil and Structural Engineer and he holds both a BA and MBA degree from University of California at Berkeley. A native of Martinez, Welch is active in a number of local community organizations in the East Bay. Prior to joining CCWD, Welch was an engineer with the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Dale R. Hunter

Executive Director

Dale R. Hunter is the Executive Director, California African American Water Education Foundation (CAAWEF). He reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the strategic direction, fundraising and overall management of the 501 c3, nonprofit water education organization. The new group is based in Sacramento. The Executive Director is also President, The Hunter Group (THG), a government relations consulting firm focused on water issues. Prior to starting his own firm, Hunter was Director, State Government Relations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Under his leadership, PG&E successfully completed the largest groundwater clean-up project in the 100 year history of the San Francisco based utility. He also served as State Legislative Director, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Located in Los Angeles, MWD is the largest water agency in the United States. They are a regional wholesaler that delivers water to 26 Member Public Agencies, 14 Cities, 11 Municipal Water Districts and one County Water Authority. Close to 19 million people are in the MWD service territory. A former CORO Fellow, Hunter also completed the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University. The former news reporter received a degree in Journalism, University of Northern Colorado (Greeley).