Dear Chapter 1 Members,

I am honored to be your outgoing President and I want to acknowledge the leadership provided by this years’ Executive Board, President-Elect Janelle Parra, SR/WA, R/W-AMC, Treasurer Julie Del Rivo, and Secretary Neidy Pinuelas, SR/WA, R/W-RAC, R/W-URAC. Thank you for helping me navigate so many obstacles, tolerating (and responding) to my late-night texts and emails, and of course stepping up. As you transition into your new roles as President, President-elect, and Treasurer, respectively, and have already started implementing changes, I know that this upcoming year will be amazing. I am also so excited to welcome the incoming Secretary, Alana Edwards, who has served as the Chapter’s Education Chair. With the enthusiasm and dedication of this Executive Board, I am certain that the Chapter’s success will continue for many years to come.

I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the all the volunteers that collectively make up the Chapter’s Board of Directors and Committee Chairs. Without you, the events, newsletters, membership applications, course offerings, and professional guidance would not be possible. Elizabeth Andrew has said that “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart,” and this phrase personifies each and every one of you. The countless hours and effort that our Board and Chairs have demonstrated is enormous and the success of the Chapter is not possible without all of the voluntary commitments.

We started off our events this year with William Larsen, SR/WA chairing the Past President’s Luncheon where six past Presidents attended and shared their experiences and advice to our members. The stories of how or why they got involved all had a similar theme including a call for action and accepting the challenge. Thank you for your attendance, invaluable insights, and continued dedication and commitment.

In February, we celebrated the Chapter’s 90th Anniversary which finally brought this year’s entire Executive Board for the very first time!! William Larsen, SR/WA who chaired the event, invited Joyce Riggs to share the Chapter’s history followed by a presentation of partial valuations of easements (and a haunted tree). The members who attended all enjoyed the topic!

In May, Janelle Parra, SR/WA, R/W-NAC and Alana Edwards attended the Region 1 Forum in Las Vegas, NV on behalf of the Chapter and was able to connect with those from various chapters making up Region 1. They learned about all the matters that will affect Region 1, submitted the Chapter’s newsletters for nominations, and were able to be present for the awards. Also, we learned that our very own Ray Mehler, SR/WA, PMP is interested in serving as IRWA’s next International Secretary.  On behalf of Chapter 1, we endorse you Ray!

The 70th International Education Conference in Long Beach from June 23-26 is finally here!! Chair Artin Shaverdian, along with the entire Planning Committee have worked tirelessly in coordinating this event with Headquarters and are looking forward to hosting and representing the Chapter. There are so many sessions and topics that look interesting but I’m most excited to get on a boat to see the Wilmington Oil Field followed by a visit to learn about Pure Water Southern California, the innovative regional recycling initiative by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The silent and live auctions at the Monday Night Event at the Long Beach Aquarium will be fundraising for the Right of Way International Education Fund followed by The Spazmatics performing at the closing gala on Wednesday.

Finally, as this fiscal year ends, I’d like to report that Chapter 1 has achieved a membership retention rate of 90% and have welcomed new members. The accolades belong to the entire Chapter, both past and present.  It’s amazing to know that we were the founding Chapter for IRWA and over the past 90 years, the association has grown to include over 7,000 professionals from 15 countries. As we embark and continue in our efforts, please know that we have elevated, and continue to elevate, all right of way professionals to make a powerful difference in our communities.


With Gratitude,

Alexandra Nguyen Rivera, SR/WA, R/W-NAC