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Issue #2022-2023, Q4
May 22, 2023
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April C. Harvey, President

President's Message

Greetings all,

Chapter 1 is strong because of the leaders who perform the tasks of:
  • Maintaining existing memberships
  • Adding new members
  • Developing future leaders and young professionals
  • Newsletter contributions
  • Coordinating education courses and certifications
  • Maintaining professional development
  • Awarding scholarships
  • Communicating and planning events
  • Website maintenance by Raven Developments and eblasts
  • Luncheons
  • Seminars and continuing the advancement of our Chapter
I personally want to thank Chapter Members, Committee Chairs and the Board of Directors listed below for their dedication, volunteer efforts and commitment to Chapter 1 throughout the years.

Congratulations In-Coming Board!

President: Alexandra Nguyen-Rivera, SR/WA, R/W-NAC
International Voting Director 1 Year: Alexandra Nguyen-Rivera, SR/WA, R/W-NAC
President Elect: Janelle Parra, SR/WA, R/W-AMC
International Voting Director 2 Year: Janelle Parra, SR/WA, R/W-AMC
Treasurer: Julie Del Rivo
Secretary: Neidy Pinuelas, SR/WA, R/W-RAC, R/W-URAC
PDC Chair: Cheryl DeMucci, SR/WA, Paragon Partners Ltd

Congratulations to the Chapter 1
Region Professional of the Year!

Craig Justesen, Nominations and Elections Chair

Noel West

The Chapter and Region wishes you continued success in all of your endeavors.

Keep up the good work with your enthusiasm, devotion and discipline.

Congratulations to you for all your hard work and achievements.
We look forward to your continued growth.

Congratulations to the Chapter 1,
2022-2023 award recipients!

Craig Justesen, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair

IRWA Chapter 1 Past President Award
Recipient: April Harvey, SR/WA

IRWA Chapter 1 Large Employer of the Year Award
Recipient: Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

IRWA Chapter 1 Small Employer of the Year Award
Recipient: CBRE- Encino former Integra

IRWA Chapter 1 Two Professionals of the Year Award
Recipient: Neidy Pinuelas, CRWIII, SR/WA, R/W-RAC
Recipient: Alana Edwards

IRWA Chapter 1 Young Professional of the Year Award
Recipient: Diana Kwan

Courses for February – July 2023

By: Alana Edwards

3/31/2023 – C102 Elevating Your Ethical Awareness – Instructor, Connor McDonald
4/17/2023 – C400 Principles of Real Estate Appraisal – Instructor, Larry Castellanos (In Person Class - Location TBD)
5/18/2023 – C203 Alternative Dispute Resolution – Instructor, Stephen Kiley
6/1/2023 – C603 Understanding Environmental Contamination in Real Estate – Instructor Fred Walasavage
7/20/2023 – C201 Communication in Real Estate Acquisition – Instructor, Stephen Kiley
8/10/2023 – C900 Principles of Real Estate Engineering, Instructor, Laura Slye

If you are interested in becoming a Course Coordinator or being part of the Education Committee, please reach out.


The Education committee is in need of more Course Coordinators.

Benefits of being a Course Coordinator:
• It takes only half an hour to become certified.
• You take any courses you coordinate at no cost.
• Great way to pick up classes for your designations.
• Excellent opportunity to network and meet IRWA members from other chapters.

Event Sponsor

On behalf of IRWA Chapter 1 Board of Directors, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your generous sponsorship.

Your contribution has enabled us to host the Annual Valuation Seminar and we are extremely thankful.

Your support is greatly appreciated and we can only hope that you continue to be part of our cause in the future.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Chapter 1 Board of Directors and its members

Thank you to the Long Beach 2024 Annual Conference Committee Volunteers:

The group currently consists of the following volunteers:
  1. Artin Shaverdian– (Nossaman), Education Conference co-chair (Chapter 1)
  2. David Graeler- (Nossaman), Education Conference co-chair (Chapter 1)
  3. Alexandra Nguyen-Rivera, LA County, (Chapter 1 President Elect)
  4. Janelle Parra, City of LA, (Chapter 1 Treasurer)
  5. Alana Edwards, So Cal Gas (Chapter 1 Education Chair)
  6. April Harvey, OPC-TranSystems (Chapter 1 President)
  7. Maya Hamouie- Nossaman (Chapter 1, Young Professionals Chair)
  8. Mary Torres, City of Long Beach
  9. Amy Betonte, OPC-TranSytems
  10. Neidy Pinuelas, Caltrans (Chapter 1 PDC Chair)
  11. Rudy Romo, City of Irvine (Chapter 67 President)
  12. Hector Casillas, RCTC, (Chapter 57 President)
Save The Date

Annual Conference 2023 Location - Denver, CO

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
650 15th Street
Denver, Colorado, United States 80202

Region 1 Spring Forum Updates

By Janelle Parra and Neidy Pinuelas
Chapter 1 board members Janelle Parra and Neidy Pinuelas attended the Region 1 Spring Forum in Oakland on April 15, 2023.

Elections and Awards Luncheon

By Craig Justesen, Nominations and Elections Chair

A big congratulations goes out to the new 2023/24 Chapter 1 Board Officers and recipients of this year’s Chapter 1 awards. For the first time in several years, the elections were held in person during a well-attended luncheon on March 10th at Tamayo’s Restaurant in Commerce. The elections were successful and even included a nomination from the floor for PDC Chair.

Don’t Dig Yourself into Trouble

by April Harvey
In California, anyone planning to excavate or dig must first give notice via a service called Dig Alert. Notice may be provided by contacting Dig Alert simply by dialing 8-1-1. California legal requirements for both excavators and pipeline operators (as well as operators of other subsurface utilities) are set forth in California’s Government Code sections 4216.1-11.

A detailed overview of the requirements can be found at

Celebrating a 35-Year Right of Way
Career with a Happy Retirement

by Brian Everett of OPc.

After nearly 35 years in our industry, Mark La Bonte, SR/WA, has decided to formally retire from his career at OPC.

We speak for all of his colleagues in IRWA and at OPC, now a division of TranSystems, when we wish him a happy retirement!


English as a Second Language Tenants and Buyers: Special Issues for Right of Way Public Agencies

by Kalysha Murphy, Kathleen Kim and Bryan Otake

California public agencies that manage right of ways sometimes engage in leases and sell parcels to private parties either in furtherance of their agency objectives or to dispose of surplus land interests. In these efforts, public agencies that own and manage right of ways encounter the wonderfully diverse and multilingual fabric of the California economy.

James Abear

JUNE 17, 1943 – APRIL 16, 2023

Aloha Nui Loa. (Greetings with much love.) Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, James (Jim) "Kimo" Abear of Lake Elsinore, CA passed away suddenly on April 16, 2023. He was 79 years old.

Born (on June 17, 1943) and raised in beautiful Hawaii, relocating to the Mainland after serving in the United States Army then settling in Southern California.

Congratulations are in order!

Linda Barras, SR/WA-TN
Senior Right of Way Professional – Transportation

Aaron Demirci, R/W-AMC
Right of Way - Asset (Property) Management Certified (R/W-AMC)

Carl Lange, R/W-RAC
Right of Way - Relocation Assistance Certified (R/W-RAC)

Annie Li, RWP-GN
Right of Way Professional Certified-Generalist

New Member Spotlight

Adriana Raza

Adriana Raza


Norman Chung

Matt Lubawy

Screen Capture 1

Student Outreach Event

By: Noelle Vest
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Annual Outreach Event
Each spring, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) hosts an outreach event with the goal of introducing attendees to the right of way industry, presenting an opportunity to learn more about public agency practices. This event also promotes student internships and career opportunities within Metropolitan’s Real Property Group.

This year, Metropolitan held its 6th annual outreach event, the third held virtually. It featured an introduction to Metropolitan and right of way, a panel of speakers from various roles in the Real Property Group, and a breakout session highlighting an internship opportunity and how to apply.

Scholarship and Voucher Program Closed

Thank you all for your participation in the Scholarship and Voucher Program.

The Voucher Program was made available to Chapter 1 members up until the
maximum allocated budget approved by the Board for 23 vouchers has been met.

An eblast was issued on January 6, 2023, notifying members that the
Vouchers Program was closed out due to the allocation being met.

We would like to thank all that participated in the Scholarship and Voucher Program.
The Chapter is no longer accepting Scholarship applications or vouchers.



Consisting of no more than 3 members, each to be appointed by the President for no more than three consecutive one-year terms.
Your primary responsibility is to develop membership recruitment campaigns using the chapter membership report form. Be the point person in the membership renewal process that begins in September of each year for the chapter. Oversee the new member approval process for the chapter to ensure that all new chapter members are approved in a timely manner. Distribute new member certificates and pin to all new members either at chapter meetings or by mail. You will be asked by the Chapter President to work with fellow board members in setting the goals and objectives for membership growth and retention.

1.Participate in quarterly conference calls conducted by headquarters (typically held in the 2nd month of each quarter).

2. Complete the chapter report form for membership on a quarterly basis. Establish goal, objectives and strategy to obtain the goal. Turn in report to Chapter President and report on status at chapter board meetings.

3. Using contacts within the chapter, obtain mailing lists for coordinated campaigns with headquarters.

4. Obtain list from the Chapter Education Chair of all non-members who have taken a course through the chapter. Send email with application inviting the non-members to join the chapter and IRWA.

5. Obtain list from Chapter Meeting Coordinator of all non-members who attending a chapter meeting. Send email with application inviting the non-members to join the chapter and IRWA.

6. Upon receipt of a pending chapter member email from headquarters, ensure that the new members are approved by the chapter board and notify headquarters of the approval (typically a 30 day or less turnaround).

7. Notify new member with an invitation to attend the next chapter meeting. Present new member with membership certificate and membership pin. If the new member cannot attend chapter meetings, arrange to have the certificate and pin sent to them.



Consisting of no more than 3 members, each to be appointed by the President for no more than three consecutive one-year terms.
Your role critical in two areas: Member attendance of chapter courses and the promotion of online courses. There are many resources available to assist you as you develop the Chapter’s Education Plan and online promotion. More importantly, Involving the other members on your chapter board in these efforts will go a long way in achieving the goals you set for member growth.

A Chapter Education Chair must be a member in good standing of the IRWA, a chapter or chapters of the Association (current on all relevant membership dues paid in full at the time you assume the position). Ideally, a Chapter Education Chair will have been a member of the IRWA and chapter for a minimum of one year prior to taking on the role of Education Chair.

Specific Responsibilities:
The primary responsibility of the Chapter Education Chair is to develop and implement a strategic, comprehensive Chapter Education Plan. This is accomplished by analyzing data from numerous sources to determine the best month/year in which to schedule chapter sponsored presentations of specific IRWA courses, while also promoting the benefits of IRWA Online Education.

The secondary responsibilities of the Chapter Education Chair include selecting and contracting with Facilitators (Instructors) for both presentation fees and class related expenses, securing class facility locations, selecting Certified Coordinators to whom class related responsibilities and logistics will be delegated, etc.

This information enables the Education Chair to “officially schedule” a chapter sponsored class presentation by completing and submitting a CSMA (Course Sponsorship & Marketing Agreement) form to Headquarters for each class to be scheduled.

You will be asked by the Chapter President to work with fellow board members to set your chapter’s specific goals and objectives for maximum classroom attendance, and to determine strategies to use when promoting online courses to your chapter members.



Consisting of no more than 3 members, each of who shall be appointed by the President for no more than three consecutive one-year terms.
Your role is critical in two areas: Processing requests for certification/designation for members of your chapter, and working with your Chapter Education Chair to ensure that both Classroom and Online courses are promoted to Credentialing program candidates to ensure that they meet the requirements to obtain their certifications/designations. There are many resources available to assist you in this capacity. More importantly, involving the other members on your chapter board in your efforts will go a long way in achieving the goals you set for member growth.

A PDC Chair must be a member in good standing of the IRWA, a chapter or chapters of the Association (current on all relevant membership dues paid in full at the time you assume the position).

Specific Responsibilities:
The primary responsibility of the Chapter PDC Chair is to assist and mentor chapter members who have achieved, or are in the process of achieving, a designation (through IRWA’s Generalist Career Path) and/or certification (through IRWA’s Specialist Career Path). The Chapter PDC Chair must be familiar with the specific requirements for each of IRWA’s Credentialing Programs (both initial and recertification), and be prepared to provide information and guidance to members who are participants in IRWA Credentialing.

Increase the chapter’s participation in IRWA Credentialing Programs by:
• Increasing awareness of the value of investing in one’s professional development by pursuing a designation and/or certification; Encouraging new chapter members to declare their active candidacy for one or more Credentialing programs, and reaching out to current chapter members who may be close to fulfilling the educational requirements for a specific Credentialing Program, and encouraging them to declare their active candidacy.

Assist members who are current participants in IRWA Credentialing by:
• Becoming familiar with the specific program requirements for each level of IRWA’s Generalist Career Path, and for each Specialist certification; Providing information and guidance to those who are pursuing their initial designation / certification to ensure that they meet all program requirements during the specified timeframe; Ensuring that all members who currently hold a designation / certification fulfill all requirements in order to recertify during the specified timeframe, and Conferring with your Chapter Education Chair (and other Chapter Leaders) to confirm that members will be able to fulfill the educational components of their Credentialing program requirements.

This will be accomplished through a strategic combination of scheduling in class presentations of IRWA courses and also promoting those courses which are currently available online.



Shall consist of a Chairperson and no more than 2 members. This committee shall present 5 and recommend a slate of officers to the membership for their consideration no later than the ninth month of the administrative year.


• Preparation and distribution of monthly newsletters to membership including coordination with Board and Committee members on content, identifying related content from the International Right of Way Association headquarters and local Region.

• Email blasts to Chapter as requested by Board and Committees.

• Regular maintenance of the website, including updating content, luncheon registrations, sponsorship renewals, payment of fees, and additional web master related activities as they arise.


This group is specifically designed for beginning right of way professionals who want to become more actively involved into the Association while enhancing their skills. If you are passionate about continually educating yourself, augmenting your skillset and having your hard work acknowledged, then it's time to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.
IRWA Young Professionals must unite and support each other, as well as outsiders, to grow in their profession and to dig deep in their industry.

The Young Professionals must aim to be equipped with education, ethics and encouragement. Creating a body of individuals who are close in the likeness of skill level, education, professional & life experiences establish a trusting atmosphere to allow free flowing questions and professional bonds to form.

The IRWA Young Professionals Group is recommended for participants of the age of 35 and under but is not required.



As part of the Programs Committee, you will be responsible for:

• Locating and scheduling speakers for eight Chapter luncheons.

• Reserving space (virtual and/or in-person) for Chapter luncheons.

• Coordination and set-up with the venue in advance and the day of for menu, equipment, spacing, registration, etc.

• Coordination with the Treasurer and Webmaster for luncheon and venue payments.

• Coordination with the Board on luncheon content.


• Asset Management
• Environment
• Public Agency
• Oil & Gas Pipeline
• Relocation Assistance
• Surveying & Engineering
• Transportation
• Electric & Utilities
• Valuation
• Legal
• Seminars

These are discipline specific committees to serve in an advisory capacity to our membership.

They do not require being filled but we welcome anyone that would like to contribute their expertise to the Chapter.