Gerard Batista – 2017 EBoard President
I began my career in Public Works in 2000 with the City of Duarte. At that time, I can honestly say that I had no idea what was to come and certainly had never heard of the Maintenance Superintendents Association (MSA). It did not take long to learn that I was working for a Manager who held us accountable, took pride in his work, and was open and willing to empower us with anything that would help us grow and develop personally and professionally. My Manager was Bill Ornelas; a long time member of the LA and Orange Chapter, an advocate and strong supporter of the organization, and the 2002 Peter Walsh Award Recipient. Because of Bill’s leadership and encouragement, in a quick five years, I increased my knowledge of street maintenance and public service, earned an Associate’s Degree in Public Works, and was promoted to Supervisor. In 2005, I was invited to be a Director on the LA and Orange Chapter Board and after eleven years, a degree in Public Administration, and several roles of leadership and responsibility in MSA, I am proud to say that I am now your 2017 Executive Board President!
Through the years of my association with the MSA, I have been fortunate to be influenced by a host of experienced MSA professionals and Vendors that have helped me along the way. Our MSA membership and Vendors remain committed to providing a high quality and level of service to the public and strive to plan, design, build, maintain, and operate public infrastructure in a manner that respects the environment. None of these things can be accomplished without the sharing of ideas and solutions and remaining dedicated through the education and training of our membership. This education and training can be accomplished through Community College Public Works programs, our newly developed Public Works Specialist Certification Program, and at the various Chapter Training and Trade shows and annual Conferences.
At times, it has proven challenging to maintain our association at the high level that we strive for. An example of this is when our Chapters experienced a significant loss of membership due to municipalities moving toward the “More with Less” management style as our bosses and mentors retire. I feel that we are on an upswing and we should not give up hope! With the help of the Executive Board, Chapter Delegates, individual Chapters, Vendors, and the Maintainer Publications, I hope that we can reach out to our inactive or non-participating agencies and introduce MSA to their new leaders in their organizations and emphasize the value of our fine association.
I would like to congratulate Carl Valdez, our Executive Board Past President, for providing us with such strong leadership and dedication and for keeping our organization moving forward during his 2016 term! I look forward to leading our Association through any challenges that we may face, supporting and mentoring members in need, and celebrating our success together!