INLAND EMPIRE, CA – During Thursday evening’s Southern California Water Coalition (SCWC) Annual Dinner, Steve Elie, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s (IEUA) Board Vice President was presented with SCWC’s prestigious Kathy Cole Award.

SCWC’s Annual Dinner unites nearly 300 prominent figures from various sectors, including business, water management, non-profit organizations, agriculture, and more, all coming together to celebrate and recognize outstanding colleagues that demonstrate dedication to securing a reliable water future. The evening featured Keynote Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon, representing the 62nd Assembly District in Southeast Los Angeles, and two prestigious awards were presented to acknowledge the remarkable contributions of three distinguished leaders in the water industry.

IEUA Vice President Steve Elie was honored with the Kathy Cole Award for his significant dedication, unwavering perseverance, and exceptional collaborative spirit in his roles not just at IEUA and SCWC, where he currently serves as SCWC’s 2nd Vice Chair and Legislative Task Force leader, but across the water industry. This prestigious accolade, established in 2020, is a tribute to former Metropolitan Water District Executive Legislative Representative, Kathy Cole.

“I am humbled to be the recipient of an award that embodies true commitment, collaboration, and determination,” said Elie. “As Vice President of the IEUA Board and a long-time resident of the communities we serve, I do not take my responsibility lightly. I strive to be on the forefront of initiatives that improve water quality and secure water supply reliability for our region and State.  The award I received has “Whiskey is for drinking; Water is for fighting” etched in it, a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain.  And, while we have certainly had some good “fights” in California around water, our most recent and historic drought has proven that now, more than ever, we need to continue to work together to develop innovative, sustainable, regional solutions that will ensure that our future generations will thrive.”

Vice President Elie has served on IEUA’s Board of Directors since 2010. His impactful approach to preserving our region’s water resources is immense. Serving on multiple committees, associations, panels, and boards, including SCWC, National Water Research Institute, Chino Basin Watermaster, Chino Basin Desalter Authority, Association of San Bernardino County Special Districts, and the Chino Basin Water Bank, Director Elie has used his leadership to advance multiple initiatives, projects, and programs that have been game changers in water resource management and sustainability.

“This achievement is a true honor, and one I could not have received without the tremendous support of our incredible team at IEUA.  I am proud to play a part in the ongoing solution for public health, environmental sustainability, and regional resiliency,” continued Elie.

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