Board of Directors
Western’s five-member board of directors comprise the governing body of Western. Western’s Board of Directors are responsible to the members of the public of their respective division, and to the general public within the Western service area, for the proper conduct of Western affairs.
Directors are elected to four-year terms by the registered voters in five geographic divisions. Divisions are apportioned by population. The five Director's terms are staggered to ensure continuity. While they do not have to be Western retail water customers, Directors must reside within their division.
Board of Directors Meetings
Western’s Board of Directors meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room located at 14205 Meridian Parkway in Riverside, California. Customers can also tune into Board Meetings via livestream.
Agendas are posted online in advance of each meeting and recordings are made available following each meeting. For access to agendas, livestream and recordings, visit wmwd.com/BoardMeeting.
All Board Meetings are open to the public.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, Western has closed its lobby and facilities to public access; however, Western has a virtual/call-in option for those customers and public participants to provide public comment during Board and Committee meetings. Information is available at wmwd.com/BoardMeeting.
- Division 1 Mike Gardner
- Division 2 Gracie Torres
- Division 3 Brenda Dennstedt
- Division 4 Donald D. Galleano
- Division 5 Fauzia Rizvi
An advocate for water supply diversity with more than two decades of experience in environmental planning and a combined 35 years of utility management, oversight and policy experience, Mike Gardner joined Western’s Board of Directors in December 2020. He represents Division 1 which includes a portion of the City of Riverside located north of Highway 91 and extending to the San Bernardino County line.
Mike Gardner served on the Riverside City Council for 12 years, where he was a member of the council committee overseeing Riverside’s Public Utilities. He is currently a Governor’s appointee to the Seismic Safety Commission and has served three Governors over the past ten years.
Director Gardner is currently a Board member for the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, Animal Solutions Konnection and Sunshine Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation. He is a graduate of Leadership Riverside, class of 2005.
Mike Gardner is a 49-year resident of the City of Riverside, where he currently lives with his wife. His current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2022.
A committed water quality and compliance professional, Gracie Torres joined Western’s Board of Directors in December 2018. She serves Division 2 which includes the City of Riverside located south of the 91 freeway, March Air Reserve Base, portions of Lake Mathews, Woodcrest, Mission Grove, and Orangecrest.
Gracie Torres is a previous recipient of the Western - Lois B. Krieger Endowed Scholarship. She received the award while attending California State University San Bernardino. She is a water chemist and water quality compliance planner with Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. She is also proud to say that she is a product of Riverside schools.
Director Torres serves as a member of Western’s Engineering, Operations and Water Resources Committee as well as the Community and Government Affairs Committee. She also serves on the joint committees for Western and Rancho California Water Districts. In addition, she is also Western’s representative for the March Joint Powers Authority Successor Agency Oversight Committee. Director Torres serves as the District’s alternate representative for the Western Riverside Council of Governments Executive Committee, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, the joint committees of Eastern and Elsinore Valley Municipal Water Districts and the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority.
Director Torres has dedicated her career to protecting and conserving our water resources as well as educating the next generation of scientists. “As a water quality professional, I have monitored the water quality of both surface water lakes and stormwater systems throughout Riverside County. Ensuring that water resources are properly maintained, allocated, and utilized has become my life’s passion.”
Gracie Torres and her husband live in Riverside with their three children. Her current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2022.
Email Director Torres
Brenda Dennstedt | Secretary-Treasurer
An experienced water education advocate, Brenda Dennstedt joined Western’s Board of Directors in January 2007 and was subsequently re-elected in 2010, 2014, and 2018. Director Dennstedt represents Division 3, which includes Lake Mathews, properties located south of Cajalco Road and west of the 215 Freeway, Lake Elsinore, Temecula, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, Rainbow, and Murrieta.
Director Dennstedt is committed to maintaining a standard of excellence by consistently demonstrating active engagement in all of her many roles throughout the region. Ms. Dennstedt was elected to the Murrieta County Water District board in 2003, which merged with Western in late 2005. She serves on Western’s Murrieta Advisory committee. She also sits on the board for Western’s Community and Government Affairs and Finance committees. In addition, Director Dennstedt is Western’s representative for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and the Western Riverside Council of Governments Executive Committee.
Director Dennstedt has dedicated her service to the region through her consistent support of water education and regional representation. She serves on the joint committees of Elsinore Valley, Rancho California, and Eastern Municipal Water Districts. Director Dennstedt is also the representative for the Santa Rosa Regional Resource Authority, Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority. She also serves as the District’s alternate representative for the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council and the Association of the California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority.
Director Dennstedt’s current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2022.
Email Director Dennstedt
Donald D. Galleano | President
A champion of regional water interests, Donald D. Galleano joined Western’s Board of Directors in 2004. He represents Division 4, which includes the cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, and Norco.
As Western’s sole representative on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board (MWD), Director Galleano is responsible for acting on behalf of the interests of the nearly one million customers who receive their water both directly and indirectly from Western. Currently, he serves on MWD’s Engineering & Operations, Agriculture and Industry Relations, Communications and Legislation, and Integrated Resources Planning Committees.
Director Galleano’s leadership role in the greater watershed also includes a seat on the Chino Basin Watermaster Board. He also serves as a board member for Western’s Engineering Operations and Water Resources Committee. Director Galleano serves as Western’s alternate representative for the Riverside Advisory Committee and the Chino Desalter Authority. In addition, Mr. Galleano also represents Western on the Joint-Inland Orange County Caucuses.
Director Galleano is a third-generation winegrower at the Historic Cantu-Galleano Ranch, home to Galleano Winery, a historic local treasure and living wine museum in Mira Loma. Galleano Winery is a highly-acclaimed dry farming operation, a statement to Director Galleano’s formidable commitment to water supply sustainability.
Director Galleano is a past president of the Western Riverside County Businessman’s Association and the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce. He is currently serving on the National Orange Show Foundation Board and the Los Angeles County Fair Association Board. He also serves as the Chairman of the Pacific Rim Wine Competition.
Director Galleano’s current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2024.
Email Director Galleano
A business owner and a community advocate with an expertise working as a professional in the field of water management and consulting, Fauzia Rizvi joined Western’s Board of Directors in December 2020. She represents Division 5, which includes the City of Corona, Home Gardens, El Cerrito, and a portion of Temescal Canyon.
Director Rizvi is heavily involved in the community, serving many years as a parent-teacher association member, working for the Interfaith Coalition, and volunteering for organizations such as the Corona Norco Interfaith Association, Beloved Corona and Cops & Clergy, to name a few. She was the first woman elected to be on the executive board for the Islamic Society for Corona Norco.
Director Rizvi is currently serving as a Board member and Interfaith Chair for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, and as a member on the Riverside Community College District’s Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. She is also the President of For the People Taskforce, which is a non-profit organization helping people with food insecurity and utility debt throughout-out the Inland Empire.
Director Rizvi is a long-time resident of the City of Corona, where she lives with her husband and three children.
Her current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2024.