New directors representing Las Virgenes, Central Basin join Metropolitan board

News for Immediate Release__
New directors representing Las Virgenes, Central Basin join Metropolitan board
June 11, 2024

Long-time Las Virgenes representative Glen Peterson steps down from board after more than 30 years

Two water industry veterans representing Las Virgenes and Central Basin municipal water districts were seated today on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

California Water Service Company District Manager James Crawford succeeds Michael Gualtieri, who represented Central Basin on Metropolitan’s 38-member board since February 2024.  Jay Lewitt, who has advocated for water issues on the state and federal levels, succeeds Glen Peterson, who represented Las Virgenes on the board for more than three decades, since February 1993.

“It is hard to imagine a Metropolitan without Glen Peterson,” said Metropolitan board Chair Adán Ortega, Jr. “Director Peterson was a key board committee chair in the early 2000s when Metropolitan launched its popular conservation programs under the banner of and California Friendly®. As Metropolitan’s representative on the Colorado River Board, he was a key player in Colorado River negotiations on the Quantification Settlement Agreement. And he was in the board’s leadership when Metropolitan completed Diamond Valley Lake.”

“Glen’s colleagues on our board will long remember and value his legacy of intelligence, wisdom, and actions,” Ortega continued.

Lewitt has served on the Las Virgenes board since 2014 and was elected as president in December 2018. He is the founder and president of the promotional product firm, Every Promotion Product.

He presently serves on the Federal Affairs Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies, where he advocates for California water issues at the state and federal level. Lewitt’s previous leadership positions also include president of the board for Heschel West Day School, board member of the Specialty Advertising Association of California and chair for the association’s Legal and Government committee, and member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Lewitt earned a law degree from Pepperdine Caruso University School of Law in Malibu and a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


“In the years I have known Director Lewitt, he has proven himself to be a smart and proven leader,” Ortega said. “His board colleagues at Las Virgenes take their appointments to Metropolitan’s board very seriously. Given the high bar his predecessors have set, Director Lewitt will continue in their tradition. I am looking forward to working even more closely with him for the benefit of the region’s 19 million residents." 

With more than 27 years of water industry experience, Crawford serves as a director on Central Basin’s board, where he represents the wholesale water agency’s largest imported water purveyors.


He is active in the Southeast Los Angeles region, where he is president of the Commerce Business Council, vice president of Central Basin Water Association, vice president of the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors for Alma Family Services and Montebello Police Foundation. Crawford is also the regional private utilities representative for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.  



He has previously held leadership positions as president of the Utility Workers Union of American Local 283, treasurer of California Water Utility Council and committee member of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Crawford holds Water Treatment Grade 2 and Water Distribution Grade 4 certifications from the State Water Resources Control Board.


“As Metropolitan is planning for the next 100 years, Director Crawford brings technical and policy experience to Metropolitan’s board at a time when it will be highly valued and appreciated,” Ortega said. “We thank Central Basin’s board for sending someone with his skills and knowledge.”


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.