Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
(L to R)External Affairs Deputy Deborah Robertson, Interim District Director Rick Land and Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi celebrate the holidays with (L to R) Daisy Vergara, Traffic, and Maria Katindig, Design D.

The Execs are in the House (and the Field)
by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 01/2010

Management takes its Open House on the road.

Twas the month that holds Christmas and all through the 13th floor, many workers were stirring, and eating and more. The halls were all decked with lights and with glitter; from other floors came calls and some Twitter.

The plates were all filled with cakes and spaghetti, in hopes that the popcorn would soon be ready. Then what to our wondering eyes should appear? The deputies, hosting and bringing forth cheer. And toasting employees for making it through a really rough year. Now Duncan, now Deborah, now Ron and Shirley. On Raja, on Jim, on Bill, Roy and Andy. Go Frank and go Dan. There’s Rick, with some candy.

And we heard all exclaim as they walked and they munched, “Best Executive Open House ever – no need for lunch!”

The adventures of Exec Open House went further in 2009: To the Field. For the first time, executive staff took their open house on the road to two Maintenance field locations, the Bandini Yard (Special Crews) and the Sylmar Equipment Shop.

About 100 employees attended each event, said Maintenance Deputy Dan Freeman. With a rotating group of deputies, chief deputy and interim district director, folks in the field were able to have access to executive staff that many in the district office take for granted.

“That’s why we did it,” Freeman said. “It was a good opportunity for field people to get to see management staff and ask questions, both at the group event and one on one.” He pronounced the field events “successful” and said he would like to see them repeated next year.

In addition to feeding and feting employees, deputies successfully buttonholed by Inside 7 staff offered the following warm wishes for the New Year:

“I want to wish employees the best, most prosperous year,” said Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi. “I’m sure they’ll do a marvelous job to keep Caltrans the number one transportation organization in the state.”

Planning Deputy James McCarthy acknowledged that employees were going through “tough times” but added that his division had a lot of work coming up “in terms of implementing Measure R and meeting project delivery commitments.”

Division of External Affairs Deputy Deborah Robertson described 2009 as “a very challenging year for our state public servants, but we still rose to the occasion on behalf of the citizens of California.” She added, “I look forward to a better 2010.”

Andrew Nierenberg, Deputy for Right of Way, wanted to thank everyone for their support on behalf of his division and said he was looking forward to a successful 2010.

Dan Freeman said he was glad everyone could attend. “It’s been a tough year,” he said. “We certainly hope the new year is better.”

Construction Deputy Roy Fisher thanked everyone for the support the division receives, “especially Public Affairs for keeping us out of trouble.” He wished everyone a happy New Year.

Interim Deputy Shirley Choate said she was looking forward to Program and Project Management getting a new leader “to carry them through the new year.” She also was eager to see “more partnerships, fewer projects on the shelf and a better economy,” she said. “I’m hopeful for another round of stimulus funds.”

What Administration Deputy Duncan McIntosh will remember most about 2009 “is our resilience and dedication,” he said. “Despite furloughs, flu, finance and frustrations, I continue to find new friends and we all find time to smile, laugh and share in our diversity.” He thanked employees for continuing to make District 7 his “workplace of
choice.” McIntosh added that 2010 will bring changes and challenges but “I look forward to a year of innovation.”

(L to R) Transportation Engineer Yueh-Shen Failing, Maintenance Deputy Dan Freeman, Project Manager Reza Fateh and Construction Deputy Roy Fisher spread the cheer at the Executive Open House in the District Headquarters Building. Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi (L) attended the Executive Open House at the Sylmar Graphic Services Manager Stephanie Jones enjoys the hospitality at the open house. External Affairs Deputy Deborah Robertson addresses workers at the Sylmar Equipment Yard open house.