Personnel File

: South Coast Water District Board of Directors recently appointed Rick Shintaku as the District’s General Manager. Photo courtesy of SCWD

SCWD Names Shintaku General Manager

Coast Water District Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Shintaku as the District’s General Manager. South Coast Water District serves nearly 40,000 residents and over 2 million visitors a year in Dana Point, South Laguna Beach and portions of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.

Shintaku has served as SCWD Interim General Manager since the unexpected departure of Andrew Burnhart in February 2018. He is a registered civil engineer with over 25 years of experience with water and wastewater systems.

“The Board believes we were incredibly fortunate to have had a leader on deck with both the character and caliber to pinch hit for Andy,” stated Board President Bill Green.  “After careful consideration, the board voted unanimously to appoint Rick as Andy’s successor.”

Rick joined SCWD in 2015 as Chief Engineer. Under his leadership, SCWD developed and led planning and implementation of capital improvement programs, water resources, water development, and construction inspection activities, including the $100 million Tunnel Stabilization Revitalization Project.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our extremely talented employees, our outstanding community, and visionary board to ensure high quality, cost-effective water, and wastewater services for all our customers,” Shintaku said.


Ritz-Carlton Names New Executive Chef

Andrew Litherland has been named the new executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Executive Chef Andrew Litherland will oversee culinary operations for the 396-room oceanfront Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, according to a recent press release. He will manage a staff of more than 80.

Litherland, a New Zealand native, has over 20 years of culinary experience across multiple Ritz-Carlton properties. He began his career at 11 years old, roasting and carving lamb and other New Zealand specialties at a local catering company. Litherland graduated from Auckland Technical Institute with a bachelor’s and associates degrees in food hygiene and professional cookery, and basic cookery.

“When I was given the opportunity to join The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, it was the perfect fit as California blends so many cultural influences with seasonal produce. It also feels good to live in a destination that reflects my lifestyle and reminds me of home where I grew up surfing the waves of New Zealand beaches,” Litherland said.


Laguna Local Receives Recognition from Girl Scouts

2018 Celebrate Leadership Honoree Melinda Masson receives Girl Scout badge artwork from Girl Scout senior Marysol Cazarez. Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography

Laguna local Melinda Masson, chief executive officer of Scripsense, was honored by the Girl Scouts of Orange County at their ninth annual Celebrate Leadership event on Oct. 12. The event, which raised $281,000, recognizes Girl Scout alumna who serve as role models for today’s young women. The funds support Girl Scouts’ leadership development programs for nearly 20,000 Girl Scouts in Orange County.

Each Celebrate Leadership honoree was paired with a current Girl Scout, ranging from Daisy (kindergarten) to Ambassador (grades 11-12), providing tomorrow’s leaders with opportunities to connect and mentor with the leaders of today. The Girl Scouts shared how their honorees inspire them to accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams. Each honoree was presented with a custom art piece created by her Girl Scout partner and a symbolic Girl Scout badge to represent her honoree’s unique leadership journey.



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