2022 “Pure Excellence” Award Winners Honored by Olivenhain Municipal Water District

At its November 16 board meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District recognized seven individuals and businesses with “Pure Excellence” awards for making a positive impact in the local community in 2022.

“Tonight, we are pleased to recognize award recipients who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, contributed to water supply reliability, or made notable contributions to our Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve,” said OMWD Board President Larry Watt.

Congressman Mike Levin was named OMWD’s Legislator of the Year for his efforts to secure nearly $24 million in federal funding for North County water recycling projects to build resilience against drought. OMWD’s Non-Profit of the Year, Campesinos Unidos, Inc., manages a variety of services in San Diego and Imperial Counties, including a program providing payments for water or wastewater bills to qualifying low-income households.

Three companies were recognized as a Business of the Year for ensuring OMWD has had materials needed to maintain the water distribution system despite pandemic-related supply chain issues. Pacific Pipeline Supply, Core & Main, and Ferguson Waterworks have ensured adequate stock levels of everything from washers and gaskets to water main s and fire hydrants.

Jon and Sabine Kurz-Sherman are OMWD’s Volunteers of the Year for their efforts as docents to improve Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s visitor experience. Since 2019, they have logged more hours than any other volunteer, taken it upon themselves to care for an educational totem area along Escondido Creek, and even performed music on a guitar and home-crafted flute during their shifts for the enjoyment of EFRR visitors.

OMWD honored Bob Topolovac posthumously with its Presidential Award for 23 years of devoted public service as the representative of Division 1 on OMWD’s Board of Directors. Mr. Topolovac passed away on October 7, 2022.

“Bob’s experience and leadership was instrumental in guiding OMWD through unprecedented times,” said OMWD Board Treasurer Christy Guerin, who nominated Mr. Topolovac for the award. “He was a committed individual with an unrelenting dedication to balancing OMWD’s fiscal realities with the need to represent all ratepayers fairly and responsibly.”