Dave Sorem’s note: We are letting our friend John Hakel take his final bow in this month’s Government Affairs space. In typically modest fashion, John, in announcing his well-earned retirement spent most of his time in this piece praising the efforts of others in helping to grow the Rebuild SoCal Partnership. In my role in this effort, I can tell you that John was a key component to getting our group off the ground. Thanks John and iff you can actually do it, please enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Thanks for the Memories 

As many of you already know, this will be my last official week as Executive Director of the Rebuild SoCal Partnership. When I was tapped to build this organization, then known as the Southern California Partnership for Jobs, in 2016 I had no idea where this journey would ultimately take me.

Our mandate heading in was to educate the public and public officials on the need for responsible infrastructure funding. As a group we have accomplished that and then some no question about it.

Soon after I arrived, the Partnership added Carol Church to our staff who went on to become Director of Operations. She soon added Director of Transportation to her title and is now Deputy Executive Director. The partnership is now comprised of a staff of six and now includes the following silos: airports, bridges, ports, rail, roads, and water.

Over the years we have seen some incredible achievements such as overseeing the passage of SB1 (The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017) and the ultimate defeat of Proposition 6 – Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative (2018), which would have overturned SB1.

This past year, I have had the pleasure to serve on the board of Mobility 21 and look forward to the Partnership continuing that relationship with Carol Church serving out my term.

As I bid you all a fond farewell, I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new Executive Director, Jon Switalski. I look forward to you all formally meeting him in the coming weeks and months. I know that I am leaving the Rebuild SoCal Partnership in excellent hands.

I look forward to seeing where the future takes this endeavor from here, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with each one of you.

By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman email: [email protected]