By Wes May ECA Executive Director Email: [email protected]
The Engineering Contractors’ Association welcomes Mark Pestrella, P.E., as the new director of the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LACDWP).
Pestrella was officially sworn in March 13th by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, to lead the 4,000 employees of the department. He is no stranger to ECA contractors. Many have worked with him in the variety of positions he’s held in the 29 years he has worked at the county.
We have high hopes that he will be part of the solution the ongoing issues the industry has with the agencies under the public works banner, particularly the flood control district and the roads section. With our focus on local issues, we have surfaced a big one with this huge agency—getting the budget ($3.2 billion (est.) for 2016-2017) into the ground rather than endless “planning” for projects.
Pestrella’s appointment followed the resignation of Gail Farber at the end of last year. Pestrella, then the chief deputy director, took over administrative responsibility while County Executive Officer Sachi A. Hamai directed a nationwide search that attracted more than 20 highly-qualified applicants.
“To be selected to lead this dedicated team of men and women is an incredible honor,” said Pestrella who has worked in the LACDWP for 29 years. “Together, we will establish a vision and set a culture to provide the highest level of public service.”
A native of southern California, Pestrella attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering with concentrations in structural engineering and water resource management. He is a licensed civil engineer in the state of California and has taught post-graduate classes in at UCLA.
Over the last decade, Pestrella has been instrumental in department leadership development, the adoption of County, State, and Federal policies related to Clean Water Act compliance, integrated water resource management, ecosystem restoration, and infrastructure sustainability.
Pestrella is also an active member of the American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water Agencies, National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (Board Member), Southern California Water Committee, and Urban Water Institute (Board Member).
In his capacity as director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Pestrella will also serve as the County Engineer, Road Commissioner and Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.