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New Leader Selected at the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District

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Long-Term Water Supply Reliability and Regional Project Collaboration Continue to be Priorities

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District did not have to look far to find its new General Manager. At its Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, after a statewide search for the best candidate to lead the regional water resource agency, Valley District’s Board of Directors announced the selection of Heather Dyer as its new General Manager. Ms. Dyer, who joined Valley District in 2014, is an experienced regional environmental planner who has been leading the District’s Upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), a landscape-level planning effort that includes 11 water agencies in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The District’s current General Manager, Douglas D. Headrick, ends his ten-year run at the helm of Valley District, effective December 30, 2019.

“It has been an honor to serve this District and our water retailers and cities over the last 13 years – with ten of those years as the General Manager,” stated Mr. Headrick. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with our elected leaders, our dedicated employees, and our constituents in order to ensure water supply reliability for our entire region.”

Effective December 31, 2019, Ms. Dyer will begin serving as Valley District’s General Manager, overseeing a team of 24 employees who manage the long-term water supply reliability for a 325 square mile service area.

“Ms. Dyer is the perfect candidate to lead Valley District into the future,” commented Valley District Board President T. Milford Harrison. “Her leadership and vision for the needs of the region, coupled with her experience working on regional and sustainable projects – like the Sites Reservoir Project and Delta Conveyance – have positioned her to propel Valley District forward in meeting the water needs of our constituents.”

Ms. Dyer began her career as a biologist in south Louisiana before moving to Southern California in 2010. Since coming to California she has focused on the complex ecological and water supply issues of the Santa Ana River Watershed while building cooperative relationships with a host of watershed agencies and stakeholders. Ms. Dyer worked as the Santa Ana River lead biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Carlsbad and Palm Springs offices, and through that position first became involved in the water projects being proposed by the various water agencies of the watershed, including Valley District.

“Valley District has a rich history of collaboration and success throughout the region and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization into the future,” commented Ms. Dyer. “There is a lot of work to be done to ensure a sustainable, reliable water supply to support this vibrant community for many generations to come. Our agency will continue to build upon a strong foundation that has been established over our 65-year history and continue to foster the partnerships that we have developed throughout the watershed and the state.”

Valley District is a State Water Contractor, and has played a critical role in the planning and development of projects in San Bernardino County as well as throughout the State, including the Sites Reservoir and the Delta Conveyance Project. More locally, Valley District has completed significant projects to enhance groundwater recharge through the Enhanced Recharge Project, formation of a proactive Groundwater Council, and developing active recharge projects forthe San Bernardino Basin Area. Additional projects and partnerships include hydroelectric facilities, treating state water project water locally, regional recycled water pipelines and projects, and conjunctive use projects.

Most notably, however, is the District’s leadership role in planning a watershed-wide Habitat Conservation Plan over the last five years, which Ms. Dyer was tasked with heading. Since 2014, Ms. Dyer has led the development of the HCP which will protect and enhance habitat for 22 native species of the Santa Ana River, including the federally protected Santa Ana sucker. The HCP is co-funded by a consortium of 11 local water agencies that will receive long-term endangered species incidental take permits for construction and operation of over 70 new local water-supply projects. The HCP is instrumental in allowing Valley District to ensure long-term water supply reliability for the region, as well as enabling the project partners to complete the projects they need to meet their customer needs for the next 50 years.

“Having worked with Heather for the last five years, I am confident in her ability to take this District to the next level,” stated outgoing General Manager Douglas D. Headrick. “Her work on the HCP and her ability to build critical relationships to push projects through have helped this District over the last five years. This District – and the region – are in good hands.”

Ms. Dyer’s experience in the water industry is varying, including have served as Valley District’s Water Use Efficiency Coordinator and working on Northern California water supply projects such as the Sites Reservoir Project. Ms. Dyer has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Master of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology from Nicholls State University. In 2019, she earned an Executive Masters of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University with concentration certificates in Leadership, Strategy and General Management. Ms. Dyer is a vocal proponent of landscape-level, interagency collaboration as a successful management tool to solve complex problems often associated with water supply projects and the aquatic environment.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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IECE Presents its Inaugural State of Entrepreneur Report on Dec. 9

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The first-ever State of Entrepreneurship Address for the Inland Empire is being held by the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m. at 4th Sector Innovations in Ontario. 

IECE’s goal in producing the State of Entrepreneurship research study is to bring the voice of local entrepreneurs to those who need to hear it most – local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers. 

The Voice of the Entrepreneur survey, on which the address is based, sends powerful feedback on the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners of the Inland Southern California region face. 

Survey results were drawn out earlier this year by reaching out to IECE’s extensive network, consisting of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners representing a diverse group of industries. The IECE will continue to distribute the Voice of the Entrepreneur survey in the spring of each calendar year to find out what Inland Empire entrepreneurs and business owners are going through. 

The report is a potent tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, and business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the region. Using measurable data, the goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners and obstacles that may be impeding business growth. 

The result is a concise report that gives insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus. 

The evening will start and end with networking and food; in between, the SOER report will be presented, which includes examining the indicators of entrepreneurial activity and how the IE measures up as a region; learning of the Voice of the Entrepreneur direct survey results and the common themes, as well as an IE Ecosystem assessment; and regional perspectives from influencers that include: 

  • Rod Vandenbos, founder and CEO, buzzbox beverages, Indio; 
  • Mike Napoli, Tech Coast Angels, Palm Springs; 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr. President, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ana Karina Suchánek, president, Cask Restaurant Group, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga; and 
  • Pepi Jackson, president and CEO, Riverside Black Chamber of Commerce 

Click the following link – Secure Your Spot for the 2021 State of Entrepreneurship Address – to attend, network and learn more about entrepreneurship in the region. Whether you are a seasoned or soon-to-be entrepreneur, there is a perspective for everyone who wants to know more about how to strengthen the Inland Empire economy.

The presentation will unveil breakthrough metrics and perspectives on the State of Entrepreneurship throughout the Inland Empire, including: 

  • Why a report like this is essential for the collective growth of our region; 
  • What the report consists of: indicators for entrepreneurship and what real entrepreneurs in our communities are telling us through our Voice of the Entrepreneur survey results; and
  • Regional perspectives from influencers and officials that are active in our ecosystem. 

The event will also include food and cocktails while networking within an inspirational setting at 4th Sector Innovations Ontario. 

To learn more, visit the IECE State of Entrepreneurship Report website

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Southwest Airlines will fly from Ontario International Airport, CA, to Austin in 2022

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The announcement from Southwest Airlines that it will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

The announcement from Southwest Airlines that the low-cost carrier will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

Southwest will offer flights between ONT and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport daily on the following schedule effective March 10, 2022.

Flt #OriginDestinationDepartureArrivalFrequencyAircraft
1204ONTAUS10:55 a.m.3:35 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
474ONTAUS9:50 a.m.2:30 p.m.Sat737-700
1739AUSONT4:35 p.m.5:55 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
257AUSONT2:55 p.m.4:10 p.m.Sat737-700

The new flights are available for booking immediately at southwest.com.

“The addition of the Texas state capital to our route map is welcomed news and further indication of confidence by ONT’s largest air carrier,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “It is also another sign that ONT’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway and gaining momentum.”

The announcement of the new Southwest flights comes as ONT continues to experience an impressive pandemic recovery. In August, ONT reported passenger traffic was within 7% of pre-COVID levels.

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Family Fun Month of Rides, Slides & Glides

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Alpine Slide Big Bear Observes Family Fun Month with a Variety of Delights 

August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf. 

“The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks.

Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft. deep, heated splash pool. Parents can spread a blanket out on the grass, or relax on the shaded, wrap-around deck at the base of the double waterslide. 

“Alpine Slide is also home to three attractions that are the first and only in California, which includes the Mineshaft Coaster, the Soaring Eagle, and the Alpine Slide,” added Eubanks. “Each of these rides offers something unique and suitable for all ages.” 

Mineshaft Coaster, which is the first and only mountain coaster in California, is an amusement-style, thrill ride that stretches over one mile long on a stainless-steel-tube track. It has all the bells and whistles of a roller coaster such as steep descents, hairpin turns, tunnels, bridges and 360-degree corkscrews. Here’s the kicker…the rider actually controls the speed of the coaster cart, which can reach max speeds of 30 mph.

The Soaring Eagle is a one-of-a-kind ride not seen anywhere else in California either. The Soaring Eagle has dual seats so a parent and child can ride side-by-side. It starts by lifting riders backwards on a zipline cable to a 70-foot tall launch tower. Once it reaches the top, it then catapults forward at 26 mph, on a 100-foot long vertical drop, that travels 500 feet back to the base. The Soaring Eagle not only offers folks an opportunity to experience the sensation of flying, but they are treated to a bird’s eye view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain vistas, too. 

Another distinctive attraction on site is the Alpine Slide, which is the only authentic bobsled /luge experience in California. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down a quarter-mile long concrete track with high-banked turns and long straight-aways. Each sled is equipped with Teflon runners, ball bearing wheels, control handle and brakes. Youngsters who meet the height requirements can ride with their parents on this fun-filled feature ride.  

Rounding off the family-fun activities at Alpine Slide is a go-kart track, putt-putt golf and video arcade. When it’s time for a break, head inside for an ice-cream cone. An ice-cream bar located at the snack bar offers 12 different tasty flavors to choose from, such as Banana Split, Cotton Candy or Birthday Cake!     

Alpine Slide, located at 800 Wildrose Lane (just off Big Bear Blvd.), is open daily. The Summer hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For general information, height requirements, pricing and specific hours for each attraction, please visit AlpineSlideBigBear.com or call 909-866-4626. 

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