After 23 years of dedicated service to Yuba Water Agency, General Manager Curt Aikens will retire in January of 2021.
At today’s board meeting, the agency’s directors announced their acceptance of his retirement, with gratitude for his many years of service. The board also announced that they have chosen to appoint the assistant general manager, Willie Whittlesey, as the new general manager, effective July 1, 2020, at which time Aikens will assume a role focused on special projects.
“In my time here, we’ve grown the agency from about 20 people to around 75 to address opportunities and challenges,” said Aikens. “We’ve done some really remarkable things in that time, which have set Yuba County up for great success. It’s been an incredible journey, and I look forward to spending my last year here really focused on a few critical projects that need extra attention to get them over the finish line.”
“Curt has been such a vital part of the success of Yuba Water,” said Randy Fletcher, the agency’s board chairman. “During his time leading this organization, we have made incredible leaps and bounds in reducing flood risk and ensuring a sustainable water supply for the people of Yuba County. The other board members and I have 100 percent confidence in Willie as our selection to lead us into the future, as we continue to focus on those priority missions, but also transition more into other ways to improve the quality of life in Yuba County.”
As the assistant general manager of Yuba Water Agency, Whittlesey assists with all aspects of agency operations and management including reducing flood risk, hydroelectric power generation, energy sales, water rights, water supply reliability, ecosystem improvements and more.
“Curt has really helped set this agency up for long-term success,” said Whittlesey. “In the last three years, I’ve learned a lot from him, and I’m grateful for his confidence in me, as well as the board’s. I am honored, humbled and really excited about the opportunity to lead this agency into the next phase of our journey. I love managing the water and power, but am equally excited about some of the other things we are getting involved in now, like forest health, water education, economic development and other exciting new opportunities.”
A registered professional forester, Whittlesey grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills and has been working in the Yuba River watershed for 25 years in roles ranging from forestry to hydroelectric power generation. Prior to joining Yuba Water, he was with PG&E for 13 years.