Emerging Leader: Matt Mayo, Hi-Desert Water District

Jim Force, Emerging Leaders, Members in the News

Supervisor of the new Yucca Valley Water Reclamation Facility, Matt Mayo, enjoys making his membrane bio-reactor operation better each day, especially as flows increase as more and more septic systems are hooked up to the collections system.

This Emerging Leader says the new facility’s startup was exciting – even fun. “There’s always more than one way to do things,” he says and recommends talking with others and learning as much as you can about the new processes.

Before working in wastewater, Mayo served for 13 years on the Hi-Desert water pipeline Capital Replacement Crew, rising to the position of Construction Department supervisor. He liked seeing the progress as new lines were installed and the water-saving impact the pipelines had on the town.

Mayo’s enthusiasm is valued by his supervisor, Doug Culbert, chief plant operator.

“Matt is a huge asset to me. His leadership and understanding of the system are unmatched. He is a hands-on operator and does not ask the operators to do anything he is not willing to do himself,” Culbert said. “Matt has been in a leadership role before with the district, but he was forced to take that role to an entirely new level with the construction of the new wastewater facility and the responsibilities that are required.”

Culbert adds that Matt leads the weekly tailgate safety meetings and does a great job providing the training. “He helps the entire staff be more aware of the safety issues that we encounter from day to day.”

Mayo’s dedication to the job is exemplified by the hands-on training and certification he received from Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority. He has attained the level of Wastewater 4 and also holds certification in water distribution, water treatment, and collections system maintenance. He is also a cross-connection specialist.

Mayo supervises a staff of two and says they form a “great team.”

“I’m not a micro-manager, and I don’t have to be,” he says. “Our team is that good.”

Mayo’s attitude permeates the entire staff, Culbert said. “It makes our organization better.”