Created by the legislature in 2009, the Delta Stewardship Council is composed of members who represent different parts of the state and offer diverse expertise in fields such as agriculture, science, the environment, and public service. Of the seven, four are appointed by the Governor, one each by the Senate and Assembly, and the seventh is the Chair of the Delta Protection Commission.
The Council's work is supported by an independent board of nationally and internationally prominent scientists.
Council members are:
Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council. Randy Fiorini was born in Turlock, CA, where he was raised on his family’s tree fruit and wine grape farm. After graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1975, Mr. Fiorini returned to Turlock and assumed managing partner responsibilities for Fiorini Ranch.
Interested in agricultural industry affairs, Mr. Fiorini was elected to serve as the Chairman of the California Canners and Growers, Chairman of the California Cling Peach Advisory Board, and was appointed by two Presidents to serve on the US Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables.
In addition to farming, Mr. Fiorini has found time to serve as director on many local boards, including Faith Home Teen Ranch, Hope Unlimited International, and is the past president of Emmanuel Medical Center, Rotary Club of Livingston, and the Merced County Farm Bureau.
Recognized for his agricultural leadership and on-farm achievements, Mr. Fiorini was selected by the United States Jaycees in 1987 as the Outstanding Young Farmer in the United States.
Mr. Fiorini’s public involvement with water issues began in 1992 when he was elected to be a director of the Turlock Irrigation District. He served in that capacity for 16 years. During that time he also served as president of the San Joaquin River Group Authority, president of the California Farm Water Coalition, and as president of the Association of California Water Agencies.
In March 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Fiorini to serve on the Delta Stewardship Council. Mr. Fiorini was elected by his colleagues as Vice-Chair at their initial meeting and in 2014 he was elected Chair. He was reappointed to his position by Governor Jerry Brown in May 2016.
Vice-Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council. Susan Tatayon is from Rocklin, CA, and has been Associate Director of The Nature Conservancy’s California Water Program since 2006. She has over 30 years of experience in water resources policy, planning and management. In recent years, she has worked with agencies, reclamation districts, and natural-resource managers to design and implement innovative policies and strategies aimed at sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable water supplies.
Ms. Tatayon was elected to the Floodplain Management Association board of directors in 2013. From 2011 to 2013, she co-chaired the California Water Plan Update Advisory Committee’s Finance Caucus. In 2009, she served on work groups that helped define the scope of the first Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. In 2007, she served as a member of the stakeholder group advising the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for sustainable management of the Delta.
Prior to working for The Nature Conservancy, Ms. Tatayon managed projects and staff for a multinational consulting firm, where she managed staff working on integrated water management plans and such projects as the Lower American River Flow Regime, the 2005 California Water Plan Update, and offstream storage investigations.
Governor Brown appointed Ms. Tatayon to the Delta Stewardship Council in May 2014. She was elected by her colleagues as Vice-Chair at the July 2016 Council meeting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, Sacramento.
Frank C. Damrell, Jr.
Frank C. Damrell, Jr., of Sacramento, is a principal at Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy and was a distinguished Federal Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.
Prior to his appointment as a Federal Judge in 1997 by President Clinton, Damrell was a Deputy Attorney General for California and a Deputy District Attorney in Stanislaus County. He started his own law firm in 1968 in Modesto and headed that firm until his appointment to the U.S. District Court.
Judge Damrell holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Santa Clara University.
During his career he has served as President of the Consumers Federation of California and was appointed to the California State Consumer Advisory Council. He has also served on numerous collegiate Boards throughout Northern and Central California, on the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and on the Federal/State Steering Committee on Civic Education.
Former Assembly member Mike Gatto, of Los Angeles, has always felt a calling to improve how government works for Californians. He was elected to four terms in the California State Assembly, and authored several pieces of landmark legislation during his tenure, including several innovative bills to improve our quality of life.
During his time in the State Legislature, he chaired several committees in the Assembly, including Appropriations, Consumer Protection & Privacy, and Utilities & Commerce. In addition, he served on the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee, and was the co-author and a principle negotiator of the California Water Bond of 2014.
Along with his duties as a Council member, Mr. Gatto serves on the boards of several entities, and is the Legislator in Residence at the University of Southern California's Unruh Institute of Politics. He is an attorney, and lives in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood with his wife and children.
Maria Mehranian, of La Cañada Flintridge, is Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of the Cordoba Corporation, a nationally recognized infrastructure development firm based in Los Angeles. Ms. Mehranian previously served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board from 2008 to 2016.
She holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and participates in numerous water policy panels on water quality and supply issues, and serves as a guest lecturer for universities throughout the state. Ms. Mehranian holds leadership positions for several academic institutions, including the Woodbury University Board of Trustees and the Dean’s Leadership Board at Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering.
She currently is the International Chairperson of Armenia Fund, Inc., which has raised more than $120 million for humanitarian and infrastructure development in Armenia. Maria is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for exemplifying outstanding qualities in both her personal and professional life while continuing to preserve the richness of her Armenian heritage.
Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson, of Fairfield, serves on the Council in the post reserved for the chair of the Delta Protection Commission.
He has worked in the public sector since 1975. He served as Solano County Supervisor from 1992 to 2002, and then as County Assessor from 2003 to 2005. He was elected again to the Solano County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and reelected in 2016. Thomson’s supervisorial district includes parts of the Yolo Bypass, the Cache Slough region, and other portions of the Delta. He also serves as Chair of the Delta Protection Commission and sits on the Delta Counties Coalition, among many other Boards and Commissions.
As a Solano County Supervisor, Supervisor Thomson’s priorities include preserving and advocating for the Delta and its residents.
Supervisor Thomson served in the U.S. Army, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations at U.C. Davis, and has been married for more than 40 years. He and his wife Gail have two sons, who have also chosen public service as a career.
Ken Weinberg, of San Diego, is a former utility executive with 32 years of public agency experience, 24 of those at the San Diego County Water Authority where he served 18 years as Director of Water Resources. He was responsible for long-term water supply and facilities planning, development and administration of water conservation programs, drought management and the environmental compliance and permitting of Water Authority capital projects. Mr. Weinberg also led a years’ long effort to develop and approve a Water Purchase Agreement for the Carlsbad Desalination Project.
In 2015 he formed Ken Weinberg Water Resources Consulting LLC and is assisting clients in water resources planning and local water supply project development. Throughout his career Mr. Weinberg has been a strong proponent of water use efficiency and the local development of drought resilient water supplies. He has been involved in the planning and implementation of non-potable and potable water recycling projects and helped to form and lead the San Diego County Integrated Regional Water Management Program.
Governor Brown appointed Mr. Weinberg to the Delta Stewardship Council in May 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York College and a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at CSU San Marcos teaching a course on Water Management Principles in California.