DWA Board of Directors elections are conducted by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. For information, please visit their website www.voteinfo.net or call (951) 486-7200.
Craig Ewing was elected to the Desert Water Agency board in 2007.
He was reelected in 2011 and is serving his second term. Craig was recently elected President of the Board. He is presently serving a two-year term as Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Region 9 Vice-Chair and is a member of the ACWA's Board of Directors. He has served on ACWA's Business Development Work Group and is presently serving on its Groundwater Sustainability Task Force.
A second-generation southern Californian from San Bernardino, Craig received his BA in Economics and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He studied City and Regional Planning at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and earned a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Craig worked in manufacturing for seven years, specializing in production scheduling and inventory control. He began a career in city planning in 1984, working in local government in both southern and northern California. He joined the City of Palm Springs as Director of Planning Services in 2005 and retired in March of 2013. He has been a presenter and speaker at the League of California Cities’ Planners Institute and at the annual conference of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Craig resides in Palm Springs.
James Cioffi has lived in Palm Springs since 1957. He attended local schools, graduating from Palm Springs High School and College of the Desert. He attended the University of Arizona, receiving a Bachelor of Architecture Degree.
Jim was appointed Vice President of the Board of Directors in 2014.
James began his career in Arizona, where he worked with the University of Arizona Environmental Research Laboratory in the development of solar technology. He started his firm, James Cioffi Architect in Palm Springs, in 1978. Since that time, he has designed hundreds of projects including custom and tract homes, apartments, commercial buildings, civic buildings, and shopping centers. He has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards for design excellence and has been published in several magazines and books. His current work includes the Smoke Tree Commons Shopping Center and the new Palm Springs Animal Shelter.
James is a member of The Desert Roundtable. He is a past chairman of the City of Palm Springs Planning Commission and Architectural Advisory Committee and a past member of the Palm Springs Economic Development Corporation. He was past President of the California Desert Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He was a founding member of the Palm Springs High School Partners in Education Program. James is a director of the Cielo Vista Charter School board.
James’ wife Debbie works with him in the architectural business. They have one son.
Joseph K. Stuart was appointed in February 2012 to fill a board vacancy. He currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Joe, a native of Palm Springs, earned his BA is Psychology from Cal State San Bernardino graduating with high honors.
Joe earned an MA in counseling from Azusa Pacific University and was licensed as a Marriage, Family and Child Counselor. Following a career in the field of counseling, Joe earned his certificate in accounting from Cal State San Bernardino and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent Accountant in 1979.
Joe was assigned to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office where he investigated complex white collar crimes and was cross trained with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Joe then worked for 18 years in the Palm Springs office and retired in 2007 as the Senior Resident Agent where he investigated white collar crimes, kidnappings, arson, bank robbery, health care fraud and art theft cases. Joe also served as an FBI polygraph examiner and conducted polygraph examinations in the United States and abroad. While serving in the FBI, Joe was precluded from holding any elected office or serving on the board of directors for any publicly held corporation.
Joe is certified as a National Incident Management System (NIMS) instructor and served as the FBI incident commander on several joint local, state and federal operations.
Joe is the past chairman of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI chapter for the Riverside and San Bernardino counties. He is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and a licensed California private investigator. Joe has extensive experience in securing critical agency facilities. Joe is also a member of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the National Water Resources Association. He is the owner of Stuart & Associates, a security and financial fraud related consulting firm.
Joe is married to Cathy Madlin, an energy conservation consultant for the past 34 years. They have one daughter.
Patricia G. Oygar is a long time resident of Palm Springs and has been your publicly elected Desert Water Agency Director since 1992. She has previously served as President of the DWA Board and is an active board committee member. As a CA Governor’s appointee, she also previously served as Vice-Chairman of the California Regional Water Quality Board.
Pat’s priorities are recycling, conservation, efficient landscaping and public education. She is dedicated to insuring a safe, affordable and plentiful local water supply for many years to come. Effective policy making and planning along with conservation are the keys to keeping water supply and demand in balance while insuring access to high quality water to enhance our quality of life and support a vital local economy. All water users must have a seat at the regional planning table. We have to work together if it’s going to work at all.
Water is a precious public resource. Pat is dedicated to keeping it that way.
Richard Oberhaus is a third generation Californian, born and raised in San Francisco, and a 26-year resident of Palm Springs. Oberhaus started his public service in High School by serving two years on the San Francisco Board Of Education as the Student Representative while attending Lowell High School. Oberhaus went on to study Political Science at San Francisco State and Community Colleges.
For the last 25-years Oberhaus has been a Political Consultant and Public Relations Representative for numerous candidates for School Board, City Council, State Office and Congress in Southern California. Oberhaus lives with his partner, Oscar, and their two dogs, Toby and Alfred, and is an avid desert gardener and amateur chef.
With a long-time interest in the desert’s water supply, the DWA became a personal passion and focus for change. During the worsening and undeniable conditions of the current drought, Oberhaus was honored to be appointed to the DWA Board in October of 2013. He is committed to sustainable groundwater management practices, conservation and ensuring transparent management of the Agency’s business. He believes that a change in habits in our desert can best be effected by community education on water issues and promotes conservation by serving on the “conservation/public information” sub-committee.
The long-term supply of water for future generations in our desert can be assured only by partnerships with DWA customers – both homeowners and the region’s businesses – to encourage sustainable water use. Oberhaus is dedicated to this goal.