Board of Directors

Western’s five-member board of directors comprise the governing body of Western. Western’s Board of Directors are responsible to the members of the public of their respective division, and to the general public within the Western service area, for the proper conduct of Western affairs.

Directors are elected to four-year terms by the registered voters in five geographic divisions. Divisions are apportioned by population. The five Director's terms are staggered to ensure continuity. While they do not have to be Western retail water customers, Directors must reside within their division.

Board Member Ethics Training Certificates

  1. Division 1  Mike Gardner
  2. Division 2   Gracie Torres
  3. Division 3   Brenda Dennstedt
  4. Division 4  Laura Roughton
  5. Division 5   Fauzia Rizvi

Director Mike Gardner_Circular Headshot

Division 1

Mike Gardner | President

An advocate for water supply diversity, with more than two decades of experience in environmental planning and a combined 35 years of utility management, oversight and policy experience, Mike Gardner joined Western’s Board of Directors in December 2020. He represents Division 1, which includes a portion of the City of Riverside located north of Highway 91 and extending to the San Bernardino County line.

Director Gardner serves on the board for Western’s Finance Committee, and the joint committees for the City of Riverside and Eastern Municipal Water District. He also represents Western on the boards for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) and the Chino Basin Watermaster and represents Western on the Highgrove Municipal Advisory Council.  In addition, Director Gardner is the alternate representative for the Chino Desalter Authority, the Santa Rosa Regional Resources Authority, the Elsinore Valley joint committee, the Riverside Advisory Committee and the Woodcrest Municipal Advisory Council.

Director Gardner served on the Riverside City Council for 12 years, where he was a member of the council committee overseeing Riverside’s Public Utilities. He also previously served as the Governor’s appointee to the Seismic Safety Commission for more than 10 years, serving three different Governors.

Director Gardner is currently a Board member for the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, Animal Solutions Konnection, Rivers and Lands Conservancy and the Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery Association.  He is a graduate of Leadership Riverside, Class of 2005.

Mike Gardner has been a resident of the City of Riverside for more than 50 years, where he currently lives with his wife. His current term on the Western Board of Directors expires in December 2026.

Email Director Gardner