Bob Wright was appointed to the East Valley Coalition Manager's position in March of 2016 by Supervisor John J. Benoit. He comes from a forty-five year career in the nursery industry and served as CEO of DTF INC. a nursery brokerage firm. Bob has served as a Commissioner with the City of La Quinta for the past twenty two years and he has close ties with the cities of Indio, Coachella and La Quinta. As well as managing the EVC, he also serves as a Riverside County EDA Specialist 3 and as Assistant Director of Riverside Counties Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center in Indio California. He still serves as President of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition and a Board member of the SSAC, GCV, FODM, OTAS and the CVRCD. Bob is married and has two grown Children in Salt Lake City, and two teenagers in high school in La Quinta. Bob has had a home on Lake Mead for the past twenty years and is passionate about Colorado River water and recreation.
V. Manuel Perez
V. Manuel Perez
Victor Manuel Perez was appointed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. on May 9, 2017 to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, replacing the late John J. Benoit in representing the County’s Fourth District. The Fourth Supervisorial District covers the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County, stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River.
Manuel is grateful for the opportunity to serve in this important position, and looks forward to contributing his experience in local and state government to work on behalf of families and every community in the Fourth District.
Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, the son of immigrant farmworkers, Manuel attended local public schools and graduated from the University of California, Riverside. He taught at a local middle school, and went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.
He worked as a youth advocate and director of community health and advocacy for Santa Rosa Del Valle-Borrego Health, at Centro Medico Coachella and Centro Medico Oasis. From 2004 to 2008, he served on the Coachella Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees, where he led the passage of a $250 million bond to construct and renovate schools in the eastern Coachella Valley.
In 2008, Manuel was elected to the California State Assembly, representing eastern Riverside County and Imperial County. Entering office during the great recession, he worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the Governor’s Office to bring forth fiscal management discipline, fiscal accountability, budget review and job creation legislation.
A champion for eastern Riverside County, Manuel had more than 60 pieces of legislation signed into law to help create jobs, jumpstart the local renewable energy industry and make neighborhoods safer. His legislation focused on jobs, economic development, small business, education, health care access, infrastructure, renewable energy, transportation, air quality, environment, public safety, parks, technology, agriculture, water and the Salton Sea.
In the Assembly, Manuel became majority leader and worked closely with the Assembly Speaker on the day-to-day functions of the statehouse. He served as the chairman of the Jobs and Economic Development Committee, founding Vice Chair of the Select Committee for the Status of Boys and Men of Color as well as Chair of Stimulus, Economic Recovery and Jobs (SERJ).
After serving three terms in the State Assembly, Manuel continued his public service with election to the Coachella City Council. Prior to his appointment to county supervisor, he was chief government and public affairs officer for Borrego Health, a federally qualified health center serving the under-served in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Manuel resides in Coachella with Gladis, his wife of 19 years. They have two sons, Ruben and Alejandro, who attend UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, respectively.
Government Affairs Specialist, Imperial Irrigation District
Emmanuel Martinez is the government affairs specialist at the Imperial Irrigation District.
In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating the district’s governmental affairs programs and activities to maximize the value of the IID’s water and energy resource portfolio. To this end, he promotes IID policies, programs and initiatives through liaison, communication, coordination and interaction with federal, state, regional and local governmental and legislative agencies.
Prior to joining the district, he worked on legislative bills and issues in the California state capitol as legislative director to Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, and legislative aide to Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez.
Mr. Martinez is a graduate from the University of California at Riverside where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics in 2006.
Mayor Linda Evans
Mayor Linda Evans is a California native and moved to La Quinta in March 2003. She was appointed to the City Council in June 2009 to complete a term through November 2010. She was elected to the City Council in 2010; and elected Mayor in 2014. In March 2016, she was named “Woman of the Year” for the 42nd Assembly District by Assemblyman Chad Mayes for the State of California. This recognition was granted for the outstanding contributions and service Linda has provided to her community.
Mayor Evans has worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty eight years, spending the last twenty one years in hospital administration. She is the Chief Development Officer at JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio and has worked for JFK's parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, at four other hospitals in Southern California since 1995.
Mayor Evans received a Bachelor's Degree in Communications/Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton. She holds two Master's Degrees: one in Health Administration and the other in Gerontology, both obtained from the University of La Verne, California.
Linda is the Chairman of the Joint Powers Authority Board of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chair of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) Energy and Environmental Committee and serves on the CVAG Conservation Commission and Executive Committee. She is also a Board Member of Food in Need of Distribution (F.I.N.D.) Food Bank, and recognizes the importance of good nutrition, being healthy, and the impact on a prosperous community.
She was a panelist for the 2016 Clinton Health Matters Summit; highlighting the outstanding infrastructure La Quinta has developed to be a center of health innovation for its residents.
Linda is health focused and community driven. She has ignited the engagement of La Quinta residents in her Mayoral position. She and Council are leaders in redefining the structure and service delivery of local government through reorganization and technological advances. She connects public safety and economic development with health and wellness, and promotes empowerment into her values and decision-making.
Linda and her husband, Tim, have been married twenty years.
John Peña began his public service in 1982, when he served on a school site task force with city and school district officials to locate school sites in the City of La Quinta. Elected to the La Quinta City Council in 1984, he served on the Council until his retirement from public office in December 2002. John came out of his retirement and was again elected to the City Council in 2014.
John currently serves as a member of the Coachella Valley Animal Campus Commission and, during his previous terms of office, has served on various Boards and Commissions throughout the Coachella Valley including: Sunline Transit Agency Executive Board), the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, the Palm Springs/Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Bureau, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Court Appointed Special Advocates, La Quinta Chamber of Commerce, Local Agency Formation Commission, Riverside County Commission on Education, La Quinta High School Foundation, Children’s Discovery Museum, Carreon Foundation, Workforce Development, and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.
A lifelong Coachella Valley resident, John graduated from Indio High School and attended College of the Desert where he was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Fullerton and continued his postgraduate work at Western State University College of Law where he received his law degree.
John has received many honors including selection by the Jewish Federation to travel to Israel for the International Conference of Mayors, Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America, Distinguished Recipient Honoree of the Annual Hispanic Awards.
John is Principal of John Peña & Associates, a business and governmental relations consulting firm. His wife Sherry is CEO of Emerald Presidio, Inc., a family-owned food service business that includes Desert Cities Catering and food services consulting. They have two children. John currently holds a position as the California Territory Manager for Verizon FiOS.
La Quinta’s City Manager Frank Spevacek
City of La Quinta
78495 Calle Tampico • La Quinta, CA 92253
Frank J. Spevacek
City Manager of the city of La Quinta
Frank J. Spevacek
City Manager of the city of La Quinta
Frank Spevacek was appointed to the position of City Manager for the City of La Quinta in June 2012. For 24 years Mr. Spevacek served as contract financial, economic development, and workforce housing adviser to the City. In addition to his activities with the City, Mr. Spevacek was a principal with the Rosenow Spevacek Group: in this capacity, he advised clients throughout California on economic development, municipal finance, and affordable housing development. Prior to founding the Rosenow Spevacek Group in 1979, Mr. Spevacek worked in the community development department of the City of Irvine and in the City Manager’s Office for the Cities of Santa Monica and Culver City.
Mr. Spevacek pursed Master’s studies in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine.
Rosa Maria Gonzales (IID)
ROSA MARIA GONZALES
Community & Business Liaison, Imperial Irrigation District
Rosa Maria Gonzales is Imperial Irrigation District’s community and business liaison in the Energy Department. As such, Ms. Gonzales oversees the activities of the Energy Consumers Advisory Committee, a 20-member body, including elected officials appointed by the IID Board of Directors and local jurisdictional entities. Ms. Gonzales also supports local economic development organizations in their business development, attraction and expansion efforts that diversify and strengthen the economy.
Ms. Gonzales is active in the community and serves on the board of directors of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the East Valley Coalition and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. She is also active in the Imperial County Overall Economic Development Commission and its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication with emphasis in public relations from California State University, San Bernardino.
Carl S. Morgan Director of Economic Development City of Indio
Carl S. Morgan
Prior to joining the City of Indio as the Director of Economic Development, Mr. Morgan served as the Chief Executive Officer of San Diego North Economic Development Council (SDNEDC) in San Marcos, California. The SDNEDC is a 501 (c) 6 nonprofit and is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors. The 20-year organization is a coalition of the private and public sectors, working together to sustain and carefully grow the economic base of North San Diego County, CA.
Since joining the organization in December 2012, Mr. Morgan has re-purposed, re-branded and re-focused SDNEDC into a dynamic “go to” organization for economic development and regional collaboration. Under his leadership, the organization has focused on broadening the organization’s base of support, diversifying its revenue base, and building infrastructure and organizational capacity. The SDNEDC is one of four (4) EDC’s in San Diego County, and serves 26 cities and unincorporated communities, 1.2 million residents and 470,000 jobs.
Mr. Morgan has more than 28 years of experience as an economic development and redevelopment professional. In the City of Long Beach, he managed the Downtown Redevelopment Project Area. Prior to Long Beach, he served as Economic Development Director in the cities of Glendora and Loma Linda and managed his own private consulting firm CSM Consulting. Mr. Morgan’s attributes include:
• Accomplished Redevelopment and Economic Development professional;
• Skilled negotiator, connector and facilitator;
• 21- years as a Director or Manager of complex and successful redevelopment and economic development projects and programs;
• Creative, innovative and strategic thinker;
• 12- years Downtown Long Beach, 5- years Glendora and 6- years Loma Linda;• Adept at working collaboratively with the community, governmental agencies, community groups and organizations; and
• A passion for revitalizing communities and downtowns. Mr. Morgan has a Bachelor of Arts Geography Degree from California State University, Fullerton.
Carl is married to his wife and best friend of 32 years, Sherry and they have two children Jenna 29 and Grant 26.
His passions are family, golf, music, playing guitar, fine wine, craft beer and travel.
Robert Del Mas
BIOGRAPHY OF ROBERT DEL MAS
A native Californian, Robert Del Mas relocated to the Coachella Valley in 1994. He was born & raised in the Napa Valley, where he completed his education and then entered into the restaurant business. Upon arriving in the desert, he continued working in restaurants while at the same time branching out into tourism. He was initially employed by AlliedPRA Destination Management, working to provide incomparable event, dining and attraction experiences for corporate incentive and association groups. From there he transitioned to Empire Polo Club, home of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festivals and Stagecoach Music Festivals, where he has served as General Manager for the past 17 years. Along with serving as a Board Member for the East Valley Coalition, Robert also serves as a longtime Board Member of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, currently as an Officer. He is passionate about promoting positive community and economic growth in our valley.
In his free time, Robert enjoys some of the fine dining and spas the desert is famous for, along with his art & antique collections, and his beloved BMWs.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Wilson
City of Indio
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson was born in Santa Ana, California. He has resided in Indio since 1979 and graduated from Coachella Valley High School. He attended and studied business administration and fire science at College of the Desert in 1984, Delta College in 1990, and Crafton College in 1998. Michael is married to his wife Gina and they have four children and nine grandchildren.
Michael has served on the Indio City Council since 1995 and as Mayor from 1997-98, 2002-03, and 2013-14, and is presently serving as the Mayor Pro Tem. His Council assignments include the serving in the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission, Energy & Environmental Resources Committee and Transportation Committee of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Waste Transfer Station Joint Powers Authority, East Valley Reclamation Joint Powers Authority, and East Valley Coalition, Eastern Riverside County Interoperable Communications Authority, and Transportation Committee and Regional Council of Southern California Association of Governments.
Mayor Elaine Holms
CITY OF INDIO
Mayor Elaine Holmes
Elaine Holmes was born and raised in Glendale, California. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the California State University Long Beach. She has been an Indio business owner since 2004 and owns PJ’s Desert Trophies & Gifts in downtown Indio.
Elaine’s extensive business background includes serving as the Global Sales Manager for Sprint Corporation’s International Division where she was involved in contracts and business development. She also worked for the Fluor Daniel Corporation where she served as the Business Development/Marketing Manager for the International Business Unit and coordinated international contracts and teaming agreements.
Elaine was elected to the City Council on November 2010 and is currently serving her second term as Mayor of Indio. Her current City Council assignments include serving in the Greater Palm Springs Visitors and Convention Bureau, Homelessness Committee and Executive Committee of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, Jacqueline Cochran Airport Authority, and the Riverside County Community Action Commission.
Steve Brown has been a resident of the City of Coachella for over 9 years. He was appointed to the Coachella City Council in May 2017. Steve began his serving this community with the City of Coachella in 1999 as a Housing Manger, quickly was appointed Director of Neighborhood Services which included housing, code enforcement and animal control and retired as Assistant City Manager in 2010.
Brown moved to the Coachella Valley in 1995 from Los Angeles where he attended UCLA and graduated with a degree in Psychology. He moved to the Coachella Valley in 1995 and began a his career with non-profits working with the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition and the Desert AIDS Project until he entered the public sector with the City of Coachella. After retirement Brown worked for the Desert Healthcare District as the Director of Community Relations and is now the Special Assistant to Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
Brown is a proud husband, father and grandfather.
Gabriel Martin is currently the City of Coachella’s Economic Development Manager, which is responsible for developing and implementing the City’s economic development strategies and programs for business attraction, enhancement, retention, and expansion; including technical assistance and resources to local existing businesses, conducting surveys, community outreach, and marketing. He is also responsible for conducting special studies and preparing comprehensive reports related to economic and community development.
Prior to joining the City of Coachella, Mr. Martin worked in various government agencies, such as the Riverside County Economic Development Agency, County of San Bernardino Architecture and Engineering Department, and the City of Redmond, accumulating over 12 years of public administration experience in the field of economic development, redevelopment, project management, construction management, workforce development, and contract administration.
Mr. Martin graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Business Administration and from California State University, San Bernardino in 2004 with a Master’s in Public Administration.