Board of Directors


2021-2022 Board of Directors

CAPIO’s Board of Directors is elected by the membership each spring. Board terms are two years, with approximately half of the positions rotating each year according to the schedule outlined in our bylaws. All CAPIO members in good standing are eligible to serve on—and vote for—the CAPIO Board.



Maurice Chaney

Maurice Chaney is a strategic communication professional with more than 20 years of combined experience in both the public and private sectors. He is a Public Information Officer for the City of Roseville’s Environmental Utilities—a suite of community-owned utilities for a community of 140,000.

Public Information Officer, Environmental Utilities
City of Roseville
2005 Hilltop Circle
Roseville, CA 95747
Office: 916.774.5539

Erin Morales

Erin Morales has nearly 15 years of experience in the public sector, specifically working within the water industry. Erin joined the Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD) in 2007 and is the Government and Public Affairs Supervisor. Her areas of focus are public outreach, customer relations, marketing, and conservation programming. She has assisted in the implementation of CVWD’s Communications Master Plan and Branding Style Guide. She has also been instrumental in building CVWD ambassadors through its award winning tours program.

Government and Public Affairs Supervisor
Cucamonga Valley Water District
10440 Ashford Street
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Office: 909.483.7462

Amy E. Williams
Immediate Past President

With nearly 20 years of media and communications experience in the public and private sectors, Amy Williams has vast experience working in all levels of local government communications. She has developed, implemented, and managed complex communication plans and media strategies, including the negotiations and development of a downtown arena, labor relations, budget process, and emergency operations. Amy has also provided media counseling and coaching to City executives, Councilmembers, and managers.

Chief of Staff
City of Sacramento
915 I Street, Fifth Floor
Sacramanto, CA 95814
Office: 916.808.5014

Tom Christensen
Vice President – Conference

Tom Christensen has been a communications specialist with the County of San Diego since 2006. He coordinates and monitors nearly 100 accounts as part of the County’s nationally-recognized social media efforts and writes stories for He was part of the team that won the 2018 CAPIO Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader Team Award and has worked on crisis communications during several wildfires, a county-wide blackout and an outbreak of hepatitis A.

Communications Specialist
County of San Diego
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101
Office: 619.515.6535

Sylvia Ornelas
Vice President - Awards

Sylvia Ornelas is a seasoned strategic communications professional, water education coordinator, and event planner. Sylvia has more than 10 years of combined experience in both the public and private sectors and non-profits. She is a Public Information Specialist II for Rancho California Water District (Rancho Water) in Temecula, CA, which serves approximately 150,000 people.

Public Information Specialist II
Rancho California Water District
42135 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA 92590
Office: 951.296.6940

Margie Otto
Vice President - Communications

Margie Otto currently serves as the PIO and Customer Relations Manager for the City of Vernon & Public Utilities

With more than 20 years of civic service, Margie began her career working on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and then held a wide range of city positions in the area of strategic planning, budgeting, and crisis communications. Her expertise includes sound marketing and public relations support for increasing program participation, advancing the adoption of emerging trends, and enhancing community engagement. 

Public Relations and Marketing Manager
City of Pasadena, Water and Power
150 S. Los Robles Ave #200
Pasadena, CA 91101
Office: 626.744.7518

Christine Brainerd, APR
Education and Development Chair

Christine is a seasoned, award-winning communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience in government communications, public relations, and journalism. As communications director, she manages the city’s comprehensive communications program, including news media relations, public information, and community relations.

Communications Director
City of Folsom
50 Natoma Street
Folsom, CA 95630
Office: 916.351.3360

Christina Byrne
Social Media Chair

Christina Byrne is the Public Outreach Department Manager at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and recently served as the 2019 CAPIO Conference Publicity Co-Chair. Christina previously served on the CAPIO Conference Awards Committee and has presented at several previous CAPIO conferences on a variety of topics.

Public Outreach Department Manager
Orange County Transportation Authority
550 S. Main Street
Orange, CA 92863
Office: 714.560.5717

Michelle Adams
Website Chair

Michelle Adams has nearly 15 years of experience in the communications and public relations industry – having served in the public, private, and NGO sectors. She specializes in strategic and integrated communications planning, brand management, and digital communications. She also enjoys expressing her creative side through graphic design.

Strategic Communications Supervisor
Western Municipal Water District
14205 Meridian Parkway
Riverside, CA 92518
Office: 951.571.7266

Lael Wageneck, APR
Central CA Regional & Membership Chair

Lael Wageneck, APR is the Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department which serves over 400,000 residents. He has over 15 years of experience in media production, public relations and public administration, and has presented a many CAPIO conferences on topics from photography to ethics. He previously served on the CAPIO Board as the Central California Regional Chair from 2015-17.

Public Information Officer
Santa Barbara County Public Works Department
123 E. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Office: 805.568.3425

Leslie Arroyo, MBA
Northern CA Regional & Membership Chair

Leslie has more than 25 years of work experience ranging from consulting, television, private sector public relations and currently the public sector. Leslie is the Communications Director for the City of South San Francisco. She is responsible for managing an overall strategic communications plan including news media relations, public information, community relations, and marketing the City of South San Francisco.

Communications Director
City of South San Francisco
400 Grand Avenue
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Office: 650.829.6603

Grace Cardenas
Southern CA Regional & Membership Chair

Grace Cardenas is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with experience in both the public and private sectors. She is currently a Senior Strategic Communications Representative for the Western Municipal Water District. Her specialties include branding and marketing, social media management, content development, emergency communications, and community engagement.

Senior Strategic Communications Representative
Western Municipal Water District
14205 Meridian Parkway
Riverside, CA 92518
Office: 951.571.7211

Amy Orr
Association & Conference Manager

Amy Orr began working with CAPIO in 2010 as conference manager. In 2015, her role expanded to association management, and she now handles the day-to-day operations of the organization in addition to managing the annual conference under the direction of the conference committee and Board leadership.

ORRganized Events
P.O. Box 8840
Chico, CA 95927
844.CAPIO55 / 844.227.4655
(530) 924-5444 CAPIO Direct line
(530) 345-1109 ORRganized events line