Kevin Strauss awarded the 2024 Communicator of the Year Award at CAPIO’s EPIC Awards Dinner


The California Association of Public Information Officials recognized Kevin Strauss, Communications Manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) with one of CAPIO’s highest honors – the 2024 Communicator of the Year – during the 2024 awards dinner on May 14 in Indian Wells.

Kevin has quickly become an influential leader in the communications industry. Kevin has supercharged his communications efforts, which have gained recognition from both his colleagues and the community.

“While he had years of success in the communications field prior to this position, his achievements in his first year at SCV Water clearly show his strength in communication and leadership. He has grown the reputation of the communications function in the agency among the Board, staff and the community through his innovative and strategic approaches,” said Kathie Kurt, retired communications manager and 2015 Paul B. Clark recipient.

“As I prepared for my retirement from SCV Water, I knew the greatest legacy I could leave would be to find a new Communications Manager who would bring fresh ideas and energy to the agency. And Kevin Strauss has clearly done that, and more.”

Strauss has earned many achievements in his role, including creating his agency’s first-ever digital media strategy, encompassing paid digital ads and social media across multiple platforms. He was instrumental in his agency’s brand refresh, which included creating new graphic standards and supporting materials to achieve a unified visual identity. Strauss also developed a popular “Distilled” recap for Board of Director meetings which used a conversational approach and humor to develop rapport with employees and the community.

In addition to his communication efforts, Strauss is very involved in the community. This past year, he successfully led the Bridgeport Park Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden Community Grand Opening, a multi-agency event that brought approximately 85 community members and dignitaries together to celebrate the grand opening of SCV Water’s first interactive sustainable landscape garden with accessible, interactive sustainability concepts, inspiration, and supplemental education opportunities.

Named one of the Top 51 Most Influential People in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2023, Strauss has crafted exceptional communication strategies that have accelerated his public information efforts. His expertise has fostered an exceptional commitment to continuous learning and collaboration at SCV Water, CAPIO and beyond.

Prior to receiving this award, Strauss previously received the 2020 Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader award as part of the City of Santa Clarita Communications team.


CAPIO is the premier professional association for California’s government communicators, serving more than 1,000 professionals across the state.

For more information about the Communicator of the Year award or CAPIO, visit