Charles “C.J.” Berry has been appointed as the new utility director for the city of Lompoc, following a nationwide recruitment process.
The utility director is responsible for overseeing Lompoc's utilities including water, wastewater, electricity, refuse and recycling, the Lompoc Landfill and a broadband network with Wi-Fi connections for internet access.
Berry started as director on Jan. 4 after his selection by Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop.
"His extensive experience and education combined with his passion for public service will be tremendous assets to Lompoc," Throop said.
Berry's appointment follows the retirement of Utility Director Brad Wilkie in December 2019 and the subsequent service of interim Utility Director George Morrow, who served through December 2020.
Berry most recently served as the manager of distribution services and maintenance operations for the Imperial Irrigation District. He brings extensive experience to the position, having managed public utilities in Truckee and Lodi as well as having been a utility designer and utility engineering designer in Sacramento and Washington state.
Berry said he is excited to join the department, according to city staff.
“Where there are challenges ahead for the city of Lompoc, there are opportunities for success and innovation,” Berry said. “Under the guidance of the Lompoc City Council and the leadership of the city manager, Lompoc is poised to meet these challenges head-on. I am looking forward to working with the City Council and city administrators to position our utilities to enhance rate stability, foster and support a culture of safety, optimize operations, and leverage opportunities that enhance the quality of life for our community.”
His education includes a doctorate with an emphasis in engineering and technology management from Northcentral University in San Diego, a Master of Science in management and leadership from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, a Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, a bachelor's degree in management from the University of Phoenix in Arizona, and an associate’s degree in mathematics from Sacramento City College.