Retirees Reunite at 2019 Annual Retired Employee Picnic

Nearly 600 retirees, their family and friends enjoyed catching up with former colleagues as they reunited for the 66th Annual LADWP Retired Employee Picnic on June 1, 2019 at Legg Lake in Whittier Narrows Park.

Despite the usual June gloom, participants enjoyed a huge picnic lunch, live music, a classic car show, private photo booth, games and prizes. The LADWP Employees Association, which coordinates the event, offered cash prizes this year to three lucky raffle winners. Kathryn Lyons won the grand prize of $500. The second-place prize of $300 went to Joyce Hunter, and Charles Martin won the third-place prize of $200. The Water and Power Community Credit Union also raffled prizes and sponsored the classic car show. LADWP Speakers Bureau members staffed a booth providing information about the Department.

The annual picnic takes place on the first Saturday in June. So plan ahead and mark your calendars to attend next year’s picnic on June 6, 2020.

In Memoriam

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of current and former employees who have recently passed.

Visit the Water and Power Retired Employees’ Retirement Plan website – to view or download monthly notices of retirees and active employees who have passed away.


We extend sincere congratulations to all the employees who, after many years of dedicated service, are joining the ranks of LADWP retirees.

For a list of new retirements, as well as archives, visit the Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan website.

(Photo by Art Mochizuki)

Welcome Commissioner Cynthia McClain-Hill

By Ellen Cheng

LADWP proudly welcomed Cynthia McClain-Hill to the Board of Commissioners following her confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council on August 16, 2018. Appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, she will serve a four-year term, and replaced former Board Vice-President William W. Funderburk, Jr.

McClain-Hill has served on multiple local boards and commissions, including the City’s Police Commission and Community Redevelopment Agency, and was president of the National Association of Women Business Owners from 2008-2009. She is a widely respected attorney and public policy strategist, and is managing director of Strategic Counsel PLC.

“LADWP plays a very important role in the everyday lives of Angelenos, and I am thrilled to take on the challenge of helping to lead the Department into the future, protecting the interests of ratepayers and moving forward on the goals of the Mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn,” said McClain-Hill.

David H. Wright added, “I very much look forward to working with Commissioner McClain-Hill as we continue to focus on investing in our water and power infrastructure, improving our customer’s experience and transforming our water and power supplies to more sustainable resources.”

(Photo by Art Mochizuki)

2017 Retiree Picnic: A Day of Fun and Fond Memories

By Kim Hughes
Photos by Art Mochizuki

As more than 640 attendees walked up to the registration table, a smiling Shirley Brown, president of the Employees Association, extended a hand and a warm welcome. It was the first Saturday in June, and this was the 2017 iteration of the annual LADWP Retiree Picnic at Whittier Downs Recreation Area.

Each year, retirees look forward to getting together to share fond memories and hug old friends. They come from around the corner and from thousands of miles away.  Gathered in one place were hundreds of years of knowledge, experience and LADWP history. What a special treat to be in the presence of such a group!

Maurice Doucette

Among the attendees was Maurice Doucette who had traveled the farthest—from New Orleans—to join the celebration.

Able Guarbiola

Able Guarbiola was honored as the retiree with the most years of service. Guarbiola spent 48 years working in LADWP’s Power System. He attended the picnic with his wife Dora, a retired employee of Kaiser Permanente.

“I really can’t say enough about LADWP — the Department has been so good to me” – Able Guarbiola

Guarbiola said that he didn’t really want to retire in 2016, as he enjoyed every day of working as an assistant programmer. He came to LADWP when Sam Yorty was Mayor, and after serving in the U.S. Army and Navy. As Guarbiolo and Dora went off to enjoy the delicious luncheon of hot dogs, tri-tip, chicken, rolls, popcorn, soft drinks and ice cream, a familiar face approached. Former Chief Chemist Tim Hemmings was celebrating the day.

Tim Hemmings

Though retired, Hemmings is still well known around LADWP, as he serves on the Retirement Board and has been an active member of LADWP’s Regional Science Bowl since its inception, where he acts as chief science judge. Hemmings shared that he retired in 1999 and that this was his 18th Retiree Picnic.

At the photo booth, a line snaked from the shady tent, and friends and family were lined up to capture a memory. As attendees took their poses, their photos were snapped and printed out as keepsakes.

Gene Conzano

Gene Conzano, who retired in 2015, says that he misses his work friends. As LADWP’s dedicated photographer Art Mochizuki snapped photos of Gene, he commented how much he appreciated Art taking photos at his retirement event. Having those mementos means the world to Gene.

Bobbie Ayears and Genevieve Kemp

It is often said that LADWP is a “family affair,” and that was evident by the many related employees that were part of the Retiree Picnic celebration. A perfect example of that are Bobbie Ayears and Genevieve Kemp. Together, the aunt and her niece represented 45 years of service to LADWP.

Icle David

Another special attendee was Icle David. At 97-years-young, David was the oldest retiree at the picnic. She joined LADWP in 1957, and shared that she had seen many changes during her time at the Department and beyond. She says that she has always been grateful for her job and the friends she made.

As the picnic was winding down and the final raffle prizes awarded, a shriek of glee could be heard as Anthony Reyes realized he was the winner of the Water and Power Credit Union’s prize of a family four-pack of movie tickets. The day had produced a number of lucky raffle prize winners.

Soon, goodbye hugs were given all around, and people gathered their belongings for their trips home. It was bittersweet to many to say goodbye, but there is always next year’s picnic.