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  • Leadership Santa Maria Valley: Keep Green Clean!

    Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2021 hosted its Sustainability and Natural Resources topic discussion on May 7th, gathering some of the Valley’s most prominent leaders to discuss the new and innovative ways their organizations are taking the lead on building a cleaner and more sustainable future.

    The day began with co-founder and current vice-president of Santa Maria Energy, Ramon Elias. Mr. Elias educated the class on the rich history and importance of oil production in the Santa Maria Valley, explaining how oil production on the California Central Coast is considered some of the earliest oil activity across the country. In the early 1900s, the rich environment sparked an oil boom in the hills of what is now known as Orcutt Field, producing up to 12,000 barrels of oil per day, and eventually, making the area the most prolific region in California at that time.

    Even more important, however, Mr. Elias shared the importance of recognizing and appreciating yesterday’s rich history, while also planning for tomorrow’s bright future. Santa Maria Energy is a company driven by strong core principles and best practices. The energy company prides itself in its commitment to developing and producing a natural energy resource that is vital for the entire community, while fulfilling its obligation to be good stewards of the Earth, of the community, and to its employees. This ideology exemplifies why Santa Maria Energy was the recipient of the Outstanding Lease Maintenance Award three times within four short years, proving regulatory excellence and setting the standards for an entire industry.

    Following Mr. Elias, the class learned about the Santa Maria landfill from Solid Waste Manager, Herb Cantu. Mr. Cantu elaborated on the landfill’s many services – including recycling, the disposal of household hazardous waste, asphalt and concrete, and non-hazardous hydrocarbon impacted soil – and the importance of constantly evaluating the company’s situation to ensure the best tools, technology, and methods are being used to produce better results. The Santa Maria Landfill, another industry leader in terms of best practices, has proven its excellence by extending the utility life of its current location by almost a decade and by prepping a new facility to have the capacity for 100 years of use while creating a healthy relationship with the surrounding environment. Partnering with Engel & Gray, our local composting company, they are trialing a program aimed at reducing the amount of Organics Waste that ends up in landfills.

    As leadership speaker, Lee-Volker Cox, told the class, “the things we constantly say and what we focus on, eventually, become our reality,” therefore, it’s imperative for leaders and organizations to not only envision a better future but truly embody what it means to go above and beyond to make that better future a reality. The 2021 Leadership Class would like to thank Ramon Elias and Santa Maria Energy, Herb Cantu and the City of Santa Maria, Bob Engel and Engel & Gray, and Lee-Volker Cox for your services and commitment to keeping green clean!