Chapter History

Sacramento Chapter History

This history is taken from the American Public Works Association - Sacramento Chapter - Chapter Manual - complied by Marco Palilla, 2001 APWA Sacramento Chapter President

Recognizing the need for a closer relationship between the members in the outlying areas of the Northern California Chapter, a group of farsighted people in the public works profession met on April 7, 1965, to discuss the matter. All members of the Northern California Chapter in Sacramento, Stockton, Davis and Woodland were invited. The purpose of the meeting was to formulate plans to petition the Northern California Chapter for the formation of a Sacramento Chapter.

Lloyd Berglund, Plant Staff Supervisor of PT&T, and Howard Van Reyper, Director of Public Works of Yolo County, acted in the capacity of "joint organizers". Due to the efforts of these two men, 25 professionals attended the meeting held in the Pacific Telephone Company conference room in Sacramento. Under the first order of business, Mr. Berglund read a petition and by-laws to be submitted to the Northern California Chapter regarding the formation of the Sacramento Chapter.

A nominating committee headed by Richard Milbrodt, Chief of Administrative Services Division, County of Sacramento Department of Public Works, was appointed. Their selections and subsequent unanimous election to the positions were as follows:

President - Thomas J. Dosh, Director of Public Works, City of Stockton

Vice-President - Howard Van Reyper, Director of Public Works, County of Yolo

Secretary/Treasurer - Lloyd Berglund, Plant Staff Supervisor, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company

Directors: Richard Milbrodt; Herbert Niederberger, Vice-President, Yolo Engineers and Surveyors, Inc.; Ronald H. Parker, Assistant City Engineer, City of Sacramento; and G.W. Pete Rodgers, Design Engineer, County of Sacramento, Department of Public Works.

President Dosh's first order of business was to select committee chairpersons to get the Chapter off to an enthusiastic and productive beginning. Following were the Chapter's initial committee chairs:

Program Chairman - Vern Cartwright, President, Cartwright Aerial Survey

Membership Chairman - Donald McCormick, President, Murray-McCormick Engineering Company

Arrangements Chairman - Fred Sage, Civil Engineer, City of Sacramento

Publicity Chairman - Donald Foley, Information Officer, City of Sacramento.

On May 28, 1965, an installation dinner was held at the El Rancho Motel in West Sacramento, with 56 attending. Mike Carozza, Public Works Director of Fresno, from the Central California Chapter, and James Vivrette, Road Commissioner of Alameda County, from the Northern California Chapter, assisted with the installation of officers.

The first Chapter meeting was held in June 1965, in Sacramento. National APWA Executive Secretary Robert Bugher and APWA President Roy Morse presented the Sacramento Chapter with its Charter.

The Chapter's Charter members included: Carl Arness, Frederick L. Barnett, Thomas J. Dosh, Alvord C. Estep, Gerald N. Gibson, Melvin P. Landis, Dee W. McKenzie, Ronald H. Parker, David B. Pelz, James C. Ray, Sr., Lloyd H. Roberts, John M. Robertson, Glenn E. Robison, G.W. (Pete) Rodgers, Allen J. Savitz, W.C. Wanderer, and Harlan E. Warwick.


One of the goals in 1983 for the Sacramento Chapter was the formation of a branch in the northern half of the chapter area. This branch was later to become known as the "Shasta- Cascade Branch" of the Sacramento Chapter. In May of 1983, through the efforts of the 1983 Chapter President Gerry Gibson and Vice-President, Glynn Moore, an organizational meeting was held in Redding. At that time, it was the consensus that a petition be filed, and that the formation processes move ahead.

On June 24, a second meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Redding. The Branch Chapter Bylaws were approved and the following first slate of officers were elected:

Chairman - Carl Arness, City of Redding

Vice Chairman - Harold Welborn, Ott Water Engineers

Secretary - Harlan Warwick, City of Red Bluff

Treasurer - Virgil Weld, Sharrah-Nolte Engineers

Executive Committee: Bob Agee, City of Anderson, Jack Anderson, Siskiyou County, Jim Bohannon, Pacific Telephone & Telegraph, Chico, Dick Curry, Shasta County, and Alan Savitz, City of Chico

On June 30, 1983, the Executive Committee of the Sacramento Chapter held a special meeting at the Golden Acorn Restaurant near Galt, whereupon a special resolution authorizing the Branch was adopted. These documents were submitted to "National" and on September 9, 1984, in Detroit, at the annual Conference, the Shasta-Cascade Branch of the Sacramento Chapter was officially approved by the National Board of Directors. On April 6, 1984, Trinity County was officially added to the Chapter and Branch area.

On October 14, 1983, at the Holiday Inn in Redding, the Branch was inaugurated, with a large contingent from Sacramento, Lodi, Yolo County and Stockton in attendance for the occasion. Gerry Gibson, Deputy Director of Public Works for Yolo County and President of the Sacramento Chapter, convened the meeting. Welcoming and opening remarks were made by Redding Mayor Barbara Gard. National President Jim Martin, Public Works Director of Fresno, gave a talk on the challenges for the Branch. Region VIII Director Sam Cristofano, Public Works Director of Santa Clara, swore in the new officers. The meeting was then turned over the Carl Arness, the newly elected president of the Shasta-Cascade Branch of the Sacramento Chapter.


The Sacramento Chapter takes pride in having eight of its members receive the APWA Top Ten Public Works Leader-of-the-Year Award:

  • John A Legarra, California State Highway Engineer (1971)
  • William R. Gianelli , Director of California Department of Water Resources (1973)
  • Heinz Heckeroth, California State Highway Engineer in charge of planning and evaluating the annual budget (1978)
  • Leo Trombatore, Director, California Department of Transportation (1984)
  • James C. Ray, Sr., Chief, Transportation Division, County of Sacramento (1990)
  • Robert O. Watkins, Chief Deputy Director, Caltrans, State of California (1993)
  • Irene Itamura, Director, Caltrans, District 3, State of California (1998)
  • Michael Kashiwagi, Public Works Director, City of Sacramento (2000)

Since its inception, the Sacramento Chapter has continuously served its regional area with educational and informative meetings and workshops. The membership includes a broad cross section of personnel in the public works industry. Since 1965, the Chapter membership has grown from 26 to over 500 members.

The Chapter is also proud of its achievements in comparison with other APWA Chapters particularly in receiving the following APWA Awards:

  • 1990 President's Plaque
  • 1991 President's Plaque
  • 1995 President's Award for Chapter Excellence
  • 1996 President's Award for Chapter Excellence
  • 2000 President's Award for Chapter Excellence

The vision of the Chapter's charter members in establishing the Sacramento Chapter in 1965 and the Shasta-Cascade Branch in 1984 have proven to be worth their efforts. The accomplishments and contributions of the Chapter has resulted in the delivery of a multiplicity of services to its members.

Portions of this History were prepared by Stanley F. Wilkening, former Chapter Historian, and President. Updated information was compiled by Jim Ray, Sr., current Chapter Historian, and President, 1986.


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