John Withers Of Irvine To Serve As Board Chairman For The Orange County Sanitation District

Fountain Valley, California – The Orange County Sanitation District (OC San) announces John Withers, of the Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors, as Chairman of the OC San Board, the position was previously held by the City of Stanton Mayor, David Shawver. Chad Wanke of Placentia will be the next OC San Board Vice-Chairman. Both positions will take effect July 1.

“It means a lot to me to be nominated for this position, I will thoroughly prepare myself to do the best job, to continue the great work of staff and the Board.  I want to maintain and enhance the trust that OC San enjoys with the rate payers, the trust that leadership has with the Board, and the trust that the Board has with staff. I want to build on, maintain, and enhance the trust and transparency with the various publics that we serve, stated Mr. Withers.

Mr. Withers has been a member of OC San’s Board of Directors since 2009 and previously served as the Chair of the Operations Committee and is the current Board Vice-Chairman. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Irvine Ranch Water District for 30 years. Additionally, he was on the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission for 23 years and served as the Chairman of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Mr. Withers earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UCLA with a specialization in urban studies. He was then selected as a CORO Foundation Fellow and earned a master’s degree in urban studies from Occidental College. Community activities include membership in the UCLA Alumni Association, youth sports and Mariners Church.

Mr. Withers has been a resident of Irvine since 1984, where he lives in Northwood with his wife, Katie. They have three grown children, Carolyn, Gordon, and Peter.

Mr. Wanke has been on the OC San Board since 2014 where he has been a member of the Steering Committee and served as the Administrative Committee Chair for the past three years.  “It is an honor to have the Board’s trust and confidence to execute the job of Vice Chairman, I really appreciate it. I have learned a lot while serving on the Board and look forward to putting all of that to work. At OC San we have a very competent collegial group of Board Members and staff that fulfill our mission and that make this position exciting to have,” stated Mr. Wanke.

Mr. Chad Wanke is the Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Placentia. He was elected to the City Council in 2010, reelected to the City Council in 2014 and 2018, receiving the highest number of votes in 2014. His fellow Council Members elected him Mayor in both 2014 and 2017. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Minor in Anthropology.  Mr. Wanke currently lives in Placentia, with his wife Leonie and their four young children.

For more information about the Orange County Sanitation District, please visit


About OC San

OC San is a public agency that provides wastewater collection, treatment, and recycling for approximately 2.6 million people in central and northwest Orange County. OC San is a special district that is governed by a 25-member Board of Directors comprised of 20 cities, four special districts, and one representative from the Orange County Board of Supervisors.  OC San has two operating facilities that treat wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources.


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Learn more about the California Strategies members featured in this article:

John Withers
John Withers
Orange County