Meet Teresa Herrera! Breaking Boundaries and Making a Change

Teresa Herrera is General Manager for Silicon Valley Clean Water and has been working in the water and wastewater industry for over three decades. She recently made history by becoming the first appointed female to assume this role. As she looks back on her career, Herrera says she is extremely proud of being a woman of color in a top position. Teresa has also initiated three very large capital projects using a Progressive Design-Build process ($490 million budget).

What attracted her to the water and wastewater industry is being able to make a difference. “Taking something harmful to people and the environment and turning it into something harmless or, even better, beneficial, was a dream come true!” says Herrera.

What Herrera says she enjoys most about her work is it allows her to be open to new ideas to help her to better understand and serve the community. One of her biggest short-term concerns for the California wastewater industry is the availability of options to dispose of or reuse biosolids. Looking long range, she says the responsibility toward sustainability overall needs to increase.

Herrera became involved in CASA early in her career after being encouraged by her boss. She says CASA shaped her own sense of how to be a leader in her company/agency and in California’s wastewater industry.
Herrera’s words of wisdom to new wastewater industry professionals are: “The most important aspect of working in the wastewater industry is to understand the value and responsibility that we carry as an industry.” She also encourages younger generations to become leaders and be involved in the industry.

Congratulations on your success, Teresa!