Crystal Nettles - Senior Communications Specialist

Crystal Nettles is the 2021 Employee of the Second Quarter.

cThe Orange County Water District is pleased to announce Crystal Nettles, Senior Communications Specialist is the 2021 Employee of the Second Quarter.  Crystal Nettles is an outstanding example of a dedicated employee who deserves to be recognized as OCWD’s Employee of the Quarter. This year, in particular, Crystal is deserving for her tireless work on planning and implementing the annual Youth Environmental Summit (YES), which transitioned from its usual two-day in-person event to a week-long virtual event in response to COVID-19 restrictions. OCWD is proud to say that YES is the nation’s largest event of its kind, educating elementary students about water and the environment for the past 24 years.

In addition to rebranding YES, due to the name change from Children’s Water Education Festival, and expanding the event to 5 days, Crystal responded to the needs of schools, teachers, and students by seamlessly creating an event that could be used in the current virtual learning and education format. This was an enormous undertaking that involved a great deal of research, leadership, and creativity.  Working with more than 20 environmental organizations, and OCWD departments, staff and Board, Crystal created an event that allowed schools to watch daily live presentations, as well on-demand videos that teachers and students could watch according to their schedule. More than 60 live, interactive and on-demand educational presentations were available during the week. Crystal created a format where take-home activities that corresponded with the presentations were available for each program.

Crystal worked diligently to create an event that drew more than 6,600 students from over 90 Orange County schools. In addition, Crystal was able to solicit sponsorships from 21 organizations to help underwrite the cost of this award-winning program.

In planning and implementing this event, Crystal worked many, many long hours, always demonstrating a calm and highly professional demeanor. Praised highly by the teachers who participated, and thanks to Crystal’s leadership and strong organizational and motivational skills, the event was a huge success. Once again, Crystal helped to showcase OCWD as a leader in our industry and was invited by ACWA to share about the event’s success during its last conference. We are thrilled to honor her as Employee of the Quarter.