Richard Beene


Beene spent his career in the news business, first with United Press International (UPI) and later at the LA Times as one of their star editors. He joined The Bakersfield Californian in 1995 as Executive Editor and became President and CEO in 1998. Beene was an early internet adopter and led The Californian into the digital age. Following his retirement in 2017, Beene started his own radio talk show in Bakersfield on KERN 1180 AM/96.1 FM and he is an avid blogger with an active Facebook page. Beene’s experience of piloting a newspaper through rough seas help SJV Water keep a steady eye on the horizon.

Jorge Barrientos


Jorge Barrientos is the director of marketing and public relations at Chain | Cohn | Clark law office in Bakersfield. He serves on board of directors for a variety of community organizations including The Hub of Bakersfield, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (Kern County Chapter), and Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Education Foundation. When he’s not working or serving our community, you can find him traveling the world and hanging with his family, which includes wife Carla, 4-year-old son Julian, 1.5-year-old daughter Gianna Sol.

Jennifer Self


Self led The Bakersfield Californian’s award-winning features section for a decade during her 30-year career at the Californian. She has a keen nose for news and is wildly inventive in how to produce coverage that catches the reader’s eye. She left The Californian to work in advocacy for health care clinics and is now the Chief Information Officer for California State University, Bakersfield. Her insights provide SJV Water with a fresh perspective of how to approach the many facets of water in this valley.

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