Buellton-Based Civil Engineer One of Four Honored

Doug Pike, of MNS Engineers in Buellton, is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy like most engineers.   So to be named Engineer of the Year by the Santa Barbara County Chapter of the California Special Districts Association was totally unexpected.  “I very much appreciate the recognition,” he said. 

A civil engineer, Pike specializes in municipal and water resources engineering. He has worked for MNS for the past five years and worked for the firm for about two years previously during his 32-year career on the Central Coast.

The Santa Maria Valley Water Conversation District, which oversees the maintenance and operations of Twitchell Dam, nominated him for the award.  Pike said the agency is a longtime client and the nomination was based on his ongoing work with the district.  In the early 2000s, Pike served as the contract city engineer and interim public works director in Solvang.

Unlike Pike, being selected for the CSDA General Manager of the Year Award wasn’t a total surprise to Chris Hastert of the Santa Maria Public Airport, but he still considers it an honor.  He was chosen by a vote of the organization’s executive board, of which he is a member, so he knew he was in the mix.  But he said he was still flattered by the award.

“They passed around the nominations for the award and I was surprised to see my name,” Hastert said. “I was very honored to receive the award. There are quite a few special districts in the county.”

Santa Barbara County has 36 special districts and the CSDA represents 26 of them.  Others honored by the CSDA Santa Barbara County Chapter include Mike Burke, R. Burke Corp., Contractor of the Year Award; and Christa Coski, Goleta Water District, Accountant of the Year Award.

Hastert came to Santa Maria in 2008 after serving as deputy director of Ventura County Airports, which includes Camarillo and Oxnard.  His nomination stems from the great strides Santa Maria Public Airport has made over the past year. In 2012, the airport completed a 1,700-foot runway extension, Hastert worked with Allegiant Air to get passenger service to Hawaii, and a popular go-kart track reopened after a two-year hiatus.

January 2, 2013  •  Staff report