Initially elected in 1998 and re-elected each term since, Jim Atkinson represents Division 4 which includes the communities of College Park, Mesa del Mar and Monticello, as well as John Wayne Airport and the OC Fairgrounds. Director Atkinson serves as Board President in 2017-2018. He was President for 2002, 2003, and 2008 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the District’s Legislative & Public Affairs Committee, and as an alternate on Mesa Water’s Engineering & Operations Committee.

In addition to serving on Mesa Water’s Board, President Atkinson was elected to serve as one of seven board members on the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Region 10 Board and is one of two Orange County representatives for Region 10 on the ACWA Groundwater Committee. Additionally, he represents Mesa Water at the Orange County Water District, and on the Colorado River Water Users Association’s Public Affairs Committee, on the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County and on the Southern California Water Committee.

President Atkinson has previously chaired Mesa Water’s Audit Ad Hoc, Executive, Engineering & Operations, Finance, Human Resources, and Public Information Committees. Additionally, as a Costa Mesa resident for over 30 years, he has served as a Vice President and Director of the Mesa del Mar Homeowners Association and as a Leadership Tomorrow Board member from 2002 to 2006 (after completing the program in 2001), where his role included hosting an educational Water Workshop day.

With Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of La Verne, President Atkinson worked as the Laboratory Operations Business Manager at The Aerospace Corporation for over 30 years. His experiences there included Business Administration of the Research Laboratory Operations, as well as Construction Management and Facilities Management. Through this employment, he attended earthquake response and recovery training at the California Specialized Training Institute’s Emergency Operations Center. He was also an International Code Conference (ICC) Certified Member and an ICC Certified Plumbing Inspector.

His hobby of racing model sailboats with International One Meter boats led to President Atkinson’s 2011 appointment to Region 6 Director of the American Model Yachting Association (AMYA) Board.