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Ceres native Reimers, first woman to lead TID, resigns
• Leaves to spend time with her kids
Reimers quits
The 64-minute TID virtual tour video starts out with a message from general manager Michelle Reimers. Reimers announced she was resigning from the irrigation district, effective June 21. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Turlock Irrigation District general manager Michelle Reimers has announced that she will be resigning after four and a half years at the helm.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the organization I have called home for the past 18 years,” said Reimers, who will stay on until June 21 to assist with the transition. “I am proud of the progress that we have made as an organization, and I believe that TID is well positioned to continue to meet our mission of providing reliable and affordable water and power for years to come.”

Reimers started her career at TID in 2006 working in the public information department. She held various leadership roles at the district, ultimately becoming the first woman general manager in the agency’s 137-year history.

“It’s a combination of things that make me really proud,” said Reimers. “Not only being the first woman general manager, but the first GM that wasn’t either an attorney or an engineer.

“It’s hard for me talk about because I get very emotional, but I think what’s been most impactful is when other women call me and tell me that I’ve been an inspiration to them. I didn’t recognize that when I took job or when I was in the midst of it.”

During her tenure, Reimers negotiated a voluntary agreement for the Tuolumne River and filed for new water rights to capture flood flows to enhance water resources.

“It’s hard to find people that have such a broad view of the world,” said Stanislaus County District 2 Supervisor Vito Chiesa, himself a farmer. “Michelle has been a tremendous asset not only to TID but to the entire community, and I’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with her. TID has been integral to the local economy and the well-being of Stanislaus County, and she’s been a leader in that capacity. I wish her the best.”

Reimers also focused on improving the customer experience through launching a customer portal — — for electric customers and the development of online grower tools for irrigation customers. 

“Michelle has been a tireless advocate of our community and has always led with the customer in mind,” said TID board president Ron Macedo. “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Michelle for her dedication to the organization, its customers, and the community.”

Reimers said she’s looking time to spending more time with sons Jasper, 14, and Wyatt, 11. 

“This is a pretty intense job and I’m looking forward to having some more time with my family,” said Reimers. “My kids are at an important age where I want to be a bigger part of their lives.”

Born in Turlock and raised in Ceres, Reimers graduated from Stanislaus State with a degree in communications. She was hired to replace GM Casey Hashimoto in November 2019 and started her new position in January of 2020. 

“Little did I know that my first huge challenge would be leading this organization through a worldwide pandemic,” said Reimers. “Wow.” 

Reimers also led TID out of the third driest three-year period in the district’s history and through the single wettest year on record. 

Reimers serves on the board of California for the Environment and Economy, the Northwest Public Power Association, and Opportunity Stanislaus; and is president of the California Municipal Utilities Association board of governors.

“As much as I love this job, it’s time to explore other opportunities,” said Reimers. “We put TID on the map in both power and water, but I’m looking forward to exploring a new chapter.”