Ruth Roslyn Birkelo
Occidental Petroleum - Sr. Staff Engineering Technician (data analyst)
Bachelor of Arts
I have not donated money to any political campaigns or organizations.
I have been an appointed volunteer director for the Forest Hills Metropolitan District (FHMD - Special District) April 2014 - March 2020.
I am a natural leader who gets involved because I want to give back, or especially when I see a need. I have led the FHMD using common sense for the past 6 years. My accomplishments while on the board has been (1) hiring of new district manager, administrator, staff engineer, and water & sewer operating company, (2) getting all 10 wells in the district back online and operable (via new operating company); (3) a grant funded fire mitigation project that included tree thinning and a skid road installation beneath a dangerous incline to the neighborhood; (4) pipeline installation between neighboring water sources to our community in case of a catastrophic fire; (5) funding and development plan of new booster pump station (still in progress); (5) managed funding of new road surfacing without assessing community or raising taxes; (7) balanced the water & sewer fund by raising water rates.
I have always been involved in some sort of community service for as long as I can remember. Since I just finished serving on the FHMD board of directors, I consider this commission a worthy cause to dedicate my time. Furthermore, I believe my organized and systematic approach to problem solving, my logical thinking, and my experience handling and defusing stressful, and even confrontational, situations will be beneficial to the process.
The only way anyone on any committee in any situation can lead or promote consensus is by being open and honest. Trust is the key. If I am being myself (sincere, level headed, a good listener, respectful and considerate), and I am communicating effectively, and we systematically break down the problem we are trying to solve so everyone fully understand the situation as well as feel they have a voice and are being heard, we should be able to come to a consensus. The most important thing I've learned over the years serving on different boards from HOA's to PTA's, is that everyone has a different way of looking at different situations and they bring their own experiences to the table, but you have to listen objectively and try to understand everyone's perspective. Perception is reality and I never want to make anyone feel like they are ignored, brushed aside, or that their opinion doesn't count.
I am a data analyst and have been for most of my career. I am a critical thinker, a researcher, extremely detail oriented, and I understand the big picture while still focusing on how the smaller parts affect the end result. I approach most problems the same way, first by understanding the problem, then by collecting all the data/information I need, breaking it down into smaller parts, organizing it logically, interpreting the data, and then brainstorming solutions. While collaborating, it's important to be an active listener and communicate effectively. It is not only essential to gain the trust of your team, but also to being productive with the time allotted. I know how to be task driven, but I am always results driven.