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(209) 937-8866

Chris Elias, Executive Director

Chris Elias is the Executive Director for the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA).  Under his direction and leadership of the Board of Directors, the SJAFCA carries out its mission to study, plan and implement flood protection projects, reducing the risk to people, structures and our economy.

Prior to joining SJAFCA, Chris worked at the Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) for 17 years where he reported directly to the CEO as Deputy Officer for Administration; served as Deputy Officer for Watersheds Operations & Maintenance; Assistant Officer for Water Utility Enterprise Technical Division, CEO/Board Support Officer, and Senior Project Manager for grants management.

Before his career at the Water District, Chris served for three years as Director of Energy & Environmental Programs at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (previously Manufacturing Group) where he led development and advocacy of energy and environmental policies to improve the economic health and quality of life for Silicon Valley high-tech businesses and their employees. He also worked for seven years in the environmental programs at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Chris has a MS degree in Project & Systems Management from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California and a BS in Civil Engineering.  He has also completed the Executive Leadership Program from UC Berkeley Extension and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Planning Coalition, the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters and as Vice President of NAACP Silicon Valley Chapter.




(209) 937-8113

Juan Neira, Senior Civil Engineer

Juan Neira has been with the Agency since its inception in 1996. He is familiar with the different aspects of the Agency including: finance, design, environmental, permitting, hydrology and hydraulics, and construction. Juan was also involved with State and Federal reimbursement issues of the Flood Protection Restoration Project (FPRP).


Juan is familiar with the day-to-day activities of the Agency's assessment district administration. During the construction phase of the SJAFCA FPRP, Juan acted as the Project Manager for some of the project reaches.


Currently, Juan is the Project Manager for the Smith Canal Closure Structure project. This project will provide flood protection and FEMA certification for the areas protected by the Smith Canal levees.


Juan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the National University of Colombia, and obtained his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University of California in 1994.




(209) 937-7900

Marlo Duncan, Project Manager

Marlo joined SJAFCA in May 2007. She provides administrative support, grant coordination and fiscal support to the Agency. Marlo also participates in flood protection public outreach activities with several other agencies in San Joaquin County.


Marlo began employment with the City of Stockton in 1992 providing case management support to the City’s administrative appeals process. From 1997 to 2001 she worked for the City’s fire department providing administrative and payroll support. Prior to joining SJAFCA, Marlo worked in the Human Resources department providing benefit administration and retirement counseling to City employees.


Marlo graduated from Edison High School in Stockton and completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.


Dawn Clement, Office Specialist

Dawn joined SJAFCA in September 2016. She provides secretarial and clerical support to the department.

She is proficient in computers and has a strong background in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Throughout her career she has gravitated towards using these talents to help and support those around her. Her previous co-workers have described her as trustworthy, capable, efficient, conscientious and dependable in whatever task was given.

Prior to her position at SJAFCA, Dawn worked for 5 years in Healthcare scheduling appointments and surgical procedures as well as providing administrative support. She also worked for 10 years as a Quality Analyst for the California Relay Service and provided Operational Support to a non-profit Missions organization for over 10 years.





(209) 468-3000

Kris Balaji, Director

San Joaquin County Public Works

Mr. Balaji, who currently serves as Director of Public Works for San Joaquin County, began his engineering career with the State Department of Transportation and served for nearly 16 years, designing and constructing roadways, bridges, and other public transportation infrastructure. Before leaving State service, Mr. Balaji served as Chief of the Traffic Operations Division and was responsible for the operation of all State highways in California. Mr. Balaji joined a global Architecture and Engineering firm and served as their Director of Transportation for five years; he also served as Vice President for another global Architecture & Engineering firm for over two years.

Mr. Balaji serves on the Board of multiple technical and non-profit organizations, and has a well-rounded knowledge of various aspects of public administration. He also volunteers his time for non-profit organizations and social causes.

Mr. Balaji obtained his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 from Annamalai University in India, and a Graduate Degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University in 1991. Mr. Balaji is a registered Civil Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional.




Fritz Buchman, Deputy Director

San Joaquin County Public Works

Fritz Buchman joined the San Joaquin County Public Works Department in October 2011, as Deputy Director of Development Services, where he oversees the Water Resources, Community Infrastructure Engineering, Surveyor, and Public Services Divisions.


Mr. Buchman has nearly 30 years of civil engineering experience, including extensive experience with both publicly and privately delivered municipal infrastructure. His experience includes serving as Capital Improvements Manager for the City of Elk Grove, where he was responsible for developing and overseeing implementation of a $254 million 5-year Capital Improvement Program, and subsequently served as Elk Grove's City Engineer, Assistant Public Works Director, and Public Works Director.


Mr. Buchman's experience also includes managing the entitlements, transportation planning, plan/map check, and permits functions for the cities of Sacramento and Elk Grove, whose responsibilities include reviewing and conditioning private development applications and overseeing implementation of the associated infrastructure. He has a strong background in providing engineering support needed for the formation and administration of developer fee programs and infrastructure finance districts and has been involved with funding programs exceeding $500 million.


Mr. Buchman holds a Bachelor of Science degree with High Honors in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis and is a Registered Civil Engineer and Traffic Engineer with the State of California.




Jim Stone, Deputy Director of Operations

San Joaquin County Public Works

Jim Stone studied Civil Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and received a B.S. Degree. He also attended Stanford University and received a M.S. in Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Management.


Jim served in the United States Army for 22 years, working as a Combat Engineer Officer, an instructor, and a project manager. Jim was the project manager for construction of a base camp in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, and also supervised U.S. military humanitarian, counterdrug, and disaster relief construction in the 22 nations of the Caribbean. While working in the Caribbean, Jim attended FEMA disaster response training, and was part of FEMA's response to a hurricane in Puerto Rico.


Jim retired from the Army in 2002 and went to work for the City of Manteca as a Deputy Public Works Director, supervising the water, wastewater, streets, fleet, facility, and solid waste field operations. Jim was also Floodplain Administrator for the City of Manteca and represented Manteca on the Flood Control TAC.


In 2013, Jim joined San Joaquin County Public Works as the Deputy Director for Operations.


Eric Ambriz, Channel Maintenance Superintendent

San Joaquin County Public Works

Mr. Ambriz has been an employee of San Joaquin County Department of Public Works for 17 years. Mr. Ambriz started his career in the Road Maintenance Division where he was a member of the tree crew. After serving 2 years on the tree crew, Mr. Ambriz transferred to the Channel Maintenance Division as a Maintenance Worker. Through hard work and dedication Mr. Ambriz climbed the ladder to officially become the Channel Maintenance Superintendent effective, May 30, 2016.

In 2014 Mr. Ambriz was rewarded for his valuable contributions to the Channel Maintenance Division by being nominated and receiving the Public Works employee of the year award.

Prior to his employment with San Joaquin County, Mr. Ambriz worked for a sub-contractor hired through PG&E as a supervisor inspector for 14 years. His background includes heavy equipment operation and construction.  Mr. Ambriz currently donates his time to help coach the Lincoln High School JV Baseball team. He was born and raised in Stockton, California and attended Franklin High school.

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