MSWD Director Griffith and Duff Recognized for Leadership Skills

Mission Springs Water District acknowledged the accomplishments of Board Members Robert Griffith and Amber Duff, who were recently honored by the California Special District Leadership Foundation with Special District Governance Certificates.

“No organization can prosper without sound leadership, and that starts at the top,” said Director Griffith. “It’s important that we as directors set the tone for how the District will operate and define the vision for the organization as we move forward.”

Directors Griffith and Duff are the first water district directors in the Coachella Valley to receive these honors, and they were two of only seven individuals recognized throughout the state this year for their accomplishments.

“The beauty of special districts is the diversity of skills and experience that each member brings to the leadership of the public service district they represent,” said Director Duff. “One of my priorities is to increase both the board and the public’s involvement in the decision-making process to further ensure the transparency and openness of Mission Springs Water District.”

Directors Griffith and Duff attended the Special District Leadership Academy last spring and then completed an additional 10 hours of continuing education. Courses and curriculum focused on four key areas: Governance Foundations, Setting Direction/Community Leadership, Board’s Role in Human Resources, and Board’s Role in Finance and Fiscal Accountability.

The Special District Leadership Academy is presented by the California Special District Association, which provides education and training, insurance programs, legal advice, legislative advocacy, and current information that is crucial to a special district’s management and operational effectiveness. With more than 1,300 members, they are the only statewide association representing all types of independent special districts, including irrigation, water, park and recreation, cemetery, fire, police protection, library, utility, harbor, healthcare, and community services districts.

Director Amber Duff was elected to the MSWD Board of Directors in November 2022. Prior to moving to Desert Hot Springs, Director Duff spent 25 years working in various administrative and management roles in both the legal and healthcare industries, as well as managing and reviving a 40-year family-run business on the California coast. She is currently a payroll administrator for a manufacturing business outside of Desert Hot Springs.

Director Robert Griffith was appointed to the MSWD Board of Directors in September 2022. With a proven history of leadership and giving back to the community, he previously served as a Desert Hot Springs Councilmember and as the Mayor Pro Tem. He also chaired the Desert Hot Springs Planning Commission and was President of the DHS Hotelier’s Association. Currently, he serves as President of the DHS Historical Society and is spearheading efforts to restore and open the famous DHS “Historic Rock House” to the public. A Desert Hot Springs resident since 2012, he is the Managing Director of the El Morocco Inn & Spa. His extensive retail and financial services background and experience as a small business owner have made him an asset to the local business community.

For more information about the MSWD Board of Directors, including a list of meeting dates and times, please visit

Image Sources

  • MSWD Directors Griffith, Duff Honored: MSWD