Environmental advocacy honor from Assemblymember, Robert Rivas

(April 2019)


About Wayne

leadership + experience + competence

Stretching from Aromas to Hollister, our district is blessed with diversity—of geography, businesses, and people. We may have different backgrounds, but we have many things in common, including care and concern for the beautiful place we live.

I will endeavor, as I always have, to serve and actively listen to our community. I am an Army veteran, a founding member and past president of the Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista, past president of the Aromas Eagles, Chair of the county Aging and Long-Term Care Commission, Director of the Seniors Council of San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, and a founding staff member of Anzar High School, a California Distinguished School. Most recently, I was a member of the committee supporting Measure G, approved by 70 percent of county voters to fund critical road improvements.

San Benito County is a special place. Working together, we can preserve our way of life while keeping an eye on our future. Together, we can solve the problems of today to make sure that our children and grandchildren have a brighter tomorrow. I would be honored to represent you. 

community service

  • Hollister Exchange Club, former member

  • Aromas Service Club, former member

  • San Juan Bautista Rotary Club, founding member, past president, and current member

  • Eagles, past president and current member

  • Aromas Community Center Foundation, founding member

  • Aromas Cares for our Environment (ACE), founding member

  • Aromas Progressive Action League (APAL), founding and current member

experience reflects service 

  • US Army veteran, Vietnam

  • Government reporter and editor for several local newspapers, including managing editor of the daily Hollister Free Lance

  • Anzar High School, founding staff member 

  • Long-term Care Ombudsman, fighting for the rights of Hollister nursing home residents, and investigating elder abuse


public service

  • Aromas Water District, elected director (terms: 2012-16 and 2016-20)

  • Seniors Council of San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, board member

  • San Benito County Aging Commission, chair

  • Yes on Measure G campaign, press coordinator and volunteer

recent honors

  • Philanthropy Day Award recipient, honored by the Aromas Eagles (November 2019)

  • Recognition as Environmental Advocate, by Assemblymember, Robert Rivas (April 2019)


  • Bachelors in Journalism, San Jose State (1981)

  • Masters in Education, San Jose State (2000)

Our Family Tradition of Service

My partner, Leslie Austin, and I are proud to live in our wonderful community of Aromas. We both moved to Aromas in the mid 1980s. Leslie is a former elected school board trustee, and currently works as an organizer for the nonprofit Greenpower


My daughter, Casey Norton Powers, attended our public schools and works for a private nonprofit that provides services for homeless adults. She is a trustee in the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District. Her husband, Tim, is a public school teacher and serves on the San Benito County Parks Commission.


Leslie’s eldest daughter, Lauren and her partner, Paul Rodde, live in Pacific Grove. Lauren is a small business owner and operates Studio 519Monterey County Weekly's Best Salon of 2019, while Paul works for a languages service provider. 


Leslie's youngest daughter, Olivia and husband, Brad Ashmore, are just starting their family and recently purchased a new home in Hollister. Olivia is a service adviser, while Brad is a project manager with local business, Willis Construction.


And I am the proud grandfather to Lily (5), Quinn (3), and Joelle (1). 

I pledge to value your family as I do my own.

Granddaughter Lily is ready to serve!