CITY OF CYPRESS HIRES PLANNING DIRECTOR ALICIA VELASCO

Congratulations to the City of Cypress (Calif.) and to Alicia Velasco, who will shortly begin her tenure as Planning Director at the Orange County city of nearly 50,000.

In her new position, Velasco will oversee the planning, enforcement and housing functions, with four full-time staff. In a smaller city, successful managers must be hands-on, holding the vision and direction of the department and communicating across many internal and external partner roles, while also actively working to move specific projects and initiatives forward in accordance with the City’s master plan. We are confident the City has found its perfect candidate in Alicia Velasco.

Most recently, Velasco was with the City of Lomita, as Community and Economic Development Director, where she managed the divisions of Economic Development, Planning, Code Enforcement, Building and Safety, and Housing. She had earned that position from her previous role of Principal City Planner and, prior to that, Associate City Planner.

In the local newspaper, the Orange County Breeze, City Manager Peter Grant said, “Alicia’s 17 years of public and private sector experience have prepared her well to join the Cypress team. Her peers describe her as someone with the ‘figure it out’ gene and who understands the complex nature of local, state, and federal land use and environmental regulation.”

Read the entire Breeze story here

We agree with the City administration and Council that Velasco’s 17 years of municipal experience, with nine in a supervisory role, prepared her well for the Planning Director position. It’s been a pleasure to bring this professional and this team together!

 

NISHIL BALI IS THE NEW ROHNERT PARK FINANCE DIRECTOR

July brings a new fiscal year for most public agencies, and for the City of Rohnert Park (Calif), July 6 also brought the new Finance Director.

Nishil Bali was most recently the fiscal services manager for the City of Berkeley’s Planning & Development department, managing the $27 million budget and payroll, along with many other fiscal operations.

“Over the years, I have gained a well-rounded experience that allows me to provide financial stewardship across key municipal financial functions and lead interdisciplinary financial, budgetary and operational challenges faced by cities. My expertise lies in being a hands-on manager who can work directly with financial details and adapt to fill gaps in skill levels for my team, as well as guide long-range planning and decision making,” Bali said.

Prior to his time at Berkeley, Bali spent six years in financial positions at the City and County of San Francisco, serving the SFPUC and Office of Contracts, and the San Francisco Airport.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Gujarat University in India, as well as master’s degrees in Engineering & Project Management from UC-Berkeley and in Finance from IE Business School in Madrid.

Congratulations to both the City of Rohnert Park and Nishil Bali! It is a pleasure to manage a recruitment that works out so well for all involved!

HUNTINGTON BEACH WELCOMES PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR SEAN CRUMBY

Head shot of Sean Crumby

By the end of tonight’s Huntington Beach (Calif) City Council meeting, Sean Crumby will officially have the thumbs up as the next Public Works Director for Surf City, USA!

During the past few months, the City conducted a national recruitment process, managed by Teri Black & Co., to find the best possible successor to former Public Works Director Travis Hopkins, who was promoted to assistant city manager this spring.

Until Crumby starts his new position in August, he will finish up his current duties as  both the Deputy General Manager / Director of Engineering for the Long Beach Water Department and the Bureau Manager of Engineering for the Long Beach Energy Resources Department. Prior to that, Crumby also served Long Beach as deputy director of Public Works / City Engineer during his 20+ years of public works and civil engineering experience.

As Huntington Beach’s Public Works Director, Crumby will oversee

  • a $114 million department budget (nearly $24.6 million in CIP)
  • 207 full and part-time staff
  • 6 divisions.

City Manager Oliver Chi said he is confident that Crumby is the person for the job. “Throughout the recruitment process, Sean has risen to the top with his years of experience, proven track record in similar organizations, and a leadership philosophy rooted in hard work and humility,” Chi said. “As we face uncertain economic times following the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confident Sean can step in to serve and lead our people in the Public Works Department, while simultaneously helping us meet our infrastructure goals within our current budget reality.”

Crumby is a Registered Civil Engineer and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada.

We wish you the best in your new position, Sean, and will keep an eye on your progress and successes!

(Special shout out to PW administrator Tom Herbel, who stepped up to serve as acting Public Works director!)

SANTA ROSA HIRES NEW COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT DIRECTOR

Congratulations to the City of Santa Rosa and to Magali Telles, the City’s new Community Engagement Division Director. We at TB & Co. were honored to manage the recruitment process that brought these two together.

In a media release, City Manager Sean McGlynn said, “Ms. Telles understands the important time our community is in and is ready to engage, participate and facilitate the difficult conversations that are long overdue. We are excited to have her as part of our team to lead honest and open engagement at such a critical time.”

We will not be surprised to see other cities and counties consider hiring staff who are tasked with facilitating or implementing projects and plans aimed at bringing diverse community members together. In addition to Community Engagement efforts and strategy, Telles will implement the City’s newly created Community Empowerment Plan, oversee the Violence Prevention Partnership and provide support to the Community
Advisory Board and the City Council Open Government Task Force Implementation Subcommittee.

Read the City’s media release here

Telles, who has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, has been Executive Director of Los Cien, Sonoma County’s largest Latino leadership organization, since 2018. Prior to that, she was coordinator of college readiness programs at Sonoma State University.

As our country and our communities look for collaborative ways to move forward together, there is certainly a role for local government, as well as for NGO’s, the faith community, service clubs, families, individuals and more.

Read the story about Magali Telles in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. 

SUSAN HSIEH IS NEW SAN LEANDRO FINANCE DIRECTOR

After a broad recruitment and talent search, Susan Hsieh will take the reins as the City of San Leandro’s Finance Director on Monday, June 22, City Manager Jeff Kay announced earlier this month.

Susan had been Finance Director for the City of Emeryville since 2016, and before that, spent seven years as the Assistant Finance Director for the Association of Bay Area Governments. Earlier in her career, Susan worked for the City of Albany and as an auditor for Grant Thornton. She has a BA in accounting and an MBA in Finance and Management from Cal State East Bay. She is a certified public accountant.

Congratulations to Susan and to the City of San Leandro, as they work together to lead the city and its residents as, along with the rest of the country, they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

 

CITY OF ANTIOCH HIRES JOHN SAMUELSON FOR PUBLIC WORKS POST

Let’s finish this week with more good news: John Samuelson joined the City of Antioch (Calif.) as its new Public Works Director/City Engineer on June 1. Samuelson will lead the Public Works Department’s team of more than 100 employees, who provide essential services such as water treatment, water distribution, sewer collection systems, city facility maintenance, landscape maintenance, road maintenance, engineering services, the municipal marina, mapping and the City’s Call Center. Interesting aside: John is sixth Public Works Director/City Engineer in the history of the city.

Samuelson comes to Antioch from the City of Brentwood, where he served as an Engineering Manager, overseeing their capital improvement program, GIS system and construction inspection function.  John also spent ten years with the City of Rancho Cordova, managing their traffic engineering and street operations and maintenance divisions.  Samuelson has his degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and is a licensed civil and traffic engineer.

TBC is proud to work to connect excellent candidates to the right positions, and to find the right fit for our local government clients and their communities. Follow us to stay apprised of current and upcoming searches.

CITY OF PACIFICA WELCOMES LISA PETERSEN AS PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR

This is the best part of our job: Today we get to congratulate both the City of Pacifica, California, and Lisa Petersen, the city’s new Director of Public Works.

Lisa will officially take the reins on July 6, in the middle of what is prime road maintenance season for most NorCal municipalities. The residents of her new city will be pleased to learn that Petersen has a track record of improving the PCI (pavement condition index) in cities in which she has worked, most recently the Town of Los Gatos in Santa Clara County, where she has been Assistant Public Works Director since May 2014.

A licensed civil engineer, Petersen has more than 25 years of public sector experience and spent two years at a private engineering firm, as well. She is ready to make a difference in Pacifica with her strategic planning, infrastructure improvement and employee development skills.

The City has found a consummate public works professional, who is a great fit for the seaside community and will make her mark quickly and skillfully. It’s why we do what we do! Follow us on social media to keep apprised of local government opportunities in your sector!

QUARANTINE TIME MAXIMIZED: SHOW YOUR RESUME SOME LOVE

If you’re in California, you likely have a few more weeks of Safer at Home living. Regardless of how much quarantine time you have left, we want our tribe to also be Sane at Home, so that you can emerge from phase 1 of this pandemic with confidence and optimism.

We get it. The current situation has left us all a little Corona cranky and frazzled at times.  Until we can roam free, we’ll be offering up suggestions for using a fraction of your valuable quarantine time to your best advantage. A little bit of investment here can go a long way in decreasing your stress level and increasing your feeling of being in control.

First up … your resume.

Whether you plan on pursuing another professional opportunity or not, having a current and powerful resume is always smart.  So often, resumes “sit” like that easily neglected, dry, withering houseplant in the corner that doesn’t get much attention until it’s almost dead. And then, when someone realizes it’s starving, just a little bit of water and TLC miraculously brings it back to life. Same with resumes. They just need a little feeding now and then to stay alive.

Has it been a while since you “fed” the document that is most critical to your professional life? No problem. Whether it just needs a simple watering or a complete replanting, now is a perfect time to reflect on all your amazing accomplishments and get them integrated into your resume.

Why don’t most of us invest in maintaining this precious asset? “Because it takes so much time!” and “It’s so hard” are two common responses. But much like being ordered to stay home … it’s really not that difficult and doesn’t demand much time in the grand scheme of things. Plus, the return on investment is incredible! And, if you haven’t updated in a while, you’ll be amazed at just how much you have accomplished.

In a nutshell, don’t social distance yourself from your resume. Instead of six feet, make it a practice to revisit it every six months. Investing a just few minutes twice a year will ensure that it is fresh, vibrant and alive any time you need it.

Need some guidance? Based on our experience reviewing thousands of resumes, here is some insight into what makes for a powerful resume as you rise into the senior and executive ranks of local government.

FAQs

 How far back should I go?

  • While some resume experts advise to only include the last 10 years of employment, we believe resumes tell a story and our clients are interested in your entire Take up more real estate with your more recent and meatier jobs and less with older or less relevant positions.

We’re guessing you’ve had a pretty interesting life and we’re interested in learning about your story when it comes to being considered for high-level positions.

How long should it be?

  • Generally speaking, allowing a page per decade of experience is a good guideline.
  • Got gaps in your history? Be truthful and include any work you did (interim, freelance, temp, volunteer) during that time.

What information about my work history should I include?

  • For each position, list job title, name of the organization or company, and dates you held that position.
  • Under each position, describe your scope of authority/responsibility including # of staff and budget info. Equally as important, bullet your major accomplishments and contributions for your most recent jobs.
  • Include association memberships and leadership positions, and other professional and personal passions if they are professionally relevant.
  • The URL to your LinkedIn profile is helpful because the hiring entity will look. Always. So, make sure your profile is current and matches your resume.

What about tone and customization?

  • When tidying up your resume for a specific position, take a few minutes to align the language with the job you are applying for. You may even have more than one resume, depending on the target position or profession and the skills you want to highlight.
  • Use an active voice and active verbs (managed, built, created, developed, introduced, launched, etc.). Stumped for an appropriate verb? Google “active resume verbs” for hundreds of ideas.
  • Use objective adjectives and use them sparingly. For example, it could be your opinion that your program was “extremely successful,” but it is objective to say that your program was the “first of its kind at XYZ Agency.”
  • Identify the key job qualifications and skills and be certain to use those same terms. If you use “oversaw” and the targeted position uses “managed,” the initial screening may not identify you as a match.

What is the best presentation?

  • Simple, clear, crisp and error free.
  • Always proofread. Ask at least two other people to proofread, as well. Never rely on spell check, auto correct or your recruiter to catch typos.
  • Use headings, bullets and indentations for readability.
  • Recommended fonts: A Sans serif type, such as Arial or Helvetica, and 11 or 12 point type for body copy. For headings, go one size larger and use bold.
  • Use boxes or lines to call attention to your special skills and experience. Don’t use color to highlight, in case your resume is copied in black and white.
  • Submit your resume as a .pdf file, so it is appropriate for both electronic submission and hard copy.

As a professional in your industry your network might run deep and wide. However, an effective resume is still critical to your success.

REDWOOD CITY WELCOMES MICHELLE POCHÉ FLAHERTY AS ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

Michelle Poché Flaherty will join Redwood City to serve as Assistant City Manager/Administrative Services Director beginning May 26, City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz announced on April 29.

Teri Black & Co. is proud to have managed the nationwide recruitment that brought Flaherty to Redwood City, where she will oversee the Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Revenue Services functions.

The media release from the City directly referenced evolving community needs and City resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that Flaherty’s strategic decision-making and process improvement skills will be heavily utilized in “reimagining City services while remaining grounded in sound financial practices.” Undoubtedly, local government managers of all types are being called upon to undergo these same processes and will be for the foreseeable future.

Flaherty is currently Deputy City Manager for the City of Palo Alto, and has held various senior executive level positions at the city, county and federal levels of government during her 20+ year career. She is also a certified executive coach and author of ICMA’s textbook Effective Supervisory Practices; she presents an annual webinar series on the book.

In the media release, Flaherty said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to serve Redwood City, a community rich in culture, collaboration and civility. I am passionate about process improvement, customer service and empowering leadership in public service and am excited to grow my career in Redwood City.”

Follow us on LinkedIn to see our current and upcoming recruitments and to follow our blog. Follow Michelle Poché Flaherty on LinkedIn.

Continue reading REDWOOD CITY WELCOMES MICHELLE POCHÉ FLAHERTY AS ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

CITY OF BURBANK HIRES PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR KEN BERKMAN

 

Congratulations to Ken Berkman, who recently assumed the mantle of Director of Public Works for the City of Burbank, CA.

Burkman was selected after a nationwide search managed by Teri Black & Co. City Manager Justin Hess said, “Among many desired qualities, I was especially focused on finding a leader who would be a visible and engaged role model. Ken has a great mix of public and private sector experience, lasting more than 30 years.”

Most recently, Berkman had been with El Segundo. Before that, his experience including stints with the City of Agoura Hills and Culver City, as well as private sector companies MARRS Services, Inc.; Psomas; Parsons Corp.; and Turner Corp.

Congratulations, Ken! We here at TBC wish you the best in your tenure!