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We always like to see qualified internal candidates land the positions they have their eyes on, so today we are congratulating Justina Willkom of the City of Tustin (Calif.), who has been named Community Development Director after acting in an interim capacity since July.

Justina was selected after an extensive recruitment process amid a competitive field of highly qualified candidates.  We helped the City conduct several rounds of interviews, which included participation from community stakeholders, the City’s executive team and external community development professionals. She has her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State Fullerton and more than 30 years of experience in planning.

City Manager Matthew West made the announcement to staff last week in an email, in which he said, “As many of you know, Justina has worked for the City of Tustin since 1998, beginning as an Associate Planner and then ascending to the position of Assistant Community Development Director overseeing administration of the Department and the Planning Commission.  Her responsibilities have included  land use and environmental planning, building and safety, code enforcement, and Community Development Block Grant administration.

“I’m extremely confident in Justina’s vision to lead the Community Development Department into its next era.  Justina is eager to facilitate innovative and productive solutions, from simple, business-friendly streamlining adjustments and creative community engagement initiatives to tackling major planning efforts and everything in between.  Please join me in congratulating Justina on her new position!”

It is so fulfilling to be a small part of a big success, for the candidates who get their shot, the agencies who get their ideal fit and the residents who benefit from years of public service mindset and experience. Well done, Justina Willkom and City of Tustin!