STELLAR TALENT: Burlingame Appoints New Human Resources Director

The City of Burlingame welcomes Sonya Morrison as its new Human Resources Director. Appointed after a nationwide search, Sonya brings a broad range of experience in both administration and human resources to her new position.

Sonya served most recently as Senior Human Resources Analyst in the City of San Mateo, where she was responsible for a variety of employee and labor relations functions. She has nearly a decade of experience in positions throughout San Mateo County and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and has developed a wide local government skill set in working with employees and labor groups, as well as in management of human resources and administrative services.

Sonya holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from San Jose State University, and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Geography and English from James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by HR Certification Institute and a CALPELRA Labor Relations Masters (CLRM) and has completed advanced training from a variety of institutions, including the Executive Development Program from the Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC) at Berkeley University.

Congratulations Sonya!!

PREMIER SERVICE: Burbank Welcomes Arrival of New Economic Development Pro

Last week, the City of Burbank welcomed newly appointed Assistant Community Development Director for Business and Economic Development Simone McFarland to its workforce. She brings 25 years of experience in creating business development and marketing programs in both the public and private sectors.

Before arriving in Burbank, Simone served as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Sierra Vista, Arizona where she established a robust ED program, including spearheading the creation of a cybersecurity hub that is positioned to flourish for years to come. Not new to California, Simone has also invested her economic development prowess in the Cities of Riverside and Murrieta, as well as the County of San Bernardino.

Simone has received ten Addy awards from the American Advertising Federation and five awards from the California Association of Local Economic Development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside.

Teri Black observed, “Burbank is on the brink of a remarkable transformation and Simone is just the right person to lead the excitement around economic development. She’s also a great match for the department’s leadership team, and it’s a city that will take advantage of her full range of talents for years to come.”

Welcome back to Cali, Simone!

STELLAR TALENT: April Showers bring new Fire Chief to Surf City USA®

On March 3, Huntington Beach City Manager Fred Wilson announced the appointment of David Segura as the City’s new Fire Chief. An extensive nationwide search led the City to select Chief Segura, whose ideal combination of experience and education made him ideal for the job and he just happens to be a longtime Huntington Beach resident.

Chief Segura has over 32 years of fire service experience, having spent the last 29 years with the City of Long Beach as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief. He and his family have lived in Huntington Beach for the last 16 years and have strong ties to the community.

“I firmly believe David is well qualified for this position, and the men and women of the Fire Department will be well-served with him as the new Chief,” Wilson stated. “David brings with him a good mix of strategic planning, community engagement, and organizational development.”

Chief Segura’s strong leadership and organizational management style will be put to good use in his own community, where he assumed his new position on April 4th. He is leading an eight station department supported by 198 personnel and a budget of $45.6 million.

Chief Segura holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from Long Beach City College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Studies from CSU Long Beach, and is now completing his MPA at the university.

“I am excited and honored to be joining the Huntington Beach Fire Department as its Chief,” said Chief Segura. “I am looking forward to meeting the men and women of the Department, getting to know the community, and improving upon what is already an established Department.”

POWERFUL RESULTS: Menlo Park PD honored for enhanced community partnerships that achieve real results

Menlo Park Police Department Helen Putnam Award

Congratulations to the City of Menlo Park for recently being honored with the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in Public Safety. Established in 1982 by the League of California Cities, the Helen Putnam annual awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding efforts and innovative solutions in city government.

While we are proud to have placed Police Chief Robert Jonsen in 2013, we are not surprised by the accomplishments of the Chief and the Menlo Park Police Department (MPPD). Upon Jonsen’s appointment, Vice President of TB&Co. and policing expert Joe Brann commented, “His leadership style clearly exudes a commitment to the key tenets of community policing and he will bring that philosophy with him to Menlo Park.”

With the Helen Putnam award, MPPD was recognized for its multi-faceted approach to building community relationships that resulted in a number of positive outcomes including a 42 percent decrease in crime in the Belle Haven neighborhood and a 15 percent reduction in traffic collisions citywide.

At the center of the department’s community policing efforts was the formation of a community advisory group that meets regularly to identify crime and community issues, and develops comprehensive, coordinated plans that target each neighborhood’s pressing concerns. Kudos to Chief Jonsen, MPPD and the MP community on receiving this well-deserved honor!

PLACEMENT NEWS: Laurel Prevetti selected to serve as Los Gatos Town Manager


After a four-month, nationwide search, we are happy to announce that the Town of Los Gatos chose to promote Laurel Prevetti to Town Manager. She was previously the Town’s Assistant Town Manager and Community Development Director.

Mayor Marcia Jensen said in a new release, “Laurel stood out from among the candidates for her land use and management expertise as well as her familiarity with town issuesthe council is confident that Ms. Prevetti will bring a new perspective to the town manager position which will emphasize transparency and engagement with the community.

Teri Black, CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, the executive search firm specializing in local government placements that facilitated the search added, “We were thrilled to place Laurel in her first City Manager role.  She is extraordinarily dedicated and hardworking, and her land use expertise brought incomparable value for this treasured community. Los Gatos will now benefit from her leadership in a different capacity as she continues to expand her high highly regarded contributions.”

Laurel began her new role on September 2nd. Upon accepting her appointment, Laurel indicated that transparency is important because it encourages people to be involved. “It means people care,” she said. “We need to know what people want so we’re moving in the right direction. We’re really looking to be more transparent so people can participate as much as possible.”

Laurel received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Laurel’s photo by George Stakkestad

STEVE PARKER: Our hearts are broken…losing one of our own.


It’s with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our longtime public safety recruiter, Steve Parker. If you have been a candidate in one of our fire chief recruitments over the last 8 years, you undoubtedly had the good fortune of talking to or working with Steve. He was a dedicated professional who remained passionate about the fire service and recruiting quality leadership until the very end.

Chief Parker came up through the ranks of the Huntington Beach Fire Department. He served as Chief in Vernon before “retiring” in 2005. It wasn’t long before he was back in the Chief’s seat again taking on an Interim Fire Chief assignment in Costa Mesa. It was there that mutual friend/client Terri Cassidy introduced Steve to Teri Black and the rest is history. As soon as TBC recruited a new Chief for Costa Mesa, Teri B convinced Steve that he would be a great recruiter. “Steve wasn’t just a great recruiter, he was an awesome recruiter from day one. Even more impressive is that he was simply a phenomenal human being.”

During his time with TBC, Steve also served as Interim Fire Chief for the cities of Hermosa Beach and Newport Beach until we convinced him that he really loved recruiting more. Candidates loved working with Steve as they knew he had their best interests at heart. Over the last few years, he impacted hundreds of careers and played a key role in placing some of the most successful and progressive fire chiefs in California.

Steve lost his battle with a rare and aggressive form of multiple myeloma this past Sunday. Even though the loss is devastating, all of us at TBC will be forever grateful for his courageous spirit, relentless commitment to do great work, abundant love for his family, ridiculous sense of humor and contagious booming laugh! #curecancer

PLACEMENT NEWS: Amanda Thomas Now Serves as Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Chief Financial Officer

Amanda Thomas Sacramento Metro Chief Financial Officer CFO

We are happy to announcement the placement of Amanda Thomas as Chief Financial Officer for the Sacramental Metropolitan Fire District. Amanda was previously the Deputy Director of Airport Finance and Administration for the Sacramento County Department of Airports where she managed an annual budget of $200 million.

“Amanda has extensive experience in local government and as a consultant, is an excellent communicator with an extraordinary business/enterprise mindset,” said Teri Black, President & CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, an executive recruiting firm specializing in local government placements. “…and coupled with her strong knowledge and experience in all areas of local government finance and incredible versatility, she was the ideal candidate for the district.”

Amanda’s senior management experience in local government includes capital and debt financing; federal grant acquisition and management; financial reporting; as well as lease and contract negotiations and management.

Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University.