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.

PLACEMENT NEWS: City of Beverly Hills picks Ryan Gohlich as new Assistant Community Development Director/City Planner

Ryan Gohlich as new Assistant Community Development Director for Beverly Hills, CA

We are delighted to announce that the City of Beverly Hills recently selected Ryan Gohlich to serve as Assistant Community Development Director/City Planner.

“Ryan has more than nine years in public and private sector planning, extensive experience and knowledge of Beverly Hills and a genuine passion for the city’s ‘uniqueness’,” said Teri Black, President & CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, an executive recruiting firm specializing in local government placements. She added, “This talented professional has a very promising and long career ahead of him and we were privileged to play a small role in his most recent advancement.”

Ryan received his Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University and his Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

PLACEMENT NEWS: Murrieta hires new Fire Chief, Scott Ferguson

Murrieta Fire Chief, Scott Ferguson

It is a great pleasure to announce the placement of Scott Ferguson as Fire Chief for the City of Murrieta. Chief Ferguson will begin his new role on May 18th. He was previously Fire Chief for the fire departments of Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach, California.

Chief Ferguson has an outstanding background and his reputation among his peers is impeccable. He has exactly the right skillset to lead the Murrieta Fire Department as we move forward”, said City Manager Rick Dudley.

With over 30 years experience in fire science and management, Chief Ferguson is exceptionally qualified to assume this appointment,” said Teri Black, President & CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, an executive recruiting firm specializing in local government placements.

In addition to Chief Ferguson’s expansive experience, he’s also served as fire instructor at a variety of venues including Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Executive Chief Officer Development; the Firehouse World Expo and the Arizona State Fire School, and was recently approved as an instructor for the National Fire Academy.

Chief Ferguson received a Master’s degree in Management from Wayland Baptist University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Oregon University. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer’s Program.

Pleasanton, CA Chosen Among USA Today’s Four Best Cities

recruitments for the city of Pleasanton

In a recent report published by USA Today, two California cities, Pleasanton and Mountain View, were placed at numbers 4 and 3 respectively on the list of best American cities in which to live. The placement of Pleasanton as the fourth best city in which to live is especially noteworthy as Teri Black and Company and Pleasanton are currently working together to fill some important positions – two Assistant City Managers and a Fire Chief for the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department.

The USA Today article was based on 24/7 Wall St.’s special report, in which it selected the 50 most livable American cities (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/09/17/americas-50-best-cities-to-live/). Factors such as employment growth, unemployment rates, quality of education, housing prices, and crime rates were taken into consideration when reviewing data on cities with populations of 65,000 or more. The full article on America’s best cities to live in can be seen at http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/17/24-7-wall-st-50-best-cities-to-live/15736533/.

Just days later, Pleasanton earned another distinction with CNN MONEY ranking Pleasanton the 31st best places to live in American out of 781 cities based on 50 different criteria which included great jobs, a strong economy, excellent schools, healthcare, and much more. Check-out the complete story at http://time.com/money/3312342/pleasanton-ca-best-places-to-live/.

These recent acknowledgements reinforce the many reasons why TBC is pleased to continue its long-term relationship with this valued client. For more information about recruitments for the City of Pleasanton, please visit http://www.tbcrecruiting.com/searches.aspx.