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!

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.

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.

Ace That Video Interview!

By Senior Recruiter Tina White

As organizations adjust their norms for the health and safety of their employees and communities in light of coronavirus, they are revisiting how they conduct candidate interviews. In some cases, they will conduct virtual (online) interviews, using services such as Zoom or Skype.  We don’t know if this will result in permanent change, but we want to make sure that you are prepared for the shift (even if it’s temporary) to phone and/or video interviews

Rest assured, we want to keep hiring world-class talent and we understand that adaptation is key.

TBC encourages you to prepare for a “virtual” interview in much the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview, with a few extra steps.

Set up and test your technology.

Whether your interview will be conducted using Skype, Zoom or some other video conferencing service, it is important to test your technology to ensure that you’re set up for success.

First, be certain to use the correct technology.

A desktop computer with a camera built into the monitor is best. A laptop with a camera is second best. Please do not try to use your cell phone to interview for a career-changing position.

Be sure to check your internet connectivity and confirm that your camera and microphone are working.  Make sure your signal strength is strong.  If it is not strong enough to be reliable, you may want to consider moving to another part of your house for a stronger signal. If you have the option to be connected via a wired ethernet connection (versus Wi-Fi), that would be preferable.

If you haven’t used videoconferencing tools before, don’t worry. They are very reliable. Before your interview, ask a friend to participate in a test run with you from their home computer. Even if you’ve done a video interview or webinar at work, remember that it’s going to be different at home. Make sure you can be heard clearly over your microphone. Familiarize yourself with the service, including how to mute/unmute the microphone and how to change the screen settings so that you are able to see the entire panel of interviewers in a line or grid of squares. It pays to take the time to be comfortable with the technology. You will be better prepared to respond to the interviewers, and the panel will see a candidate who is nimble and flexible.

Set up your space and minimize distractions.

Where should you be for the interview?

The space should be clean, quiet and well-lit. Ideally, find a room with great lighting, perhaps near a window. Having a blank or quiet wall as your backdrop can guarantee that you are the focal point of the conversation. When you do your test run, be sure to look at the background behind you. Is there a pile of laundry in the corner? A messy stack of papers or books that is visible? A very busy wallpaper or painting? Be certain your space is clear of such things.

Prior to the interview time, turn off the TV. Silence your cell phone. Close windows (and doors if you can). Keep pets in another room. If you frequently have packages delivered, you might consider leaving a note on your front door asking people not to ring the doorbell. Some pups really like barking when the doorbell goes off!

Some of this may be harder to orchestrate when your spouse or partner is working from home and school has been canceled for your children. Properly preparing them may be as important as preparing yourself.

Dress for the part.

Dress just as you would for an in-person interview and bring your A-game. Your appearance matters! You will feel more confident and perform better during the interview if you are dressed professionally.

What you wear may show up differently on video, so you might want to avoid patterns, bright colors or big jewelry. If you wear a solid color blazer that creates contrast with your background, it can help the interviewer’s eyes gravitate to you and stay focused on you during the interview.  Also, be sure that your bottom half matches your upper half, in case you must get up during the interview. In other words, yes, please do wear bottoms – but not pajama bottoms!

Have your reference materials ready.

Print out a copy of your resume. Have it in front of you, along with any notes that you’ve prepared. You don’t want to read your answers, so bullet point prompts or talking points are best.

Create connection.

Practice and watch your body language. You can’t shake your interviewer’s hand, but you can sit up straight, smile and keep the camera at eye level.  Be certain to greet everyone in the room that you can see.

If you keep your focus on the *camera* when you are talking (not on the image of the person interviewing you), then you will be making eye contact and this will help create connection.

At the conclusion of the interview, behave just as you would if you were in the room.

Again, thank and acknowledge everyone. Do not be the first to hang up unless you are instructed to do so (just as you wouldn’t be the first to stand if you were all in the room together).

Follow up.

Follow up on a virtual interview the same way you would an in-person interview. A handwritten and mailed thank you note to each panelist is always a welcome gesture. An email is also acceptable.

Now, wait for the phone call from TBC or your target agency, letting you know that you’re a finalist for that coveted position! As always, the team at TBC will continue to provide stellar support throughout the recruitment process by keeping you informed.  You got this!

Milpitas Selects Armando Corpuz to Lead Police Department

The City of Milpitas has named Armando Corpuz as its seventh Chief of Police, succeeding Acting City Manager/Police Chief Steve Pangelinan. A veteran of the Milpitas Police Department (MPD), Chief Corpuz will take the helm on January 7, 2018.

Born and raised in Milpitas, Chief Corpuz has extensive experience and a broad knowledge of law enforcement operations, having served in a wide variety of positions during his 26 years in policing. His diverse experience includes service in all sections of the Department – Patrol, Traffic, SWAT, Investigations, Anti-Terrorism, High Tech Crimes, Records, and Dispatch.

Chief Corpuz focuses strongly on community and connection and has 11 years of management experience in the Milpitas Police Department (MPD), having risen through the ranks to Captain before his most recent promotion.

Chief Corpuz holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, where he received an Excellence in Leadership Award and was elected by his classmates as a section leader.

Fremont Appoints Curtis P. Jacobson New Fire Chief

The City of Fremont has appointed Curtis P. Jacobson as its new Fire Chief following a nationwide search. Chief Jacobson joins Fremont with 25 years of fire protection service in his hometown of San Jose, including 18 years of experience in increasingly senior managerial and executive leadership. He has served as San Jose Fire Chief since 2015, with prior experience as Deputy Chief, Division Chief, and Battalion Chief in a variety of bureaus.

In his new position, Chief Jacobson will be responsible for 13 in-service fire companies, nearly 160 sworn and non-sworn department members, and an annual budget of $46.5 million. The department responds to approximately 17,500 calls each year.

Chief Jacobson has been recognized for effectively managing, supervising, evaluating, mentoring, and coaching personnel under his command and has extensive experience in emergency response, fire prevention, training, education, strategic support, and administration in public safety service. He also has a wide variety of experience in the fields of emergency management, hazardous materials management, public education, employee development, recruitment and selection, and dispute resolution.

Chief Jacobson holds a number of professional credentials and degrees, including completion of Harvard’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from San Jose State University, where he is also nearing completion on his MPA. An active community member, Chief Johnson serves as a Board Member of the San Jose Jazz Festival and is a member of the Santa Clara County Fire Chiefs Association and the Santa Clara County Black Firefighters Association. Congrats Chief!!

Edmond Rodriguez New Fire Chief in Alameda

Edmond Rodriguez took the helm as the new Fire Chief for the City of Alameda on November 13, assuming responsibility for a department of 111 positions and an annual budget of $33.6 million.

Chief Rodriquez comes to Alameda from the City of Salinas, where he served as Fire Chief since 2012. He brings with him over 29 years of experience in fire service, having served for over 24 years in the City of Stockton in positions ranging from Deputy Fire Chief of Operations to Flight Nurse/Paramedic for Medi-Flight of Modesto and California Shock Trauma Rescue (Calstar). He served twice as President of the Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association.

“I am truly honored and humbled to serve as the City of Alameda’s next Fire Chief,” Rodriguez stated. “I will work tirelessly with community members, labor, City leadership, and City staff to ensure Alameda provides the highest level of fire and life-safety services in the Bay Area.”

Chief Rodriguez currently sits on the California Fire Chiefs Association, Northern Section EMS Subcommittee and is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). He holds a Master’s Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science in Fire Science from Columbia Pacific University, and an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing from Excelsior College. He is also a licensed registered nurse and a certified paramedic. Way to go Ed!

Concord Welcomes Jasmin Loi as Director of Human Resources

The City of Concord welcomes Jasmin Loi as the new Director of Human Resources, following a nationwide search after the retirement of Elia Bamberger. Loi has sixteen years of professional and management experience in human resources and organizational functions, most recently serving as Human Resources Director for the City of Vallejo and previously as Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for the City of Indio.

In her new position, Jasmin oversees a department of 7 full-time employees with an annual budget of $4 million. Concord Human Resources is responsible for the City’s administration, labor relations, recruitment and selection, workers’ compensation, benefits administration, classification and compensation, and organizational training and development.

“Jasmin Loi’s experience as a seasoned HR Director with more than 15 years of City and County experience will be instrumental at the City of Concord as she will bring invaluable insight, creative ideas and solutions, and positive energy to the City’s dedicated work force,” said Concord City Manager Valerie Barone.

Jasmin holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Management from the University of Central Arkansas.

Congratulations Jasmin!!

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!!