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!
Sergio Ramirez is now Deputy Director of Economic & Property Development in Long Beach. Previously, Sergio spent 12 years with the City of Anaheim, most recently as a Senior Project Manager, where he had the chance to be involved in many of the high-profile hotel, retail, mixed-use, residential and sport facility projects over last few years.
Sergio brings a ton of energy to Long Beach along with his incredible economic development smarts. He’s passionate about his field and takes great pride in making a difference. Given his awesome track record, we know he’s going to totally rock it in Long Beach!
He holds an MPA from California State University at Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona. Way to go Sergio!
No better way to finish 2016 and ring in the new year…John Keisler is the new Director of Economic & Property Development in Long Beach, CA. John has been with the city for more than 11 years and has served in a variety of management positions for nearly a decade. City Manager Patrick H. West stated, “John is a proven, dynamic and innovative leader who will help improve Long Beach’s economic vitality.”
According to TB&Co. CEO Teri Black, he already has a jumpstart on making an even bigger difference in Long Beach. Since May 2015, John has served as the city’s Innovation Team Director. Previously, he served as CFO for the Long Beach Police Department as was the Business Operations Manager for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine before then. John has a reputation for taking on challenging situations and transforming them into high performing operations. Teri added, “John is one of those rare individuals you meet and, in the first few minutes, you just know they will be a rock star someday.” Having had her eye on this fellow Trojan for many years, Teri and her team were delighted to have been part of his career path as he steps into the leagues of executive management.
John holds an MPA from the University of Southern California and Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Religion from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. #fighton
The City of Carlsbad has selected Christie Marcella to serve as its new Economic Development Manager. Christie was chosen to lead the city’s economic development efforts after a robust recruitment that drew a large pool of qualified applicants from throughout the western United States. Her passion for innovation and relentless spirit of public service, along with her varied experience in economic development and related areas were overwhelming factors in her appointment. In addition, Christie’s impressive academic credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Board of Directors recently swore-in Todd Harms as their new Fire Chief. TB&Co. was proud to represent the Board in the recruitment and selection of the district’s sixth fire chief. Chief Harms succeeds Chief Mark Wells who retired after 29 years of distinguished public safety service.
Chief Harms comes to California from the Phoenix Fire Department (PFD) where he rose to Deputy Chief of Special Operations. He has also been an Urban Search and Rescue team member, with deployments to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After starting his career in Peotone, Illinois, Chief Harms invested 29 years of his career with PFD. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management.
“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead Metro Fire,” said Harms. “I look forward to continually finding ways to improve our service delivery, showing the communities we serve that Metro Fire is here every day of the year to solve their problems.” Senior Recruiter and retired Mountain View Fire Chief Bradley Wardle observed, “I was increasingly impressed with Chief Harms’ operations and business acumen. It was also very apparent that he maintained a close connection to the rank and file perspective which was an important leadership quality we were seeking.”
Last week, the City of Murrieta, California announced its selection of Linda Le to serve as the City’s new Administrative Services Director. Linda currently serves as the Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector/Chief Operations Officer for the Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector. Overseeing a staff of 40, she is presently responsible for the day-to-day activities of audit management, tax collections of $1.4 billion, treasury management of $5 billion and an investment portfolio of $2 billion. In addition to numerous certifications that include CCMT and CPFA, she holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach in Applied Research Psychology. In her “spare time,” Linda serves as an Adjunct Professor in Cal Lutheran’s Public Policy & Administration graduate program.
In Murrieta, Linda will oversee the City’s Finance, Human Resources and IT divisions. In response to the news, TB&Co. CEO Teri Black commented, “We were thrilled to discover Linda during this search as she has impressive breadth as well as technical expertise. Her energy level and “can do” spirit are perfect for Murrieta!”
The City of Los Altos is now home to new Community Development Director Jon Biggs, who assumed his duties at the end of March. Jon arrived in Los Altos with 25 years of experience, having most recently served as Community Development Director for the City of Pismo Beach. He brings a wide range of expertise including urban design, housing and historic preservation, along with experience in critical regional priorities such as water and traffic/transportation issues.
In Los Altos, Jon is responsible for the City’s planning and building divisions and oversees a team of 12. In addition to Pismo Beach, he has also served in the cities of Alameda and Pacific Grove. Jon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning from San Jose State University and holds several professional certificates, including the University of California Berkeley Certificate for Transportation Impacts and Land Development and the University of California Davis Certificate for Environmental Planning and Thresholds of Significance.