How long have you been a FCCMA member?
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long?
Yes, 16 years
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education.
Bachelors of Science, Political Science
University of California – Irvine
Masters of Administration
University of California – Irvine
What is your current occupation?
How did you become interested in public service?
In graduate school, our program was really in essence a business program. There were a handful of us that were looking for an elective that served the needs for people interested in local government, hospital administration, etc. We got a visiting professor, Naomi Caiden from the University of Southern California to teach a local government class. The plan was to bring in a different city manager each week to talk to the class. Right then and there, I decided that is what I wanted to do. Then, I went driving up to Interstate 405 to a nearby city hall and walked in and asked to speak with the City Manager. The Manager talked with me and I got a job as an intern with the Planning Director.
Describe your typical day.
Your day is very different each day. Some tasks include: communication with elected leadership, citizens, and local businesses. Additionally, there are internal meetings with department heads concerning various projects and programs. My day varies, but that is why it is so interesting!
What is your favorite part of the job?
I enjoy seeing the accomplishments of the organizations through the employees and our partnerships, especially being able to see the completions of projects and programs that are successful for the community. I take satisfaction in seeing the good work of the organization that I am privileged to be a part of.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Disciplining employees that need their work redirected. But it is necessary sometimes.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
The project that I am most pleased with was when I worked for Orange County, CA. We were able to completely restore the oldest courthouse in southern California in the mid 1980’s. We won a preservation award and I was able to accept the award on behalf of the County at the ceremony that was held at the Biltmore Hotel. Today, movies use the Courthouse for some of their scenes since it is close to Los Angeles. There is also a museum in the building. The organization took a property that people wanted to demolish and then transformed it. Orange County flyer with more information: http://ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=16285.
Another memorable experience was while working in northern California. An old apartment complex was converted it to a senior complex with grant money. We worked through a lot of challenges. In turn, it improved the neighborhood that had a high crime rate.
What are your hobbies/interest?
Family time is very important. Our youngest is finishing her senior year in high school. I spend a lot of time going to swim meets, basketball games, and family vacations.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
Pursue your passion for public service; it is an honorable calling. It is necessary to have passionate, committed people and it is a very rewarding career choice.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I have always worked in the public since graduating from college.
Who were your mentors?
Jim Evans, Deputy City Manager, City of Orange, CA As the budget officer, he really encouraged me and talked to me about what it would be like to be a city manager.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
It would have been nice to be professional athlete!