2021 Virtual Conference Schedule

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Welcome Keynote Address from ICMA President, Troy Brown – Biography
9:30 – 10:30 am PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Sponsored by:


Info Session: What is the Credentialed Government Leader (CGL) Program?

10:30 – 11:00 am PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Join us to learn about Credentialed Government Leader (CGL) program requirements, how to apply, and benefits of participating. This year’s annual conference includes 3 CGL certified sessions that will have you on your way to completing program requirements.

Justin Lovell, MMANC CGL Director – Biography

CGL Session – Creative and Critical Thinking – “You Started It!” How Our Own Perceptions are Hindering Trust in our Organizations
11:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Trust is the bedrock of healthy relationships and healthy workplaces. And yet, when trust is compromised, our first reaction is to assign blame and hope that amends will be made by others first. In this highly interactive workshop, we will take a closer look at the dynamics of trust and how our perceptions and the “stories we tell” play a key role. Pausing to discern, unpack the situation and “tell a better story,” sets us up for success and building high-trust relationships and high-trust workplaces. This session is Credential Government Leader (CGL) Certified elective course for emotional intelligence.

Claire Laughlin, OD Consultant and Lead Trainer for MRGBiography

Guided Meditation – The Superpower of Mindfulness
12:30 – 1:00 pm PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Mindfulness is a powerful and practical tool for improving your overall level of contentment, presence, and ability to handle stress. Participants will learn about what it is, some benefits, how to cultivate it using meditation, and how to deal with obstacles. All levels are welcome. Come with no expectations except to have some fun along the way.

Ralph DeFranco, Ph.D. Economics, UC BerkeleyBiography

Strategies for Effective Management in a Hybrid Work World
1:30 – 3:00 pm, PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
The new and ever changing post-pandemic workplace will involve a hybrid of in-office and remote work. This is an important time for managers to use all of their leadership skills and tools to create or revise their strategic approach for managing the performance and development of their team. This class will focus on managing with intentionality to engage employees, creating new shared team agreements and expectations, communicating with intention, and shifting employee evaluation to productivity and output, to foster independence and trust whether the employee is remote or in-office.

Wendy Farrell, Project Consultant/Trainer, CPS HR ConsultingBiography

How will we meet the Talent Challenge in a Post-Pandemic World?
2:00 – 3:00 pm PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
As with many things, the pandemic upended how cities, counties and special districts manage their talent and keep great workers, and importantly, it has changed expectations for how and where we work for many. How are local governments meeting this challenge? Come join the conversation!

This session will look at:

  • Pandemic-related changes to managing a workforce
  • Where pressure points exist and innovative ideas for balancing expectations
  • What leaders should be focusing on and what’s become less important in the past 18 months

We will present results from a survey on talent management conducted by the Cal-ICMA Talent Initiative in partnership with MMANC and MMASC and engage participants in discussion about their own challenges, hear about best practices and innovative ideas from others, and brainstorm new approaches to a perennial issue in local government.

Mandy Brown, Senior Management Analyst, City of Hillsborough – Biography
Nancy Hetrick, Vice President, Management Partners and Cal-ICMA Talent Initiative Co-Chair – Biography

Rob Houston, City Manager for the City of Fountain Valley and Cal-ICMA Talent Initiative Co-ChairBiography
Kelli Parmley, Assistant Human Resources Director, City of San JoseBiography

Building Resilience in Times of Change and Challenge
3:30 – 5:00 pm PDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
If we’ve learned anything in the past 16 months, it’s the importance of building our resilience. Resilience is what helps us bounce back during hard times. It’s what helps us adapt to change and challenge. And it’s what gives us the energy we need to help others along the difficult path.

Come to this highly interactive webinar to…

  • Learn about the 3 pillars of resilience, and how to lean on these pillars for growth and support.
  • Identify self-care strategies that really work and that won’t get in the way of getting the important work done.
  • Make a plan to support the resilience of others.

Through this workshop you will be inspired to lead with resilience and self-care during challenging times.

Claire Laughlin, OD Consultant and Lead Trainer for MRGBiography

Diversifying the City Management Profession: Building the Pipeline
3:30 – 5:00 pm PDT Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Diversity within the City Management profession is not representative of our broader communities. Sadly, we have not made much progress over the last five, ten or more years. What’s really going on and how can we build a better pipeline for diverse talent? This dynamic panel will be composed of three executive leaders and an executive recruiter discussing:

  • How to interview and improve your chances of getting hired for an executive leadership position as a diverse candidate
  • Personal stories of success and challenges
  • Concrete methods on how you can help build a pipeline of diversity within your own organization.

This will be an interactive discussion with questions from both the Moderator and the audience.

Tony Dahlerbruch, Executive Recruiter, Peckham & McKenney – Biography
Maxine Gullo, Assistant City Manager, City of Carmel – Biography

Jacqueline Guzman, Deputy City Manager, City of Sunnyvale – Biography
Ben Montgomery, City Manager, City of Chino Hills – Biography
Reina Schwartz, City Manager, City of Clayton – Biography

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Keynote Speaker: Tiffany Hoang, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer at CircleUp Education
9:30 – 10:30 am PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
Tiffany Hoang will talk about why she co-founded CircleUp Education, the impact it has had on the communities they have worked with, and the important opportunity we have now to reimagine how we engage with our communities and in our workplaces to interrupt discrimination, racism, inequities and implicit bias.
Read Tiffany Hoang’s full biography here
Sponsored by:


Concurrent Session – Engaging your Community on Difficult Topics

11:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
This session takes a deep dive into having difficult conversations between communities and local governments and bridging the divide. Drawing on techniques from the field of dispute resolution and collaborative government, participants learn strategies for engagement, tips for managing emotions (of both themselves and participants) and practical tips on facilitating when things are tough or uncertain both online and in person.

Pooja Di Giovanna, Assistant Director, Davenport Institute – Biography
Maureen Tobin, Executive Director, Davenport Institute

Concurrent Session – California Legislative Update
11:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
It has been a busy year for the California State Legislature. This session will provide an overview of new laws that are most impactful for local governments. Come ready to hear about the most recent activity in topics ranging from labor law to digital access, and hear more about new and upcoming budget opportunities. Come ready with questions to ask our panel.

Erin Kunze, Associate. Liebert Cassidy WhitmoreBiography
Andres Ramirez, Associate, Townsend Public Affairs – Biography

Concurrent Session – Driving Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic
11:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021

As the pandemic hindered economic success for many communities, there has been increased demand for economic development programs and initiatives. Key trends and effective ideas have emerged throughout the local government world that can bring a city’s economy back to normal. Tripepi Smith President and Co-Founder Ryder Todd Smith, HdL Companies Economic Development Director and Principal Barry Foster and City of Martinez City Manager Eric Figueroa have witnessed the implementation of these efforts and are now sharing their lessons learned with the members of MMANC.

Tripepi Smith is a leading provider of marketing, technology and public affairs services that has helped several public agencies execute and promote various economic development and recovery initiatives, such as the City of Martinez, the City of Paramount and the City of Tracy. HdL Companies is a leader in the public agency auditing, operations and revenue enhancement space and has recovered more than $3 billion in revenue for over 500 government agencies nationwide. The City of Martinez launched the successful 4Martinez campaign that assisted the City’s dining, shopping and personal service entities by encouraging residents to shop local.

The panel will share their insights on producing economic solutions and their experiences with local revenue generating programs and initiatives. Attendees will learn more about generating local revenue and will walk away with a portfolio of success stories and ideas to take back and implement in their agencies.

Eric Figueroa, City Manager, City of Martinez – Biography
Barry Foster, Principal/Managing Director, HdL – Biography
Ryder Todd Smith, President, Tripepi Smith – Biography

Networking – Coffee Break with MRG – 5 Pillars of Effective Team Leadership
1:00  – 2:00 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
Join this coffee break discussion with Claire Laughlin to explore the common challenges for leaders and learn 5 powerful actions to improve your team’s effectiveness.
Sponsored by:

CGL Session on Effective communication written + verbal: “How to get your neighbor’s dog to stop barking, and other scary stories”
2:00 – 5:00 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
Don’t be scared! We are going to discuss very sensitive and difficult issues that rise up to the management level and while sometimes seeming petty, here we are! We will discuss as a group, formally write about it, and then prepare and present a closed session and ultimately a City Council meeting presentation. This interactive session will cover a few scenarios for groups to break out and work through. The audience will leave with a stronger understanding of how to effectively write and communicate on sensitive topics. This session is Credential Government Leader (CGL) Certified core course for Effective Communication: Written and Verbal.

Joan Kling, Executive Coach and TrainerBiography

Creating Cities That Can Weather Storms
2:30 – 3:30 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
California is at the mercy of extended wildfires, escalating temperatures and dry seasons. To adjust, local governments throughout the state are adjusting to a new reality with rolling blackouts, rising utility costs, budget cuts, and not to mention, a pandemic. Meanwhile, many public agencies are running lights, heating and cooling systems and water devices that are burning through natural resources and further chipping away at budgets. California may experience increasing strain on fiscal and environmental resources without intervention. One way local agencies can help is by renewing their energy infrastructure.

The audience will learn the ins and outs of a comprehensive energy infrastructure renewal program. MMANC members who join this session will walk away knowing the most effective and economical energy infrastructure on the market–some of which can fight COVID-19, allergens, cold viruses and other flu viruses. Additionally, they’ll glean insights from mini case studies on public agencies that are deploying them, the funding sources they’re tapping into to make it happen and the benefits they’re reaping.

Tyler Girtman, Regional Sales Manager, ClimatecBiography
Justin Jenson, Water Pollution Control ManagerBiography

Making Bold Moves – Leveraging ARPA to Transform Communities
2:30 – 3:30 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides direct, flexible funding to local cities, towns, and villages. It always gives way to tough choices, tradeoffs, and competing priorities. How can cities plan for strategic use of these funds?

Hear from local government leaders and legislative advocates regarding ARPA planning considerations and strategic funding uses that can help transform communities.

David Gassaway, Assistant City Manager, City of Fairfield 
Susan Lent, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLPBiography
Rep. Mike Thompson, California’s 5th Congressional DistrictBiography

Happy Hour with MMANC – Region 1
5:30 – 7:00 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
San Pedro Market Square
87 N San Pedro Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Come by to discuss your favorite MMANC conference sessions. If you haven’t attended the conference, still stop by to chat!We’ll be outside in the front patio under the red San Pedro Market sign.

Happy Hour with MMANC – Region 2
5:30 – 7:00 pm PDT, Thursday, October 14, 2021
Mare Island Brewing Co. – Coal Shed Brewery
850 Nimitz Avenue
Vallejo, CA 94592
Join Region 2 for a Thursday happy hour at Mare Island Brewing Co. – Coal Shed Brewery. Drop in to enjoy a waterfront view and good company.

Come by to discuss the conference and what you’re doing to bridge the divides in your community. Open to all MMANC members and their guests.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Yoga with Vivane: Strengthen, Empower, and Motivate
7:30 – 8:30 am PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021

Viviane is an E-500RYT yoga instructor and therapist, certified reiki master, personal trainer, life coach, fitness nutritionist and owner of Studio Dara. Her business mantra is To Strengthen, Empower, and Motivate. Strengthen our inner self so that we may also exude strength on the outside. Self empowerment to spread empowerment. Motivate change and be change.

Viviane Vallance

CGL Session: Navigating the Staff Tightrope to Create Positive Interpersonal Relationships with Elected and Appointed Officials
9:00 – 11:00 am PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
Staff at all levels of the organization have a contributing role to play in support of an effective city manager/city council relationship. In this session learn about what a model of good governance looks like from the staff perspective, the different roles and dynamics of the city manager/city council relationship, the appropriate staff role with elected and appointed officials, and effective communication strategies to develop strong interpersonal relationships. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion to gain insight from a city manager, elected/appointed official and staff on how to navigate the tightrope among these diverse interpersonal relationships. This session is Credential Government Leader (CGL) Certified core course for Interpersonal Relationships with Elected/Appointed Leadership and is approved for 1/2 credit.

Pat Martel, ICMA West Coast Regional Director – Biography
Troy Brown, City Manager, City of Moorpark and ICMA PresidentBiography
Kelly McAdoo, City Manager, Hayward, City of Hayward – Biography
Jennifer Ott, Assistant City Manager, City of Hayward – Biography
Elected Official, TBD

When Crisis Communication Meets the Intersection of Race & Equity: A Crash Course Every Agency Needs to Respond Effectively
9:30 – 11:00 am PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
It was a year of non-stop crisis in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, demands for police reform, record-breaking wildfires, and a long-awaited racial justice reckoning in communities across the country. All of these topics, as complicated as they are, require swift and thoughtful approaches to communication with our communities. This session will include a crash course in crisis communications from national expert Scott Summerfield followed by an all-female, all-black panel who have lived the challenges of crisis communications through the lens of race and equity.

Angela Averiett, Deputy Police Chief, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department – Biography
Aisha Knowles, Public Affairs Manager, Fremont Fire Department – Biography

April Luckett-Fahimi, Police Captain, Alameda County Sherriff’s DepartmentBiography
Scott Summerfield, Principal at SAE Communications and Dean of Instruction with the California Specialized Training InstituteBiography
Lauren Sugayan, Deputy City Manager, City of Martinez – Biography

The Law of Remote Work
10:00 – 11:00 am PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
Working from home defined 2020 for many municipal employees. Looking ahead, a remote workforce may be here to stay. This sea changes threatens to upend much of what employers know about managing their workforce. What are the legal considerations for the new home office? How can agencies support remote employees while maintaining effective and efficient operations? From supplying office equipment to travel costs, ergonomics, insurance and tax implications, employers are facing a number of unprecedented questions. Employment attorney Kurt Franklin of Hanson Bridgett LLP will discuss these issues and other risks that employers need to consider for a workforce that may never return to the office.
Molly Lee Kaban, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLPBiography

First Amendment Issues in a Politically Charged World
11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
In light of recent events, including months of civil unrest, increased political polarization, and increased conversations regarding issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, speech and social media postings by public employees are being placed under the microscope. No one is exempt from this scrutiny from the intern to the city manager. These social changes will undoubtedly result in public agencies addressing complaints about things employees post or say and whether the agency can and/or should discipline an employee for such conduct. Whether in the office, at work-sanctioned events, or on social media, this presentation will focus on the very latest developments of First Amendment law and will use real-life case studies to explore how to navigate free speech issues during tumultuous times.

Kelly Tuffo, Associate, Liebert Cassidy WhitmoreBiography

Bent, But Not Broken ~ Emerging from COVID more resilient and hopeful
11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
Over the past 18 months, COVID has consumed our lives and taken us out of our comfort zone. Yet, we have learned to adapt, learned new technology and new ways of delivering services. This session will look how COVID has affected our resilience, our creativity and comfort levels. You will learn positive, uplifting strategies to focus on, so we don’t come out of the pandemic the way we came into the pandemic. We are bent, but not broken.

Kathy Espinoza, MBA, MS, CPE, CIE, Assistant Vice President, Ergonomics & Safety, Keenan & AssociatesBiography

Closing Keynote Speaker Panel – Preparing For the Tough Days: Defining Your Why and Planning For Stress
1:00 – 2:00 pm PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
Stress is inevitable in local government work, especially during these extra challenging times. What can we do to prepare for it? How do we stay in touch with our “why,” and what resources are available to us? Walk away from this session with actionable steps to take to build your personal and professional resiliency. Hear from a panel of local government professionals including, Reva Feldman (Biography), Steve Rogers (Biography), and Kurt Wilson (Biography).
Sponsored by:

Happy Hour with MMANC – Region 1

5:00 – 7:00 pm PDT, Friday, October 15, 2021
Devil’s Canyon Brewery
935 Washington Street
San Carlos, CA 94070
Come by to discuss your favorite MMANC conference sessions. If you haven’t attended the conference, still stop by to chat! You can spot us at an outdoor table with an MMANC logo.