Avana Andrade is a Senior Sustainability Specialist at the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability. Over the past 6 years, her work has focused on climate action planning, emissions reduction policy development at the local level, and public environmental education. In recent years, she’s developed a specialty in integrative and problem-oriented approaches to local agriculture and climate policy, and existing building decarbonization. She has worked on environmental policy, land conservation, and western land issues for over ten years in the National Park Service, the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Public Lands History Center at Colorado State University. Her undergraduate degree is in Environmental History from Colorado State University and her masters degree is in Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment.
Adria serves dual roles as Senior Program Manager (Agriculture and Climate) and San Mateo County Agricultural Ombudsman. As Program Manager, she manages the Carbon Farming, Waste Reduction, and Urban Farming Programs. As the Agricultural Ombudsman, she serves as a liaison between agricultural producers and County officials, helping farmers and ranchers navigate County permitting and assisting the County with improving its agricultural permitting process as well as spearheading efforts to improve agricultural viability. Adria holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Pitzer College and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Adria has been involved in food systems work in California since 2009, including San Luis Obispo Food Policy Council, Diringer and Associates, and California Climate and Agriculture Network.
Beatriz Guerrero Auna
Beatriz Guerrero Auna
Beatriz Guerrero Auna uses inclusive and data-based planning to improve health equity. As a Planner at the City of Richmond, she developed and implemented community outreach with vulnerable populations. She also worked for more than 10 years for the federal government and the local government of Mexico City in planning and public policy implementation. She holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley. She studied Political Science as an undergraduate and specialized in Gender Studies.
Todd Blair is the Emergency Response Manager for the County of San Mateo Human Services Agency and leads several programs for the agency including inclement weather and continuity of operations planning. HSA is responsible for providing care and shelter to county residents in a disaster under the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Plan. Before coming to HSA, Todd spent 12 years working for the County Department of Public Works managing the information technology team. Todd brings over 20 years of experience working locally with the American Red Cross Disaster Services in a variety of volunteer and leadership roles, is a licensed ham radio operator, and is currently completing a Master of Security and Disaster Management degree at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Todd lives in San Mateo with his wife and three children.
Dan Buckshi has been the City Manager of Walnut Creek since 2017 and has over 20 years of local government experience. In his role, he provides overall leadership to the organization, supports the City Council, and oversees the operations and budget of the City. Before joining Walnut Creek, Dan worked at the County of San Luis Obispo for 15 years, the last five as the Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to working in local government, Dan worked in the automotive and technology industries. Dan has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Michigan State University and a Master of Political Science degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Dan also serves on the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and Regional Government Services. Dan is a member of the International City/County Management Association and is a Credentialed Manager. When not working, Dan can frequently be found hiking or biking the many trails and roadways of Northern California.
As the Assistant City Manager for the City of Rancho Cucamonga, Elisa Cox is a relationship builder with a value system based on transparency, ethics, integrity, diversity, and a personal approach that engenders high levels of trust and confidence. She works to drive inclusivity and equity through community and employee engagement, bringing people together to share ideas and to collaborate on the opportunities at hand. She is a strategic forward thinker and creative problem solver with a positive, energetic, “get-it-done” spirit, and a hands-on leadership style based on engagement, empowerment, accountability, and results.
Before joining Team RC in 2016, Elisa served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Sierra Madre, where she oversaw the administrative activities and operations for the City. Elisa also served in the roles of Director of Community & Personnel Services and Director of Human Resources – but she got her start in local government teaching swimming lessons at the city pool.
Elisa is active with the International City and County Managers Association serving as an ICMA Coach and member of Assistants and Deputies Advisory Board and a fellow of the Leadership Institute on Race, Equity, and Inclusion. She also serves as the Vice President for Cal-ICMA and is active with the League of California Cities as the incoming chair for the Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations Policy Committee.
Elisa has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and earned her Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she now serves on the Advisory Council and was presented with the 2011 Honored Alumnae designation.
Biography coming soon!
Karen Decker oversees economic development and community services for the City of Half Moon Bay. She is the project manager of the Coastside Recovery Initiative – an economic development effort that has recently received over $5M in grant funding for implementation projects. She shepherded a major park improvement project through conceptual and final design, community engagement, and environmental review resulting in a $4.75M grant from the State of California.
Prior to her public sector service, Karen spent 15 years in the nonprofit sector in a variety of leadership positions at Asian American Recovery Services and HealthRIGHT 360 advocating for and overseeing culturally competent, behavioral health programming. She implemented an agency-wide risk management program covering 900 employees throughout California and served as a senior advisor in merger discussions and conversion to electronic health records. She was voted “Best Communicator” by colleagues for five consecutive years and was routinely tapped for guidance on personnel conflicts, organizational health, and strategic planning.
Karen is a Certified Executive Coach who holds a graduate degree in ethnic studies and a bachelor’s degree in human communication. She grew up in Sunnyvale and has been a resident of Half Moon Bay since 2013. She is passionate about serving her local community and can often be found on the Coastal Trail with her husband and two sons.
Briana Evans builds communities in which every member can thrive. She has worked as an equity design strategist with Reflex Design Collective, a consulting firm that uses collaboration to co-design solutions that advance social equity. She also served as a Senior Community Health Planner in San Mateo County Health’s Office of Diversity and Equity where her team co-designed culturally responsive behavioral health services with clients and families. Briana is also a facilitator for Stanford Business School’s Women in Management and Interpersonal Dynamics programs, which support individuals to build interpersonal connections and make mindful choices about their impact as leaders. Briana holds a BS and MS in Anthropology from Stanford University.
Dr. David E. Fraser
Dr. David E. Fraser
Dr. David E. Fraser is practitioner-academic with over 25 years of public and nonprofit experience, and over 17 years as a university professor. Currently, he serves as Chief of Staff for the 5th supervisoral district in Contra Costa County, California — a position he has held since 2006. He is also a professor of public affairs and administration in the Master of Public Administration program at California State University, East Bay — a position to which he was appointed in 2005.
Dr. Fraser is a Credentialed California County Senior Executive and has been inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. He is also a member of the Association of Pan African Doctoral Scholars. He holds undergraduate degrees in Communications and Theology and graduate degrees in public administration (MPA) and education leadership (EdS). He also holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in higher education leadership and is currently a candidate for his second doctoral degree, a PhD in Advanced Education Studies, with a leadership cognate.
He is a frequent presenter at conferences and symposiums and serves as a visiting lecturer at colleges and universities in the Caribbean region.
Alvin Galang has been with the City of San José for nearly 15 years, beginning his City career with the Office of Emergency Services (Management) and then transitioning to parks and recreation with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS). In 2020, Alvin was activated to the City of San José’s Emergency Operations Center, where he started as a COVID-19 Field Safety Officer, developing educational materials and safety protocols and practices. By the end of 2020, Alvin became Deputy Director of the City’s Vaccination Task Force, ensuring that vaccines were made available to the City of San José’s most marginalized communities as well as the City’s front-line workers. Alvin is currently an Assistant to the City Manager, as the Director of the Vaccination Task Force, in the Office of Emergency Management under the City Manager’s Office.
Alvin self-describes as having roots and foundations in the health science and public health fields; while incorporating those fundamentals into his City career. He is an alumnus of San José State University (SJSU), receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a concentration in Health Care Management, and his Masters in Public Health degree with an emphasis on Community Health Education. Alvin has experience in both the non-profit and government sectors, and has occasionally lectured at SJSU as an adjunct faculty. His passion is serving people. He applies the philosophy of kaizen or continuous improvement in all that he does. A Bay Area native, Alvin enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, especially at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Growth is the key to unlocking a meaningful life. Ryan Giordano built toward this insight through his experience leading learning & development efforts at high-growth tech companies in Silicon Valley (Pandora, Blend, Gong.). Today, he serves as a growth coach—helping people to find purpose in their work and to create clarity in their life. Clients trust in Ryan for guidance through challenges such as: self-discovery, career development, and building sustainable practices. When he’s not coaching, he’s building tools, courses, and community resources to share with his network.
Jaqui Guzmán manages several city-wide initiatives, oversees citywide communications, and is guiding the City’s equity, access and inclusion organizational change management effort. She has over a decade of experience in local government. She holds a master’s degree in public policy (MPP) from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a B.A from Occidental College. Jaqui grounds herself by being very active in her community and the profession. She serves on the board of Sunnyvale Community Services and AACI Health & Wellness. Jaqui also serves on the CalCities’ City Manager Department Subcommittee on Diversity and is a past Chair.
DeAnna Hilbrants joined Silicon Valley Power | City of Santa Clara as the Assistant Director – Business Services in 2020. Previously, DeAnna served as the Deputy City Manager and Finance Director of Millbrae, CA and Finance Director of the City of Sonoma (also assigned as Treasurer for Valley of the Moon Fire Protection District). In these roles, DeAnna oversaw all financial functions for the City including general accounting, budget, utility billing, purchasing, payroll, and accounts payable. In addition, DeAnna led a number of special projects including: implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, improvements to purchasing system and process, insurance settlement negotiations for Millbrae’s Community Center destroyed by arson fire, and community-engaged conceptual design of Millbrae’s replacement Recreation Center as well as rate and fee studies, labor negotiations, and support of Community Development and Recreation Departments during vacancies of department heads. Prior to joining the City of Sonoma, DeAnna worked in Monterey County Departments of Emergency Communications and Information Technology where, in addition to finance and contract management, DeAnna managed a number of regional technology projects.
DeAnna has a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from University of California Irvine. She is involved in several professional organizations related to local government including California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO), Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC), Women Leading Government (WLG), and International City / County Management Association (ICMA). In 2013, DeAnna was awarded the Rising Star Award from MMANC. DeAnna is married to Carl who is a Senior Planner at Santa Clara County. They have a 29 year old son, Alex living in Seattle. DeAnna grew up in the Eastern Sierra (Bishop, CA). Outside of work, DeAnna enjoys (and is trying to find more time for) hiking, dancing (recently learned & still learning), travel and reading.
Heather Hiscox is a #FrustratedChangemaker on a mission to change the way WE change the world. Heather is the Founder and CEO of Pause for Change (www.pauseforchange.com). The PAUSE method is a proven and proprietary framework that helps change makers address difficult challenges and pursue promising opportunities. These skills help organizations be certain of which solutions will work, and why, using fewer resources, in less time, while achieving greater impact. Heather is the author of No More Status Quo: A Proven Framework to Change the Way We Change the World (to be released Feb. 7, 2023! (www.nomorestatusquobook.com). Heather is also the Co-Creator and host of Possibility Project (www.possibilityproject.org), an online conversion series and growing community of disruptive change makers reclaiming their power through meaningful sparks, connections, and action. Heather speaks at conferences and events about social impact (nonprofit, local government, and philanthropic) disruption and innovation, and has launched several ventures that benefit the social impact sector, connecting organizations to the training, skills, and resources they need to deepen their impact.
Websites: www.PauseForChange.com & www.PossibilityProject.org
Jonathan V. Holtzman
Jonathan V. Holtzman
Jonathan V. Holtzman is a founding partner of Renne Public Law Group®. Jon has experience in virtually all aspects of employment law and labor relations. His labor expertise encompasses negotiations, fact finding, mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, and litigation related to bargaining obligations. He is a veteran of innumerable negotiations with police unions over wages, hours and departmental policies, including numerous police reform initiatives. He recently served as Special Counsel to the Fresno Commission on Police Reform, which produced 73 discrete recommendations that were adopted nearly unanimously by the 40-member commission. He is the author of Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Public Sector Employment Litigation Guide, the leading treatise on public sector employment issues. Jon is a graduate of Stanford Law School and clerked for Justice Otto Kaus of the California Supreme Court.
Biography coming soon!
Kimberly Konczak serves as Operations Manager for HdL’s Indirect Cost Recovery Service. Ms. Konczak’s experience has been developed through her eleven-year tenure with HdL, managing local government revenue programs for agencies nation-wide, and internally implementing an organization-wide ERP. Prior to HdL, she spent ten years with Wells Fargo Bank’s Treasury Management Services Department where she designed and implemented banking services, as well as conducted Ethnography Studies for corporations and governments. This exercise allowed her a unique perspective and insight into the day-to-day functions of her clients, enabling her to conduct cost-benefit analyses and increase efficiencies for them, while gaining knowledge of common struggles and best practices to apply toward future relationships. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado.
Nicolie Lettini has been providing cost allocation plan services to clients throughout the United States for over 20 years. She is a recognized leader in both indirect cost allocation and total cost of services studies. Ms. Lettini’s ability to interpret complex language into simple, understandable principles has allowed her to be a champion for those that do not understand the value of indirect cost calculations and its impact in funding projects and programs for the public good. Ms. Lettini has prepared over 800 complete cost allocation plans and cost of services studies to state and local governments of various sizes. She works with federal and state agencies during their auditing process of cost allocation plans and ICRP’s she has prepared, and has a 100% success rate of approval for her clients. She has managed to save almost $1 billion of reimbursements from getting wrongfully thrown out of audits for clients. Ms. Lettini holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Economics from UC Davis, and an MBA from California State University Sacramento. She also holds additional specialized certifications focused on Indirect Costs, Cost Rate Proposals and Cost Principles for Federal Grants.
Justin Lovell has more than 15 years of local government management experience currently serving as the MMANC CGL Director and as the Director of Administrative Services with West County Wastewater District in Richmond, CA where he oversees the Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology areas. Justin has led several initiatives to upgrade technology, strengthen security practices and modify processes to support the remote work environment. His background includes an emphasis on policy development, budget and financial forecasting, project management, sustainability initiatives, and process improvements. In 2019, Mr. Lovell completed Leadership ICMA, a leadership and management program for local government professionals. His experience includes multiple positions with the city of South San Francisco. Justin also served as an AmeriCorps member working with at-risk youth, and a Peace Corps Volunteer working in environmental education in Bolivia. Justin earned a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School in New York, New York and a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University.
Jesse Maddox is a partner in Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s Fresno and Sacramento offices, and serves on the Executive Committees of the Firm’s Litigation and Public Safety Practice Groups. Jesse is an experienced trial attorney who represents clients in all aspects of employment and labor law, including litigation, counseling on employment matters, training and presentations, employee discipline, administrative hearings, and investigations.
Mr. Michael Malone
Mr. Michael Malone
Previously, Mr. Michael Malone worked as the Water Director for the City of Vallejo Water Department where he served since April 2017. He was directly responsible for 120 staff members who operate and maintain Vallejo’s multi-billion dollar drinking water treatment and water distribution system assets. Mr. Malone has worked through the ranks as Operations Manager, Water Distribution Superintendent and Field Services Division Manager for the City of Sacramento where he led successful efforts to implement automated meter reading technologies and sustainable water rate increases.
Working for the San Jose Water Company for nearly 20 years at all levels of the water service organization, Mr. Malone began his tenure. He served as a Maintenance Worker performing water pipe repairs in the distribution system and later advanced to hold many other positions, including water meter reader, system operator, relief water treatment operator and service inspector.
Mr. Malone is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of St. Mary’s College with a degree in Management.
Rita Mancera has worked at Puente in various capacities for the past sixteen years. Prior to becoming ED in January 2016, Rita served as Deputy Executive Director, and as Program Director. She is Passionate to work to increase opportunities for low-income families and immigrants in areas of education, health, and financial security in her own community as well as advocating for regional policies that make communities more equitable and inclusive. She is a fellow of the American Leadership Forum class XVIII and a board member of the Leadership Council San Mateo County. Rita is an immigrant from Baja California Sur, Mexico. She holds a master’s degree in Education. Rita has lived in Pescadero since 2005.
Andrea Mariano has spent the last 7 years developing a Training and Staff Development program at the City of Oakland. During that time, she has also been an Instructor for UC Davis School of Human Services training Racial Equity and Inclusion with a Trauma Informed approach. Her work in the personal and professional development of the workforce stems from the belief that any type of culture and systems change in an organization starts with a learning and growing culture.
Andrea has an MA in Organizational Development and a dual degree in Communications and Journalism with a Minor in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. She is the lead chair of the Human Resources Management Racial Equity team with the goals of implementing equity into the culture and systems of local government through development of HR equity tools, training of staff on equity, diversity and inclusion, and growing a social justice movement from inside government that will make a lasting impact on the people of Oakland.
A Bay Area native, Cesar Martinez, began his career with the San José Fire Department (SJFD) in 1996. He has held the ranks of firefighter, firefighter paramedic, fire engineer, fire captain, and was promoted to the rank of battalion chief in 2022. Cesar worked most of his career in the downtown area of San José. He has been involved in many programs and projects during his 25+ career with SJFD including the research and development of tools and equipment carried on apparatus. He is the lead instructor for the Department’s high-rise training program, providing high-rise familiarization to recruits, newly promoted captains, and multi-jurisdictional dispatcher academies. Cesar was appointed the Fire Department Liaison Officer on the Vaccination Task Force. This involved training, staffing, and maintaining apparatus for providing vaccines to those in need. His career goal is to help provide the department with the means to grow in training and technology and strengthen the way firefighters offer service to the community.
Kelly McAdoo serves as the City Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the City of Hayward, California, a municipal corporation with over 900 employees. She began her tenure as City Manager on August 1, 2016 after serving approximately six years as the Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the organization. The City of Hayward is located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay with a community population of over 160,000 that has been identified as the most diverse in the country following the 2020 Census. Prior to joining the Hayward team, she worked four years with the City of Palo Alto as the Deputy City Manager, Assistant to the City Manager, and Division Manager of Arts and Sciences. From 1999 through 2006, she worked for the City of Fremont, California in a variety of capacities for the City Manager’s Office, Fire Department, and Development & Environmental Services Department. Ms. McAdoo earned Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, Economics, and International Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, all from the University of Kansas. She is an active member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC). Ms. McAdoo also completed the Harvard Kennedy School State and Local Executives Program as well as the two-year Leadership ICMA program (2010).
Andres Ramirez is a Senior Associate at Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA). Townsend Public Affairs is a full service lobbying and grant writing firm in California and Washington DC, which specializes in representing municipalities. Andres is based in TPA’s Sacramento State Capitol Office and has expertise in policy creation, analysis, shepherding bills through the legislative process, securing direct fiscal allocations through the State Budget and Federal Appropriations process, and experience in individual client and coalition/association management. Andres has state legislative experience in the policy sectors of broadband/tech, housing, transportation, local governance, and water.
Andres has worked in the California political arena to track, analyze, craft strategic plans, and impact legislation and administrative regulations that will directly affect his clients.
Andres serves on the Executive Board for the California Latino Capitol Association Foundation as the Lobbyist-Liaison, and has close ties with the California Legislative Latino Caucus.
In addition to his work in political advocacy, Andres has worked on the successful election campaign for a California State Senate Majority Leader, and has also worked for members of the California State Legislature. Andres has a degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Biography coming soon!
Carly Shelby is an Associate at Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA). Townsend Public Affairs is a full-service lobbying and grant writing firm in California and Washington DC, which specializes in representing municipalities. Carly is based in TPA’s State Capitol office in Sacramento, and has extensive experience in policy analysis and creation, establishing creative advocacy strategies through the legislative and budget processes, and working with clients to articulate priorities to form into advocacy solutions.
At TPA, Carly works to provide local government clients with the tools needed to achieve legislative and funding goals. This includes policy expertise and analysis, updates on upcoming policy trends and state budget discretionary revenues, and consistent advocacy through verbal and written correspondence with the Legislature.
Prior to joining TPA, Carly worked for the League of California Cities (Cal Cities) in the organization’s legislative unit. In her time at Cal Cities, Carly developed a fundamental understanding of legislative trends impacting local governments and worked with cities throughout the state to form coalitions, cultivate information sharing practices, and engage the Legislature to further the collective city agenda.
Carly has state legislative experience in areas such as housing and land use, governance and transparency, water, solid waste and recycling, revenue and taxation, community services, pension reform, and budget. Carly has strong relationships with legislative committee staff, members of the legislature, and cities.
Ryder Smith has over 20 years of experience in government relations, technology and marketing. As president, he leads Tripepi Smith and is the ultimate project owner of its clients, which span over 90 public, private and non-profit agencies. Ryder is also the creator of the City Internet Strategies Study, publisher of the Civic Business Journal and a frequent speaker on the local government circuit. Additionally, his insights have been published by industry-leading publications, such as Western City Magazine and Public Management Magazine, and local government professional organizations, such as the California City Management Foundation and Municipal Management Association of Northern California have recognized and awarded his support as a longtime partner.
Ryder graduated from Claremont McKenna College (CMC) with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics, economics and a dual degree in economics.
As the Executive Director of the Davenport Institute, Maureen Tobin infuses her passion for effective public engagement in guiding the work of the Institute. Tobin came to Davenport after 14 years in local government where she served as the first Communications and Engagement Manager (subsequently Director) for the City of Morgan Hill. In her role, she developed, implemented and led several significant community engagement efforts including a complete street pilot project that received national attention and the most significant infrastructure project in the history of Morgan Hill. She also led and facilitated a year-long community conversation regarding funding, priorities and options for fiscal sustainability. Maureen brings a breadth of perspective to the table from past leadership roles in healthcare, medical transportation, education and consulting work in the private sector. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from San Jose State University and certificates in public participation. She has been a guest lecturer, speaker and trainer on many topics including public engagement, work life balance, and municipal budgets.
Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin joined the NYPD in 1983 and began her career on patrol in South Jamaica, Queens. She was promoted through the ranks to her current title of Chief of Interagency Operations. Chief Tobin has served as the Commanding Officer of the Behavioral Health Division, the Office of Collaborative Policing and Personnel Bureau’s Staff Services Section. She has served as the Executive Officer of the 1, 10 and 13 Precincts.
Chief Tobin earned a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice; a Master of Social Work; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology/Social Work. She has been a New York State Certified Social Worker since 1985. Chief Tobin is also a graduate of the FBI Academy, the Columbia University’s Police Management Institute; and, Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.
During her career, Chief Tobin has received numerous honors and medals including and the NYPD’s Medal of Valor and a Special Congressional Recognition in honor of her heroism, bravery and sacrifice during the tumultuous events of September 11, 2001.
Anh Tran served as the City of San Jose’s Vaccination Task Force Director, leading community vaccination initiatives and events since the start of the pandemic. In addition to this role, she worked for the City’s Office of Emergency Management as a Senior Executive Analyst for the past three years, including holding pivotal roles in the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and regularly serving as a representative/liaison for City leadership among elected officials, community partners and other government organizations. Amongst other first-of-its kind plans such as the emergency plan for City Council’s Disaster District Office, Anh also authored the City’s COVID-19 Pandemic Plan, Recovery Plan, and supporting documents that guided the city through its pandemic response. Her contributions earned her the Individual Gold Award from the California State Emergency Services Association in 2021. Prior her work at the City of San Jose, Anh worked for San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, supporting the Director of Public Health and the department’s executive team in multiple areas of work, including healthcare compliance and privacy, public policy, and the department’s Whole Person Care Initiative. Anh has a wide base of experience in capital project management, asset management emergency management, public healthcare law and policy, and building community resource networks. She has an M.S. degree in Health Policy and Law and a B.S. in Health Sciences Management & Administration and is fluent in oral/written Vietnamese. Since leaving her role as Vaccination Task Force Director and Senior Executive Analyst, Anh has embarked on yet another public service journey, overseeing the Library Department’s Capital Planning Initiative, Safety & Security Team, and optimizing the department’s Fleet, working to build up the department’s infrastructure to meet the needs of the future.
Anthony Valdez serves as Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Bakersfield where he coordinates legislative advocacy, grants, homelessness, and High-Speed Rail. He previously served as a legislative aide and speechwriter to a California state senator, legislative aide to a county supervisor and as a large city commission affairs manager. Anthony holds an MPA from the University of San Francisco, a BA from the American University in Washington, DC, and is a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Anthony serves on several boards including the Municipal Management Association of Northern California, California League of Cities, Bakersfield Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative, and the Bakersfield Center for Sexuality and Diversity.
As the principal of Wood Consulting Services, Erica Wood brings passion, vision and thoughtful strategy to every project she undertakes. She was recently hired by the City of Half Moon Bay to lead and design a comprehensive regional economic development effort — the Coastside Recovery Initiative — that in a few short months has resulted in nearly $5 million in public and private investments to support implementation projects.
Prior to her consulting work, Erica spent twenty-five years working in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. She was a driving force behind Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s growth and success during an unparalleled merger. She established the community foundation’s first community impact agenda and led major grantmaking programs focused on economic security, housing and transportation, education and immigration.
Erica graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum and serves on the board of a national nonprofit organization focused on early literacy. She is proud to call Half Moon Bay her home where she resides with her husband and daughter.
Holly Young is passionate about learning, equity, communications, and policy work. Prior to her current position, she worked in the Los Gatos Community Development Department and Police Department in a civilian role. She has served in the public sector for the past decade with previous experience in both the County Executive Office and Community Development Resource Agency at Placer County. Holly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Business Marketing from San Diego State University. In her free time, Holly enjoys being outdoors with family and her many rescue animals.