Lori Sassoon is Deputy City Manager of Administrative Services with the city of Rancho Cucamonga, where she is responsible for operations in Human Resources, Finance, Technology, Purchasing, and Special Districts administration. Previous roles include serving as City Manager for the city of Villa Park, and as Assistant City Manager for San Bernardino. Lori is President of the California chapter of Women Leading Government, an organization dedicated to supporting the growth of women in local government leadership roles. She is also a founding board member and volunteer with Redeeming Love, a faith-based organization that provides safe housing and trauma care for survivors of sex trafficking in the San Gabriel Valley. She has a BA in Political Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, an MPA from California State University, San Bernardino, and is an ICMA Credentialed City Manager.
Deputy City Manager - City of Rancho Cucamonga
Senior Management Analyst - City of Santa Clarita
Amy Chang has been a financial professional for the past 20 years in the private, non-profit, and local government sectors. Currently, she is serving as the Director of Finance and Administration for the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority. Amy believes in embracing each person as an individual and empowering them to impact the world in their own way. She has a passion to coach and mentor her team to integrate their life’s purpose in their work. Through the Leadership Mastermind Executive Coaching Program with Dr. Michelle Pizer, she has learned about Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence model, and has been instilling and practicing this skill set to strengthen herself and her team. Amy holds a master’s degree in Information Systems Auditing from Cal Poly Pomona and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Cal State Fullerton.
Director of Finance and Administration - San Elijo Joint Powers Authority
Antonia has 18 years of experience working for local government. Currently she is the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Huntington Beach where she oversees a variety of administrative programs including leading the City’s Citizen Academy, Intergovernmental Relations, and all environmental and sustainability related programs. Ms. Graham also leads regional efforts and leads the award winning Orange County Recycling Market Development Zone, which is an economic development program aimed at creating an innovative circular economy.
Ms. Graham has successfully secured millions of dollars in grant funds for the City of Huntington Beach and recently partnered with the University of California, Irvine and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create an advanced energy community in a disadvantaged part of the City.
Additionally, Ms. Graham oversees the City’s Smart City program one of the only ones in the County. After leading the acquisition of 11,000 streetlights from Southern California Edison, she led the effort to work with telecommunications carriers to embark on deploying smart city solutions that will improve city services and connectivity for residents. This includes the deployment of 200 Smart Fusion Poles, a first-of-its-kind smart pole that will be deployed in the City – the 1st in the nation.
She holds a BA in Political Science and American Studies, an MPA with a concentration in Public Finance, and a Master’s degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Ms. Graham also teaches courses focused on sustainability at California State University Fullerton and Irvine Valley College. Ms. Graham recently had a case study published in the book, Sustainable World: Approaches to Analyzing & Resolving Wicked Problems and was selected as the Arizona State University School of Sustainability Alumni of the Year (2018).
Secretary / Recordkeeping
Deputy City Manager - City of Fullerton
Marcella Marlowe has been the City Manager for the City of San Marino since 2017, after having served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of San Gabriel for six-and-a-half years. Prior to San Gabriel, Dr. Marlowe served as the Human Resources Manager for the City of Duarte, the only person to ever hold that position there. She started her career with the City of Calabasas as a human resources generalist, and spent two years with the City of Phoenix, AZ, specializing in classification & compensation and benefits administration.
Dr. Marlowe is a devoted Trojan, having received all of her degrees from the University of Southern California: B.A. in Classical Greek Civilization, M.A. in Political Science, and Ph.D. in Political Science. She is also a Credentialed Manager through the International City/County Management Association, carrying the ICMA-CM designation. She holds an adjunct teaching appointment with the University of La Verne’s College of Business and Public Management, and also taught at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy for almost ten years as an Adjunct Associate Professor. She is the author of Jurisprudential Regimes: The Supreme Court, Civil Rights, and the Life Cycle of Judicial Doctrine, published in 2011.
City Manager - San Marino
Valerie Barone has served as the City Manager for the City of Concord, CA (pop 129,000) since February of 2012. Concord is a full service City with over 400 full-time employees. Valerie has experience in the public and private sector. Prior to her role as City Manager in Concord, she served as the Assistant City Manager in Concord, the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Walnut Creek, and as Community & Recreation Services Director for the City of Milpitas. She also worked as a land use and environmental planner for the Company of Eric J. Toll, a Nevada Company, and served in the Peace Corps as a Community Development Specialist on Panay Island in the Philippines. She holds a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Planning from Humboldt State University, earned an MBA from Cal State Sacramento, and completed the Harvard Kennedy Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. She is on the Boards of the City Manager’s Department of the League of California Cities and Women Leading Government, an affiliate organization to the International City and County Manager’s Association, as well as on the Board of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership.
City Manager - City of Concord
Karen Brust was appointed Encinitas City Manager in September 2015. She has over 30 years of experience in senior public sector management. Previously, she served as City Manager of the cities of Del Mar and San Juan Capistrano and has broad experience with city and special district management, extensive knowledge of organizational issues, and a pragmatic understanding of finance, water, economic development and capital project delivery. She has been an active member in the International City Managers Association for over 30 years. Karen holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Administrative Science from Central Connecticut State University.
City Manager, Encinitas
Jan Perkins is a former City Manager (Fremont and Morgan Hill, CA) and is currently a Vice President with the local government management consulting firm Management Partners. Earlier in her career she served the cities of Santa Ana, California; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Adrian, Michigan. As a consultant, Jan assists local government leaders with strategic planning, executive performance evaluation, elected official/staff workshops, and organization assessments. Jan holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Kansas, is an ICMA Credentialed Manager, and was honored by ICMA with its Distinguished Service Award. She has written numerous articles and is a frequent guest speaker. Jan has long supported women’s success and aspirations in local government and has great confidence in women’s abilities to lead. She is a founding member of ICMA’s Women Leading Government. Her contact info is: email@example.com (949) 202-8870
Ex-Officio ICMA Liaison
Retired City Manager
Carol Jacobs became the assistant city manager for the City of Newport Beach in 2015. She supports the City Manager by providing administrative guidance to City departments and directing the implementation of the organization’s strategic initiatives and special projects to ensure they align with the goals and policies of the City Council. She also leads interdepartmental efforts to address key issues affecting the community.
Carol has nearly three decades of professional experience working in the public and private sectors, leading organizations and managing community development, municipal accounting, budget, finance and information technology operations. She previously served as the City Manager for the cities of Stanton, Eastvale and Grand Terrace and held staff positions for the City of Costa Mesa. Jacobs also worked in the private sector as a senior manager for a financial services consulting company.
During the course of her career, Carol was responsible for redevelopment of key neighborhoods, new park facilities, fire stations, and a new public works yard and police substation. Working with the communities in which she has served, she built strong public/private partnerships, improved long-term fiscal health and improved operations with innovative solutions. Carol earned a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and is an ICMA Credential Manager, a special designation that reflects her education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and commitment to continuous learning.
Carol is the Past President Women Leading Government, a statewide group dedicated to growing talent and encouraging women in their profession. She is also a member of the International City/County Management Association and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California. Carol and her husband have two children and live in south Orange County.
Immediate Past President
Assistant City Manager -City of Newport Beach
Pamela “Pam” W. Antil has over 25 years of experience directly managing and advising local government agencies across the country including small and large cities such as San Jose, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and Palo Alto, CA. Since 2015, she has been serving as the Assistant City Administrator for the City of Santa Barbara, CA. Ms. Antil also advised local government, not-for-profits, and private sector clients as a Consulting Manager and Director for Grant Thornton LLP – the 5th largest public accounting and management consulting firm in the U.S.
Ms. Antil has been recognized for her published articles and papers on a variety of topics including advancing women in local government; the future of policing in the United States; business networking; innovation and design thinking; post-merger/operational due diligence in the private sector; and use of social media by local government. An avid networker herself and early adopter of social media in government, Ms. Antil founded the Municipal Managers group on LinkedIn in 2007, which has over 11,000 members today and the League of Women in Government in 2015, supporting the advancement of women in local government.
Pam is an active member of the International City/County Management Association, Cal-ICMA, Alliance for Innovation, Municipal Management Assistants of Southern California, BJA Executive Session on Police Leadership, Emerging Local Government Leaders as well as serves as an Advisory Board Member for Women Leading Government CA and Past-President of the League of Women in Government. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University.
Assistant City Administrator, Santa Barbara
Jill R. Ingram was appointed City Manager of Seal Beach on July 1, 2011. As the City Manager, Ms. Ingram serves as the chief administrative officer of the City and is responsible for providing the City Council with policy recommendations and implementing them as adopted, and providing effective municipal services in accordance with City Council policies, the Municipal Code, and provisions of the City Charter. She is also responsible for the overall planning and control of all day-to-day operations, including oversight of the City's adopted annual budget, programs, and services of the City, including Administration, City Clerk, Community Services, Community Development, Finance, Marine Safety, Police Department, and Public Works, including approximately 100 full-time employees.
Ms. Ingram has over 30 years of municipal experience, having served the Downey Unified School District, City of Cypress, and the Orange County Fire Authority prior to her service with the City of Seal Beach beginning in 2008. She served as Assistant to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Interim City Manager in Seal Beach prior to her appointment to City Manager in 2011.
Ms. Ingram holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, both from California State University, Long Beach, and is a credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association.
She is a member of the International City/County Management Association, California City Management Foundation, Orange County City Manager's Association, Municipal Manager's Association of Southern California, Women Leading Government, and the CSULB Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration.
City Manager, Seal Beach
Christa Johnson began her career in the hospitality industry working for the Pebble Beach Resorts. Her first position in the public sector was with the Alameda County Public Works Agency as a management analyst. Prior to joining the Town of Windsor as Assistant Town Manager in 2006 she worked with the City of Alameda as the Assistant to the City Manager for eight years. In Windsor, Christa focused on the areas of redevelopment, economic development, and solid waste management. In September 2011, Christa accepted the Assistant City Manager position in Laguna Beach. Currently, Christa oversees the Community Services Department, the Cultural Arts Department, and many special projects and programs such as economic development, property acquisition, and other City Council priorities. Christa has a BA in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and a MPA from San Francisco State University. She is married and has two school-aged children. In what little spare time she has she enjoys adventuring with her family, reading newspapers, and exercising!
Assistant City Manager, Laguna Beach
Sharon is an executive-level strategist and project manager in the private and public sectors. She has a track record of successfully advancing high profile and complex projects by working collaboratively with both government and private sector stakeholders. She has broad experience managing policy development and public relations in dynamic environments. She has extensive experience overseeing professional and technical disciplines while managing multiple functions and has a passion for innovation and improving organizational effectiveness.
Sharon joined the City of Carson as its first female city manager in May 2019. Immediately prior to this appointment, Sharon served as the principal of Landers Consulting where she offered executive-level strategic guidance and project management. Her engagements included working with the City of Mission Viejo and serving as Interim Planning Director for the City of Rancho Cucamonga. For over twelve years, from June 2006 to January 2019, Sharon served as Assistant City Manager for the City of Irvine in Orange County, California, a city with a population of a quarter of a million residents. In Irvine, her responsibilities included leading large-scale capital projects and serving as the city's chief operating officer, overseeing its operating and administrative departments including planning, parks and recreation, public works, environmental programs, finance, budget, human resources and information technology. In addition, she also served for a year as Interim CEO for the Orange County Great Park, planning a 1,300-acre park being developed on a superfund site within a closed military base.
Prior to her work in Irvine, Sharon served in executive level positions in state and local agencies including San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Department of Transportation and New York City Department of Transportation. She also served as a transportation advisor to New York City Mayors Ed Koch & David Dinkins, and New York Governors Hugh Carey & Mario Cuomo. She practiced law for over a decade in New York, which included serving as General Counsel for the New York City Department of Transportation.
Sharon is an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) credentialed City Manager. She attended the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. Her professional contributions include serving on the boards of Woman Leading Government, Cal-ICMA and ICMA's Local Government Management Fellowship Program. She is a coach for ICMA and has been a Manager/Mentor for the Fullerton University City Management Fellowship Program and a coach for the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC). She is an organizer, moderator and panelist on programs for ICMA, Women Leading Government, MMASC, and the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities.
Recognition for Sharon's work includes Women Leading Government's Career Excellence Award presented at the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) Women's Leadership Summit; Excellence in Government Award presented by the Government Law Center of Albany Law School, Union University; and Influential Woman in Business Award presented by Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Sharon received her B.S. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook & J.D. from Albany Law School Union University in New York. She is admitted to the NYS Bar and the Bar of the US Supreme Court.
City Manager, Carson
Patricia E. Martel
ICMA West Coast Regional Director
Recently appointed as ICMA West Coast Regional Director following thirty-eight years of distinguished service in California local government, Pat Martel held executive leadership positions with the cities of Inglewood, South San Francisco, Daly City, San Francisco and Hayward. Serving as an Assistant City Manager, General Manager of Public Utilities and City Manager, Ms. Martel was responsible for managing public services in communities ranging in size from 67,000 to 850,000 residents.
Most recently, Pat served as City Manager of Daly City from 2005 until retiring in June, 2018. She previously served as Assistant City Manger of Daly City from 1995 to 2001 before moving to the City and County of San Francisco to serve as the General Manager of the Public Utilities Commission. Throughout her career, Ms. Martel was committed to delivering high quality public services efficiently and cost effectively, enhancing community engagement and civic leadership, supporting organizational development and excellence, working collaboratively with elected officials to enhance governance and leadership, providing staff leadership development, advancing women and diversity in local government through inclusive recruitment, selection and professional development practices.
As West Coast Regional Director for the International City/County Management Association, Pat is responsible for coordinating ICMA’s presence in the West Coast Region which includes the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Providing support to well over 1500 ICMA members in the region, Pat serves as ICMA’s liaison to each of the state associations in making available the resources required by local government management professionals to successfully fulfill their public service responsibilities. The Regional Director also supports the ICMA Executive Board Vice Presidents representing the west coast.
Throughout her tenure in public service, Pat was actively engaged in professional development as a member of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA). She served on the Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee, Task Force on Women in the Profession, Task Force on Financing ICMA, Task Force on Leadership, and the Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness in the Profession. Currently, she is the ICMA co-chair, in partnership with the Center for Public Safety Excellence, of a white paper research project on 21st Century Fire Services.
Ms. Martel was elected a member of the ICMA Executive Board as West Coast Regional Vice President, 2010-2013. She was selected by the Executive Board to serve as the 102nd President of ICMA in 2015. Pat has also served the profession as a member of the California City Management Foundation Board, the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities, Women Leading Government Board, the Local Government Hispanic Network Board, and was most recently selected to serve on the Board of the Institute for Local Government. Ms. Martel was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2015 where she has served on the Fellows Nominating Committee.
Martel is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for her contributions to local government, public service and the city management profession including: California City Management Foundation “City Manager of the Year” (2017), Elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration for sustained exemplary contributions to the improvement of Public Administration (2015), Women Leading Government Career Excellence Award (2013), San Francisco State University Award for Significant and Outstanding Public Service (2013), Daly City/Colma Chamber of Commerce Cypress Business Award for Leadership (2013), KQED Public Broadcasting Corporation and Kaiser Permanente Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero for outstanding contributions and commitment to community service (2004), San Francisco Business Times Top 100 Women Business Leaders (2003) and 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in the Bay Area (2002).
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Martel holds a B.S. degree in Public Affairs and Journalism, as well as a Masters degree in Public Administration.
West Coast Regional Director
Susan K. Thorpe was appointed County Administrator for Yuma County in February 2016. Susan has over 30 years of local government experience including serving as City Manager for two Texas cities and Assistant/Deputy City Manager for cities in Texas, California and Arizona.
Susan is an advisory board member of Women Leading Government and a board member of the League of Women in Government. Susan was honored as MPA Alumni of the Year in 1998 by the University of North Texas for her contribution to local government. In 2011, she received the Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager Award from the Arizona City/County Management Association. Susan is also a contributor to the book Democracy at the Doorstep, Too! by Mike Conduff and Melissa Byrne Vossmer.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Economics and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas (UNT). She is a graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. Susan has been an ICMA Credentialed Manager since 2004.
County Administrator, Yuma AZ
DeAnna Hilbrants has served as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Millbrae since July, 2017 (after a promotion from the position of Finance Director). As Deputy City Manager, DeAnna oversees the Financial Department of the City including oversight of all financial functions and the design and rebuild of the City’s Recreation Center after it was destroyed by an arson fire in 2016. DeAnna previously served as the Finance Director for the City of Sonoma and as Treasurer for the Valley of the Moon Fire Protection District from 2014 - 2017. Prior to joining the City of Sonoma, DeAnna worked in Monterey County where, in addition to finance management, DeAnna managed a number of regional technology projects. DeAnna has also worked in the Cities of Torrance and Manhattan Beach and in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. DeAnna has an MBA and BS degree from the University of California at Irvine. DeAnna has been active in MMANC since arriving in Northern California in 2006 and served on the Board of Women Leading Government. DeAnna served as chair or co-chair for the Women’s Leadership Summit in 2010, 2013, and 2014. 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. She has a 26 year old son, Alex. Outside of work, DeAnna maintains an active lifestyle including hip hop classes, boot camps, indoor cycling, and hiking.
Deputy City Manager, Milbrae