Long Beach City Council Unanimously Approves Most of Mayor Garcia's 61 Commission Appointments

The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved the vast majority Mayor Robert Garcia’s 61 commissioner appointments at last night’s council meeting, ushering in a new crop of civic leaders to help bring Garcia’s vision of the city to life.

After initially announcing thirteen appointments, 48 more appointments were announced last week.

The 58 new commissioners include (descriptions provided by Mayor Garcia's office):

Civil Service Commission

Charles Hicks: Mr. Hicks is Dean of Law at Pacific Coast University, his alma mater. He is the founder of his own law practice, based in Los Alamitos, which serves in the areas of Aviation, Estate Planning, Probate Litigation, and Family Law. Hicks retired from the Federal Aviation Administration with over 30 years of service as an Aviation Safety Inspector Operations and Manager. He holds an Airplane and Helicopters Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor, and a DC-9 Type Rating. Hicks is an Army Aviator and has served in the United States Air Force and United States Naval Reserve. He retired with over 24 years of reserve and active duty service. This is a reappointment.

Carolyn Smith Watts: Ms. Smith Watts has more than 8 years of experience working for the US Department of Labor as a Corporate Trainer and currently is the Principal Consultant for Bolophs Specialty Consulting. She has more than 18 years of experience working in social service. She has worked as a Police Officer and in other management roles. She has served on the Civil Service Commission, the Long Beach Housing Development Company Board Commission, and as Citizen Police Complaint Commissioner. She is part of the Leadership Long Beach Class of 2001 and was awarded the UCLA’s Conscience in the Community Award. This is a reappointment.

Citizen Police Complaint Commission

Alma Campos: Ms. Campos serves as the Director of Family Campos Day Care. A resident of Long Beach for 20 years, Campos and her husband founded New Generations, a mentoring and sports program based at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center that aims to help at-risk children stay in school and out of gangs.

Dr. Crystal Howard-Johnson: Dr. Howard-Johnson holds a PhD in Education from UC Riverside. She is currently a Research Analyst at LBUSD, where she has worked for nine years. She is also a Lecturer in Family and Consumer Science and Gerontology at Cal State Long Beach and has held a variety of positions in educational fields over the past 20 years. Dr. Howard-Johnson has served on numerous boards and committees, including the North Long Beach Whole Village Initiative Task Force and the California Endowment’s Building Health Communities Education Committee.

Pete Zuanich: Mr. Zuanich has lived and worked in Long Beach for 19 years. He is currently Southern California Labor Relations Manager at SSA Marine, where he previously worked in Vessel Operations and as a Safety Manager. He also volunteers as a board member at Los Altos Youth Baseball and at Long Beach Shore Aquatics.

Planning Commission:

Andy Perez: Mr. Perez is currently employed in the public affairs bureau of Union Pacific Railroad, as Director of Port Affairs for Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. A graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills, Perez has long served on the Boards of Directors for Long Beach Boys and Girls Clubs and the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Mayor’s Transition Team.

Jane Templin: Ms. Templin is Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and the Outreach Director at the Electrical Training Institute. A certified general electrician, Templin has served on the Executive Board of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, on the advisory committee of the Long Beach Job Corps, and as a mentor at the ACE Academy of Long Beach.

Erick Verduzco-Vega: Mr. Verduzco-Vega is the President and CEO of the South Bay Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the South Bay Latino Community Development Corporation. He also manages real estate and restaurant investments, and has served on the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board as its Vice Chair.

Board of Examiners, Appeals and Condemnation

Dr. Julian DelGaudio: Dr. DelGuaido is a Professor of History at Long Beach City College. He received his B.A. and an M.A. in History from California State University, and a PhD. in History from the University of California, Irvine. Professor DelGaudio is the campus faculty sponsor for Campus Progressives, a board member of the Long Beach Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and, a member of the City of Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Task Force.

Christina Mandac: Ms. Mandac holds an Associate’s Degree in Communications at Long Beach City College, and is pursuing her Bachelor’s at Cal State Long Beach. She has worked as a tutor at Long Beach City College, a counselor for youth with disabilities at Junior Athletes in Wheelchair Sports camp, and a committee member at Accessible Connections Exchange.

Board of Health and Human Services

Gisele Fong: Ms. Fong is the Executive Director of EndOil, Inc., which promotes energy alternatives. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves as a lead facilitator with the Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach Environmental Health Work group. Fong is Co-Founder of the Asian Pacific Planning Council (A3PCON) Environmental Justice Committee. She has taught at various universities in Southern California, including California State University, Long Beach.

Suely Ngouy: Ms. Ngouy currently serves as a Field Representative for the Office of Senator Ricardo Lara. Prior to this role, she served as Health Policy Advocate for the Asian Americans Advance Justice Los Angles where she was responsible for policy analysis and implementation, community outreach, and coalition building. Ngouy holds a MPA from California State University, Long Beach and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. She currently serves as Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Woman for Woman Foundation and as a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow for the Women’s Foundation of CA.

Christine Petit: Ms. Petit is the Hub Manager of Long Beach’s Building Healthy Community Initiative, which is part of The California Endowment’s statewide effort to improve health outcomes through community engagement and policy change. Petit holds a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She is Co-founder of the Long Beach Time Exchange and is a Steering Committee Member with the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community. In 2014, she was selected as the Most Inspirational Professor by the CSULB Alumni Association.

Christopher Robson: Mr. Robson has served for more than three decades in health care delivery and administration, including with Blue Cross of California/Wellpoint, Health Net HMO, and United Healthcare. He currently serves as the Independent Physician Association (IPA) Administrator for Advanced Medical Management, Inc. where he is responsible for the overall management of five California IPA’s in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Jose. Robson serves as Vice President for Membership Development for the LAMBDA Democratic Club and has served in various capacities with organizations such as the Committee to Save Taxpayers Money, Long Beach Equality, and the No on 8 Campaign. He is a certified Medical Practice Executive.

Milton Smith: Mr. Smith is the Project Director of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In this role, he is responsible for leading a national 14 city community research protocol that brings together over 30 organizations in Los Angeles County working together to reduce HIV/AIDS among youth ages 12-24. Prior to this role, he served as a Mentoring Coordinator for the Los Angles LGBT Center/Lifeworks and as a Behavioral Research Associate II at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He currently serves as Vice President of the Black Los Angeles HIV/AIDS Coalition (BLAAC) and serves on the University of California Los Angeles Community Advisory Board.

Dr. Tuongthuy (Troy) Ha: Dr. Ha is a Self Employed Dentist, who has been practicing in Long Beach for the past 12 years. He earned his D.D.S. from the University of Southern California, School of Dentistry.

California State University Headquarters Building Authority

Miles Nevin: Mr. Nevin is a CSU alumnus and employee of California State University system. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach, and is currently earning a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Nevin is the Executive Director for the nonprofit California State Student Association, where he previously served as Director of University Affairs. Nevin serves on other education related boards, including Children Today, CSULB's Leadership Resource Center, the Campaign for College Opportunity, and the Long Beach Playhouse.

Long Beach Transit Board of Directors

April Economides: Ms. Economides is the Founder and President of Green Octopus Consulting, which promotes complete streets and green business. She holds an MBA from Presidio Graduate School and is a board member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. Economides was a member of the task force that created the City of Claremont’s Sustainable City Plan. She was also a member of the Mayor’s Transition Team

Sumire Gant: Ms. Gant, a former transportation planner for both the City of Long Beach and Los Angeles County, holds an MBA from UCLA. She secured millions of dollars of transportation and planning grants for Long Beach over a ten year period, and was instrumental in planning and funding many portions of the City’s bicycle infrastructure.

Airport Advisory Commission

Jeff Anderson: Mr. Anderson is CEO of the Anderson Real Estate Group, and a former employee of the Long Beach Fire Department. He has served as the Rose Park Neighborhood Association President, and on the board of Pride Real Estate Association of America, Long Beach. Anderson is a Graduate of Real Estate Institute and is a Certified Distressed Property Expert. He is deeply involved in national and local LGBT issue advocacy, including work with the Human Rights Campaign, and is a Distinguished Rose Award winner and a recipient of the Steward of 7th Street award.

Marine Advisory Commission

Gerald Avila: Mr. Avila is the Elected Health Benefits Officer for the International Longshore Workers’ Union Local 13. A lifetime Long Beach resident with an extensive history of community involvement, Avila is an avid boater and moors his vessel at Shoreline Marina. A Longshore Worker since 1997, he previously worked as Joint Chief Dispatcher for ILWU 13.

Peter Schnack: Mr. Schnack is the Director of IT at Molina Healthcare, and has previously worked the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He holds a BA from Cal Tech Pomona and is an avid boater. Schnack is a volunteer coach and youth leader with the YMCA and AYSO soccer league and has been actively involved in the Naples Improvement Association.

Long Beach Community Investment Company

Russ Doyle: Mr. Doyle is an Associate Vice President and Investment Officer at Wells Fargo Advisers and Morgan Stanley. He previously served as the Director of Strategic Sourcing for Universal Studios and a procurement manager for the Vons corporation. Doyle is also the Chairman of Fundraising for Stillpoint Family Resources, a nonprofit that serves children with special needs.

Sabrina Sanders: Dr. Sanders currently works at California State University Office of the Chancellor supporting student academic programs at 23 campuses. She was selected as a National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Fellow and has served as the President of the African American Faculty & Staff Association at California State University and is an Alumnus of Leadership Long Beach. Dr. Sanders earned her Masters in Business Administration at California State University San Marcos and her Doctorate in Education Leadership & Management from Alliant International University. Sanders was a member of the Mayor’s Transition Team.

Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Disabilities

Christopher Karadjov: Mr. Karadjov serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the California State University, Long Beach. He also serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief for American Chamber of Commerce Magazine-Bulgaria and is a weekly columnist for 24 Hours Daily. Karadjov holds a Ph.D. from the College of Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida. He is the Department of Journalism representative to the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Faculty Council at the California State University, Long Beach and also serves as the Vice Chair of the CLA Faculty Council.

Jennifer Kumiyama: Ms. Kumiyama is Owner and State Coordinator of The Ms. Wheelchair California Foundation. Each year, the crowned Ms. Wheelchair California strives to educate and advocate for Californians living with disabilities. Kumiyama is also a performer at Disneyland, the first person in a wheelchair to perform on Disney stage anywhere in the world. She grew up in Long Beach and received voice lessons at Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach.

Ray Pizzo: Mr. Pizzo is Co-Founder of Pushrim, which is a media support group. Pizzo currently sits on the Patient Advisory Council at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. He also serves as a Peer Mentor with Rancho Los Amigos’ KnowBarrier Program where he helps newly injured patients to regain their independence. Pizzo currently holds support groups in the Long Beach and surrounding areas for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

Commission on Youth and Children

Peter Bohn: Mr. Bohn received the 2012 Principals’ Honor Role Award for three years and was in the Wilson Wave (accelerated) Program freshman year. He played on Wilson’s golf and basketball teams and was awarded Best New Player of the Year. He has been a volunteer for Community Tree Plantings, Catholic Charities’ Thanksgiving Teen Service, and the Autism Speaks Run.

Judith Carey-Fisher: Mrs. Carey-Fisher has long worked for organizations that serve children and youth, and is a certified K-Adult educator. She has 30 years of experience working in the public, government, and nonprofit sectors with a focus on education and workforce development, including ten years as faculty at Cal State Long Beach. She is a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Carey & Associates where she provides service to multiple programs affiliated with youth education and the community. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and is a Certified Trainer for National Center for Family Literacy.

Vivian Malauulu: Ms Malauulu has a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She teaches English in the Los Angeles Unified School District and at California State University, Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles Harbor College. Malauulu is on the Executive Board of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13, where she has experience as a longshore worker and is chairperson of Publicity/Public Relations.

Sara Pol-Lim: Ms. Pol-Lim has served as the Executive Director of the United Cambodian Community (UCC) since 2007. In this role, she has developed cultural training manuals, restored UCC’s financial integrity to its current growth, and restored UCC’s reputation among stakeholders and the community. Pol-Lim was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Long Beach Martin Luther King Parade in 2010, Cambodian Outstanding Leader from Cambodian Town in 2012, and as 4th District Woman of the Year in 2013 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. She holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Chapman University.

Nina Richardson: Mrs. Richardson is a Higher Education professional working at the University of Southern California.She has a passion for mentoring and has created a number of mentoring programs for both Doctoral and Master’s students. She has a Master’s degree in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs and is currently a candidate for a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at the Rossier School of Education at USC. Her research interests include mentoring, online education, and college access for students of color.

Jonathan Schnack: Mr. Schnack is a 3rd grade teacher at Lowell Bayside Academy. He is a Social Media Director for Napes Improvement Association and the Art Theatre of Long Beach. Schnack is President of the Napes Bayside Academy Parent Teacher Association and served as President of the Naples Improvement Association, and as a Parent Representative at Naples Bayside Academy on School Site Council

DaraDavid Sek: Mr. Sek is a student at Long Beach City College. He is studying criminal justice and hopes to become a Police Officer one day. He serves as a volunteer with the United Cambodian Community and was selected Youth Volunteer of the Year in 2014.

Dr. Charles Smith: Dr. Smith is the K-12 Principal of Span School in Los Angeles, and has served for 16 years at LAUSD as a classroom teacher, coordinator, vice principal, and elementary principal. He obtained his Master of Public Administration at Cal State Long Beach and his Doctorate at USC, and was the winner of the Long Beach branch of the NAACP’s Educator’s Award of Excellence in 2009.

Homeless Services Advisory Committee

Andrew Kerr: Mr. Kerr is owner of Crew Inc., which specializes in public works building construction projects. He is Treasurer of the nonprofit organization Housing Works, which focuses on ending homelessness in Los Angeles County. Kerr has a B.A. in Business and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration, both from Cal State Long Beach. Kerr volunteers for the North Long Beach Initiative at Long Beach Unified School District, which works to improve North Long Beach and its neighborhood schools by building a community-based, collective-impact approach to utilize educational resources.

Eric Jess Canto Tandoc: Mr. Tandoc is Lead Youth Organizer at the Filipino Migrant Center in Long Beach. He previously served as an Enrichment Instructor at the Youth Policy Institute. Tandoc holds a Master’s Degree in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz. He has volunteered at the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community as a steering committee member, and as Secretary-General at Anakbayan-USA, which provides support to Filipino youth.

Human Relations Commission

Matthew Barnett: Mr. Barnett is Alumni Relations Coordinator for O’Melveny & Myers LLP where he is responsible for coordinating alumni communication initiatives targeted at employees and alumni of the firm across 16 global offices. He has served as a Media Specialist for over 20 political campaigns since 2006 and has experience serving as a Field Representative in the California State Legislature. He also served as a Communications Intern for the White House and was recognized as one of the top “40 under 40” community leaders and business professionals in Long Beach by the Long Beach Post in 2013.

Nikole Cababa: Ms. Cababa has been a community advocate for at-risk youth, low-income workers, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community. She currently serves as the Community Organizer for the Filipino Migrant Center. In this role, she plans and host educational forums and meetings with Long Beach residents on topics related to healthcare, community leadership, and immigration services. Cababa holds a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2012, she was selected as a “30 Women to Watch” Awardee by the Long Beach Post and in 2011, she was awarded the Long Beach Area Peace Network, Rising Star Award.

Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board

Glenn Agoncillo: Mr. Agoncillo has over 15 years in the insurance industry and currently serves as the Vice President of HMBD Insurance Services. He has served as a Board Member of the Kiwanis Club of Long Beach, the Gay and Lesbian Center of Long Beach, and the Lafayette Association of Homeowners.

Rene Castro: Mr. Castro is the Founder and CEO of Facilitation Lab. With a background in social work, Castro has also worked at Building Health Communities: Long Beach, and the California Conference for Equality and Justice, where he served for 12 years including as Vice President for Programs.

Davian Freeman: Mr. Freeman currently serves as Dean of Students with the Los Angeles Unified School District. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Cal State Long Beach and a Master’s in Education at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He has served as a volunteer at the Long Beach NAACP and with ACTSO, a high school academic and arts competition. He worked for Job Corps for four years as Social Development Director.

Stephen Gallagher: Mr. Gallagher is retried after a 35 year career working in the Financial Services Industry. He had served as Vice President of Citibank, North America and prior to that, he was an Accounting Manager for the MacMillan Publishing Company. He remains active in the community working on equality issues, HIV/AIDS and Parkinson research and care, and animal rescue efforts.

Dr. Gary Hytrek: Dr. Hytrek is a Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He has worked over 15 years on community development projects designed to build individual and community capacity and generate employment opportunities. These include entrepreneurial literacy projects in Costa Rica and South Georgia, including the first successful bilingual Spanish-English entrepreneurial literacy program in the state of Georgia, and workforce training programs. He has over 10 years of community-based experience in Long Beach through a variety of partnerships including the Long Beach Greater Interfaith Community Organization, Long Beach Building Healthy Communities, the Building Healthy Communities Youth Group, and the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community. Hyrek holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Anthony Kim: Mr. Kim is the Supervising Child Support Officer for the Los Angeles County, Child Support Department. He currently serves as the President of the Cambodian American Business Association. He has also served on the Community Develop Advisory Commission and was former Chair of the Finance Committee for the Cambodian Coordinating Council. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a minor in sociology from California State University, Los Angeles.

Margo Morales: Ms. Morales has served in various roles with the County of Los Angeles since 1989. She first begin her career as a Management Analyst and now is the Assistant Director of Administration for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. She holds a B.A. in political science and public administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Morales has served as a Treasurer in the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California, as Chair for the Fair Housing Foundation, and currently serves as Elder and Stewardship Chair for the Bixby Knolls Christian Church.

Alicia Quiros: Ms. Quiros is an Organizer with Unite Here Local 11. She organizes hotel and restaurant employees and assists them in obtaining fair working conditions and just wages. Quiros holds a B.A. in Anthropology and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Jorge Rivera: Mr. Rivera is a Community Organizer with Housing Long Beach. He has been a volunteer for the Long Beach Community Festival, serving as Development Director, and is the founder of Conscious Community Coalition. He has also served as an Event Coordinator at the Arts Council of Long Beach. His BA in psychology is from Cal State Long Beach.

Darick Simpson: Mr. Simpson is the Executive Director of Long Beach Community Action Partnership, a position he has held for more than 8 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Simpson was the winner of the Salvation Army’s Western Regional Partner in Mission Award in 2012.

Charles Song: Mr. Song is the Chairman of the Khmer American Civic Engagement Committee (KACEC). He founded and was a former Board Director of the Cambodian American Chamber of Commerce. He also is the founder of the Cambodian Jewelry Association of California and served two terms as the President of the organization. Song served as Board of Director of the American Red Cross and helped organized many fundraising campaigns for the Red Cross to help out victims of past major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and the typhoon in the Philippines in 2014. He also was a member of the Mayor’s transition team.

Mark Williams: Mr. Williams serves as a Delegate with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. He has more than 16 years of experience as a labor organization leader, strategist, and contract negotiator. Williams has served as Executive Board Member, been elected as Secretary/Treasurer, and been elected Trustee of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13.

Senior Citizen Advisory Committee

Laura Claveran: Ms. Claveran is an attorney with 25 years of experience in Long Beach and the surrounding communities, focusing on immigration and bankruptcy law. Her J.D. is from the Southern California School of Law. Claveran was recognized LA Times Magazine’s “Los Angeles Women Leaders in the Law” in 2009.

Samuel Huot Lor: Mr. Huot Lor is an Electrical Engineer. He has been working for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a Digital Technician since 1989. Huot Lor has also been involved with Cambodian organizations such as the Cambodian Town Initiative, where he served on the Advisory Board, and as a Board Member on the Cambodian Coordinating Council. In this role, he helps organized community projects, such as the Cambodian New Year’s Festival, fundraising events, and other cultural events.

Dianne McGinnis: Ms. McGinnis is a career and college counselor at Cypress High School with more than 35 years of teaching experience at the secondary and college levels. She volunteers with the Assistance League of Long Beach and has experience as a grant writer and curriculum designer.

Ruth Ricker: Ms. Ricker has a professional background as an executive in property management and development including low income and senior housing. She was appointed by Mayor Beverly O’Neil to the General Plan Commission, and served on Congresswoman Juanita Millender-Macdonald’s Senior Congressional Council.

Mary Alice Sedillo: Ms. Sedillo is a retired Real Estate Broker. She is a past Vice-President of the Carson Chamber of Commerce and past President of the Pilot Club of Carson.

Sustainable City Commission

Desiree Gutierrez: Ms. Gutierrez is an advocate for the GOOD FOOD movement that seeks to improve access to nutritious foods and supports healthy a physical environment by reducing pollutants, pesticides, and inhumane conditions throughout the food chain. She is an Impact and Engagement Consultant specializing in developing plans for clients in messaging and branding, content creation, and partnership development. She is Co-Chair of Healthy North Long Beach and has experience in the Los Angeles Food Policy Council as a member of the Urban Agriculture Working Group, Steering Committee. Gutierrez also manages day-to-day national media and publicity efforts for the PBS television series, Independent Lens.

Morgan Wheeler: Mr. Wheeler is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Cities Digital, Inc., which helps organizations streamline processes and go paperless by integrating existing line of business systems with Laserfiche. He served as the Project Manager of Ready, Set, Gold! Program in Los Angeles for the Southern California Olympic Committee and the Los Angeles Sports Council. Wheeler holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in political science from California State University, Long Beach. He serves on the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Metropolitan Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Los Altos YMCA Community Board of Managers.

Three appointments—Mike Logrande for the Planning Commission and Nancy Pfeffer and Mary Zendejas for the Transit Board—will have their appointments face council at a later time when the seats they could be replacing become vacant.



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