Mr. Mark Alexander
City Manager, City of La Canada Flintridge
Mark R. Alexander currently serves as the City Manager of the City of La Cañada Flintridge and has held that position since June 2003. Prior to his appointment as City Manager, Mr. Alexander served in other management positions with the City. He has also held administrative positions with the cities of San Dimas, Glendora and Simi Valley. Mr. Alexander served as Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Government’s City Managers’ Technical Advisory Committee and twice served as chair of the California Contract Cities Association City Managers/Administrators Committee. In addition, Mr. Alexander presently serves on the Los Angeles County Claims Board and Liability Trust Fund Oversight Committee; the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority; and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, City Managers’ Steering Committee. Mr. Alexander represents the USC Price School of Public Policy on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, the Price School’s Alumni Board, the Master of Public Administration Advisory Board, and currently chairs the USC City/County Management Fellowship Advisory Council. Mr. Alexander received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Cal Poly, Pomona, his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California, and his Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law.
Mr. Zanku Armenian
Director of Public Affairs, Southern California Edison
Zanku Armenian worked in Washington, DC in politics and devising and directing public affairs issue campaigns for major industries including airlines, defense, technology, telecommunications, entertainment, pharmaceutical, health care, tobacco and consumer goods. In addition, worked in the technology industry in Silicon Valley and led my own corporate communications consulting practice based in Los Angeles. Currently a senior executive with Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electiric utilities, in the public affairs division and most recently in the corporate communications department. Currently City of Glendale, CA commissioner for the Community Development Block Grant commission appointed by the Glendale City Council for 2013-17 term. Previously was President of the Glendale Water & Power Commission (2009-2013), and a Sunday columnist for the Los Angeles Times community newspapers. Mr. Armenian received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from George Mason University and an Incident Command System Certification from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.
Jeffrey S. Ballinger, Esq.
Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP
Jeffrey S. Ballinger is a partner with Best Best & Krieger LLP and leader of the firm’s Municipal & Redevelopment Law Practice Group. Mr. Ballinger’s practice areas include municipal law, planning/zoning, and environmental & natural resources law. Mr. Ballinger currently serves as City Attorney for the City of San Jacinto, and Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of Fontana and Big Bear Lake. In addition to his city attorney work, Mr. Ballinger also serves as General Counsel to the Chino Valley Independent Fire Protection District as well as the Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District. Prior to joining Best Best & Krieger, Mr. Ballinger worked at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in the writs and appeals department. He also worked at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, gaining daily courtroom experience. In addition, while attending law school, Mr. Ballinger served as a judicial intern for Bankruptcy Judge Mitchell Goldberg. Mr. Ballinger received his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. He received his Juris Doctorate degree at the USC School of Law. During his legal education, Mr. Ballinger received the Order of the Coif and was a staff member and article editor for the Southern California Law Review.
Hon. Bruce W. Barrows
President, League of California Cities – Los Angeles Division
Council Member, City of Cerritos
Councilmember Bruce W. Barrows is the President of the League of California Cities – Los Angeles Division. Councilmember Barrows was first elected to the Cerritos City Council in April of 1994 and was re-elected to the City Council in 1999. He was again elected to the City Council in 2007, and re-elected in 2011. He served as Mayor in 1997-1998, 2002-2003 and 2009-2010. Prior to his election to the City Council in 1994, Councilmember Barrows was a member of the City’s Planning Commission from 1988 to 1994 and served a term as Chair of the commission. He is the Council’s delegate to the Orangeline Development Authority, where he previously served as President, and to the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, where he previously served as Chair. Councilmember Barrows currently serves on both the Regional Council and the Legislative Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). A veteran of our armed forces, Councilmember Barrows holds an Associates of Science Degree from Long Beach City College and various Executive Leadership Certificates from the California League of Cities, National League of Cities, and Harvard University.
Raphael Bostic, Ph.D.
Bedrosian Chair in Governance and Director, The Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Professor Bostic is the Bedrosian Chair in Governance and Director of the Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. He was Director of the school’s Master of Real Estate Development degree program, was the founding Director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast, which tracks and models southern California’s office, industrial, and multifamily apartment markets, and served as the Interim Associate Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. Professor Bostic is an expert on housing and homeownership, and has extensively studied the roles that credit markets, financing, and policy play in enhancing household access to economic and social amenities. Professor Bostic is an active contributor to professional and industry organizations. Prior to joining the USC Price School, Professor Bostic spent six years on the staff at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He has also served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Policy, Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He received his B.A. in psychology and economics from Harvard University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford in 1995.
Mr. Andy Carrasco
Supplier Diversity Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Andy Carrasco has the position as Supplier Diversity Manager for the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), where he oversees the company’s commitment to making available opportunities for women, minority and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, also known as Diverse Business Enterprises (DBE). Andy, along with his dedicated Supplier Diversity Team, is supporting and engaging DBEs to do more business with SoCalGas. Over the years, Andy and his Team successfully implement programs targeting DBE outreach, collaborate with various business and community-based organizations to identify qualified DBEs, help diverse firms develop skills so they can build capacity to take on larger business opportunities, and more. Andy has been with SoCalGas for 11 years, but has been in the energy field for over 22 years. He has held positions with SoCalGas in Regional Public Affairs and Marketing. Andy currently serves on the Board for the Southeast Community Development Corporation and Plaza Community Service. Andy received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cal State University, Northridge.
Hon. James F. Goodhart
First Vice President, League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department
Council Member, City of Palos Verdes Estates
Councilmember James F. Goodhart was elected to the Palos Verdes Estates City Council in 2005, and was re-elected in 2009. He served as mayor in 2008. Councilmember Goodhart previously served on the Board of Education for the Palos Verdes Unified School District and the Southern California Regional Occupation Center. He served on the Public Safety policy committee and currently serves on the Environmental Quality policy committees at the League of California Cities, as well as first vice president of the Mayors and Councilmembers Department. He is a representative to the South Bay Service Sector of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and chairs the Palos Verdes Transit Authority. Councilmember Goodhart was employed in the aerospace industry, is registered as a mechanical engineer in California and is certified as a Project Management Professional. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master in Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University.
Mr. Stephen E. Heaney
Managing Director, Stone & Youngberg, a Division of Stifel Nicolaus Municipal Finance
Steve Heaney is a Managing Director and Head of Public Finance for Stone & Youngberg. With more than thirty years of municipal finance experience, he has assisted clients with both tax exempt and taxable financings totaling billions of dollars in public offerings for a wide variety of capital improvement projects for local governments throughout California and Nevada. Mr. Heaney has been a leader in creating public financing techniques to address the infrastructure needs of both large and small development and redevelopment projects, and is a frequent speaker on infrastructure and finance issues. Mr. Heaney is a current member of the Board of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and is a former Chairman of the California Public Securities Association. He has been active in the RBDA and currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the California City Management Foundation. Mr. Heaney earned his Bachelor degree from Texas Tech University and a Master in Public Administration degree from Syracuse University.
Mr. Hasan M. Ikhrata
Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments
Hasan Ikhrata has served as the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) since January 2008. His responsibilities include implementing the policies of 83-member Regional Council and directing day-to-day operations of the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization. Mr. Ikhrata has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in Transportation Planning in the Southern California region. Mr. Ikhrata holds a Bachelor and a Master in Civil and Industrial Engineering degrees from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union; a Master in Civil Engineering degree from University of California Los Angeles, and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning and Transportation at the University of Southern California.
Mr. Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. As general manager, he is responsible for implementing the policy directives of the Board, including working with elected officials and member agencies to carry out the Metropolitan’s mission. The General Manager reports directly to the Board of Directors and provides leadership and management of the water district’s public policies and strategic initiatives, assets and resources, and all administrative, operational, and financial activities for Metropolitan. Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006. Prior to his appointment as general manager, he was general counsel for Metropolitan. He was responsible for directing Metropolitan’s legal staff and consulting attorneys; leading the district’s legal strategies in pending and potential litigation; and protecting Metropolitan’s interests in all legal matters. Kightlinger earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 and a law degree from the Santa Clara University Law School in 1985.
Mr. Larry Kosmont
President and CEO, Kosmont Companies
Larry J. Kosmont, CRE, is the President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions and public finance. Mr. Kosmont’s 36-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $10 billion. From 1975 to 1986, Mr. Kosmont served in the roles of City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank. He served as President of the City Managers Association in Southeast Los Angeles County for two consecutive years. Mr. Kosmont has served as a State Commissioner on the California Economic Development Commission, and until December 2007, as a Los Angeles City Commissioner on the Industrial Development Authority. Mr. Kosmont earned his Bachelor degree in Political Science/Economics from State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and his Master Degree as a graduate fellow in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Daniel A. Mazmanian, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of New Initiatives, USC Center for Sustainable Cities
Professor Daniel A. Mazmanian is the Director of New Initiatives, USC Center for Sustainable Cities. He is the former Director of the USC Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise. He served as the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (now the USC Price School of Public Policy) from 2000-2005. Before coming to USC, he served as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan and previous to that was director of the Center for Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate University. Professor Mazmanian is a widely published scholar in the field of policy implementation and environmental policy. His current research focuses on the transition to sustainable communities. Professor Mazmanian earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History as well as his Master of Arts in Political Science from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University St. Louis.
Ms. Maria Mehranian
Managing Partner & Chief Financial Officer, Cordoba Corporation
Maria Mehranian is the Managing Partner for Cordoba Corporation, a full-service civil engineering, construction management, and program management firm specializing in transportation, education & facilities, and water & energy. For over 20 years, Maria has dedicated her career to building Cordoba into one of the top engineering consulting firms in the nation. Prior to serving as the Managing Partner, Maria managed the company’s very successful urban and transportation planning division. Her portfolio includes a number of landmark projects that shaped California’s current infrastructure. Her in-depth knowledge of the demographics, transportation patterns, and commute modes gave her the ability to make significant contributions to planning the station locations and transit route alignments for current light and heavy rail systems in the region. Maria received the prestigious Corporate Woman of the Year award in 2004, given by legislators of the 43rd and 44th Assembly and 21st Senate Districts of California and Maria currently serves as the chair of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board as Governor Brown’s Appointee. She holds a Master’s in Planning from the University California Los Angeles.
Hon. Judith Mitchell
Governing Board Member, South Coast Air Quality Management District
Councilmember Judith Mitchell is a governing board member of the South Coast AQMD representing cities of Los Angeles County, Western Region. She was elected to the Rolling Hills Estates City Council in 1999 and is serving her fourth term as a council member. She served as Mayor in 2004 and 2009, and has been involved in city activities for over 26 years. Councilmember Mitchell was the President of the League of California Cities in 2009 and her involvement with the League of California Cities includes service as the chair of the League’s Environmental Quality Policy Committee, chair of the Climate Change Working Group, and chair of the Employee Relations Policy Committee. She also served on the League’s CEQA task force, the Infrastructure Task Force, the Flood Control Working Group, and the Pension Reform Task Force. She currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG). Councilmember Mitchell currently serves on both the Regional Council and the Legislative Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). She received her Bachelor of Art degree from Purdue University, a Master of Arts from University of California Los Angeles, and her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School.
Ms. Susan Moulton
West Group Director of Public Sector Service, Waste Management, Inc.
Susan Moulton is a successful sustainability solutions executive for Waste Management, the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America. In her current role, Ms. Moulton has demonstrated she is a successful strategist with a proven ability to grow revenues and market share by identifying growth opportunities. She excels at creating public private partnerships, and integrating sustainability initiatives. As the manager of one of the company’s largest municipal franchise areas, Ms. Moulton drove sustainability initiatives for the betterment of Los Angeles communities, the environment, and WM. The Public Sector Segment that Ms. Moulton manages is the largest segment in the West and is approximately one billion dollars in annual revenues. Her key responsibilities include negotiating and modernizing large contracts to incorporate value-added services, and creating and managing a franchise audit team to improve customer service, operations and contract revenue. Ms. Moulton earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from DePaul University.
Mr. Sam Olivito
Executive Director, California Contract Cities Association
Sam Olivito is Executive Director of the California Contract Cities Association (CCCA). He was hired in 1984 upon the retirement of the former and only other Executive Director, George Voigt. The CCCA represents 74 cities statewide. CCCA has been a political force since its inception in 1957, providing a unified voice for all contract cities. His present responsibilities include management and administrative expertise in governmental relations, public affairs, public relations, financial planning and allocation of fiscal resources, budgets and grants. He has comprehensive experience in analyzing legislation, fiscal appropriations and their effects on the public and private sectors. Mr. Olivito keeps the focus on education among cities relative to the provision of the most cost effective and efficient delivery of municipal services through contracting. Mr. Olivito has done Executive course work at the University of California Los Angeles and the Coro Foundation.
Shui Yan Tang, Ph.D.
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor in Public Administration
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Professor Tang, has researched institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, economic development, and environmental policy. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992) and has been published in numerous journals, including Comparative Politics, Economic Development Quarterly, Environment and Planning A, Governance, Human Ecology, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Land Economics, Public Administration Review, The China Quarterly, and World Development. Professor Tang is associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. He serves on the editorial boards of International Public Administration Review and Journal of Public Affairs Education. Professor Tang holds Bachelor and Master of Philosophy degrees in government and public administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Professor Tang earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University.
Mr. Chris Taylor
Chief Practice Officer, HMC Architects
Chris Taylor, AIA, LEED AP, is a senior leader at HMC Architects, and in his role as chief practice officer, he focuses on strategies for HMC’s multiple practices and aligns them with client goals and the firm’s vision. He is instrumental in strategizing plans for emerging markets and working with key clients and firm leaders to position HMC as an industry leader. Founded on the principles that design should be timeless, HMC’s 72-year legacy is in the creation of architecture that has impacted communities across the Western United States. With a focus on healthcare, education, and civic institutions, HMC has always been a firm rooted in the public domain, and will continue to be in the twenty-first century. A graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Mr. Taylor has built an impressive portfolio of education, civic, healthcare, and private projects over the last 28 years. Chris is a registered architect in California, a LEED Accredited Professional, DBIA member, and member of the American Institute of Architects.
Hon. Larry Vanden Bos
Vice President, Palos Verdes Unified School District
School Board Member Vanden Bos was first elected to the Governing Board of the Palos Verdes Unified School District in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. He served as board president in 2008. Prior to his election, Board Member Vanden Bos served the city of Rolling Hills Estates as a Parks and Activities and Planning Commissioner. He was Chair of the planning commission immediately before his election in 2007. Board Member Vanden Bos was a coach, referee, division coordinator and then Regional Commissioner with Palos Verdes AYSO, sitting on the board for approximately ten years. He continues to assist AYSO as Area 1F Coach Administrator and is an active volunteer referee with AYSO. He also coached softball with the Palos Verdes Girls’ Softball League, and brought USYVL (United States Youth Volleyball League) to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He was PV USYVL’s first commissioner. In the private sector, he is the CEO of a food manufacturing company. Board Member Vanden Bos graduated magna cum laude from the University of California San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and with Juris Doctor and Master in Business Administration degrees from the University of Southern California Law Center.
Eric S. Vail, Esq.
Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
Eric Vail, a Partner of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, is Chair of the Firm’s Public Law Practice Group and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. During his 18 years practicing public law, he has acquired expertise in the areas of general municipal law, redevelopment, land use, and water law. Currently, Mr. Vail serves as City Attorney for Temple City (2009 to present), City Attorney and Agency Counsel for the City of Hemet (2001 to present), as special counsel for cities, counties, and other public entities, including Orange County Development Authority (2009 to present), the City of Moreno Valley, the Riverside Redevelopment Agency, the Housing Authority for the County of San Bernardino, the Goleta Redevelopment Agency, and as general counsel to the Riverside County Education Foundation, and Housing Partners I, Inc., a HUD certified CHDO. Mr. Vail completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree (summa cum laude) at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he was the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the College of Arts for both Political Science and History. He received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law.
Dr. Barry R. Wallerstein
Executive Director, South Coast Air Quality Management District
Dr. Wallerstein is the executive officer at South Coast Air Quality Management District. He serves as chief of staff to implement environmental protection policies as approved by the agency’s 13-member Governing Board, working proactively with state and federal regulatory officials, local governments, regulated businesses, and community stakeholders. He has two decades of experience in urban planning and environmental studies, with an emphasis in air pollution control and public policy development. He has been AQMD’s Executive Officer since 1997, having served the agency in increasingly responsible positions since 1984. A longtime Southern California resident, Dr. Wallerstein holds a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from the University of California Los Angeles – School of Public Health, and Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in biological science from the University of Southern California.
Frank V. Zerunyan, J.D.
Professor of the Practice of Governance and Director of Executive Education
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Director Zerunyan teaches Public Policy at USC Price and Directs the Executive Education Program for Local Leaders and Global Leaders. An accomplished policy maker both at local and state level, Director Zerunyan was appointed to the planning commission for the city of Rolling Hills Estates in 1999. He was elected to the Rolling Hills Estates City Council in 2003, re-elected in 2007 and 2011. He served as Mayor in 2008 and currently serves as Mayor Pro Tem. In 2008 he was elected as the 49th president of California Contract Cities Association, the second largest municipal organization in the state of California. He has also served on policy committees at the League of Cities, Contract Cities as well as Southern California Association of Governments. As a gubernatorial appointee Director Zerunyan has served the state of California on the Medical Board. Director Zerunyan chaired the international Armenian Bar Association and Daniel Freeman Hospitals Foundation. He is also the founder of Zerunyan Center for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Community Development at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Library and in the private sector the founder and principal of Public-Private Community Development, LLC. Director Zerunyan earned his Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach. He also completed his advanced legal studies in Corporate Taxation at the University of Southern California Law Center and he is a graduate of the League of Cities’ California Civic Leadership Institute.