Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar

December 7-8, 2022

Hyatt Regency Monterey

1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey, CA


Designed for fire services leaders including, but not limited to, fire chiefs, chief officers, and union leadership, this conference provides challenging leadership topics such as succession planning, labor relations, emergency response, late-breaking changes in EMS, and more.

For questions about registration, please contact our registrar, Megan Dunn. For all other questions, please contact Associate Manager, Event Program Katie Pebler.

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2022 Seminar Information


Full Registration Includes:

  • admission to all educational sessions 
  • admission to the Wednesday lunch and reception; Thursday breakfast
  • access to all program materials

Register online by Wednesday, Nov. 30 (requires credit card): Register now

Register via mail-in form by Wednesday, Nov. 30 (pay by check): Contact Megan Dunn to request a registration form.

Special needs? Contact conference registrar Megan Dunn before Friday, Nov. 18.

Full Conference Registration Fees

Member City Official $400
Non-Member City Official                    $1,400
Other Public Official $720
All Others $720
Guest $50

*The guest/spouse fee is restricted to persons who are not city or public officials, are not related to any League Partner or sponsor, and would have no professional reason to attend the conference. It includes admission to Wednesday’s networking reception only. There is no refund for the cancellation of a guest/spouse registration. It is not advisable to use city funds to register a guest/spouse. 

Please view Event and Meeting Policies for more information.

Refund Policy

Advance registrants unable to attend will receive a refund of rate paid, minus a $75 processing charge, only when a written request is submitted to Megan Dunn, and received on or before Wednesday, Nov. 30. Refunds will not be available after this date. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute a colleague for your entire registration.

    Hotel and Travel

    The seminar is held at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. A limited number of hotel rooms are available at reduced rates for registered attendees and sponsors. The deadline to reserve your discounted hotel room is Monday, November 7, 2022. A limited number of market-rate hotel rooms may be available after Nov. 7. Call the Hyatt Regency Monterey at (831) 372-1234 to learn more. 

    STEP ONE: Register for the seminar. 

    After your registration for the conference is received and processed, a confirmation email will be sent containing a link to the discounted hotel reservations page.

    STEP TWO: Book a hotel room.

    Hotels are subject to sell out prior to the deadline – reserve early!  

    Seminar Location

    Hyatt Regency Monterey
    1 Old Golf Course Rd
    Monterey, CA 93940

    Group Hotel Rate (per night): $169– Single/Double Occupancy (plus tax and fees)

    Hotel Changes or Cancellations 

    Hotel reservation changes, including cancellations, must be done through the hotel directly. Please note that any requests received after Monday, November 7, 2022 will be booked on a space and rate available basis. Hotel is subject to sell out before deadline date.

    PLEASE NOTE: The information you provide to Cal Cities when registering for a Cal Cities conference or meeting may be shared with the conference or meeting hotel(s). The hotel(s) will also share with Cal Cities the information you provide to the hotel(s) when you make your hotel reservation for the conference or meeting. The information shared between Cal Cities and the hotel(s) will be limited to your first name, last name, email, and dates/length of stay in the hotel.

    CAUTION! You must be registered for the conference prior to booking a hotel room. Do not make a hotel reservation unless you are sure it is needed. Your city/company will be financially responsible for all cancellation/attrition fees. If you are making hotel reservations for others, please confirm with each individual, in advance, that they actually need hotel accommodations and intend to use them on the dates you are reserving.

    Parking and Transportation 

    Hyatt Regency Monterey is centrally located on the Monterey Peninsula, five minutes away from the Monterey Regional Airport. Valet parking is offered (fee applies) as well as abundant complimentary self-parking.

    Complimentary shuttle service is provided daily for those arriving from the Monterey Peninsula Airport. For arrivals, call (831) 372-1234 to request airport shuttle service. For departures, the shuttle departs from the hotel lobby hourly, quarter past the hour, and advanced reservations are required.

    Nearby Airports

    • Monterey Regional Airport (MRY): 2 miles
    • Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC): 72.1 miles
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 101 miles
    Tuesday, December 6

    Fire Chiefs’ Welcome Reception

    5:30–6:30 p.m.

    Join the President and officers of the Fire Chiefs Department of the League of California Cities for a Welcome Reception with light appetizers and networking with other attendees on the evening before the conference. Beverages will be available for purchase. RSVP to Meghan Mckelvey.


    Wednesday, December 7

    Breakfast On Your Own

    7:00–8:30 a.m.

    Registration Open

    8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

    Premium Sponsor Tables Open

    8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

    Fire Chiefs Dept. Opening Remarks and Business Meeting

    8:15-8:30 a.m.        

    Using a Coaching Mindset to Increase Fire Team Performance

    8:30-9:45 a.m.     

    What if the elements that make directive leadership work during an incident are stifling your fire team’s growth and development when applied to day-to-day management? Incident commanders must be able to direct their teams with maximum clarity and efficiency. And yet, this same approach when applied outside of a crisis can impede learning and create dependency. Effective public safety leadership requires the ability to pivot between a command-and-control style to an approach grounded in a coaching mindset. During this interactive session you will learn how to utilize coaching techniques to unlock peak performance across all levels of your organization. Once embedded in your leadership style and the department’s culture, the cascading effects of a coaching mindset will free up your top leaders to focus on an even higher vision.

    Alexander Hamilton, President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Oxnard

    Jennifer Coyle, President, North Star Consulting, Inc.

    Visit with Sponsors 

    9:45-10:15 a.m.   

    Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.    

    EMS Updates from Across the State

    10:15-11:25 a.m.        

    Receive an update on key EMS issues happening across the state. Updates will include a focus on legislation, APOT, EMSA Strategic Plan, EMS Commission, Community Paramedicine, ambulance RFP processes, IGT/GEMT status, and other hot topics.

    Moderator and Speaker:
    Dan Stefano, Fire Chief, Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue

    Kurt Henke, Principal/Managing Partner, AP Triton, LLC
    Kristin Thompson, EMS Division Chief, Newport Beach

    Short Break

    11:25-11:35 a.m.        

    Cal Cities Legislative Update

    11:35 a.m.-noon         

    Receive a rapid-fire update on the most important bills to city fire departments importance of the relationship. Then, learn how the League of California Cities can be a resource for you in the future.

    Alexander Hamilton, President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Oxnard

    Elisa Arcidiacono, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities
    Meghan McKelvey, Manager, Department and Member Services, League of California Cities
    Russell Noack, President/Managing Partner, Public Policy Advocates, LLC

    Networking Luncheon

    noon-1:00 p.m.        

    Difficult Conversations: Way to Bypass Conflict

    1:15 -2:15 p.m.       

    Issues and complaints are often escalated through the chain of command or a grievance process that could have otherwise been avoided. Had these problems been addressed through a direct conversation with a supervisor or colleague, then attorneys, union representatives, and administration need not get involved. However, many employees are at a loss on how to handle workplace conflict, and jump directly to more extreme measures. Two attorneys from Oppenheimer Investigations Group will discuss different communication techniques utilizing role play and case studies.

    David Spencer, Fire Chief, Auburn City Fire Department

    Christina Ro-Connolly, Partner, Oppenheimer Investigations Group LLP
    Zaneta Seidel, Attorney Investigator/Partner, Oppenheimer Investigations Group LLP

    Visit with Sponsors

    2:15 -2:30 p.m.        

    Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.

    Behavioral Health and the Fire Service

    2:30-3:45 p.m.   

    Receive an update on current and emerging behavioral trends for the fire service.

    Alexander Hamilton, President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Oxnard

    Kevin Greene, EMS/Health & Safety Director, California Professional Firefighters
    Dr. Stephen Odom, PhD, First Responder Wellness, Shift Wellness, & The Counseling Team
    Ryan Sharma, Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Training, California Lutheran University

    Visit with Sponsors

    3:45-4:00 p.m.       

    Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Effective Tools for Succession Management

    4:00-5:15 p.m.   

    Does your organization struggle with recruiting a diverse workforce? Do you have a succession management plan? Have you embraced and does your agency practice diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? Discover answers to why and how DEI can be utilized to enable your organization to be more attractive to qualified applicants and to retain the talent you already have. Hear fire service leaders’ experiences with these topics, including what has worked for them and what has fallen short.

    Kurt Latipow, Retired Fire Chief, AP Triton, LLC

    Pat Lynch, Senior Associate, AP Triton, LLC
    Curtis Jacobson, Fire Chief, Fremont
    Marianna Marysheva, City Manager, Livermore

    Joint Networking Reception

    5:15-6:30 p.m.

    After a full day of education, relax and enjoy some light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments while networking with your colleagues. This will be a joint reception with attendees of the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar and the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar.

    Thursday, December 8 

    Breakfast Buffet

    8:00-9:00 a.m.

    Breakfast available in the session room.


    See Change Clearly: Building Resilient Fire Department Teams

    8:30-9:45 a.m.   

    Bestselling author and former local government executive will help you reenergize and align your department. You will learn how to leverage the experiences of the last two years to create a path of connection, impact, and excellence. After the session, you will be equipped with new and innovative tools to refuel empty tanks, build a high performing team, and harness personal and professional resilience.

    Alexander Hamilton, President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Oxnard

    Jacob Green, President/CEO, Jacob Green and Associates


    9:45-10:00 a.m.        

    Key Ingredients to Working With Your City Manager

    10:00-11:15 a.m.        

    A key component to the success of a fire department and fire chief, is working with the city manager. What essential ingredients in that important relationship are needed to maximize building support at a community level? What components contribute to a healthy partnership? Hear from a panel of city managers and fire chiefs as they discuss their experience and recommendations related to this important working relationship.

    Jeff Boyles, Immediate Past President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Newport Beach

    Kerri Donis, Fire Chief, Fresno
    John Gillison, City Manager, Rancho Cucamonga
    Gaudenz Panholzer, Fire Chief, Monterey Fire Department
    Nat Rojanasathira, Assistant City Manager, Monterey

    Concluding Remarks and Adjourn

    11:15-11:30 a.m.     

    Alexander Hamilton, President, Fire Chiefs Department and Fire Chief, Oxnard

    Explore Previous Seminars

    Thank You Sponsors

    Speaker Center

    In the Speaker Center, you can find resources for all speaker-related details including deadlines, audiovisual requests, presentation submission directions, panelist agreements, and key event contacts. 

    Speaker Agreement

    Below are key presenter deadlines and a link to the Speakers Agreement. Please read and complete the required fields to acknowledge your acceptance of the League of California Cities’ presenter guidelines. Providing your digital signature allows Cal Cities to move forward in planning and promoting your session, as well as publish your name and affiliation on our website and in marketing materials. Your contact information will remain strictly confidential.

    Should you have any questions, please contact the education department.

    Important deadlines 

    Today: Complete the Speakers Agreement and note any specific audiovisual requests. On the day of their presentation, speakers are provided a one-day complimentary registration (not including meals or special events), which needs to be completed via the form. If you would like to register for additional conference days or activities, please contact Megan Dunn.

    Speaker Agreements must be submitted as soon as possible .

    August-October: To ensure each speaker is comfortable with their responsibilities during the presentation, please hold at least one conference call with all of the panelists in your session. The session planning chair, typically the person who submitted the proposal for the conference, is responsible for connecting with the other speakers to hold a session planning call.

    November 28: PowerPoint presentations are due to Cal Cities.

    Presentation Guidelines and Submission

    Our goal is to provide exceptional educational experiences, networking opportunities, and innovative tools that will make attendees and their cities more successful. Studies show that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process rather than passively listening or watching. Most attendees are knowledgeable about the subject, and therefore are interested in hearing what others know and what their experiences have been. Accordingly, we urge you to plan your presentation with these suggestions in mind.

    The most common complaints on session evaluations from prior seminars are:
    • "The presentation was a 'sales' pitch for a particular product or service."
    • "I couldn't read the slides."
    • "One speaker took so much time that the others were not able to give their full presentations."
    • "I'd like more practical knowledge."
    Please consider the following as you prepare for your presentation:
    • Relevant content for experienced audiences that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
    • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
    • Examples and case studies of real success (and successful failures).
    • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point. We all remember a good story, and thus more easily the lesson with it.
    • Provide tools and information that the audience can implement.
    • If there are other speakers in your session, coordinate with them in advance to decide your speaking order and ensure that all presentations fit into the assigned time allotment. If you do not have the contact information for your co-presenters, please contact us at
    • Selling from the podium creates conflict of interest problems. Cal Cities educational sessions should never be an advertisement. Therefore, presentations may not include any commercialism for specific products or consulting services.

    Submitting Your Session Materials

    Presentation materials are an important element of Cal Cities educational programs. Submitting your PowerPoint or other session materials via the submission link by November 28 guarantees your materials will be posted in time for the seminar (submission link available in October). Session materials are offered electronically only. 


    Session Layout and Structure

    The League of California Cities encourages our presenters to use the most engaging educational platform possible when speaking at the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar. We recognize that each session has a unique format and presentation style based on the preferences of the speaker(s) and content being presented, but the following three examples are provided as a general guideline in planning your session.

    Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, with up to 3 speakers
    Moderator (5 minutes)     
    • Welcome
    • Frame session
    • Introduce speakers
    Speaker(s) #1, #2 and #3 (20 minutes)   
    • Summary of relevant experience
    • Learning objectives
    • Core session content
    • Summary of key points
    Moderator (10 minutes)   
    • Facilitate Q&A
    • Final comments
    Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, 1 speaker
    Moderator (5 minutes)     
    • Welcome
    • Frame session
    • Introduce speaker
    Speaker #1 (60 minutes)            
    • Summary of relevant experience
    • Learning objectives
    • Core session content
    • Summary of key points
    Moderator (10 minutes)   
    • Facilitate Q&A
    • Final comments
    As a reminder, sessions may not include any product/service demonstrations or commercial presentations for specific products or consulting services. Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns or assistance needs you may have.



    Call for Proposals

    Cal Cities is seeking thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposals that tell how your session can help elected city officials improve their communities, leadership abilities, and knowledge within their roles. Submissions from any individual, group, business, or organization on any topic are welcome. The call for proposals for the 2022 Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar is closed and will reopen in early 2023.  

    We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge, and expertise with this important audience! For questions, please contact Katie Pebler

    General Information

    Who Can Submit

    Submissions, from any individual, group, business or organization, are welcome through May 31. Please remember that all sessions require a well-conceived presentation, good visuals, and a great deal of rehearsal!

    How It Works

    Only proposals submitted online through the proposal form will be considered. As there is a limit to the amount of words allowed within the title and description of each proposal, it may be helpful to draft the proposal in a word-processing program first, then paste the final version into the online form.

    Target Audience

    This educational event is designed to keep fire chiefs and fire service personnel up-to-date on issues of importance to them and their cities. 


    All About Proposals
    Securing a spot on the program is highly competitive, with approximately 25 percent of proposals being accepted. You can increase your chances by preparing a thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposal that tells how your session would help city leaders and those who work within city governments to improve their careers and communities. When preparing your proposal consider the following elements:

    • Is the topic new and/or critical for city government?
    • Will it draw a wide audience?
    • Will this issue stimulate action and further important discussion?
    • Does the panel reflect the diversity of California cities (north/south, large/small, urban/rural)?

    Tips for Successful Proposals

    • Think big
    • Vary the viewpoint
    • Pare down the panel
    • Speaker skills matter
    • Plan for a crowd
    • Try something new
    • Interact with the audience
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Quality counts

    Types of Proposals

    More than 95 percent of each year's conference programming comes directly from the open call for proposals. Sessions may be scheduled as a general session or concurrent session at Cal Cities' discretion. Select one of the available formats listed below that best fits your topic and desired outcomes or propose an alternative session format.

    • Keynote Speaker
      Keynote speakers are high-profile and designed to bring everyone together for a general session / and may set the tone of the event. This format permits approximately 45-60 minutes of an engaging presentation by a single speaker. Depending on time restrictions, the presentation may be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers with the audience or a moderator. 
    • Panel Discussion
      Panels consist of a moderator and a maximum of three speakers who participate in a 60 minute  engaging presentation and discussion followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers.
    • Speed Sessions
      Fifteen minute bursts of information on one topic by one speaker followed by five minutes of questions & answers. Typically, these engaging presentations are based on focused projects or personal experience.
    • Facilitated Group Discussion
      A 75 minute interactive conversation on a topic led by a single facilitator. You may include a maximum 15 minute presentation on which the issue/concern is framed and, then, guide a discussion among the attendees with prepared questions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the facilitator must spend time summarizing key findings, suggestions, and points. 
    • Alternative Format
      Be creative! If your session does not fit one of the above formats, this is your opportunity to propose something different. Please be sure to provide the time, room setup, and other important details. Alternative formats will be accommodated based on interest level, space, and set-up availability.
    Requirements, Review, and Policies 

    Submission Requirements and Review

    Submissions will be reviewed by a program planning committee.
    Cal Cities reserves the right to modify accepted proposal session titles, descriptions, presenters or other elements as necessary to insure balance, quality and enhance marketability. If an originally accepted speaker cancels, the session may be disqualified. Additional speakers not included in the original proposal are not permitted to be added without review and approval.

    Successful Proposal Considerations

    The following criteria may be considered during the review of submissions:

    • Relevance - What are the practical applications of your ideas? Have you included reasoning and documentation to support your conclusions, recommendations and outcomes? Conference attendees prefer presentations focused on outcomes or results. Make the definition and background portions of your presentation brief. Highlight problems encountered, options available, choices made, documented pre- and post-change effects and lessons learned.
    • Content expands attendees' knowledge - Will your presentation expand knowledge beyond entry-level basics? Most conference participants are elected officials, appointed officials, and seasoned professionals. In general, direct your presentation to an intermediate or advanced audience.
    • Originality - Does your presentation advance existing ideas or present new ideas? Has this material been presented elsewhere? You might apply proven techniques to new problems or identify and apply new approaches, techniques or philosophies. Assess the degree to which an application is a new tool. Avoid highlighting a named product or service…focus instead on the general attributes, benefits and drawbacks of a given application, process or tool.
    • Examples - Do you have an appropriate number of examples? Documenting comparative results convinces participants that your ideas have been tested in the real world.
    • Timeliness - Will your presentation still be up-to-date and cutting-edge in six to nine months when the conference occurs? Will your topic have implications in the future? How relevant is your topic in the context of pending legislation, regulations and technology?
    • Inclusion of good, solid insights - What attendees want to learn is the reality versus the hype, the positive and negative attributes, problems encountered but not often discussed, realistic expectations for the operational use and adaptability to a changing environment. They are searching for guidelines and models to simplify or manage their own application or installation.
    • Logical conclusions - Are your conclusions supported by data? Attendees place a high value on supporting data in assessing the value and applicability of presentations. Include adequate and convincing details.
    • Identification of outside resources - Have you included sources of information, benchmark data or other examples?
    • Avoidance of product/vendor commercial - No commercials and/or proprietary information for particular products, services or vendors are permitted.
    • Completeness of proposal - The quality, completeness and accuracy of the proposal will be considered during session selection process.
    • Preferred Speaker Qualifications - Panelists should reflect the diversity of California with a north/south, large/small, urban/rural representation when possible.
      • Five or more (5+) years of public presentation experience.
      • Two or more (2+) years of experience related to working in or presenting on the topic or idea.
      • More than two (2) successful speaking engagements to large audiences at a regional or state level in the past two years.
      • Must not pose a conflict of interest with subject/business area or must disclose such information in each speaker bio submitted.
      • No commercialism.

    To ensure a variety of perspectives, Cal Cities policy limits the number of times an individual, group, business or organization can speak at a single conference. In addition, each panel should have no more than one panelist per city/county, firm, company or organization (exceptions may apply).

    • Overall - In the end, you must make your case for the importance of this topic and its relevance to participants.

    Registration and Speaker Policy

    The League of California Cities is unable to provide complimentary registration or any reimbursement of expenses, travel, or other compensation. We recognize and deeply appreciate your interest and commitment. The success of our program depends on the efforts of practicing professionals willing to volunteer their time to professional education.

    Privacy Policy

    We value your privacy and will never share any of your personal information nor sell your e-mail address to an outside party.