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.

 

Become a sponsor

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.

2021 Conference Information

 

    Schedule

    2021 Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar Program (PDF)

    Tuesday, December 7

    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 at mmckelvey@calcities.org.

     

    Wednesday, December 8

    Registration Open

    8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

     

    Department Business Meeting

    8:30–9:15 a.m.

    • President’s Report 
    • Director’s Report 

    Opening General Session

    9:15-10:30 a.m.

    Welcoming Remarks
    Jeff Boyles, Fire Chief, Newport Beach, 1st Vice President, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Department 

    Creating Resilient and Brain-Healthy Fire Departments 
    Dr. Stephen Odom presents a popular and in-depth presentation that examines the causes, signs, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress injuries and how it affects firefighters, including their department and families. Attendees will learn what can be done to heal, prevent further damage, and create a new “Brain Health” culture for their departments, where prevention and resiliency are holistic essential elements in supporting the whole unit. The effects of organizational culture and leadership are also examined to paint a clear picture of these elements, along with recommendations for creating a safe, confidential, and accessible Behavioral Care System for your fire department.

    Speaker:
    Dr. Stephen Odom, Ph.D., Founder & Chief Clinical Officer, First Responder Wellness & Shift Wellness

    Extended Break and Visit With Sponsors

    10:30–10:45 a.m.

    Understanding the Legislative Process 

    10:45–11:55 a.m.

    Moderator: Dan Stefano, Fire Chief, City of Costa Mesa - Fire & Rescue

    A brief overview of California’s legislative process to better assist those directly affected by fire service and public safety legislation. Get acquainted with the three types of measures considered by the California State Legislature: bills, constitutional amendments, and resolutions. Learn how a bill becomes law and how to read a bill. Discover what makes an effective letter of support and what tools and tips to keep in mind when testifying before a committee. Following the presentation, receive a legislative update.

    Speaker:
    Derek Dolfie, Legislative Representative League of California Cities

    Officers Election Results

    11:55 a.m.

    Voting results for the 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President of the Fire Chiefs Department are announced. 

    Networking luncheon

    12–1:15 p.m.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in the Fire Service: Navigating and Implementing Strategies for Chiefs

    1:15–2:30 p.m.

    Moderator:  John Binaski, Fire Chief, Clovis, Department Director, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Dept.


    Fire departments serve communities that are demanding rapid and measurable change in our workforce diversity. Attempts have been made, but meaningful change has not, which is evidenced by the growing frequency and severity of complaints, lawsuits, and even consent decrees. Furthermore, claims of workplace hostility/harassment reveal a moderate to major gap between workplace expectations/training, and the actual behavior of our firefighters. This gap, referred to as a “culture of indifference” in civil actions, exposes the agency to a loss of public trust, a crushing blow to morale, and derails all DEI efforts. Discover seven actionable steps agencies can implement to mitigate risk and better meet our community’s expectations of our workforce.  Agencies that have implemented these strategies have reported a noticeable and lasting change in their culture; a change that was not as evident after attempting various online or corporate-focused training programs.

    Speakers:
    Eric Rosoff, Executive Manager, Career Survival Group

    Extended Break and Visit with Sponsors

    2:30–3:00 p.m.

    Recruiting, Hiring, and Promoting the Right People for Your Agency

    3:00–4:15 p.m.

    Moderator: Jeff Boyles, Fire Chief, Newport Beach, 1st Vice President, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Department

    This workshop is designed for supervisors and managers involved in the selection process of potential candidates for employment. It takes its participants through all steps of the hiring process and provides tips on best practices to ensure you get the best-qualified candidates and reduce your chances of liability.

    Speaker:
    Geoffrey Sheldon, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

    Break

    4:15–4:30 p.m.

    CalOES: Take Advantage of Emergency Funds Now

    4:30–5:00 p.m.

    Moderator: Meghan McKelvey, Department and Member Services Manager, League of California Cities

    Emergencies move fast and have devastating emotional and economic impacts on communities. One way to prepare your city is to take advantage of the funding opportunities available, such as home hardening and disaster and emergency preparedness programs and recovery efforts. It is essential to understand how the wide variety of programs may benefit your city and can mitigate the impacts of an emergency. Hear and learn from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) on these programs and ask questions about how to best operationalize disaster preparedness and cost recovery in your city.

     
    Speaker:
    Ryan Buras, Deputy Director, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

    Joint Networking Reception with the City Clerks

    5:00–6:00 p.m.

     

    Thursday, December 9 

    Registration Open

    8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

    Breakfast Buffet Opens

    8:00 a.m.
    Breakfast served in the session room.

    The Set-up of Successful Leadership 2.0

    8:30–9:45 a.m.

    Moderator: John Binaski, Fire Chief, Clovis, Department Director, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Dept.

    Many people look at those in successful leadership roles and ponder questions like ‘I want to be the best at leading my team too, what can I do?’ The truth is, there is nothing coincidental about an effective leader’s drive to the top. In this informative and entertaining keynote presentation, Brian Crawford will pick up where he left off in 2019, and provide participants with the tools they need to face future tests and trials.

    Speaker: Brian Crawford (Ret.) Fire Chief, Shreveport, LA. and Plano, TX. and former Shreveport CAO and current Sr. VP with Willis-Knighton Health System.

    Brian Crawford is a 30-year fire service veteran and national speaker on public safety leadership. He previously served as the fire chief and CAO in Shreveport, LA, and also served as fire chief in Plano, TX.  Chief (Ret.) Crawford is currently a senior vice president for Willis-Knighton Health System. He holds master's degrees in organizational psychology and hospital administration.

     

    Break

    9:45–10:00 a.m.

    Key Ingredients to Working with Your City Manager

    10:00–11:15 a.m.

    Moderator: Greg Barton, Fire Chief, Beverly Hills, Past President, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Dept.

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

    Speakers:

    Brian Crawford (Ret.) Fire Chief, Shreveport, LA. and Plano, TX. and former Shreveport CAO and current Sr. VP with Willis-Knighton Health System

    Luke Serpa, City Manager, Clovis

    John Binaski, Fire Chief, Clovis, Director, Fire Chiefs Department, League of California Cities

    Silvio Lanzas, Fire Chief, Glendale Fire Department

    John Gillison, City Manager, Rancho Cucamonga


    Concluding Remarks and Adjourn 

    11:15–11:30 a.m.

    Jeff Boyles, Fire Chief, Newport Beach, President, Cal Cities Fire Chiefs Dept.

    Session Materials
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