2022 City Managers Conference featured learning opportunities; honored achievements made within the field

Feb 16, 2022

More than 450 city officials attended this year’s City Managers Conference, hosted earlier this month in Monterey. Designed for city managers and assistant city managers, the conference covered pressing, statewide issues facing cities, connected city managers with essential information for their roles, and provided peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

The conference started with opening remarks by John Gillison, City Managers Department president and Rancho Cucamonga city manager. During his remarks, Gillison recognized the outstanding work of two city managers, Melissa Stevenson Diaz and Frank Oviedo. 

Diaz, who serves as the city manager for Redwood City, received the Award for the Advancement of Diverse Communities for her decades-long commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Diaz helped deploy a more transparent policing data dashboard, created a new position that specifically advances DEI initiatives, and helped develop Redwood City’s first equity plan.

Oviedo, an assistant city manager for the city of Santa Clarita, was given the John H. Nail Award for his significant contributions to cities. At Santa Clarita, Oviedo fast-tracked a public bike park during the early months of the pandemic. He also helped save the Valencia Ice Station, a 93,000-square-foot ice rink. Now known as The Cube, the ice rink is the home to the UCLA Bruins hockey club and was used as a filming location for several commercials, as well as a Netflix production. 

The three-day conference featured more than 30 speakers, including Holly Schroth, Ph.D., a senior lecturer for the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, who gave a keynote address on negotiation tactics with Gillison. Attendees also learned about important topics during breakout sessions, such as various revenue tools, new programs for unhoused residents, ways to respond to online disinformation campaigns, and how to create a culture of equity.

Additionally, attendees had a chance to connect with their peers throughout the conference, including during a reception hosted by the League Partners. 

The event ended with a keynote presentation on California's economic outlook featuring California Department of Finance Chief Economist Somjita Mitra, Fiscal Policy Advisor for the League of California Cities Michael Coleman, and Principal at HdL Companies Ken Nordhoff.

The conference was made possible by the following sponsors: 

Elite level

California Joint Powers Insurance Authority
Deckard Technologies Inc.
GovInvest Inc.
Griffin Structures
Management Partners, Incorporated
Retail Strategies
Southern California Gas Company
Transtech Engineers, Inc.
Tripepi Smith
West Coast Arborists, Inc.

Premium level

California Housing and Community Development Department
Clariti Cloud Inc.
Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC
CSG Consultants
HdL Companies
NHA Advisors, LLC
Renne Public Policy Group
The Sports Facilities Companies
Teri Black & Company, LLC

Supporting level

Best Best & Krieger LLP
Bob Murray and Associates
Compass Energy Solutions
Fieldman, Rolapp and Associates, Inc.
Forefront Power
Language Network
The Mejorando Group
Renne Public Law Group