Summer Seminar


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THURSDAY, July 11, 2019

8:30am – Golf Tournament: Shotgun Start

4:00pm-7:00pm    –  Registration

5:00pm – Welcome Reception


FRIDAY, July 12, 2019

7:00am  – Registration OpensContinental Breakfast

9:00am  – Opening, Official Welcome

Tai Sunnanon, Executive Director

Mark Henderson, President

9:30am-10:15am   – Session 1GovTech

Community Development and Innovation for Cities

Speakers: Dr. Peter Pinejad
 President Mark Henderson

10:30am-11:15am – Session 2: Pension Obligation Solutions 

Speakers: Julio Morales
 Goran Eriksson

11:30am-12:15pm – Session 3Affordable Housing

Opportunities and Challenges Facing Our Cities

Speakers: John Mirisch, Mark Van Lue
 Nils Nerenheim

12:30pm-2:00pm – LunchFeatured Speaker, Assemblymember Laura Friedman

5:00pm-6:30pm –  President’s Board of Directors Reception

SATURDAY, July 13, 2019

7:00am    – Registration OpensContinental Breakfast

9:00am – Special Speaker: Sharon Tomkins, VP of Strategy & Engagement, SoCalGas

9:30am-10:15am   – Session 4Census Count – Funding for Cities

Speakers: Andrew Amorao, Nick Kimball, Ely Flores
 Robert Gonzales

10:30am-11:15am – Session 5Addressing Resident Concerns on Homelessness

Speakers: Ann Turner, Christy Lopez, Marc Taylor
 Gary Boyer

12:00pm-1:15pm – LunchKeynote Speaker: CA Senator Anthony Portantino (25th District)

“CA Issues Supporting Independent Cities”

Moderator: Richard Montgomery

1:30pm-2:00pm   Session 6: Economic Development 2.0

New Tools for a Digital and Sharing Economy — What’s in your Economic Development Wallet?

Speakers: Larry Kosmont
 Jack Hadjinian

6:00pm-7:00pm  – Reception

7:00pm-9:00pm  – Dinner: General Membership Meeting

9:00pm-11:00pm  – Game Room

SUNDAY, July 14, 2019

7:00-9:00am            – Get Away Breakfast

9:00-11:00am          – Board of Directors Open Meeting 

11am                             – Depart


Dr. Peter Pinjad

Dr. Peter Pirnejad is the director of community development strategy for Oracle Public Sector. A native of California, he brings over 20 years of award winning public sector experience to this role, including serving as the assistant city manager/ development services, for the city of Napa; the director of development services for the city of Palo Alto and the assistant director of economic and community development for Daly City. He holds a M.A. and a doctorate in policy, planning, and development from the University of Southern California. A resident of Mountain View, Calif., he is a frequent speaker on government technology issues.

John Mirisch

Mayor John A. Mirisch was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 2009, 2013 and 2017. He also served as mayor in 2013 and 2016.

A fourth generation Beverly Hills resident, Mayor Mirisch lived abroad for a number of years, working as a film executive in marketing and distribution, before returning to his hometown. Prior to his devoting the past few years to public service, Mr. Mirisch worked as an executive at Paramount Pictures, one of the world’s leading film companies, where he ran the International theatrical sales department. Before that, he oversaw international distribution for IMAX, the world’s most well-known premium movie-going experience. In addition, he worked with United International Pictures as the Managing Director of its Swedish and Austrian offices. While in Europe, he was selected to serve on the boards of the Austrian and Swedish Film Distributors’ Associations, as well as the Swedish Academy Awards Selection Committee.

During his first term as mayor, he formed the Sunshine Task Force, aimed at making Beverly Hills into a model for local governmental transparency and public participation.  The Sunshine Task Force has become a permanent fixture within City government, having recently authored a new lobbyist ordinance which the Council passed into law. Mr. Mirisch also was the architect of the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission, which was created in 2012 to honor the City’s rich history and architectural legacy. During his second term as mayor, Mr. Mirisch created the City’s pioneering autonomous vehicle project, unanimously approved by the Council; the vision of this initiative is to incorporate autonomous vehicle technology within public transportation and to develop a municipal autonomous shuttle system to provide on demand, point-to-point transportation throughout Beverly Hills. Together with his colleague, the Honorable Lili Bosse, he also personally negotiated the largest development agreement in the City’s history, worth an estimated $820 million in municipal revenue over 30 years.

A firm believer that local government, when done right, is the best form of democracy, as it is closest to the people, Mayor Mirisch intends to work for the legislative year of 2018-2019 with other likeminded elected officials throughout the state to vigorously safeguard communities statewide by protecting local rights from the incursions of Sacramento politicians and special interest groups. Mayor Mirisch attended Hawthorne Elementary and Beverly Hills High School. There he followed in a tradition started by his mother Wendy Goldberg, who attended public school in Beverly Hills, as did his brother Richard Mirisch and his sister Amanda Goldberg. He also graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. He has a son Vin, who attends Horace Mann in Beverly Hills and who enjoys playing baseball and attending Dodger games, other sporting events, as well as classical music concerts and the opera with his father. In addition to being a film enthusiast, Mayor Mirisch enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Together with his brother Richard, he has three fantasy baseball championships to his credit, having won the Showbiz Baseball league in 2006, 2008 and 2009.  Mayor Mirisch and his son Vin are both proud members of the Geelong Football Club of the Australian Football League. Mr. Mirisch, a dual Swedish-American citizen, is the first Swedish national to serve as mayor of Beverly Hills.

Mark Van Lue

Mark Van Lue, Executive Director for San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity, has 20 years of experience in the Habitat for Humanity organization.  Mark started his Habitat career in 1999 as Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity in South Bend, Indiana.  In 2006, he moved to Americus, Georgia to accept the position of Director of Construction and Environmental Resources at Habitat for Humanity International, where he provided global support and oversight to Habitat’s construction operations.  He also provided project management for Habitat’s disaster response team in the US Gulf Coast, and for high profile special event builds in the US and abroad.  In 2007, he joined Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles as Vice President of Construction and Real Estate, and later moved to Chief Operating Officer.  He has been in construction management and leadership roles for over 35 years.

Raised in Indiana, Mark now lives with his wife, Laura, in Monrovia, California.  He has two daughters and five grandchildren. Mark has been honored with the Clarence Jordan award for developing the Cornerstone Training Program, a hands-on construction skills training course, and the Lester M. Wolfson award for non-fiction writing.  Mark has led Habitat build projects around the world, including India, Nepal, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and others.

Assemblymember Laura Friedman

Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.

She is a Past President of the Independent Cities Association, was a Hollywood-Burbank Airport Commissioner, and a Board Member of the Southern California Association of Governments where she was a member of the Energy and Environment Committee. Laura also spent five years on the Glendale Design Review Board.

Sharon Tomkins

Sharon Tomkins is vice president of strategy and engagement for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for developing and delivering the information, that meets customers’ energy needs and supports state environmental and social policy objectives. Tomkins leads the company’s energy policy and strategy, which includes issues management for balanced energy, energy choice, affordability and reliability.

Tomkins joined SoCalGas in 2010 as regulatory assistant general counsel. Prior to this, she was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she was a founding member of the firm’s Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental Practice and represented clients in a variety of litigation, regulatory and appellate proceedings. Tomkins’ energy focus began during her representation of various clients, including Sempra, during the California energy crisis. She also developed and taught the law school class, Energy Law, Policy & Climate Change, at UCLA law school. After graduating from law school, Tomkins clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs.

Tomkins is chair of the board of directors of the California Minority Counsel Program. She also serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Library Foundation, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Constitutional Rights Foundation, as well as the advisory board of the U.C. Davis Energy Efficiency Institute. Tomkins graduated Order of the Coif from the USC Gould School of Law and received her undergraduate degree in English, with High Distinction, from Pennsylvania State University.

Andrew Amorao

Andrew Amorao comes from a family of farmers in California’s Central Coast. He possesses a wide range of non-profit and corporate experience, but is fundamentally passionate about empowering communities of color. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University before going on to serve as the coordinator of Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture Festival, an annual multidisciplinary arts event presenting the work of emerging Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists from around the San Francisco Bay Area.

From 2011 to 2016, he used his expertise in management, logistics, and communication to serve as the Event & Program Coordinator for the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program (KAMP). KAMP is an educational organization that works inside and outside of local San Diego classrooms to develop young leaders’ critical thinking skills with a focus on the study of Filipino and Filipino American culture, history, and identity. Because of his work with KAMP, Andrew joined Samahan Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center that addresses the health disparities affecting Filipino and Latino families in San Diego County. He served as the organization’s Civic Engagement Coordinator to launch and implement Samahan’s Civic Engagement Program and advocate for the Centers’ stakeholders and patients. Before joining the U.S. Census Bureau, Andrew was with Alliance San Diego (ASD), a community empowerment organization doing local work of national significance in the fields of civic engagement, human rights, educational equity, and tax and fiscal policy. While at ASD, his work ranged from planning know-your-rights informational sessions for the AAPI community to supervising teams of canvassers during the 2016 General and 2018 Midterm Elections. These teams conducted voter education, voter engagement, and turnout efforts for disenfranchised, immigrant, and low-income communities in San Diego County.

Nick Kimball

Nick Kimball is the City Manager for the City of San Fernando; a post that he has held since February 2019.  Prior to his appointment as permanent City Manager, Nick served as San Fernando’s Director of Finance for 4-years and Interim City Manager for 8 months.  Nick has more than 15 years of municipal government experience and has extensive knowledge in risk management, redevelopment and tax increment financing, procurement, accounting, budget development, and city management.  In addition to San Fernando, Nick has worked for the cities of Culver City and West Hollywood.  Nick received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and Master of Public Policy Degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Ely Flores

Ely Flores is currently the California Director of Civic Engagement for NALEO Educational Fund where he manages statewide Citizenship, Voter Engagement, and Census 2020 campaigns. NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Prior to his current role, Ely served YouthBuild International as a Consultant for Latin America where he developed tools and methods to evaluate program efficiency that improved technical assistance plans, revised staff training to enhance youth programs effectiveness and community impact. Additionally, Ely was the Founder and Executive Director for Leadership Through Empowerment, Action & Dialogue Inc. (LEAD) and Outreach Manager for GRID Alternatives where he developed strategic plans and funding strategies, managed outreach, and developed strategic partnerships while instituting internal processes, individual work plans, and team goals. Ely is a graduate of the Claremont Lincoln University with a Master’s Degree in Social Impact and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Ashford University in Organizational Development.

Ann Turner

Dr. Anne K. Turner is the Director of Human Services for the City of Claremont overseeing all aspects of the Human Services department including: Homeless Services, Senior Services, Special Events, Youth Programs, Camp Claremont, Contract Classes, Human Services Facilities, Parks, Sports, Park Rangers, and Community Based Organizations.  Dr. Turner works tirelessly on homeless issues in the San Gabriel Valley supporting the City of Claremont elected officials in their effort to create a lasting infrastructure and a continuum of care for unsheltered residents.  She is the author of Using Social Construction Theory to Analyze The 2007 San Diego Fires and the Social Vulnerability Of San Diego County and contributor the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park Master Plan.

Prior to joining the City in 2014, she served as THINK Together’s Executive Director for the Los Angeles Region, responsible for fund-development, school district relations, and community relations. She has more than 20 years of experience in academic and non-profit fundraising from small private liberal arts colleges to large public institutions, as well as non-profit organizations. She has been a featured presenter for the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII, and the Annual Giving Professionals Network.  She has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of La Verne and the University of the West, where she teaches Non-Profit Management, Marketing, and Fund Development. Dr. Turner holds a bachelor’s from Pitzer College, and master’s and doctorate degrees in public administration from the University of La Verne.

Senator Anthony Portantino

Senator Anthony Portantino represents California’s 25th State Senate District, which includes Sunland/Tujunga, Atwater Village, and the Griffith Park areas of the city of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont and Upland.

Prior to his years as a representative, he spent many years working in film and television production, as a producer, line producer, art director, assistant director and location manager. Senator Portantino also served on the California Film Commission, where he helped implement the California Film Tax Credit Program.

Senator Portantino has a long and distinguished record of service which includes nearly eight years on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, with two terms as Mayor and vice chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee. He also served as president of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department, and the legislative chair of the California Contract Cities Association.

Larry Kosmont

Mr. Larry J. Kosmont, CRE® is Chairman and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty, a real estate brokerage firm.  In 2015, he launched Kosmont Transactions Services which sources financing for public/private projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He is a co-principal, California Golden Fund,  a USCIS approved EB-5 Regional Center. Mr. Kosmont’s 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring, negotiation, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has assisted hundreds of local government agencies in public finance and real estate matters ranging from large-scale economic development programs to site-specific real estate strategies and projects. He has guided over 1,000 private sector projects in obtaining public approvals, structuring deal terms, and securing public/private financing.

Mr. Kosmont served as Interim City Administrator for the City of Montebello, CA from May 2011 to March 2012 which focused on a significant financial turnaround strategy and redevelopment dissolution. From 1975 to 1986, Mr. Kosmont served as a City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank. Mr. Kosmont holds a Masters of Public Administration Degree from USC and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York – Binghamton. Mr. Kosmont is the recipient of the 2016 California Business Properties Association (CBPA) Champion of the Industry Award for his service in real estate and economic development, and the John H. Nail Award from the League of California Cities. Kosmont Companies is the recipient of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) 2017 Award of Excellence for Economic Development Partnerships – Redondo Beach Marine Ave Hotels Project and the CALED 2015 Award of Excellence – South Gate azalea Retail Center Project.


Mark Henderson

Mark E. Henderson was elected in March 2015 to the office of Gardena Councilmember. He was appointed to the position of Mayor Pro Tem in April 2016. At that time Dr. Henderson served as Acting Mayor until the March 2017 election. He currently serves as a Councilmember.  He previously served the City of Gardena as an appointed member of the Planning and Environmental Quality Commission, from 2010 to 2013. As the past chairman (during 2012), he worked to be an effective leader of the Planning Commission and proactively collaborated with community members, city council and city staff, exhibiting valuable insight into understanding the needs of the residents and businesses of the entire community. Prior to that appointment, he served as a Member-at-Large for the City of Gardena Rent Mediation Board. In that role, he worked tirelessly to ensure that landlord and tenant discussions were civil, ended with both parties satisfied, and that the most appropriate measures were executed. He later became a community leader within the Gardena Environmental Justice Committee, whose primary purpose is to heighten community awareness regarding long-standing environmental issues and to create opportunities to develop and propose strategies to city officials and staff while maintaining open dialogue prior to the implementation of environmental land reuse policies.

Henderson was born in Harbor City, CA, and was raised in Los Angeles County. After completing his military service in the U.S. Navy, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Redlands, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. He is currently an administrator at Los Angeles Pierce College and has been with the Los Angeles Community College District since 2002. He has held previous leadership roles for municipalities in California. In 2014 the Center for Digital Education recognized him as a Top 30 Technologist, Transformer, and Trailblazer.

His Council responsibilities include representing the City of Gardena as a delegate to the Centinela Youth Services and the current Independent Cities Association, and serving as alternate City delegate to the Southern California Association of Governments and the West Basin Water Association. With greater than 25 years as a resident of Gardena, Councilman Henderson has been actively involved in the life of our community. He has been a past volunteer coach for City of Gardena youth sports activities. He was a city commissioner with the Gardena Pop Warner organization. He is past President of a community-based organization named Brothers Inc., which works with middle school-aged African-American and Latino males in the disciplines of decision-making and critical thinking. He is Board President of PV Jobs Inc., which works to train community members and Veterans to obtain employment within the Building and Construction Trades. He is very active in addressing Veteran’s concerns.

Goran Eriksson

Goran Eriksson was elected to the Culver City City Council in 2016, and currently serves as Vice Mayor.

Robert Gonzales

Councilmember Robert Gonzales is serving his third term on the San Fernando City Council (March 2017- March 2021), first elected in November 2012, again in March 2013 and most recently in March 2017. Councilmember Gonzales served as Mayor from March 2016 through March 2017. Robert attended local schools, graduating from Santa Rosa Catholic School. After Santa Rosa, he attended Sylmar High School where he was a student-athlete as a baseball player. Robert was the recipient of the Sylmar Baseball Alumni Baseball Scholarship. While attending Sylmar High School and Mission College, he showed his dedication and passion for the community as a volunteer and employee for the City of San Fernando as a coach for the baseball, basketball, soccer, football, and swim team programs; additionally, he served as a tutor and lifeguard.

Robert was the first in his family to attend and successfully complete college. He attended Los Angeles Mission College and received his Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice, and transferred to California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA), where he was on the Dean’s List, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. While attending CSULA Robert co-founded and served as Vice President of the Criminal Justice Club. Furthering his education, Robert received his Master of Science in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne, College of Business and Public Management. In addition to dedicating his time to the San Fernando City Council, Robert represents San Fernando while serving with other agencies including the President-elect of the Independent Cities Association (ICA) Executive Board of Directors and the Los Angeles County Library Commission (elected unanimously).

Richard Montgomery

Mr. Montgomery serves as Mayor Pro Tem of Manhattan Beach. From 2005 to 2013, he served twice as Mayor and City Council member for the City of Manhattan Beach. Prior to his election, Mr. Montgomery served as the Planning Commissioner and Chairman from 2002 to 2005 in the City of Manhattan Beach. As part of his elected duties, Mr. Montgomery has extensive media training (print, radio & TV) along with “on air” interviews and numerous public speaking engagements. Mr. Montgomery was recently (March 2017) re-elected to the Manhattan Beach City Council for a third term.

As a local elected official, Mr. Montgomery has served as President (2011-2012) and is currently the President-Elect of the Independent Cities Association (elected officials from 40 cities throughout Los Angeles County), Director of the Sanitation Districts #5 & #7 in Los Angeles County and is currently the Small Craft Harbor Commissioner in Marina Del Rey at the appointment of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Mr. Montgomery is also a former police officer and resides in Manhattan Beach with his wife Diane.

Nils Nehrenheim

Nils Nehrenheim was sworn into office as the Redondo Beach District 1 Council Member in June of 2017. Having won a run-off election on May 2017, his four-year term is effective through March 2021. Nils was born and raised in San Pedro, but always headed to the beaches of Redondo during the Summer. He moved to Redondo nearly fifteen years ago, became engaged in local community issues not long thereafter and now represents the Beach District he once visited when he was growing up.

Jack Hadjinian

Jack Hadjinian was first elected to the Montebello City Council in November 2011, re-elected in 2015 for a second term, and currently serves as Mayor for the 2nd time. Jack is a third-generation resident whose family first moved to Montebello in 1957.  Jack was born & raised in Montebello and he attended local schools.  He began his career working for a local Real Estate Development company where he handled retail leasing, and construction estimating for residential & commercial real estate projects. Jack continues to stay engaged in the real estate development profession specializing the remediation of contaminated property and land use entitlements.

Jack Hadjinian is certified in Commercial Real Estate by the Lipsey School of Real Estate. Jack Hadjinian is a member of the inaugural class of the Executive Education Program in Public Policy at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC, and a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy.

Jack Hadjinian is a past Chairman of the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority and continues to serve on the Board, Director for the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Chairman of the Committee on Homelessness for the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, past Chairman of Housing, Community & Economic Development Policy Committee for the League of California Cities, a member of the Los Angeles County Solid Waste Management Committee/Integrated Waste Task Force representing the League of California Cities, and a National Delegate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

Gary Boyer

Gary Boyer was elected to Glendora City council in 2015 and served as Mayor in 2017. Prior to being elected, Gary had little political experience. Gary & his wife Kathy moved to California from Ohio in 1978 initially getting into the Food Service Business eventually choosing Real Estate as a career. As a small business owner, there was a lot of involvement in the community as a business person, Rotarian and volunteer in a variety of youth projects.

Gary initially began getting politically involved as he witnessed more Sacramento Legislation as well as decisions being made at the local level that created difficult barriers for small business people as well as what he considered quality of life issues for many in California.

Since being elected, Boyer has been involved at a Statewide and Regional Level on various committees concentrating on Small Business, Housing, Law Enforcement and Water issues. The witnessing of the rise in Homelessness has made the need for all Californians to become more engaged has now become apparent and Gary’s interest in Jobs, Housing and Law Enforcement all touch on many of the issues contributing to California’s Homeless issue.


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ICA 2019 Summer Seminar Golf Registration Form