American Society for
Public Administration 
Southern California Chapter  
March 2013

Save the Date:
ASPA Southern California Chapter
65th Annual Awards Banquet
@ The California Endowment
Thurs., June 20, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
Registration TBA
Why student-professional dinners?
Hear one member share her story of why you should attend Southern California ASPA's next student-professional dinner.
by Johanna I Bonillo, MSPA

On February 27th I attended the ASPA student-professional dinner in Los Feliz hosted by Mark and Jane Pisano in their home. The evening discussion centered around the topic, "Career Opportunities in a Changing World" and the guest speaker for the event was Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director for the Southern California Association of Governments. The dinner was a huge success and I left the event feeling inspired, reinvigorated and full of desire to do more, both in my present role and beyond. 


Mr. Ikhrata's personal story was beyond motivating to me. He shared with us that despite numerous hardships, he managed to keep his focus on success. I could personally relate to his struggles as I am the first in my family to graduate from high school, go to college, and complete graduate studies. I was encouraged by Mr. Ikhrata's kind words for us recent graduates in the room. Several points he shared resonated with me, such as his advice to find a mentor who believes in you. I've done that in my own life and my mentor inspired me to get my master's and has helped with various recommendations. Mr. Ikhrata also told us: don't be afraid to fail - we all fail but we must get back up and try again; don't be afraid to share creative and innovative ideas even though they may not be the norm at our workplace, eventually someone will listen and recognize your "outside of the box" thinking. 


As a bit of background about myself, I worked for Cal State LA for 7 years in their Planning and Construction Department. I received my master's degree in December 2011 and joined the Red Cross in March 2012. I always have been and will continue to be in search of challenging yet rewarding experiences and opportunities. Leaving the student-professional dinner event that night with Mr. Ikhrata's words echoing in my mind, I resolved to do more in my current role at the Red Cross and start putting myself out there as opposed to staying back in the office - which I tend to do. I resolved to be creative and innovative in my current position and start taking on more projects in hopes of gaining a comprehensive perspective of the organization.


The day following the ASPA event, there was a meeting between the Red Cross and the Mexican Consulate which would renew the existing Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations. Initially, I was going to stay back, but after listening to Mr. Ikhrata's words that evening, I felt truly inspired to get out there, put myself out there, do more, be seen more, get involved beyond my current scope of duties and decided to join the group for the meeting. I took an active role that day and couldn't be more grateful for the experience.  


Hearing Mr. Ikhrata share his story was inspirational and clearly made an immediate impact on my life, but along with the great speaker it was also the intimate nature of the event that made the student-professional dinner so special. Mr. and Mrs. Pisano were so generous in opening their home to us to host the dinner event. It was a true pleasure interacting with them and the other guests in such a warm and casual setting, and it was great to see Mr. Pisano again after having met him in 2008 when Dr. Siegrun Freyss recommended I interview him for a class assignment regarding the California Performance Review. 


The student-professional dinner I attended was truly a success. The dinner was delicious, the company was superb, and our speaker, Mr. Hasan Ikhrata, was inspirational.  I hope to see you all at the next ASPA student-professional dinner!


Above is a photo of the work meeting I attended after the student-professional dinner. I am third from the left next to the Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles, David Figueroa, and the Red Cross CEO, Paul Schulz. 


More about Johanna:

Johanna Bonillo received her Master of Science in Public Administration from CSULA in 2011, graduating with a 3.8 GPA and with Honors in Graduate Studies with recognition from the Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences. She is a member of the National Political Science Honor Society (Pi Sigma Alpha). Raised by an immigrant single-parent, Johanna is a first generation graduate. She maintained her high GPA throughout her master's program while working full-time and raising her young son. Johanna is currently the Executive Assistant to Paul Schulz, CEO of American Red Cross, Los Angeles Region.

ASPA/USC Panel Discussion:
Shifting the Burden - Health Care

On October 2, 2012, the USC Price Bedrosian Center on Governance and the ASPA Southern California Chapter hosted a panel discussions on the impact of federal health care reform on state and local organizations and health care delivery in Los Angeles County.  This event was part two of the multi-year Bedrosian Center/ASPA series Shifting the Burden, examining how shifting fiscal and service provision responsibilities across the federal, state and local levels of government affects local and state organizations and service providers. 

Shifting the Burden 2
(L-R): Robin C. Kay, Ph.D., State Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Dr. Stephanie Hall, Mr. Herb K. Schultz, Dr. Robert Myrtle, and Mr. Paul Hubler

Panelists for the event were State Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chairman, State Health Committee; Dr. Stephanie Hall, Chief medical Officer and Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at LAC+USC Medical Center; Robin C. Kay, Ph.D., Chief Deputy Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; Herb K. Schultz, Regional director at the US Department of Health and Human Services Region IX.  The panel was moderated by Dr. Robert Myrtle, Director of the Executive Master of Leadership programs and a Professor of Public Administration at USC Price.   


Shifting the Burden 2 panelists/ASPA
(L-R) Veronica Lewis, Robin C. Kay, Ph.D., Herb K. Schultz, and Paul Hubler.


Student-Professional Dinner Hosted by Bud and Denise Ovrom
The student-professional dinner on Monday, October 22nd hosted by Bud and Denise Ovrom was a success, with nearly two-dozen students and professionals in attendance to enjoy dinner and hear a fascinating discussion among the city managers. Guest speakers Laurie Lile, City Manager of Monrovia, and Mike Sedell, recently retired City Manager of Simi Valley shared their personal stories and their perspectives on the current and future condition of the profession of local government management. 

  (L-R) Hosts Bud and Denise Ovrom, guest speakers City Manager of Monrovia Laurie Lile, recently retired City Manager of Simi Valley Mike Sedell, and President of ASPA Paul Hubler.

(L-R) Hosts Bud and Denise Ovrom, guest speakers City Manager of Monrovia Laurie Lile, recently retired City Manager of Simi Valley Mike Sedell, and ASPA Chapter President Paul Hubler.



Dr. Warren Campbell engages in the discussion as Blaine Campbell, Philip Anih, Ahmed Rafi, City Manager Laurie Lile, and City Manager Mike Sedell look on.

Student-Professional Dinner: A Reflection on Leadership and Career Paths


On September 27, 2012, Randall W. Lewis, Executive Vice President of the Lewis Group of Companies, generously sponsored the first student-professional dinner in partnership with the University of La Verne - School of Public and Business Management and the ASPA Southern California Chapter.  The evening discussion was held at the University of La Verne Campus.


Mr. Matthew Ballantyne, City Manager of Chino, Mr. Stephen Harding, City Manager of Jurupa Valley and senior Consultant for Kosmont Consulting, and Ms. Cynthia Kurtz, President and CEO of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership led an informal discussion about Leadership and Career Paths.  


La Verne Dinner
(L-R) Paul Hubler, Cynthia Kurtz, Randall Lewis, Debbie Dillon, Jack Meek, Stephen Harding, Matthew Ballantyne

In This Issue
Recap of Past Events
Upcoming Events
Join the SoCal ASPA Chapter Council




Panel Discussion: "The Future of Local Government in California"

March 22, 2013

Doubletree Hotel, Claremont, CA

Confirmed panelists include Frank Benest, Consultant and retired City Manager of Palo Alto; Paula Cone, Principal with the HdL Companies; Stephen Harding, Consultant, City Manager, Jurupa Valley and adjunct professor; Dan Carrigg, Legislative Director, League of California Cities; and Chuck Dalldorf, Senior Policy Consultant, State Senator Richard Roth.  This event is being organized in partnership with the University of La Verne and ASPA So Cal Chapter.   


* * * 


ASPA/USC Reception for City Manager in Residence, Mr. John Shirey

March 28, 2013

Location: USC Campus, 650 Childs Way, Room 308, Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Cost: $10 for ASPA Chapter Members; $20 for non-ASPA Chapter Members; No charge for USC Faculty and students who must register directly online here: USC registration link

This reception is an opportunity to network and discuss career development strategies with Mr. John Shirey, and other prominent city managers, public administrators, USC Faculty and students.

* * * 

Orange County Area Student Professional Dinner


April 25, 2013


Location TBA 


This event is hosted by Ms. Fran Inman, Board Member on the California Transportation Commission and Executive of Majestic Reality, and Ms. Lucy Dunn, Executive Director of the Orange County Business Council.


Stay tuned!


* * * 


ASPA Southern California Chapter 65th Annual Awards Banquet & Installation Event


June 20, 2013



Location: The California Endowment (downtown LA)


Save the date!



Now Recruiting for ASPA Southern California Chapter Secretary!


We are currently looking to fill the Secretary position on our Chapter Council. If you would like to deepen your involvement with the Chapter, contact Paul Hubler at:

Finally, we would like to thank Ms. Danielle Daniels for her service as Secretary for the past two years.  We appreciate her time and dedication to the chapter, and wish her the best as she pursues her graduate studies.


We would like to hear from you!


The ASPA Southern California Chapter Council is planning additional panel discussions and student/professional networking events. If you have suggestions for issues you would like to see explored in a panel discussion, are interested in hosting a student professional dinner, or in getting more information about any of our events and our chapter, please e-mail socalaspa@gmail. com. 


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