Until August 2008, Dr. Frank Benest served as the City Manager of Palo Alto, California. Frank is a noted consultant and trainer on collaborative service delivery, entrepreneurial government, civic engagement, leadership development and succession planning.
Prior to his appointment in Palo Alto, Frank served as City Manager in Brea and Colton, California. He has a doctorate in management from Brigham Young University; a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. Frank is a Credentialed ICMA Manager and serves as the Senior Advisor to ICMA on Next Generation Initiatives. Frank also chairs the Cal-ICMA Coaching Program.
Frank is Past President of the California City Managers Department and past Vice President of the International City/County Management Association. Frank teaches at Stanford University and has been inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2011, Frank was recognized by ICMA with its Distinguished Career Service Award. Read Dr. Benest's Career Compass Columns here.
Pamela Miller, Director & Principle Instructor
Pamela Miller has over four decades of experience working in public, private, and nonprofit sectors in California, North Carolina and Michigan. Having worked a number of years for others in the fields of executive management and training and development, Pamela started her own consulting group in 2014. Practiced in facilitating adult education, she successfully incorporates her leadership experience into her human and organizational development work. In addition to her training and consulting practice, Pamela has served as the Executive Director for the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) since 2012.
Prior to starting Miller Management & Consulting Group in 2014, Pamela served as the Executive Director for Continuing Education for Public Officials, Inc. (CEPO, Inc.), a nonprofit organization that provided leader development and training to current and emerging leaders in the public sector in California.
Pamela’s public sector experience includes serving as Administrative Manager for the County Executive Office and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for Napa County, as Deputy City Clerk for the City of Vallejo and as a consulting analyst to the Contra Costa County Flood Control District’s clean water program. In addition to her public sector experience, she has 25 years of private sector management and customer care experience including project management and strategic planning.
Pamela earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Bachelor of Arts Degree from Siena Heights University. She has also earned a certification in Total Quality Management and completed the National Community Development Institute’s Community Builders Leadership Institute.
Wandzia Rose, Key Instructor
For over 25 years, Wandzia Rosehas assisted individuals as well as government, education, and non-profit agencies in enhancing their performance in delivering high-quality services. Prior to going into private practice, Wandzia held key positions in medium and large public sector and educational institutions in which she served as division manager, department head, assistant city manager, and interim city manager. Wandzia lead, managed, and transformed complex organizations and implemented, among others, staff and organization-wide development training programs resulting in widespread organizational transformation and community benefit. She is a founding member of the Leadership San Leandro program and from 1991-2014, served a tenured trainer for the Continuing Education for Public Officials (CEPO), a leadership development program and its associated Train-the-Trainer program. During her career, she served was a member on a number of League of California Cities Policy Committees as well as on the Government Technology Conference (GTC) Advisory Board. Wandzia now owns a successful management consulting and coaching practice. She co-created the Performance Leadership program, a comprehensive leadership development program designed to assist leaders at all levels to understand the complex dynamics that impact organizational performance. She is an Integrative Coach Professional certified by The Ford Institute for Transformational Training and she is also a certified trainer in Success Signals, a communication skills training program. Wandzia currently serves as a senior trainer for the City Clerk’s Association of California (CCAC) Master Clerk Academy offered through Miller Management and Consulting Group. Wandzia earned a B.A. degree from the University of San Francisco and is currently enrolled in the John F. Kennedy University graduate program on Consciousness and Transformative Studies.
David C. Biggs, Guest Presenter
David Biggs is an experienced local government senior executive now serving as City Manager of Hercules, California. David’s has also served as City Manager of three other California communities – Carson, Tustin and Morgan Hill. He has served as Assistant City Manager in Redondo Beach, Director of Economic Development in Huntington Beach, and as Director of Economic Development & Housing in Morgan Hill. David has also undertaken interim assignments with the Cities of Manhattan Beach and Montebello.
Prior to these assignments, David worked overseas for 2 ½ years for an industrial development agency of the State of South Australia. In the early part of his career, he was the Downtown Development Project Manager for the City of Long Beach and worked in a variety of economic development and redevelopment roles for the City of Santa Ana for four years.
David attended California State University, Fullerton, where he received his BA in Political Science and is a graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. David also completed a Certificate program in Continuous Improvement and Quality Management from the University of California, Santa Cruz extension program.
David is the current President of the California Redevelopment Association. He is an active member of the California Association for Local Economic Development, for which he is a past Board Member and Chair; the International Association of Shopping Centers; and, the International City/County Management Association with a Credentialed Manager designation. David is also a member of the Urban Land Institute and is a former Chair of Orange County District Council.
Raised in Orange County, David is married to Cate and they have two sons Adrian, a junior at Northern Arizona University, and Dylan, a Senior at Redondo Union High School.
Kevin Duggan, Guest Presenter
Kevin Duggan was appointed ICMA’s West Coast Regional Director in May. Prior to that he worked in California city government since 1971, the last 27 years as a city manager for the cities of Campbell and Mountain View, California. As West Coast Regional Director, he serves as the primary staff link between ICMA and members and professional associations in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Nevada.
He began his career as an administrative intern for the City of Mountain View while earning a BA in Political Science from San Jose State. He then served as an intern for the City of Campbell while obtaining his MPA, also from San Jose State. He worked for Campbell for 18 years, the last 6 as city manager. He then returned to Mountain View in 1990 as city manager where he served until this past April.
He has served as President of both the City Manager’s Department of the League of California Cities and Cal-ICMA. Other professional activities have included serving on the State Board of Fire Services, participating in an international city management exchange with Limerick County, Ireland and serving on ICMA’s Task Force on Organizational Structure and Governance. He has served as an ethics trainer for ICMA and has written a number of articles for professional journals with topics ranging from budgeting during tough economic times, city council/city manager relations and ethics.
Ed Everett, Guest Presenter
Ed Everett’s passion is to help cities understand and implement “community building/civic engagement” and share his research and practice in this field. In addition, he is using his 34 successful years in local government to be an Executive Coach to assist professionals to move up in the profession.
Ed, who recently retired, had been the city manager of Redwood City since 1992. In 2007 Ed was awarded ICMA’s “Award for Career Excellence”. During his career, he served as city manager of Belmont, assistant county manager for Washoe County, Nevada, and program analyst/fire chief for the City of Palo Alto.
After obtaining a degree in economics from U.C. Davis and a graduate degree in urban affairs from Princeton University, Ed gained valuable experience as a VISTA volunteer. While overseeing what some call the renaissance of Redwood City, he has focused a great deal of research, study and practice on ‘community building/civic engagement’. He understands the power of Community Building/Civic Engagement and lead Redwood City in achieving it core purpose: “Build a Great Community Together”.
Ed also serves as an executive coach to assist managers in developing their talents and skills to be successful in their organization. He has done significant coaching of younger people within local government through the “Next Generation” program.