Master Municipal Clerk and Clerk of the Board Academy Trainers

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Britt Avrit, MMC

Britt Avrit began her career in local government with the City of Lancaster in 2001 in the office of the City Clerk. In 2014, she was appointed City Clerk and recently was appointed the City Clerk for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Britt obtained her Certified Municipal Clerk designation in 2009, her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration in 2010 and her Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2017. She is a graduate of Continuing Education for Public Officials (CEPO) and completed the CA Institutes’ Training for Trainers program. She served several years as Recording Secretary for the City Clerks Association of California.

Britt loves working with others in her profession, and is passionate about football and her family.

Michael Colantuono

Michael Colantuono is a shareholder at Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, a municipal law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Grass Valley. Michael is one of California’s leading experts on municipal revenues and is general counsel to a number of LAFCos and special districts. He also serves as special counsel to counties and cities around California. He notably served on the Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century, the recommendations of which led to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act in 2001. Michael received the California State Bar Association’s Public Lawyer of the Year award in 2010, and the Los Angeles Daily Journal has named him one of “California’s Top Municipal Lawyers” every year since its list began in 2011. Michael graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Shawna Freels, MMC

Shawna has been in the City Clerk’s profession for 19 years. She began her career in 2000 in her home town of San Juan Bautista, Ca. where she served both as the appointed Deputy City Clerk and the elected City Clerk until 2006. In July, 2007 she moved on to the City of Gilroy as the Council-appointed City Clerk, where she works today.

She earned her IIMC Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) accreditation in April, 2004 and her IIMC Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) accreditation in 2012.

Shawna has actively participated in CCAC since she began her career, most recently serving as a Professional Development Committee Member and the CCAC Annual Conference Committee Exhibitor Coordinator. She previously served the organization as Chair of the Northern California City Clerk’s Association (2011-2012), Northern Division Vice Chair/CCAC Legislative Committee Member (2010-2011), and Northern Division Trustee (2006-2010). In August, 2018 Shawna was elected to a 2-year term as CCAC Professional Development Director.

Shawna has an adult daughter Tatiana, and lives in San Juan Bautista with her husband Scott, three cats: Kaddus, Boo and Charlie, and their beagle Kansas. She spends most of her “down time” outdoors kayaking, camping, hiking, playing in the garden and running. She is active on her home town’s Strategic Planning Committee and chairs a local nonprofit which focuses on the preservation of early California history and its elements.

Pamela Miller, CMC

Pamela Miller currently serves as California Institute Director for the Master Municipal Clerk Academy, and as such she is the Instructor of Record at the University of Riverside Extension. She is the former Program, Executive and Institute Director for Continuing Education for Public Officials (CEPO). Pamela also serves as the Executive Director for the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO), where she has been since 2012. Prior to returning to California in 2012, Pamela lived and worked in Benton Harbor, Michigan for six years. As Vice President for The Consortium for Community Development, her work focused primarily on the transformation of the community through individual, organizational, and community capacity building.

Her public sector experience includes serving as Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and Administrative Manager for the County Executive Office 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.

Pamela has led her own management consulting and training firm since 2014, serving local governments and state associations throughout California. In addition to her many municipal and county clients, she is Co-Director for the Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento Valley Leadership Academies.

In addition to her public sector experience, she has over 30 years of private sector management and customer care experience, including project management and strategic planning for telecommunications, internet, and employment services companies. Pamela earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Siena Heights University. She is certified in Total Quality Management and Success Signals, is a graduate of the National Community Development Institute’s Community Builders Leadership Institute, is a member of Women Leading Government (WLG) and is a Certified Municipal Clerk.

Stephanie Mizuno, MMC

For the past six years, Stephanie Mizuno has served as the Council-Clerk Operations Manager with the City of Sacramento directing the operations of the Mayor/Council and City Clerk Offices. Stephanie served several years as the Assistant City Clerk, has worked in the Clerk’s Office for 22 years, and for the City of Sacramento a total of 32. She possesses a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of a city clerk’s office. In addition to her technical knowledge, her leadership strengths include having political acumen, successfully navigating the operational needs of elected officials, solving problems, re-engineering processes, utilizing resources, having strong communication skills, and coaching others for success.

Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, is certified as a Master Municipal Clerk, is a graduate of CEPO, has served several years on League of California Cities Policy Committees, and on the CCAC Legislative Committee.

Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is the Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator at the Mountain View Police Department in Northern California. Since 2015, she has managed the department’s social media accounts, focusing primarily on the department’s engagement efforts as well as serving as the agency’s public information officer. She presents across the country on social media best practices and crisis communication strategies. She also serves as an instructor with the California Office of Emergency Services, where she educates local and state personnel on the importance of social media and its role in connecting with their communities.

Patrice Olds, MMC

Patrice is the City Clerk for the City of San Mateo since January 2012 and prior to that served as City Clerk for the City of Walnut Creek where she was honored to be named Employee of the Year for Walnut Creek in 2011. Prior to joining local government she worked in the private sector in roles ranging from Business Manager to Accountant to Property Management. She has attained her MMC certification, is a graduate of Continuing Education for Public Officials and the Training of Trainers program. She is currently President for the California City Clerks Association, a core trainer for the Master Municipal Clerk Academy and a facilitator for IIMC’s Athenian Leadership society. She has been a trainer on topics ranging from managing dysfunctional meetings to project management to ethical leadership to crucial conversations to honing public speaking skills. Patrice has a passion for the clerk profession, coupled with a deep commitment to individual life-long learning, she encourages everyone to jump in with both feet and commit wholeheartedly to all the possibilities this profession provides.

Lee Price, MMC

Lee Price began her public service career in County Government, serving both the Board of Supervisors and the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County. Lee has been the full-time Elected City Clerk in the City of Atascadero, the Manager-appointed City Clerk in the cities of Morgan Hill and San Luis Obispo, and the Council-appointed City Clerk in the City of San Jose, the 3rd largest city in California and 10th largest in the nation.

After a 21-year career as a full-time City Clerk, Lee retired in December of 2010. Looking for greater career-life balance, she is now serving as a municipal clerk mentor, trainer and consultant. During the past nine years, Lee has served as the interim City Clerk in Los Altos, Santa Barbara, Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Luis Obispo. She has also provided contract election management services for the cities of Fremont, Atherton, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo; records management consultant services for the Cities of Los Altos and East Palo Alto; assisted the City of San Jose in coordinating the drafting of the City’s Open Government; and conducted management audits for the Cities of Tracy, Palos Verdes Estates, Manhattan Beach and Arvin.

Lee received her Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation in 1993 and earned her Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation in 2006. She is a graduate of the Leadership Track for Clerks and Training of the Trainers and serves as a core trainer for the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC) educational programs and institutes, including Technical Track for Clerks (TTC) and the Master Municipal Clerks Academy (MMCA). Lee was recognized for her contributions to technical education and professional development for CCAC members, when named “City Clerk of the Year” in 2012 and enjoys volunteering as a “super volunteer” at the Annual CCAC Conference.

Wandzia Rose, CIC

For over 25 years, Wandzia Rose has assisted individuals as well as government, education, and nonprofit 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 led, managed and transformed complex organizations and implemented, among others, staff and organization-wide development training programs resulting in widespread organizational transformation and community benefit.

Wandzia 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 Municipal Clerk and Clerk of the Board 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.

Stephanie Smith, MMC

Stephanie D. Smith, City Clerk of the City of Murrieta, is a Master Municipal Clerk and has served on the Executive Board for the City Clerk’s Association of California, currently as the CCAC Immediate Past President. She has been Murrieta’s City Clerk for the two years, with 32 years in local government. She has worked for the cities of Paramount, Perris, Lake Forest, and Murrieta. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and is a 30th Anniversary Year graduate of the Advanced Leadership Program through Continuing Education for Public Officials (CEPO), and is also a graduate of the CEPO Training for Trainers Program. Stephanie is the author of over 100 published articles on a variety of topics, including workplace change initiatives, personnel issues, business management, work/life balance, and financial planning. Her first book, “Values-Based Goal Setting” is scheduled for release in early 2020. She regularly trains for the City Clerks Association, Master Municipal Clerk Academy, California Building Officials Association, and facilitates Athenian Dialogues (sort of a leadership book club) throughout the western United States.

Jennifer Woodworth, MMC

Jen Woodworth is currently the District Clerk for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District where she has worked for the past six years. Jen has officially worked in the public sector since 2008 but feels like she’s done it her entire life as she often accompanied her father to the Mississippi Senate Floor while he served as a legislator during her childhood.

Jen earned her Certified Municipal Clerk certification in 2013 and her Master Municipal Clerk certification in 2015. She is active in the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and City Clerks Association of California, previously serving as the CCAC Region 14 Director. Jen is a graduate of the Training for Trainers program and has trained at the California Master Municipal Clerk Academy and CCAC regional education workshops. Jen earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 2005.

When she has it, Jen enjoys spending her free time with her two children, Madison and Jackson, and her husband, Dan.