Master Municipal Clerk and Clerk of the Board Academy


Dr. Frank Benest

Dr. Frank Benest served as the City Manager of Palo Alto until August 2008. Frank is a noted consultant and trainer on leadership development, entrepreneurial government, employee engagement 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 Master’s 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 and also chairs the ICMA Coaching Program.

Frank is Past President of the California City Managers Department and past Vice President of the International City/County Management Association. He teaches at Stanford University and has been inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration. Frank has also been recognized by ICMA with its Distinguished Career Service Award.

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.

Stephani 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 21 years, and for the City of Sacramento a total of 31. 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, served several years on League of California Cities Policy Committees and on the CCAC Legislative Committee.

Colleen Nicol, MMC

Appointed as City Clerk in August of 1996, Colleen J. Nicol brings significant experience and tenure in the municipal clerk profession to Riverside, a diverse southern California full-service city of 328,000 residents and 143,000 registered voters.

Under Colleen’s leadership, integration of new technology bolstered efficiency and ease of access to local government. As a strong open government advocate, she championed the City’s transparency portal, online public records request submittal and processing, automation of board/commission applications, and the City’s Sunshine Ordinance. In addition to providing legislative support to the Mayor and City Council, Colleen conducts all municipal elections, oversees the Citywide records retention program, manages the City’s Conflict of Interest Codes and filings, administers board and commission recruitment, supports the Board of Ethics and operates a Passport Acceptance Facility.

Colleen served fifteen years on the City Clerks Association of California Board of Directors and as its President in 2000-01. She trains at California’s Technical Training for Clerks and the Master Municipal Clerk Academy. Colleen served as the 2012-13 President of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and currently supports municipal clerk education programs and scholarships as a board member of the IIMC Foundation.

Colleen received the Quill Award in May of 2002, the City Clerks Association of California City Clerk of the Year in 2006, and the Pat Hammers Spirit Award in 2018 for achievements in mentoring, teaching, and promoting the profession of municipal clerk. She holds Master Municipal Clerk status, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.

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 serves as the President of the City Clerk’s Association of California. Prior to returning to Murrieta in December 2017, Stephanie was the Lake Forest City Clerk for 5 years and has over 30 years serving in local government. She has worked for the cities of Paramount, Perris, Murrieta, and Lake Forest. 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. Stephanie is a past president of the Southern California-Inland Empire Chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA), and is a member of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) and Women Leading Government (WLG).