City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 061520
City Manager Tom Modica Announces New Leadership Appointments
Alejandra (Alex) Basquez
Director, Department of Human Resources

Today, City Manager Tom Modica announced several new key leadership appointments that will complement the existing leadership team. This comes after his announcement last week of his appointment of Linda Tatum as Assistant City Manager.

“With shifts in leadership positions and recent retirement announcements, we will be welcoming in some new perspectives to key leadership roles,” said Modica. “The moment we are in right now, calls for innovation, thoughtfulness and hard work, and with these appointments we will continue to make advancements in all of these areas.”

Teresa Chandler – Deputy City Manager

Teresa Chandler, who has been serving as Interim Deputy City Manager since September 2019, has been appointed permanently as Deputy City Manager. Ms. Chandler will continue to guide projects related to homelessness, violence prevention and youth development. She also assists in innovation delivery in these key priorities for the City. Ms. Chandler will also represent Executive Leadership, as the City develops and implements a “Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach,” which acknowledges the existence and long-standing impacts of systemic racism in Long Beach and the country. She has more than 20 years of management experience in both public and nonprofit organization settings.

Ms. Chandler has worked for the City of Long Beach since 2015. Prior to her work in the Office of the City Manager, she served as the City’s Homeless Services Officer and later as the Human Services Bureau Manager in the Health and Human Services Department.

“I am humbled and honored to support our City Leadership as we move forward to create systemic change to eliminate racial inequities,” said Chandler. “It’s imperative we ensure all community members in Long Beach, no matter what zip code they live in, have what they need to live, work and play.

Ms. Chandler’s appointment is effective June 20, 2020.

Rebecca Guzman Garner – Administrative Deputy City Manager

Rebecca Guzman Garner has been appointed as the Administrative Deputy City Manager. Ms. Garner recently served as Acting Assistant City Manager and was not a candidate for the permanent position. In this new role she will serve on the City’s Executive Management Team with a focus on administrative duties in the Office of the City Manager and the City, including oversight of Council priority projects and coordination with departments of strategic Council initiatives.

Ms. Garner has worked in many departments over her 30-year career with the City, including Public Works, Financial Management and the Police Department. She has been part of the City’s Executive Management Team for the past 20 years, working closely with the Mayor and City Council and City management on all aspects of the City's governance.

“First, I thank Tom for entrusting me as Acting Assistant City Manager these past nine months, which allowed me to provide leadership and support during this COVID-19 pandemic and during the recent conversations and activities regarding race, equity and First Amendment Rights,” said Garner. “I look forward to continuing in a critical leadership role for the City in my new position.”

Ms. Garner’s appointment is effective June 20, 2020.

Brent Dennis – Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine

Brent Dennis has been appointed as the Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine. Mr. Dennis brings over 40 years of experience in various complex park departments in city and county governments as well as non-profit agencies in the Midwest and California. Most recently, Mr. Dennis served as the Director for the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation Department where he led the department through its first successful voter-approved bond ballot initiative known as Proposition 407 that now provides $225 million of funding and reinvestment in 100 different city parks. During his time with the City of Tucson, Mr. Dennis oversaw the successful launch of many key initiatives such as a new Park Ranger Program and a transformative, non-toxic integrated Weed Management Program.

Prior, Mr. Dennis served as Director of Community Services for the City of Anaheim, Assistant Director of Operations for the Golden Gate Park, Director of San Francisco Botanical Garden and Director of Conservatory of Flowers at San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

"I'm very excited about joining the City of Long Beach leadership team and the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department,” said Dennis. “Being a part of a community that loves their parks and values health and fitness is a tremendous personal motivation. Professionally as a landscape architect with a keen eye on quality design, high maintenance standards and a commitment to community engagement, Long Beach parks and recreational facilities will be safe, clean and welcoming to all. That's my promise!"

Mr. Dennis’ first day with the City will be July 6, 2020.  He will take over for Stephen Scott, Interim Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine, who was not a candidate for the permanent position and will return to his previous position as Deputy Director.

Oscar Orci – Director of Development Services

Oscar Orci has been appointed as the Director of Development Services. Mr. Orci will oversee Planning, Building Safety, Code Enforcement and Housing and Neighborhood Services as well as the Long Beach Community Investment Corporation (LBCIC). He started with the City as the Deputy Director of Development Services in 2016. During his tenure as Deputy Director he helped managed an unprecedented level of new development throughout Long Beach, including mixed use development and thousands of residential units, including affordable housing development, hotel rooms and commercial spaces and the new Civic Center. He has also served as the City’s representative for Community Hospital’s seismic compliance efforts, guiding the development of the aerospace industry and the integration of technological efforts such as Electronic Plan Check, web-portal integration and permit streamlining. 

Mr. Orci has over 25 years of experience in community development.  Prior to his service with the City of Long Beach, he worked for the City of Redlands where he served as the Development Services Director. He has also served as Development Director for the cities of Banning, La Quinta and Rolling Hills Estates.

“I am excited for this great opportunity and look forward to working with the community, neighborhood partners and all the City stakeholders,” said Orci. “I'm committed to continuing the Department's efforts in providing exceptional services and developing a sustainable, unique and vibrant community.”

Mr. Orci’s appointment is effective June 20, 2020.

Christopher Koontz – Deputy Director of Development Services

Christopher Koontz has been appointed as the Deputy Director of Development Services. Since 2018 he has served the City as Planning Bureau Manager and prior to that he served as the Advance Planning Officer. Mr. Koontz has overseen award-winning planning work including: adoption of the City’s Midtown Specific Plan and South East Area Specific Plan; adoption of the Grant Neighborhood Historic District; development review and permitting that lead to 2019 being the City’s best in over 30 years for new housing starts; adoption of the City’s Land Use Element; and creation of the City’s Omnibus Zoning Reform program.

Prior to joining the City, Mr. Koontz served as the Chief of Airport Planning with Los Angeles World Airports, managing planning and historic preservation staff and operations for LAX, LA/Ontario International, and Van Nuys airports. He also has planning experience with the City of Los Angeles, where he crafted and implemented citywide policy. 

“I’m excited to continue my work promoting housing and employment opportunities, fantastic quality of life and inclusive development for all Long Beach residents,’ said Koontz.” I am extremely proud of the work completed and confident in the work to come. I take this leadership opportunity and responsibility very seriously and look forward to working with the diverse, intelligent and hard-working Development Services team to build a better Long Beach."

Mr. Koontz’s appointment is effective June 20, 2020. With this appointment, the City Manager is aligning Planning and Affordable Housing construction under the Deputy Director position to placing additional focus on construction and planning of housing of all types in Long Beach.

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

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