Issue 108 - February 2021
California JPIA Promotes Smith, Adds New Staff
After welcoming seven new members—the cities of Hemet, Lemon Grove, Pacific Grove, Stanton, Vista, and West Covina, as well as the Rossmoor Community Services District—in July 2020, the California JPIA is strategically advancing the structure and number of its staff in order to best provide excellent service for and substantive relationships with its members. The Authority celebrates the promotion of Alex Smith and the acquisition of two fresh professionals: Nikki Salas and Aaron Webb.
“Developing a secure, dependable team to serve our members is critical,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “Our knowledgeable, dedicated staff drives the Authority’s leadership among municipal pools.”
The California JPIA congratulates Alex Smith, who began his career with the Authority in March 2009 as finance director, on his promotion from chief financial officer to deputy executive officer. As deputy executive officer, Smith will engage more substantively throughout the organization, assuming responsibilities for supervising human resources, insured programs, and maintenance, as well as underwriting and onboarding new members. He also will continue to oversee finance operations.
“Under Alex’s leadership, the Authority has extended its excess liability and excess workers’ compensation programs, re-structured the property program, and initiated the captive, Sequoia Pacific Reinsurance Company,” said Shull. “Alex has stewarded significant advances in the Authority’s ability to retain members and recruit prospective members.”
Former Barstow City Manager Nikki Salas has joined the Authority staff as human resources manager, bringing an extensive and diverse background in human resources and risk management, as well as information technology, emergency services, and facilities. She previously has served as director of human resources for Napa County, senior human resources analyst for Riverside County, and assistant town manager for the Town of Apple Valley.
“Nikki brings with her a wealth of information about how cities operate, as well as specialized knowledge of human resources,” said Shull. “She will be an excellent resource as the Authority continues to refine current staff roles and responsibilities and to recruit and onboard new staff members.”
Recognized as the 2015 California JPIA Capstone Award Winner for Excellence in Risk Management for her work for the Town of Apple Valley, Salas is a member of the Inland Empire Personnel Management Association, California Public Employers Labor Relations Association, and Society of Human Resources Management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University-San Bernardino, master’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands, and Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Brandman University.
“As a member, I had the opportunity to see how great an organization the Authority was,” said Salas. “Now that I am behind the curtain, it’s even better.”
Salas will approach the human resources role as an opportunity to adapt to and plan for organizational development and growth by connecting with staff and updating job descriptions while adjusting to the new work environment and workplace precipitated by the current pandemic.
“My primary goal is to look for improved ways to continue offering great service to the Authority’s members,” she said.
The Authority also welcomes Data & Underwriting Analyst Aaron Webb, who will perform annual contribution calculations and retrospective adjustment computations, coordinate actuarial studies, and provide support for a variety of projects. Webb joined the Authority in November 2020 from the California State Parks, where he served as a senior aide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in botany/plant biology from Reed College.
“The Authority’s service-oriented, members-first philosophy trickles down to all aspects of the way we work,” said Webb. “I am incredibly thankful not only to have the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful organization, but also to have been welcomed and made to feel like family. I am immensely proud to serve the California JPIA and all of our member agencies and their communities throughout California.”
“Aaron brings innovation, vision, and data-driven, code-forward solutions to the California JPIA,” said Shull. “I look forward to his supporting the Authority’s future endeavors in an ever-changing technological landscape.”
Congratulations, Alex, and welcome to the Authority, Nikki and Aaron!< Back to Full Issue Print Article