FACES OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Shawna Lewis

Administrative Services Manager I | Child Support Services

County Tenure: 15 years • Department Tenure: 15 years

As a supervisor in my Department's Return-to-Work unit, one of my roles is to ensure our employees receive vital information related to protected leave laws, timecard coding, and other benefits. On one occasion, I received a call from an employee who was on leave caring for a child with a serious health condition. She was concerned about how she would be paid during her leave. Working closely with our payroll staff equipped me to inform our employee exactly how her timecard would be coded and what protected leaves she could utilize.

A few months later, an employee approached me to introduce herself. She told me she recognized my voice and knew she had put a face to the voice that offered her so much assistance and comfort during her time of need.

That defining moment further solidified my commitment as a Human Resources professional. Being able to make an impact by helping our workforce feel safe during a time of crisis brings me fulfillment and joy.

Claudio Alejo

Sr. Information Systems Analyst | District Attorney’s Office

County Tenure: 25 years • Department Tenure: 25 years

I started my County career 22 years ago as a Student Worker with the District Attorney's (DA) Office; today I am a Senior Information Systems Analyst. I am fortunate to have a career with constant opportunity for growth.

At every stop along the way, I've had great mentors and managers who have been genuinely interested in my career growth, all/the while helping me become the employee I am today.

One of my current roles is that of business analyst and co-administrator in the DA's Body Worn Camera Program. The impact of Body Worn Cameras in our communities can't be overstated as it has changed policing and the way our prosecutors review and present evidence in criminal trials. Providing expertise in this area to legal staff, taking part in overseeing the program, and representing the DA to outside entities are among the most fulfilling experiences I've had as a County employee.

Julianne Vines

Senior Accountant-Auditor | Office of the Auditor-Controller

County Tenure: 15 years • Department Tenure: 15 years

I believe in the County's vision of "extraordinary employee commitment to enrich lives through effective and caring service." Working for the Auditor-Controller has allowed me to help promote accountability throughout the County while accumulating a lot of experience and developing valuable skills. I have audited multiple programs administered by the County's health and human services departments.

Specifically, it is my job to audit County contractors not only to check for compliance with regulatory guidelines, but also to provide recommendations that will essentially strengthen the contractor’s operations--thus improving the quality of service provided to the public.

I feel rewarded by helping to make the County's vision a reality and by gaining a tremendous amount of program knowledge and numerous skills that I will continue to develop throughout my County career.

Katherine Falcon

Probation Director | Probation Department

County Tenure: 27 years • Department Tenure: 24 years

In 2008, as a Deputy Probation Officer, one of my responsibilities was to supervise approximately 20 juveniles enrolled in Columbus Continuation High School in the City of Downey. Some of the youth were recent probation camp graduates and others had spent time in juvenile hall for their violations. These youth were high risk and credit deficient.

I worked very hard to get them in compliance with their conditions of probation and to take school more seriously. I developed strong case plans with them and kept them motivated and accountable all year. In June of 2009, the youth became high school graduates.

I will always remember their proud faces and their joyful parents who were so impressed with the outcomes of that academic year. I was very proud of the work we did together. It wasn't easy, but it was a very rewarding moment in my career. As a Probation Director of Camp Glenn Rockey, I want the youth to receive quality services in education, counseling, and programming. It is my goal to see them return to their communities with some knowledge and skills to improve their lives.

Jessie McGrath

Deputy District Attorney IV | Office of the District Attorney

County Tenure: 33 years • Department Tenure: 33 years

I am honored to work for a county that respects its employees' diversity and protects them on the job. I am a transgender woman who was able to successfully transition on the job without any loss of opportunity or adverse work environment consequences. We currently live in a time when many transgender individuals feel that they are under attack by parts of government.

Los Angeles County has been a leader in protecting members of the LGBTQ community from harassment and adverse job actions solely because of who they are.

By continuing to do my job in an outstanding fashion, I think I help show that the County's forward-thinking policies of inclusion are a model that should be adopted by other less progressive governmental bodies.

Marisol Cruz

Senior Community Worker | Department of Health Services

County Tenure: 6 years • Department Tenure: 6 years

What I like most about working for the County is that it's about everyday people serving the public. I come to work knowing that my presence makes a difference in peoples’ lives. The County is full of professional opportunities to develop and grow within and outside of your department.

The leadership in my department sets us up for continued growth as we continue to demonstrate expertise.

Working for the County has provided me with extended family. County employees work as a team to serve the greater good of the people. At the same time, it has provided me with the financial means to raise and provide for my expanding family.

Felipe de la Torre

Head Deputy | Alternate Public Defender

County Tenure: 23 years • Department Tenure: 17 years

What I enjoy most about working for the Alternate Public Defender is that I get to work with a group of extraordinary people who genuinely are committed to helping our clients. We are a family in that we all help and support each other. We have great leadership, and they have created an environment where everyone enjoys working for the Department.

I was taught how to strategize and identify important issues.

The Alternate Public Defender has helped my professional development in numerous ways. I was assigned to a team where I had access to experienced senior attorneys who mentored and guided me throughout my career. More importantly they taught me the necessary leadership skills to help and guide others in their County careers.

Emily Khuu

Accounting Systems Analyst I | Auditor-Controller

County Tenure: 3.5 years • Department Tenure: 3.5 years

Being a part of LA County as an Accounting Systems Analyst has presented many new exciting responsibilities and challenges that have allowed me to develop new skills; from writing technical specifications to tinkering with User Interface and Experience Design.

Everyone is encouraged to think outside the box; to use different perspectives and approaches to tackle fascinating and interdisciplinary problems.

When it comes to new concepts or anything I don't fully understand, I'm able to connect and tap into the experiences and knowledge of my colleagues from the top on down, which is a true testament to the County's supportive culture. There's still a lot for me to learn here, and I'm looking forward to building up my technical, professional, and interpersonal skills even more!

Ellen Alty

Executive Assistant | Internal Services

County Tenure: 4 years • Department Tenure: 2 months

I started at the County as the front office secretary to five deputies in the Third District Board Office. Every single day, I put my all into helping them maintain the highest level of productivity. Then opportunity came knocking, and I was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant to Supervisor Kuehl and her Senior Strategist. I recently transferred to the Internal Services Department (ISD), where I assist two General Managers with administrative and special projects. I’m excited about the new opportunities for professional advancement that lie ahead, and I feel honored and validated that my hard work has been paying off.

At both the Board office and at ISD, the work has been varied, interesting, important, and fun – it "checks all the boxes."

My co-workers are happy and friendly, and l feel we each learn and grow professionally on a regular basis, which allows us to further develop our talents. It has been my County experience that the people are amazing, the benefits are second-to-none, and there seems to be a location and a job for just about any type of professional in the job market. I continue to feel I've hit the professional jackpot of loving what I do, and with whom and where I get to do it.

Cory French

Building Crafts Superintendent I | Internal Services

County Tenure: 18 years • Department Tenure: 18 years

I started with the Internal Services Department (ISD) as an Electrician Apprentice, an entry level position. After five years as an apprentice, I became a journeyman electrician, capable of completing large projects and directing other staff in the process. I have worked on numerous projects, including the remodeling of La Puente Library and the MarshaI Canyon Pump Station.

Throughout my career with the County of Los Angeles, managers, supervisors, and line staff have recognized certain qualities in me and helped me develop the skills necessary to achieve my goal to promote.

The County provides a rich environment for its employees to flourish. For example, in 2015 I was nominated to attend the ISD Supervisor Academy, which helped improve my training skills and refined my understanding of the department’s human resources protocol. If you are a self-starter with a desire to help people in our community, then this is the place for you.

Susana Espinosa

Program Manager I | Beaches and Harbors

County Tenure: 9 years • Department Tenure: 6 years

As a late bloomer, I wasn’t always sure what career path I wanted to take. All I knew was that I wanted to help people and be part of something that made a difference. When I found my calling in the field of recreation, I didn’t know working for the County of Los Angeles would be so rewarding.

The County of Los Angeles cares about its residents and strives to stay true to its mission “to enrich lives through effective and caring service.” I know this because I see it daily in the efforts of my staff, colleagues, and management.

I feel very fortunate to have found a career with the County of Los Angeles. I have had the pleasure of working with great managers and mentors who allowed me to take the lead, learn from my mistakes, and further develop my skills. The career challenges, triumphs, and generous employment benefits are invaluable to me. I look forward to a long and fulfilling career with the County.

Matthew Miller

Physician Specialist | Medical Examiner-Coroner

County Tenure: 3 years • Department Tenure: 3 years

My department has an atmosphere which fosters learning and discussion. Having multiple forensic pathologists in a single office allows for consultation and discussion that would be unavailable at any other office. As a result, this allows us to continuously learn a great deal from within our department. I especially enjoy my job because there is a sense of truly helping other residents of the county.

When I am able to provide family members the reason for why their loved one passed away, they are usually immensely grateful for the information I provide to them.

Working for my department and the County is very rewarding, and I feel that it provides me the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that no other job could. The large population served by our office allows us to see cases, all of which could not be seen at any other single office in the country.

Cherene Cexil

Senior Marketing Analyst | Public Health

County Tenure: 5 years • Department Tenure: 1 year

What I enjoy most about working for the County is that I am helping people who are just like me. In 2012, I applied for health insurance through the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). An Eligibility Worker helped to process my case and kindly made sure that my family was aware of the benefits we were eligible to receive. I thought that if I was ever presented with an opportunity to give hope to someone the way this Eligibility Worker did for me, I would do so in a heartbeat. In 2013, that opportunity presented itself when I became an Eligibility Worker II.

The reward is more than a pay check or stable benefits. The gratification of helping someone become able to eat, see a doctor, or get life-changing support is priceless.

The County, DPSS, and currently DPH have helped me develop in ways that I did not know I could. My supervisors, manager and Chief saw my potential. Not only have I been a news anchor for a department's internal news network, but now I am responsible for marketing life-changing programs and services available to all LA County residents. Working for Los Angeles County has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Coby Skye

Assistant Deputy Director | Public Works

County Tenure: 19 years • Department Tenure: 19 years

Joining the County is like joining a family. We work collaboratively to make our communities better. We take care of our neighbors in their time of need, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life where we live. It is a noble effort which keeps many employees at the County their whole career.

Personally, what I enjoy most is the pride I have in seeing the positive impact of my work for a diverse region of over 10 million residents.

The County can offer an incredible array of career paths and professional development opportunities. The County provides regular training and supports lifelong learning, with tuition reimbursement and other programs available in many departments. I have benefitted from amazing mentors who provided me with encouragement and guidance. I enjoy my assignments as well as working with my team to create solutions for new challenges. With so many departments, you are sure to find a career that will put your best talents to good use while nurturing your long term goals.

Lina Ng

Inspector III | Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures

County Tenure: 11 years • Department Tenure:  11 years

I enjoy the work that I perform for the department and the County. Metrology, the science of measurement, is such a vital part of our society, economy, and beyond. In my position I have had the privilege and honor of representing the County during collaborations with well-known national agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

I have had the chance to travel to conferences and trainings on behalf of the County and represented our region in discussions relating to our profession. It has been a once in a lifetime, amazing opportunity.

The County has many opportunities and resources for you to explore! Take the opportunity to come and work for an organization like the County. You never know where your career may lead.

Allison Ortiz

Librarian III | LA County Public Library

County Tenure: 4 years • Department Tenure: 4 years

My main career goal has always been to work for the common good, and at the County of Los Angeles Public Library, I have the opportunity to serve a diverse public every day. Whether it is sharing a book with a child or connecting a patron to job search resources, I feel that my work makes a difference. I can see the positive impact on individuals and the community, and it is deeply satisfying.

My education gave me the base that I needed, but my training and experience with the County has propelled me professionally and developed me personally.

My work is frequently challenging and I am certainly never bored. I have attended formal trainings on early childhood development, children’s literature, STEM programming, and leadership. I have also been given the chance to put these trainings into action. With the support of my supervisors and peers, I have been given a level of responsibility I did not think I could have so early in my career. I cannot think of an employer that would better meet my professional needs. Libraries promote life-long learning, and I feel that the County as a whole shares that goal for their employees.

Kelly Buck

Division Chief, Public Defender | Alternate Public Defender

County Tenure: 32 years • Department Tenure: 32 years

I love this job! No two days are the same. The people at the Office of the Alternate Public Defender (APD) are the best part. I work with an extraordinary team of managers, lawyers, investigators, paralegals, and IT staff who employ the highest degree of professionalism each and every day. At APD we are a team that feels more like a family.

We support one another, brainstorm ideas to improve defenses and service to our clients, and are allowed the freedom to develop fresh theories to provide the best public defense.

I have had the good fortune of being one of the original team of attorneys and staff that launched APD. As part of that team, I have had the opportunity to establish and expand our services throughout the County. I have gone to trial on every sort of case from misdemeanors up to and including capital crimes. Throughout it all, I have always known that I have had the support and guidance of the entire APD team. They have made it possible for me to deliver the best service possible to our clients, their families, and the courts.

Jim Green

Departmental Chief Information Officer II | Probation Department

County Tenure: 21 years • Department Tenure: 2 years

I have had fantastic opportunities to work on really interesting problems in my County career. I’ve had great managers and mentors who put their faith in me, gave me challenging assignments, and supported my work. As I’ve done more, I’ve been asked to take on new challenges and new opportunities. I’ve grown professionally and personally in the process.

Working in IT leadership, I am in a unique position to help all of our employees have the information and tools they need to succeed in providing great service to the residents of Los Angeles County.

I work with some really great people who are motivated by the same desire to make things better for the people in Los Angeles. For me, it’s really about a sense of purpose, knowing that what I do really matters.

John Mina

Human Resources Analyst IV | Human Resources

County Tenure: 20 years • Department Tenure:  20 years

What I like about working for the County is that I get many chances, on a daily basis, to help people. Being a civil servant is in my DNA. I get the opportunity to help my fellow co-workers, as well as reach out to the greater community. I find all departments to be open, diverse, and welcoming. As an openly gay man, I have never been and felt treated as “other.” I interact with practically all departments and have been openly embraced by all of them.

When you feel at home and comfortable, you stay.

I came to Department of Human Resources (DHR) as an academic intern. I found a wonderful mentor who hired me and showed me how to interact with County management, executives, and staff. I believe that this is one of the major keys to my success and longevity in the County. I’m encouraged to come up with ideas and explore them. DHR values my input and I am free to be who I am.

Sara Rathbun

Fire Captain (56 Hour) | Fire Department

County Tenure: 10 years • Department Tenure: 10 years

The County of Los Angeles is one of the most diverse and opportunity-rich environments I have ever had the privilege to work in. The opportunity to serve the public, to master new skills and to work in various geographical environments is unmatched. In one week I can be assigned to a rescue squad in Lancaster, a fire engine on Catalina Island, or a truck company in Whittier.

If you are dedicated to helping people and committed to public service, you can achieve your goals at the County of Los Angeles

It is a great privilege to be part of a unique team dedicated to helping our fellow citizens improve our community. The County provides competitive wages, benefits, and virtually unlimited opportunities for advancement and professional development. If you are looking for an incredible rewarding career in which you work with other dedicated public servants, that is different every day, then the Los Angeles County Fire Department is for you.

Gilberto Salinas

Assistant Hospital Administrator II | Health Services

County Tenure: 8 years • Department Tenure: 8 years

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services gives me the opportunity to work in a multi-cultural environment that is rich with diversity. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, I work directly with front line staff, patients, nurses, surgeons, and official dignitaries. The staff and patients in Los Angeles County inspire me daily.

Some of the words that come to mind when I think about my organization are: innovative, progressive, mission driven, stable, challenging and exciting.

As a former patient of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC) and LAC-USC Medical Center, my journey is a personal one. My first job with Los Angeles County was as a volunteer at the age of 18 years old. Today, as an Interim Chief Clinical Officer at RLANRC, I have administrative oversight of Ambulatory Care clinical and non-clinical areas. The opportunities are endless.

Sophia Soni

Senior Physician | Health Services

County Tenure: 4 years • Department Tenure: 2 years

I was a medical student at Harvard, trained at the University of San Francisco, and worked at the University of Southern California prior to joining the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS), and I can unequivocally say that this is the best fit for me. I have been presented with leadership opportunities at a far earlier stage in my career than what I would have been given in most any other setting and been supported at every step.

I love being part of LADHS because I am surrounded by like-minded people who share the same mission of providing high quality, cost effective, patient centered care for the patients of theCounty of Los Angeles

We are currently in the midst of a huge transformation that will turn LADHS into one of the premier safety nets in the United States. As a provider, you will not find a more exciting, engaging, or challenging time in health care or a place more thoughtful or committed to that challenge. Join us!

Kelly Ty

Human Resources Analyst II | Human Resources

County Tenure: 10 years • Department Tenure: 10 years

The Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources (DHR) has helped me develop professionally and in my personal life. I entered the County uncertain of what would happened if I were to “come out of the closet.” The County welcomes diversity and creates an environment that I feel safe in. The friendships I have made through my County career have allowed me to open up and just be myself. They are accepting of my differences and that allows me to focus on the work at hand.

There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you can make a difference in the community where you live.

DHR is a great place to work. There are plenty of opportunities for growth and development. I have worked in Employee Benefits, Workforce and Employee Development, Examinations, and Workplace Programs. Each division has empowered me with different sets of skills that help me enjoy my current assignment and provide the best service as a civil servant.

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