Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, PIO, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008

TWO NEW DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS CONFIRMED BY COUNCIL
William Rogers and Donna LaSala to lead Parks and IT

Berkeley, California (Thursday, April 24, 2008) - The Berkeley City Council confirmed two new City department directors: Donna LaSala in Information Technology and William Rogers in Parks Recreation and Waterfront. Both had been serving as acting department directors prior to the Council’s confirmation.

“I am pleased to have Donna and William confirmed in their roles as department directors,” said City Manager Phil Kamlarz. “They are both energetic problem-solvers with a strong commitment to serving the Berkeley community.”

William Rogers, Director, Parks Recreation and Waterfront

Mr. Rogers joined the City of Berkeley as Director of HIV & AIDS Programs in 1996. He served as a Senior Health Services Program Specialist where he was responsible for policy, administration and program development for the Public Health Division and became the Manager of Aging Services in the Division on Aging in 2004. He has been Acting Director of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront since April 22, 2007.

Mr. Rogers completed the City’s Leadership Development Program in 2005, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco.  His Master’s thesis looked at efficacy and motivation in the public sector.

Mr. Rogers has a long history of public service and is a strong advocate for efficient and responsive local government. Mr. Rogers has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations.  He is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and was part of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Berkeley in 2004/2005. He has received awards for his mentorship of youth and for his accomplishments in the area of public health.

“William has a tremendous commitment to community engagement,” Kamlarz said. “In the Division on Aging, he worked to restructure programs, develop staff, and coordinate senior services with other Health and Human Services divisions, city departments, and community partners. He faces challenges head-on and stays focused on the central goal: increasing and improving service to residents.”

The Director of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront is responsible for the operation, planning, administration and management of all aspects of the following: the City's Marina facilities and waterfront properties, lease agreements with commercial enterprises, public services, the City’s recreation facilities, the programs offered at these facilities, use of the City’s camps properties, City-sponsored camps and youth enrichment programs, and all 52 City parks and other landscaped areas, including medians and City trees. The Director oversees four divisions, in addition to Administration: Recreation and Youth Services, Waterfront, Parks Operations, and Planning and Design.

Donna LaSala, Director, Information Technology

Ms. LaSala was originally appointed as an Information Systems Support Technician with the City’s Information Technology Department in 1999 and progressed rapidly due to her impressive work in information technology, business analysis, staff management and community engagement. She became a Supervising Systems Analyst in August 2004 and Acting Director of Information Technology on July 23, 2007.

Ms. LaSala completed the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program in 2004 and the City of Berkeley Leadership Development Program in 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy from Cornell University, a Master’s Degree in Economics from Technion Institute of Technology in Israel, and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of San Francisco.

A Berkeley resident since 1998, Ms. LaSala is deeply committed to public service. In her free time, she has been active with local charitable organizations, including the Berkeley Police Athletic League, the Wheelchair Foundation, and several youth mentoring programs at Berkeley High School. In 2005, the Commission on the Status of Women named Ms. LaSala Berkeley Woman of the Year.

“Donna’s background and her deep commitment to public service are really helping us leverage technology to enhance City services,” Kamlarz said. “She has worked with her staff to develop a holistic approach to technology investment that addresses process improvements in all departments, employee training, and cost effectiveness. She is also very focused on making the City’s computer infrastructure more environmentally sound and expanding online services for the community.”

The Director of Information Technology plans, organizes, and directs the programs and services of the Information Technology Department and provides expert professional assistance to City management staff in technology-related matters. The Director of Information Technology is responsible for overall technology policy development and implementation, the configuration and administration of the City’s networks, Citywide data administration, software and hardware innovation, and professional assistance to other City departments. The Director of Information Technology oversees the divisions of Network Operations and Business Applications.

Pictures available upon request.

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