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Career & Workplace

Exceptional Women Leaders in Government



EASTVALE, CA–The City of Eastvale would like to highlight women contributing to the organization’s goal of exceeding Eastvale’s expectations every day. The City of Eastvale’s first Management Team, which was created in July 2018 to provide growth, service, and development opportunities consists of over 60 percent women (seven women and four men). In addition, our contract City Attorney, Erica Vega, is also a leader from Burke Williams & Sorrensen.

While we have many exceptional leaders at all levels of our organization at the City of Eastvale,we want to take this opportunity to highlight three leaders specifically. Their stories and successes will hopefully provide inspiration to others to also believe in yourself, dream big, and work hard to spread your wings and soar.

Angelica Zepeda, who started as a volunteer Office Assistant with the City in July 2011has carried various titles in different divisions such as Account Clerk, Senior Account Clerk, Management Analyst and through her hard work was promoted to our Talent & Special Project Manager, where she currently oversees the Talent Attraction and Development Team (rebranded from Human Resources and Risk Management). Angelica has led large scale successful initiatives, all contributing to the goals in the Strategic Plan. She has successfully enhanced professional and organizational   development   efforts   to   include launching the first Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) in 2017 designed to enhance employe engagement and moral, elevating Eastvale’s workplace culture. It is comprised of City team members, who have rotating volunteer assignments that focus on investing in employee recognition and team building. The ERC continues to thrive today serving our teammates so that they in turn can serve our residents and businesses to the best of their ability.

“One of her greatest strengths is Angelica’s ability to connect with people and seek to understand to help them move in the direction of their full potential,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Her primary focus on attracting and developing people have helped create an amazing people-centric workplace that has helped address historical attrition rates to an all-time low and receiving incoming applications for hiring talent is at an all-time high. She has done all this while being an incredible mother to two very active, well mannered, scholar-athlete boys.”

Olivia Applegate, who started as a Communication Specialist with the City in November 2017 was quickly recognized for her talent in community and organization engagement and promoted to Public Information Officer/Communications Manager in July 2018. Olivia has led large scale successful initiatives related to the Strategic Plan such as but not limited to the first Community Satisfaction Study, Website Redesign Project, our most recent State of the City two-day event, Financial Priorities and Public Safety Community Workshops, and others. Olivia has significantly increased communication and engagement for the City of Eastvale. While working full time and countless hours to Exceed Eastvale’s Expectations, she also completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in April of 2019 from Grand Canyon University with Magna Cum Laude and most recently received a Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement through Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership through Pepperdine University. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to strategically engage and communicate to bring people together. Her leadership, innovation, and creativity have contributed to elevating our communications and engagement practices.

“Olivia’s leadership and forward thinking have elevated the City of Eastvale’s communication and engagement efforts to be one of the most active in the region; setting a new standard of excellence,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Olivia was also recognized as one of our Top Performers in 2018 because of her grit, passion, and perseverance, as well as, her ability to always focus on serving the community first.”

Gina Gibson-Williams, our first Community Development Director and first women in a Director level position, joined the team in March 2019 with over 27 years of hands on, local government planning leadership experience. She is overseeing the Public Works/Engineering, Planning, Building and Safety, and Community Enhance & Safety Team which provides code enforcement, Neighborhood Watch Program support, CERT, and Emergency Management roles. She is an expert in all facets of residential, commercial and industrial private land entitlement and development and capital projects. She has been instrumental in facilitating and permitting Tailgate Fest, one of the Nationals Top Musical Festivals coming to Eastvale on August 17 & 18, which is putting Eastvale on the map with Country Music. She also streamlined the permitting of the first hotel in Eastvale, a 4.5-starStaybridge Suites with rooftop bar, conference & event center and vegan food option hotel, and the first steakhouse/fine dining restaurant Tony’s Chop House by the Meat Cellar. Both are key strategic focus areas for economic development and creating new revenue opportunities for our City to thrive.

“I love that she always brings a can-do attitude and her leadership motto is ‘service, solutions, success’, as Eastvale utilizes a lot of alliterations in our leadership and service capacity building approaches,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Gina is a mother of three children and has shared how her daughter was raised at hundreds of Planning Commission Meetings and can probably do a Conditional Use Permit or at least present it to the Commission. What her daughter had the opportunity to see is her mother in action; a true public servant leader.”

Eastvale is focused on utilizing a three-prong approach of Exceptional Performance, Talented People, and Effective Process. We know that by investing, influencing, and inspiring our talented people to move in the direction of their potential with a people-centric workplace culture, that the byproduct is 2-3 times more productive teammates serving our community than just those who are merely satisfied. So, it is by focusing on the people and performance, not just the results, that creates a thriving workplace, incredible customer service, and an exceptional community.

“It’s inspiring to see a government’s culture thriving because of the amazing contributions of great women leaders,” said District 2, Riverside County Board of Supervisor, Karen Spiegel. “The City of Eastvale has done an excellent job of seeing the talent and strength that women can bring to local government, promoting, hiring and developing them into management positions, all which help provide opportunities to break barriers and glass ceilings.”

The City Council approved a 5% Cost of Living Adjustment in January 2019 for all City employees since it had been several years since an adjustment was recommended or made which was attributing to attrition. Over the last 18 months, Angelica Zepeda and Olivia Applegate, meritoriously earned well deserved salary increases to be more competitive in the region for their roles and help retain valuable talent to serve our community. The City of Eastvale historically has lagged behind with competitive salaries with class and comp studies (last one conducted in 2016 and approved 2017) and will be updating those studies this fall.

“As Mayor and a father, I am proud to have extraordinary role models for our children at the City of Eastvale,” said Mayor, Todd Rigby. “Many of these outstanding leaders are women who mare innovative, determined, and dedicated to the success of Eastvale and are passionate about the people they serve. We are honored to have a very hard working and notable team who are majority women, coming from all walks of life.”

The City of Eastvale will be implementing a Women’s Leadership Program, “A Women Like Me” to continue to invest in building the leadership capacity within our organization and lifting each other up and influencing one another to achieve their full potential. If you would like to support building leadership capacity among other women, we invite you to connect with us so we can learn from you and your story.

“Women are leading our communities and improving community life in our cities,” said President of Women Leading Government and City of Rancho Cucamonga Deputy City Manager Lori Sassoon. “We are excited to see that the City of Eastvale is passionate about valuing and appreciating its women leaders.”

Over the past year, since July 1, 2018 we have made a number of new hires and promotions, through our Talent Attraction and Development Team, including many women that are making great contributions towards our ability to Exceed Eastvale’s Expectations Every Day. Currently, over 60 percent of our workplace is made up of women.

“Women as decision-makers should be viewed as the norm rather than the exception,” said Council Member, Jocelyn Yow. “It is important to empower and embolden girls and women, whether it is a seat at the table, or a glass ceiling broken—and together we can create a more cohesive society and enhance the fabric of our community. It is an honor to have a platform that demonstrates that when women are included and seen in this narrative, our communities are better for it.”

The City of Eastvale is committed to recognizing and valuing the leadership at all levels of the organization and making sure that our culture reflects our diverse community that we serve.


About the City of Eastvale

The City of Eastvale was founded on October 1, 2010 as an independent local government agency, governed by a five-member, elected City Council.  The City of Eastvale serves over 73,700 residents and encompasses 13.1 square-miles in western Riverside County.  The City is strategically poised between Interstate 15 and California State Routes 91, 60, and 71, making access easy for residents, visitors and businesses alike.  Eastvale is a young and dynamic community filled with economic opportunity, tremendous growth, and strong values.  For more information on the City of Eastvale, please visit:

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Saybridge Technologies’ Board of Directors Announces Byron J. Paul as CEO



The SyBridge Technologies’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Byron J. Paul has joined SyBridge Technologies (“SyBridge” or the “Company”) as Chief Executive Officer and will also serve as a member of the Board of Directors.  Mr. Paul will build upon the Company’s strategic vision of becoming a global technological leader in value-added design and manufacturing solutions ranging from design and prototyping to production-as-a-service and aftermarket services for customers.  Mr. Paul brings extensive experience in industrial technology and a 20+ year track record of driving profitable growth in complex, global enterprises.

Mr. Paul was most recently Group President at Signode Industrial Group where he led a global portfolio of businesses focused on end-of-line packaging technologies and warehouse automation solutions.  He previously served as President of Destaco, a leading designer and manufacturer of precision engineered components for industrial automation and robotics applications. Mr. Paul has also held senior leadership roles at John Crane, a leader in rotating equipment solutions, and at the Boston Consulting Group.  Mr. Paul holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the University of Western Australia where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce with first class honors in accounting and finance.

Mr. Paul stated, “I am thrilled to be joining a world-class team at SyBridge Technologies. They have done an outstanding job expanding SyBridge Technologies’ global reach, growing from three sites in 2019 to 16 locations today. I look forward to partnering with the Board and Crestview Partners as we embark on the next phase of growth to build an unrivaled leader in digital manufacturing.”

Jason Luo, Chairman of SyBridge Technologies and Crestview Operating Executive noted, “Byron is a committed leader with a proven track record of successfully growing businesses and we are excited to partner with him as we plan to execute on the Company’s next chapter of growth.”

Mr. Paul succeeds Tony Nardone who has departed the company to pursue other interests. “We appreciate the many contributions Tony has made to SyBridge and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mr. Luo.

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Career & Workplace

Despite Severe Labor Shortages, California Very Close to Recovering all Jobs Lost During Pandemic



Unemployment In State Falls To Lowest Level On Record

California’s labor market continued to expand in July, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 84,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. June’s gains were revised up to 37,300 in the latest numbers, a 17,400 increase from the preliminary estimate of 19,900.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022, but as of July 2022, there are still 2.7% fewer people employed in the state (representing 73,800 jobs) than there were prior to the pandemic. California’s recovery lags the national recovery due to labor shortages in the state.

Total nonfarm employment in California has contracted 0.4% since the start of the pandemic compared to a less than 0.1% increase nationally. With a larger portion of its workforce to be recovered, the state increased payrolls by 4.4% from July 2021 to July 2022, outpacing the 4.2% increase nationally over the same period.

“California is getting very close to fully recovering all the jobs it lost due to the pandemic,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “In fact, if we repeat this month’s job gains next month, we will reach that milestone.”

California’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in July, a 0.3 percentage-point decline from the previous month. This is the lowest level on record, which dates back to 1976. Still, California’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.5% rate in the United States overall. the state continues to struggle with very tight labor supply, which fell by 23,400 in July. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has declined by 209,600 workers, a 1.1% decrease.

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, the largest jobs gains continue to occur in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. While a handful of sectors in California are now exceeding their pre-pandemic peaks, employment levels in the hardest hit sectors remain below their pre-pandemic levels. However, those sectors should continue to steadily gain back jobs over the coming months.
  • The Health Care sector led gains in July, with payrolls expanding by 16,900 positions. Payrolls in Health Care now surpass pre-pandemic highs, with payrolls up 2.2% since February 2020.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Leisure and Hospitality (14,900), Construction (11,400), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (11,200), Administrative Support (9,300), Other Services (4,900), Government (4,500), and Information (4,400).
  • Job gains were broad based in July with Finance and Insurance (-1,800) and Other Services (-100) being the only sectors to post significant losses during the month.

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. Orange County saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 22,300 (1.3%) during the month. Los Angeles (MD) (21,900 or 0.5%), the Inland Empire (9,100 or 0.5%), San Diego (4,400 or 0.3%), and Ventura (700 or 0.2%) also saw their payrolls jump during the month. The Inland Empire (132.1%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, measured by the percentage of jobs recovered from April 2020 to July 2022, relative to the jobs lost from February 2020 to April 2020. The IE is followed by El Centro (113.6%), San Diego (98.8%), Orange County (96.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (88%), and Ventura (83.2%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Jose (MD) experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 7,000 (0.6%) positions in July. San Francisco (MD) (6,700 or 0.6%), the East Bay (4,500 or 0.4%), Santa Rosa (1,100 or 0.5%), and Vallejo (500 or 0.4%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (97%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by the East Bay (89.6%), San Francisco (MD) (85.8%), Santa Rosa (81.9%), Napa (76.1%), Vallejo (74.8%), and San Rafael (MD) (63.4%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase, as payrolls expanded by 4,900 (0.5%) positions in July. Payrolls in Merced (2,000 or 2.8%), Fresno (1,900 or 0.5%), Bakersfield (1,600 or 0.6%), Madera (700 or 1.7%), Visalia (500 or 0.4%), and Yuba (300 or 0.6%) increased steadily as well. Since April 2020, Merced (147.5%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Stockton (132.8%), Visalia (129.3%), Yuba (124%), Madera (120%), Sacramento (112.9%), Fresno (111.5%), Modesto (101.3%), and Redding (101.3%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Cruz added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 1,500 (1.5%) during the month. San Luis Obispo (900 or 0.8%) also saw payrolls expand in July. Since April 2020, San Luis Obispo (98.7%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Santa Barbara (89.3%), Santa Cruz (86%), and Salinas (81.9%).
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Career & Workplace

California’s Inland Empire added 6,990 tech jobs between 2016 to 2021; Growth Rate of 39%—Highest Rate Among U.S. Markets



Greater Los Angeles/Orange County Ranked #12 in CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report; Region Added More Than 7,000 Tech Workers in 2021, the Third-Largest Gain Among U.S. Markets, and Produced the Second-Highest Number of Tech Degree Graduates

The Greater Los Angeles/Orange County region ranks No. 12 overall in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment bounced back from the pandemic to post job gains across most top markets in 2021, though the industry’s resilience will be tested again amid economic turmoil in 2022, according to a new report from CBRE.

California’s Inland Empire is also included in the report among small tech talent markets of less than 50,000 workers. The Inland Empire added 6,990 tech jobs between 2016 to 2021, a growth rate of 39 percent, which was the highest rate among U.S. markets. The Inland Empire also benefits from being the fifth-most-concentrated market for Gen Z, with those aged 20 to 24 years old representing 7.2 percent of the overall population.

The U.S. added a net 136,000 tech talent jobs last year across established hubs such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Seattle as well as smaller markets like Nashville, Cleveland and California’s Inland Empire. Both tech job growth and tech office leasing proved resilient by rebounding in 2021 from slowdowns in 2020.

Los Angeles/Orange County stood out in the report for its tech talent gains during the pandemic, adding more than 7,000 tech workers in 2021 alone. The region also excelled in its tech degree completions, producing the second-highest number of tech graduates in 2020 (14,504), behind only the New York metro.

“The large number of tech degree graduates plays a significant role in the expansion we are seeing in the tech industry throughout southern California. The desirable weather and lifestyle in Los Angeles provides an added attraction for tech talent to remain here and for tech employers to locate where that talent wants to be based. This is fueling expansion by both traditional tech and tech directly linked to the media, entertainment and gaming sectors,” said Michelle Esquivel-Hall, executive vice president with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Los Angeles.

CBRE’s report, now in its 10th year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs.

CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions — such as software engineers and systems and data managers – across all industries.

Greater Los Angeles/Orange County stood out in the report in several other key areas:

  • Greater Los Angeles/Orange County’s tech talent workforce grew by 10 percent from 2016 to 2021, reaching 235,800 workers. This makes it the fifth-largest tech talent workforce in North America.
  • The region produced nearly 45,000 more tech degrees than tech jobs between 2016 and 2021, meaning more tech talent is available for companies looking to hire in the region.
  • It is the 10th-most-concentrated market for both millennials and Gen Z with the age cohorts representing 22.6 percent and 6.8 percent of the overall population, respectively. For this analysis, CBRE defines millennials as 25 to 39 years old and working age Gen Z as 20 to 24 years old.
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