10/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2020 17:51
The City of Long Beach announced today the upcoming retirements of Human Resources (HR) Director Alejandrina (Alex) Basquez and Finance Director/CFO John Gross. Ms. Basquez has worked in Human Resources for more than 31 years, the last five of which were spent at the City of Long Beach. Mr. Gross, who has 47 years of experience in finance, joined the City of Long Beach in 2011.
'We are grateful for the many years Alex and John have lent their expertise to our city,' said City Manager Tom Modica. 'They have seen the City through periods of unprecedented growth as well as difficult times. Now I wish them both well as they start the next chapters of their lives.'
Ms. Basquez led the HR team in its efforts to improve workforce diversity, negotiate labor contracts, improve labor relations, lower the trend of healthcare cost increases and implement a series of employee programs to attract and retain top talent. Prior to her work at the City, Ms. Basquez served as Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Personnel Department where she was responsible for citywide programs, including employee benefits, deferred compensation, workers' compensation benefits, occupational safety and joint labor and management committees.
'I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the City of Long Beach, a wonderful city that I also call home,' said Ms. Basquez. 'I am truly in awe of all the talented and dedicated City employees I have met over the past five years.'
Ms. Basquez' last day with the City is today, October 23, 2020. Fred Verdugo, current HR Deputy Director, will serve as Acting Director, while Dana Anderson, current Labor Relations Manager, will serve as Acting Deputy Director. The City Manager is conducting a national recruitment for the next HR Director.
During his career at the City of Long Beach, Mr. Gross has overseen the financial aspects of building the new Long Beach Civic Center and consulted on the development of LB COAST (City Operations and Strategic Technologies), the City's financial and human resource system. He has been involved in every financial decision, led the City's budgeting process to balance the budget every year and implemented numerous policies and strategies to ensure the financial health of the city. Mr. Gross also has overseen Measure A from a finance and budget standpoint, as well as the Budget, Accounting, Business Services, Commercial Services, Fleet Services and Treasury bureaus.
'After 47 years as a finance director or executive director, from Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Long Beach, I'm looking forward to the next phase with both hotter weather and time to slow down a bit,' said Mr. Gross. 'I'm extremely grateful to have worked at Long Beach, which serves as the capstone of my career, both professionally and for the incredible people and friends I am so privileged with which to work.'
Mr. Gross will continue in his position through the end of 2020. The City Manager is also conducting a national recruitment for the next Finance Director.
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. 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, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.