SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Candace M. Murch, 56, of Elk Grove, has been appointed Principal Labor Relations Officer at the California Department of Human Resources. Murch has been Chief of the Office of Labor Relations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2017. Murch was a Principal Labor Relations Officer at the California Department of Human Resources from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at the Department of State Hospitals from 2001 to 2014, including Chief at the Office of Labor Relations and Labor Relations Specialist. Murch was a Labor Relations Analyst at the Department of Parks and Recreation in 2000. She was Office Manager and Support Staff at the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians from 1988 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $141,144. Murch is a Democrat.
Joshua S. Blackman, 46, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Director for Special Projects at the California Department of General Services. Blackman has been Executive Vice President at The Selland Group of Sacramento since 2018. He was Senior Operations and Financial Consultant for Vine Solutions from 2014 to 2017. Blackman was a General Manager at the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group from 2011 to 2014. He was Owner of Sage Grill in Encinitas, CA from 2003 to 2009. Blackman was General Manager and Wine Director at the Pacifica Restaurant Group from 2009 to 2011 and 1998 to 2002. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $122,328. Blackman is a Democrat.
Pamela A. Haase, 54, of Elk Grove, has been appointed Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives at the California Department of Technology. Haase has been Chief of Statewide Technology Policy at the California Department of Technology since 2019, where she was Project Manager from 2016 to 2019 and Data Processing Manager III from 2006 to 2014. She served in a Career Executive Assignment at California Correctional Health Care Services from 2014 to 2016. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $155,724. Haase is a Libertarian.
Blanca Rodriguez, 56, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed Deputy District Director for External Affairs at the California Department of Transportation District 7, where she has served in that position since 2015 and was District 7 Acting Deputy District Director for External Affairs from 2014 to 2015. She has served in several positions at the Department of Transportation since 1996, including Assistant Division Chief of Budgets and Administration, Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Business and Economic Opportunity and Branch Chief of Capital Outlay Support, Statewide Resources. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,260. Rodriguez is a Democrat.
Georgia Zachary, 53, of Gardena, has been appointed to the California Science Center Board of Directors. Zachary has held multiple positions at AT&T since 1998, including Senior Manager for the Office of the President, Communications Manager for the Entertainment Group, Sales Support and Project Management to the County of Los Angeles, Area Manager for the Consumer Markets Group and Customer Service Agent for the Consumer Markets Group. She has been a Realtor at Park Place Realty Group since 2004 and was a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty from 2004 to 2019. She is President and CEO of Good Vibes Women’s Business Roundtable. Zachary earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources and Project Management from DeVry University Graduate School of Management and a Master of Arts degree in Management from the University of Redlands. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Zachary is a Democrat.
Alegria De La Cruz, 45, of Santa Rosa, has been appointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission. De La Cruz has been Director of the Office of Equity at the County of Sonoma since 2020, where she was Chief Deputy at the Office of the County Counsel from 2015 to 2020. She was Supervising Staff Counsel and Regional Director at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 2011 to 2015. De La Cruz was a Staff Attorney and Legal Director at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment from 2009 to 2011. She was Staff Attorney and Directing Attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance from 2003 to 2009. De La Cruz earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. De La Cruz is a Democrat.
Debra Garnes, 61, of Rio Dell, has been appointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission. Garnes has been Mayor of the City of Rio Dell since 2019. She held several positions at the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District from 1990 to 2002 and from 1988 to 1989, including Hazardous Materials Technician and Specialist, Hazardous Materials First Responder, Asbestos and Lead Decommissioning Technician and Senior Utility Clerk and Associate. She was an Operational and Certified First Response Instructor from 2001 to 2002. Garnes was Fleet Payroll Supervisor at KLLM Transport Services from 1989 to 1990. She was a U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class, Gunner’s Mate Guns (GMG2) for the U.S. Navy from 1981 to 1985. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Garnes is a Democrat.
Joone Kim-Lopez, 49, of Newport Beach, has been appointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission. Kim-Lopez has been General Manager at the Moulton Niguel Water District since 2012. She was General Manager at the Calaveras County Water District from 2010 to 2012. Kim-Lopez was Assistant General Manager at Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company from 2008 to 2010. She was Deputy General Manager at the Central Basin Municipal Water District from 2003 to 2008. Kim-Lopez was a Police Officer and Corporal at the Pasadena Police Department from 1995 to 2003. She was a Grant Administrator at the City of Pasadena from 1994 to 1995. Kim-Lopez earned a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Northridge. She is a member of the NAACP California and Hawaii Executive Committee and the CORO Women in Leadership Advisory Board. Kim-Lopez is a board member of the Korean American Coalition, California WateReuse Association, California Water Data Consortium, Southern California Water Coalition, Water UC Irvine Leadership Board, Water Now Alliance, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tilly’s Life Center, California State University, Fullerton – Center for Real Estate, South Orange County Wastewater Authority, Smart Water Network Forum and the Association of California Water Agencies. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Kim-Lopez is a Democrat.
David A. Rabbitt, 60, of Petaluma, has been reappointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, where he has served since 2013. Rabbitt has been a Supervisor on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors since 2011 and an Independent Architect since 1997. He was a City Councilmember of the Petaluma City Council from 2006 to 2011 and a Project Architect at Donald K. Olsen, AIA & Associates from 1985 to 1997. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Rabbitt is a Democrat.
Cindy L. Silva, 66, of Walnut Creek, has been reappointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, where she has served since 2017. Silva has served as a City Councilmember on the Walnut Creek City Council since 2006, serving as Mayor in three of those terms. She was Owner of Eisley Silva Communications from 1987 to 2016. Silva was Sales Communication Manger at PeopleSoft from 2001 to 2004. She was Manager of International Proposals and Start-up Training at AirTouch Communications from 1993 to 1995. She was Senior Vice President of Product Development at Alamo Learning Systems from 1985 to 1987, Management Newsletter Editor at the Southern California Gas Company from 1979 to 1980 and Owner at Eisley Communications Inc. from 1979 to 1985. Silva was a Project Associate at Systema Corporation from 1978 to 1979 and Managing Editor at the California Dental Association from 1976 to 1978. She is a member of the Statewide Board of the League of California Cities, incoming President of Cal Cities and a member of the Hospice East Bay Board of Directors. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Silva is registered without party preference.
Vincent L. Wells, 56, Elk Grove, has been appointed to the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission. Wells served as Fire Captain and Paramedic at the Contra Costa Fire Protection District from 1997 to 2020. He was a Firefighter and Paramedic at the Fairfield Fire Department from 1995 to 1997. Wells served in the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1992. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Wells is a Democrat.