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Santa Monica Hires "Chief People Officer" in Charge of Human Resources
By Jorge Casuso
September 7, 2018 -- Santa Monica has hired a "Chief People Officer" who will assume the post of Human Resources director and work to engage and energize the City's workforce, City officials announced Friday.
Lori Gentles -- who will assume the $216,264-a-year post on December 28 -- will replace HR director Donna Peter who will retire September 21 after ten years on the job. Christina Winting will serve on an interim basis.
“In many ways this is the most crucial job a City Manager must fill," said City Manager Rick Cole, "the person who leads on how we recruit, select, orient, train, manage and motivate the people of our workforce, the people responsible for delivering vital services 24/7 year round.
In her current role in Santa Barbara County, Gentles has been using "workforce analytics and best practices to engage, acquire and retain the next generation of government leaders," City officials said.
In her role as Santa Monica’s Chief People Officer, Gentles will continue to oversee traditional HR tasks such as "recruitment, management of job classifications, compensation/benefits, performance evaluations, training, labor relations and administration of Federal and State employment laws," City officials said.
The new position is the latest in a restructuring of the City's government in an effort "to build a model of 21st Century government here in Santa Monica,” Cole said.
Under Cole, the City has hired top advisors in charge of safe streets, homelessness, policy issues and airport affairs, as well as a chief of staff for the City Attorneys office.
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