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MISAC Speakers Bureau
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 Select MISAC members are available for speaking engagements and for news media interviews by arrangement, schedules permitting. For further assistance, please contact


To streamline the request process, please review the Speakers below and complete the MISAC Speakers Bureau Request Form. MISAC will respond to all requests once the form is submitted.




Name Bio Categories and Areas of Expertise:

Tony Batalla

Tony Batalla is head of information technology for the City of San Leandro. He previously was an information technology service manager and systems engineer for Actelion Pharmaceuticals, which he joined from Sourcecorp Deliverex. He is the co-chair of the Public Wi-Fi SuperCluster and lead author of a Public Wi-Fi Blueprint, published in August 2017 through the Global City Teams Challenge program, developed by the National Institute of Standards & Technology.


Tapped as 57th among the Top 100 Most Influential IT Directors by, Batalla’s awards and recognition include the following:

  • 2016, 2017 Innovation Award, City of San Leandro
  • 2016 Digital Cities Survey, San Leandro #8
  • 2015 Digital Cities Survey, San Leandro #10
  • 2016, 2017 MISAC Achievement Award
  • 2014, 2015 MISAC Quality Award
  • University of San Francisco - Graduated with Highest Honors/ Bernard Osher Scholarship Recipient

Batalla holds a B.S. in Information Systems from the University of San Francisco and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management. While at UCLA Anderson, he earned a specialization in Technology Management through the Easton Technology Management Center. A certified professional in ITIL Foundations v3, VMware and Microsoft, he also successfully completed the University of California, Berkeley Extension’s Professional Program in Business Process Management.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Filling the gap between large and small cities - joining forces and building projects -Panelist, Smart Cities Summit, 2017
  • Internet of Things, Smart Cities and IT’s Impact on Government - Speaker, SF Bay Area Regional CIO Meeting, 2017
  • A complicated decision: choosing between LPWAN, NB-IoT, and Mesh - Panelist, IoT World
  • IoT Networks & Public Private Partnerships - Panelist, Smart Cities & Money Conference, 2017
  • Innovating with Infrastructure - Speaker, SmartGigabit Bay Area Conference, 2016
  • Rethinking the Internet - Individual Presenter, MISAC Annual Conference, 2015
  • Bay Area Breakthroughs - Panelist, SF Bay Area CIO Regional Meeting, 2015
  • Global Access Program - Presenter, Final Thesis Project at UCLA Anderson, 2014
  • Public Wi-Fi/Broadband
  • Smart Cities
  • Leading IT Innovation in Government
  • Building innovative culture
  • Working with Startups
  • Cloud Computing
  • IoT Networks/Wireless Technologies
  • Role of IT (Strategic vs Operational)

Purvi Bodawala


Purvi Bodawala works as an information technology analyst for the City of Thousand Oaks; she has 13 years of various technical and project management experience.


Bodawala’s publications include various GovLoop articles.


Bodawala holds a B.S. in computer science in addition to a master’s degree in information technology with a focus in network security and an M.B.A. with a focus in organizational change.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Implementing Time and Attendance with ExecuTime – Speaker, Sungard User Conference, 2016
  • Project Management
  • Performance Measurement and Data Analytics


 Rich Castillon

Rich Castillon, former chief information officer for the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), served OCSD as an instrumentation maintenance technician, information technology manager and information technology systems and operations manager. As manager of the information and technology division, he was responsible for a staff of 40 and a $10 million budget. Prior to joining OCSD, Castillon spent three years in the Army, six years in the California Air National Guard and 10 years at Rockwell International in El Segundo in the Aviation Air Transport Division.


Castillon holds a bachelor of science degree in business information systems.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • SCADA & Security
  • HR and Learning Management
  • SharePoint
  • Security
  • Collaboration
  • Procurement
  • Innovation 

Mitch Cochran

Previously information systems manager for the City of Monrovia, where he served for 20 years and one week, Mitch Cochran now is director of information technology for the City of San Bernardino. A former advisory systems engineer for IBM and senior technical systems specialist for the Orange County Courts, he is a published author on topics including content management and digitizing documents, tablets in the computing inventory and the role of chief information officer in the absence of a chief information officer. Cochran also has written an article about optimal distances between data centers for an emergency management magazine and served as an e-government mini-track chair for an HICSS conference.


Cochran holds a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a master’s degree in administration from the University of California, Riverside, and a master’s degree in homeland security from Penn State University. Currently studying to earn his Ph.D., he holds certifications in CGCIO and CISM.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Governance
  • Networking
  • Security
  • Content Management
  • E-Government and Electronic Political Interactions
  • Cyber Emergency

Lea Deesing

Lea Deesing serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Riverside, where she manages a team of 60 very talented information technology professionals. She also serves as the Executive Director of SmartRiverside, a nonprofit that aims to narrow the digital divide in her region by empowerment through education and technology.


Lea’s professional experience includes 30 years in the information technology field with 20 years specific to local government. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems degree from the University of Redlands. Lea also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.


Lea belongs to a number of professional organizations and advisory boards and has received national recognition for her articles and speeches on career advice, social media, cybersecurity, project management and technology use within government.


 Prior to moving into her executive leadership role, Lea’s background was in computer programming. Her love for programming originated from her fascination with codes and ciphers, known as cryptology. She cracked the Tiger Beat Magazine’s fan club secret code when she was just nine years old. When she was 16, Lea started programming computers.


Lea regularly speaks to young students, hoping her story will inspire them to become interested in the computer science field.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Team and Staff Development
  • Leadership
  • Internet of Things
  • Cybersecurity
  • Career Advice

Gaurav Garg

Gaurav Garg is chief information officer for the City of Santa Clara. He has 29 years of experience in information technology, both in the private and public sector, and has been the lead IT officer in four different municipalities. He previously was director of criminal justice information systems for the County of Santa Clara, deputy chief information officer for the City of San Jose and deputy city manager/technology services director for the City of Hayward. As the inaugural information systems manager for the City of Manhattan Beach, Garg established the City’s information systems division from the ground up. His technical skills include extensive experience in enterprise architecture, digital infrastructure, web technology, Geographic Information Systems and programming languages.


Garg holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology at Bhopal University, India, and an M.S. in management information systems, with a concentration in business administration, from Azusa Pacific University. He has served as president of the Northern and the Southern California Chapters of MISAC, as well as on the State Board, and is a former member of the Administrative Services Policy Committee for the League of California Cities. Garg also has served on various public sector technology advisory boards.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Getting the Most Value from Your City’s Technology Investment. League of California Cities Annual Conference, Sept. 2017 and Oct. 2016
  • Enterprise GIS, The Journey is the Destination! Senior Executive Summit, Esri Annual Conference, June 2016
  • IT Extreme Makeover. CIO Bootcamp, MISAC Annual Conference, Oct. 2015
  • The Future of the Internet of Things. Smart Cities Week Conference, Sept. 2015
  • Game Plan: Securing Levi’s Stadium Through Technology & Innovation. MISAC Annual Conference Keynote Address, Oct. 2014
  • Applications Practice Maturity to Deliver Business Value. Unisys Client Exchange, Sept. 2013
  • IT Extreme Makeover. Bay Area Digital Summit, Nov. 2011
  • Information Technology in the Public Sector. Cal State University Hayward, April 2002, Nov. 2004, April 2005
  • Developing the Technology Infrastructure for the 21st Century. League of California Cities, Sept. 2000
  • The Role of the CIO – Post Y2K. Government Technology Conference Executive Leadership Forum, Sept. 1999
  • Development of Information Systems, Systems Planning & Implementation – The Manhattan Beach Experience. Southern California South Bay Council of Governments, Oct. 1997, 1998
  • The CIO as a Change Agent. LA Tech Expo, 1997
  • A Glimpse of the Future. California Law Enforcement Records Supervisors Annual Conference, 1995
  • Business Enablement
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Governance
  • Project Management
  • Service Excellence
  • Budgetary Responsibility
  • Organizational Change Management

Bryon Horn

Bryon has been with the City of Fresno since July 2003. He is currently the City’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology. He is a Fresno native, has his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Fresno in Information Technology and a Master’s Degree from Aspen University. He also is certified in project management (Project Management Professional - PMP) as well as certification in security (Computer Information Systems Security Professional - CISSP).


Bryon’s background and experience in Information Technology is well rounded as he has worked in a number of different industries such as Software Development, Health Care, Telecommunications, Market Research, Manufacturing, Food Processing, Government and Consulting Services. His expertise ranges from networking, support, analysis, desktop issues, programming, IT budgeting, Security, market research, Project Management as well as many other IT related areas.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Keynote Speech - Association of City and County Government Information Systems, State of Washington, 2010
  • Providing Cloud Services - Public Sector Partners, Inc. Cloud Forum, 2013
  • Zoom Out:  A Top-Down Approach to Assessing Security Programs - MISAC Annual Conference, 2015
  • Getting the Most Value from Your City’s Technology Investment - League of California Cities, 2017
  • Information Technology Security
  • Telecommunications and Data Communications
  • Strategic Planning & Governance
  • Information Technology Operations, Policies and Procedures
  • Project Management

John Jones

 John Jones has held the positions of information technology director, program manager, project manager and supervisor. He also has served as a senior network engineer, help desk technician and technology trainer. Jones has taught at New Mexico State University and develops project management curriculum and provides instruction for the University of Southern California’s Bovard College master of science in project management program.


Jones was recognized as the PMI Region 7 Volunteer of the Year 2013 and received the PMI Global Volunteer Award 2014. As a graduate of the 2015 class, he was invited to be the Leadership Institute Master’s Class selected commencement speaker and selected as PMI’s Region 7 (Southwest USA) Mentor.


Jones holds a B.A. in digital graphics and electronic arts, in addition to certifications in ITIL, PMP and CGCIO.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Strategic Planning for the Individual
  • Project Management Crash Course
  • Manager vs. Leader
  • Managing in the Public Sector
  • Leading Multiple Generations
  • Project/Program Management
  • Strategic Planning Facilitation
  • Servant Leadership
  • Personality Assessment Workshops
  • Teambuilding Activities

George Khalil

 George Khalil holds a master’s degree in information security engineering from the SANS Technology Institute. His professional experience spans more than 20 years managing networks, servers, storage and security infrastructure and leading enterprise security architecture, compliance, auditing and policy development for government agencies, critical infrastructure and law enforcement sectors. Before launching his career in public service, Khalil worked for several Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies such as EarthLink Networks, SeeBeyond Technologies and Sun Microsystems. Under his leadership, the City of Riverside won the 2017 program excellence award from the International City/County Management Association for its next-generation municipal cyber security program.


In addition to his professional experience, Khalil is also a certified intrusion analyst, incident handler, network and systems auditor, forensic analyst, penetration tester, project manager and certified security expert. He has completed PCI DSS Auditing, security awareness program management and staff development through reflective coaching. He also published several peer-reviewed papers on the topics of iOS messaging security, secure network engineering for next-generation data centers, password security, project management, high throughput intrusion analysis and forensic network design. Khalil’s data loss prevention article was featured on the cover of the July 2017 edition of Western Cities Magazine and republished by He is a member of the GIAC Advisory Board.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:


  • Data Security
  • Next Generation Threat Intelligence
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Cyber Security for Small Businesses
  • Cyber Crime and Security
  • Cyber Security
  • I.T. Risk Management
  • Program Management
  • Leadership
  • Forensics
  • Incident Response
  • Data Discovery
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • E-Discovery
  • Cloud Security
  • I.T. Operations
  • Networking
  • Data Center and Infrastructure Management
  • Security Awareness Training
  • Board Risk Management
  • I.T. Automation
  • Vulnerability Management

Joyce Starosciak

 Joyce Starosciak is the Administrative Services Manager for the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center (SRFECC), serving the 1.4 million residents of Sacramento County. As a member of the command staff for the sole fire/medical dispatch center in the region, she leads the information technology team of network, telecommunication and GIS staff, as well as the accounting and human resources team. Starosciak has a background in public safety information technology, and owned and managed a successful information technology consulting business for more than 10 years. Under her leadership, the SRFECC information technology team has been recognized with the Excellence in IT Practices Award from MISAC in 2017 and the APCO International Technology Leadership Award in 2016.


Starosciak, a State Board member of MISAC and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the California First Responders Network (FirstNet – CalFRN), received her B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and M.S. in engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:


  • Regional GIS
  • FirstNet
  • Public Safety Information Technology
  • Dispatch Information Technology
  • FirstNet
  • Information Technology Team Development
  • Shared Dispatching Services
  • Joint Powers Authorities Funding for Technology

Dennis Vlasich

 Currently an information technology consultant, Dennis Vlasich retired as information technology director for the City of Fontana in July 2016 after 10 years of service, during which time he transformed the department into an award-winning resource for the City. He previously was principal and senior consultant for the Kerry Consulting Group, specializing in technology planning, acquisition and management for the public sector. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president for R.V. Weatherford Company and as DP manager for the Claremont Unified School District and CIRAD.


Vlasich holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in business economics from Claremont Graduate School (now University).


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • Technology Procurement
  • Technology Contracts (in the “cloud” era)
  • Organizational Strategies with Changing IT Roles
  • Electronic Signatures
  • Electronic Document Management
  • Procurement Law and Practices
  • Computer Contracts
  • Organizational Strategies and Management

Tim Williamsen

 Tim Williamsen, vice president of MISAC, has served as information technology manager for the City of Petaluma for nearly 20 years. He previously owned his own system integrator business, in addition to holding positions as senior engineer for Bechtel Corporation and project engineer for the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.


A member of MISAC since 1999 and a recipient of numerous MISAC achievement and excellence awards, Williamsen has served as a chapter officer and board member in addition to his current role as vice president. He will begin his term as president in January 2018. Williamsen was recognized for Leadership in Management of Information Technology by Best of California, Digital Government.


Williamsen, a professional engineer and former licensed electrical contractor, earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Washington State University.


Previous lecture and presentation topics:

  • What Finance Directors Need to Know About IT - CSMFO
  • Getting the Most Value from Your City’s Technology Investment - League of California Cities, 2017
  • Cybersecurity
  • Project Management
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