San Bernardino County Museum earns national accreditation

Awarded 10 year Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

The San Bernardino County Museum has again achieved 10-year accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums.

Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

The process is a peer-based review centered on what the museum industry considers the “Characteristics of Excellence,” which are the national standards and best practices in museums. These standards include high quality in the museum’s mission, institutional code of ethics, strategic planning, public engagement, and collections management. The San Bernardino County Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) since 1974. This will be the fifth time the museum has been awarded this high mark of distinction.

“This re-accreditation gives us continued confidence in the museum as an essential component of our Countywide Vision, and recognition that the Museum’s public and educational programs and care of our county’s precious heritage remain relevant and valuable to our residents,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood.

“The County Museum’s successful re-accreditation speaks volumes about the quality of the leadership selected to champion the Museum and help it to grow to its fullest potential in service to our community,” said Kurt Hagman, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “It is with great delight that I commend the staff for their hard work in making sure to carry out the board’s vision and direction. The Museum has gone through challenges in the past, but our team has persevered through hard work in providing the best experience to the public that comes through its doors. I wish them continued success in meeting and exceeding the expectations of all who enter through the doors. “

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 45 years, the alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Alliance president and CEO Laura L. Lott. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

“Our County Museum is committed to empowering residents to think creatively and to celebrate our communities’ past, present, and future. Accreditation reaffirms that our museum is among the finest in the country,” said San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, just 1,070 are currently accredited. The San Bernardino County Museum is one of only 69 museums accredited in California.

“We would expect nothing less of this county resource than to be amongst the best museums in the state and nationally,” said Interim County Chief Executive Officer Dena Smith. “The Board of Supervisors has been committed to supporting this important achievement and we are pleased at this news.”

“This reaccreditation acknowledges the County Museum’s strong commitment to preserving and sharing our local history, and I invite all of our residents to come explore the many engaging collections and displays the museum has for visitors of all ages,” Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford said.

“With each re-accreditation milestone, our Museum strengthens itself as the effective steward of its mission to develop visitors’ knowledge of our diverse region and its history,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “I am delighted by this meaningful achievement and what it signifies to the Museum – a clearer sense of identity and purpose in the community through its strengths, goals and priorities.  It is rewarding to witness how accomplishments such as this become reality through the dedication of staff to implement new approaches and to work towards common goals.”

According to the museum’s accreditation report, the visiting team wrote that “with recent changes in governance, new leadership, new staff, and investment by the County and Museum in the in-depth planning and implementation of strategic goals, the [Museum] has the leadership, organizational culture, structure, and capacity to be a viable, sustainable, and cherished community asset for the foreseeable future.” The report specifically cited the active support of the County Board of Supervisors and County Administrative Office for a “demonstrated deep understanding of the County’s cultural and historic assets and educational and social needs.”

“I’m particularly proud of the enthusiastic and exemplary teamwork performed to achieve accreditation,” said Leonard Hernandez, deputy executive officer for the Community Services Group, who served as the museum’s interim director during some of the preparation work.

Museum Director Melissa Russo concurred. “The museum staff was highly engaged in this process to ensure that every aspect of the museum strengthens our capacity to deliver excellent service to our county residents. We are immensely proud to have achieved our 10-year accreditation status,” Russo said.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

The San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Published November 7, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (24)

Meet the 2017 Duck Stamp winner at the San Bernardino County Wild Life Art Festival

The San Bernardino County Fish and Game Commission in conjunction with Bass Pro Shops is having a Wild Life Art Festival on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19 and visitors have a chance to meet Robert Hautman, the 2017 Federal Duck Stamp winner.

California’s finest wildlife artists Lindsey Foggett, Carol Heiman-Greene, Gary Johnson, Cliff Barnes, Lee Kromschroeder and Rob Sutton, will be present to speak to visitors and display their art for view and purchase at the show.

The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bass Pro Shops, 7777 Victoria Gardens Lane in Rancho Cucamonga. For more information, please contact San Bernardino County Fish and Game Commissioner Robert Olin at (909) 641-3476.

Published November 6, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (21)

Pet adoption event for military and veterans returns

U.S. veterans and members of the military will be eligible for no cost pet adoptions during San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control’s (ACC) Pets 2 Vets adoption event.

During the Veterans Day promotion, from November 5-12, active duty service members, veterans, and their immediate family members can adopt dogs and cats from one of the County’s animal shelter facilities located in Devore or Big Bear. This event is part of the County’s ongoing effort to place homeless pets with loving families. ACC will adopt dogs or cats to qualified U.S. armed forces members (Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard) and veterans. Immediate family of service members and veterans are also eligible. There is a limit of two adoptions per qualified individual.

The “Animals aRe First Fund” (ARFF), a local non-profit charitable organization that assists homeless animals in San Bernardino County, is sponsoring the event.  “Thanks to ARFF, service members, veterans, and their families can bring home a loving furever friend at no cost” said Brian Cronin, Chief of San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control.

To participate, adopters need to provide one form of valid military identification. Valid identification includes a Veterans Identification Card, VA Health Card, Department of Defense/Uniformed Services ID Card, Disabled American Veterans Life Member ID Card, American Legion ID Card, DD-214 form, a Disabled Veteran California State Park and Recreation Pass, or a letter from the San Bernardino County Office of Veterans Affairs.

Animals can be adopted from the following San Bernardino County shelters:

Devore Animal Shelter

19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino

(909) 386-9820

Big Bear Animal Shelter

42080 Northshore Drive, Big Bear City

(909) 866-4943

For more information call San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control shelters or visit

Published November 6, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (18)

“Made in Redlands” features local artists at County Museum

Pop up exhibit previews Redlands Artist Open Studios

Robles Hanging Planters

San Bernardino County Museum and Redlands artists are collaborating on a series of events to highlight the creative work of the local arts community. From Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, the Museum stages a popup exhibit, “Made in Redlands,” to preview the annual Open Studios Tour, scheduled around Redlands on Dec. 2. The exhibit features works by artists Anna Robles, Kim Munkres, Jay Merryweather, Amber Marie Smith, and Tim Rogers. An artist reception opening the popup exhibit is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Museum.

On Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a hands-on workshop is led by artist Amber Marie Smith. Many of the artists participating in “Made in Redlands” have studios in their own homes, and Smith will lead a creative making activity at the Museum that centers around the concept of art created at home, asking the question, “What places make your town feel like home?” Participants will use templates created by the artist to create their own home or a place that makes them feel like home.

Made in Redlands Open Studios is an annual celebration of working artists that gives visitors of all ages a behind-the-scenes look at how artisans develop and make their work. It exposes people to the artistic experience/process, connects patrons with artists, and engages the community in the soulfulness of creation. Select artists work in a variety of disciplines and studio conditions which can inspire people to connect to their own creative aspirations. The Open Studios Tours benefit the residents of Redlands and beyond through demos and community-building. In addition to the San Bernardino County Museum, The Historical Glass Museum, and the Redlands Art Association Gallery are also project participants. Tour information can be found online at or from any tour participant.

“The County Museum has a long-standing tradition of featuring the works of regional artists and makers,” said Museum Director Melissa Russo. “By partnering with ‘Made in Redlands’ we want to promote community involvement in the arts and introduce our visitors to the practice of creating and making.”

Artists participating in the Made in Redlands Popup exhibit at the Museum include:

Kim Munkres, a California potter who leans towards clean straightforward design. For her, clay roots her sense of the divine as a shaper of matter, the feminine as a sacred vessel. Kim uses ancient obvara firing techniques to create decorative vessels. She is active in creative community building for the cultural arts. She lives and works in Redlands.

Anna Robles, a ceramic artist who lives and works in Redlands. Anna’s functional and decorative ceramic pieces are strongly influenced by her interest in Mexican folk art and the many plant forms in the garden outside her home studio. Anna uses terracotta clay to hand-build elements and slip-cast organic forms to create uniquely decorated utilitarian pieces. Using low-fire, food safe slips and glazes, Anna intricately decorates each platter, bowl or vase with patterns of brightly colored forms inspired by the folk art she loves and the world around her.

Tim Rogers was the former head of Glass Studies at the Harley School in Rochester, NY, where he taught flameworking to middle and upper school students. He has degrees in fine art and teaching, and has been working with glass for since 2003. He now works and resides in California.

Amber Marie Smith was born in Redlands and graduated in 2011 from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. In 2015, she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Craft and Material Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Recently, she attended Houston Center for Contemporary Craft for a six-month artist residency. Using primarily clay and balsa wood, Amber recreates furniture and duplicates home environments.

Jay Merryweather is a hybrid designer, artist, and educator with an MFA from Claremont Graduate University with an emphases in Fine Art and design. He runs Merryweather Studios, a Design and Fine Art studio where he has gained national and international recognition for his work. He has designed and consulted for National Geographic; Sam Pitroda, Technology Advisor to the Prime Minister of India; Jim Fallows, from “The Atlantic” magazine; Starbucks; Katherine Sullivan, Director of NOAA; Erwin Rademaker, CCO of The Port of Rotterdam; and Jack Dangermond, Esri.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s regional exhibits, events, and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. The workshop and the exhibit are included with museum admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Published November 2, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (34)

Leading national authors headline Dome Talks

Cheech Marin

Museum announces exciting lineup including Cheech Marin and Richard Louv

The San Bernardino County Museum has announced the 2018 Dome Talks series lineup. These evening discussions feature leading authors and thought leaders discussing topics relevant to the past, present, and future of our Inland Southern California region. This year’s lineup emphasizes the seismic shifts, social changes and environmental forces that have affected the lives of Californians. Full Series Passes, which include a ticket for each evening, go on sale on Nov. 8.

“Dome Talks, which launched in 2017, was a tremendous success,” said Museum Director Melissa Russo, “bringing notable speakers to the Museum to engage our community in fascinating subjects related to our region. This upcoming series promises to inspire even more provocative discussion from some remarkable figures.”

Dome Talks kicks off on Jan. 18, with Joseph J. Kerski, author of Interpreting Our World: 100 Discoveries That Revolutionized Geography. Kerski will explore the people, innovations, and ways of thinking that have revolutionized geography and shaped the world in which we live, from GPS to the Internet of Things.

On Feb. 22, Henry Fountain, author of The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet, will speak about the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Science writer for The New York Times, Fountain has covered climate change, earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, nuclear accidents and other natural and human-caused disasters.

Richard Louv

Richard Louv, who coined the term “nature-deficit disorder,” will speak on March 8. Author of Last Child in the Woods, Louv inspired an international movement to reintroduce children to unstructured, solitary experiences in nature. The evening is in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio.

On April 26, Beverly Gray, movie maven and author of Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation, discusses all the drama and decision-making behind this iconic film that rocked the 1960s world. As a story editor for Roger Corman overseeing the development of 170 low-budget features, Gray brings unique insight to the era. This evening is in collaboration with Inlandia Institute.

Actor, comedian, and art-collector, Cheech Marin will speak on May 16. Author of Cheech is Not My Real Name, But Don’t Call Me Chong, Marin will share sections of his book and talk about his current mission to raise the significance of Chicano art as an American art genre and develop the future Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry.

The final speaker in the series, Chip Caldwell, joins us on June 21 to discuss his recent book Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture. This is an unflinching insider account by a leading curator who has spent years learning how to balance the controversial considerations of cultural objects that connect us to history.

All Dome Talks evenings open at 6:30 p.m. for a light reception sponsored by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Presentations start at 7 p.m. and will include book signings. Author’s books will be on sale in the Museum store starting in November.

Full Series Passes will be released for sale on November 8 for $130 ($100 museum members) and include all six evenings. Tickets for individual evenings will go on sale December 27 for $25 each evening ($18 museum members, no discount applies for March 8) and are subject to availability as the Dome Talks theater has limited seating. Tickets can be purchased online at or may be purchased at the Museum’s Guest Services Desk. Advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged as walkups are not guaranteed. No refunds can be made for ticket purchases, but unused tickets may be donated to the nonprofit San Bernardino County Museum Association in advance of the date.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s Dome Talks and the Museum’s other exciting exhibits and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Published November 2, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (16)

Discover Native American heritage at the County Museum

Nov. 5 festival kicks off National Native American Heritage Month

November is National Native American Heritage Month, and the occasion will be recognized at the San Bernardino County Museum with a family festival on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join members of the Chia Café Collective, Craig Torres and Barbara Drake, both of the Tongva cultural tradition, to explore Native American use of plants in the museum’s cherished native plant and ethnobotany gardens.

Featured presenter Serrano cultural educator Paakuma’ Tawinat will offer fascinating insight into Serrano history and culture. Curator of Anthropology Tamara Serrao-Leiva will share artifacts that have rarely been exhibited at the museum, including a Luiseño pipe and a collection of Navajo jewelry. A range of hands-on “make” activities will be offered, including making coiled clay pottery, and a specially designed scavenger hunt will lead visitors around the various galleries in the museum.

“We are so excited to showcase and honor the Native Americans that live in and around our county,” said Serrao-Leiva. “Groups like the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have been instrumental in providing the museum accurate historical accounts for our exhibits, so to have these distinguished individuals here giving an authentic voice to the gardens and galleries is particularly meaningful. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to meet and engage with those who have first-hand experiences with some of the objects in our galleries.”

Native American Heritage Month was first introduced in the United States in the early 20th century, and found advocates in various influential figures such as Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian and the first director of the Rochester, N.Y. Museum of Arts and Science, to President Calvin Coolidge. In August, 1990, then President George H.W. Bush signed legislation designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Activities during the Native American Heritage Festival are included with museum admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Published October 25, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | 2 Comments | Number of Views (34)

Government Center campus street improvements, closures underway

On Monday, Oct. 23, the County will begin Phase 1(b) of a street improvement master plan project at the downtown San Bernardino campus and parking availability on several streets and parking lots in and around the Government Center will be impacted.

Specifically, street parking will be permanently eliminated along Mountain View Avenue between Fifth Street and Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way.

Portions of Mountain View Avenue from Fifth Street to Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way, will be closed to vehicle traffic throughout the duration of Phase 1 (b) which is expected to be completed in July 2018.

Public parking will still be available in the lot north of the Public Health building on Fourth Street and Mountain View Avenue and additional parking will be available on the northwest corner of Arrowhead Avenue and Court Street. Sidewalks, crosswalks and entrances to County buildings and parking lots along the streets will be open to traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The project is part of the overall master plan for the downtown Government Center Complex to modernize the campus and improve accessibility with the current street design. The plan includes new drought-tolerant landscaping, two-way drive lanes on Mountain View, a roundabout on Mountain View and 4th Street, street lighting and improvement of the overall aesthetics of the campus. Phase 1 (b) has a total project budget of $3.7 million.

The Proposed Master Plan for the Government Center Complex Improvement Project is available here.

Published October 20, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | 3 Comments | Number of Views (52)

Come to the Wonderland Event at the Chino Hills Branch Library

The San Bernardino County Library invites residents to go a little mad at the Wonderland event at the Chino Hills James S. Thalman Branch Library. Visitors can enjoy an amazing experience as they get the chance to meet and greet Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts.  Don’t forget to take photos. Enjoy a variety of fun-filled crafts, face painting, a balloon artist, and more.

This event is another opportunity to celebrate and support the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read. The Wonderland event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.  Visitors should bring a library card, as every 15 items checked out during the event earns participants an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes.  All activities are free and open to all ages.

Join the San Bernardino County Library System as we attempt to meet a year-long campaign goal of one million circulations at the Chino Hills branch.

The Chino Hills James S. Thalman Branch Library is at 14020 City Center Drive in Chino Hills.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Published October 19, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (32)

Board selects County CFO Gary McBride as next County CEO

County Chief Financial Officer Gary McBride, a lifelong San Bernardino County resident who has spent his entire 23-year professional career working his way through the county government organization, earning knowledge and trust along the way, was appointed

today by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the county’s next chief executive officer effective Nov. 25.

Board members praised McBride’s dedication to the county organization and the community, his commitment to innovation in the cause of public service, and his ability to grasp and translate into lay terms complex issues and provide sound, trustworthy advice.

Board members also praised Interim CEO Dena M. Smith for leading the organization during the past seven months since the retirement of former CEO Greg Devereaux. Smith, who plans to retire and was not a candidate for the CEO position, will stay on board to assist in McBride’s transition.

“You don’t get this far in your career without the support of a great family,” McBride, 46, told the board today. “Thank you for the confidence from the board. We have some great things headed our way, a lot of opportunities, and I am excited to share in the future with all five of you.”

The board conducted an exhaustive seven-month recruitment and interview process prior to appointing McBride as CEO. The board conducted more than 34 interviews over the course of 12 meetings with candidates from within county government, other public agencies and the private sector.

“Gary’s integrity, strong financial background and experience with the county made him the stand-out candidate for Chief Executive Officer of San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert A. Lovingood. “I have trusted his advice in the past and look forward to working with him as we pursue the opportunities ahead.”

“Gary McBride has provided outstanding leadership and skillful financial management for over four years as Chief Financial Officer for the County of San Bernardino,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Curt Hagman. “I have benefitted from his wise counsel, innovative management style and commitment to accept nothing but the best from himself and all those around him. Gary will make an outstanding CEO and I look forward to working with him and my Board colleagues in making San Bernardino County the best run county government in America.”

“We went through an extensively thorough process of interviewing a number of uniquely qualified individuals,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “It was through each supervisor’s individual path of discovery that my colleagues and I came together to select the individual who would best help us realize our hopes and projects to better serve our residents. It is imperative that we, as a county family, view ourselves as visionaries and a flagship for implementing new ideas. Mr. McBride embodies the kind of talent that exists within our family.”

“Gary is incredibly smart and thoughtful, and he is eager to explore new ideas,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “He has a passion for this organization and a genuine, deep commitment to the County team that will serve him well in this new leadership role.”

“I am confident Mr. McBride, with his abundant wealth of institutional knowledge, will excel our county towards greater heights and into new horizons,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “I proudly join the Board of Supervisors as we wish him great success and look forward to working with him to strengthen our county.”

The chief executive officer is county government’s top non-elected position. The CEO works closely with the Board of Supervisors to develop the board’s goals and objectives and administers and coordinates the operations of county government in accordance with the policies established by the board.

McBride holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, graduating with departmental honors, and a master’s degree in public administration, earning the program’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year award, from Cal State San Bernardino. Last year he was named to the university’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Hall of Fame. McBride has also participated in the Leadership Decision Making course offered through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program.

McBride has guest lectured for Cal State San Bernardino, set up an economics scholarship fund for CSUSB students, serves on the CSUSB Economics Department’s scholarship committee, and serves on the Advisory Board of the CSUSB Department of Public Administration.

McBride began his career with the county in 1994 as a fiscal clerk in Human Services. He was promoted to staff analyst in Public Health in 1996, administrative analyst in the County Administrative Office in 2000, Public Health division chief in 2002, deputy executive officer in the County Administrative Office in 2006, and county chief financial officer in 2013.

As CFO, McBride is responsible for the development of budget recommendations, monitoring and forecasting the county’s $5.2 billion annual budget as well as its $1 billion in outstanding debt. In his capacity as CFO he also serves as chairman and board member of a number of oversight and advisory boards and corporations. Under his leadership, the county has received several Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association. Recently, as a result of his work as chairman of the committee set up to restructure the county’s retirement savings plan, the county received a national award for the comprehensive restructuring of its savings plan.

McBride served on the founding board of the Animals Are First Fund, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to supporting animal care and control and animal rescue groups throughout the county.

He also serves as treasurer of the Los Angeles Region of Destination Imagination, a nonprofit organization that conducts an annual international problem-solving and critical thinking competition with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.  He is also the assistant manager of his son’s Destination Imagination team, which has won the world championship tournament, conducted at the University of Tennessee, in three of the past five years against competition from around the world.

Published October 18, 2017 | By Administrator | Leave a comment | Number of Views (150)

Board names Michelle Blakemore to top legal post

Michelle Blakemore, a trusted and respected attorney who has served the County for 28 years, was appointed County Counsel by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Blakemore joined the Office of County Counsel in 1989 as a Deputy County Counsel and was promoted to Principal Assistant County Counsel in January 2009. In December 2010, she was named to her current position as Chief Assistant County Counsel.

The Office of County Counsel provides civil legal services to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrative Office, County departments, commissions, special districts and school districts. County Counsel also provides legal services to various joint powers authorities.

“Michelle has been very effective as Chief Assistant County Counsel,” said Robert A. Lovingood, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Her appointment as County Counsel is well deserved and I know the public will be well served by her integrity, commitment and experience in the law.”

The County departments Blakemore has served over the years include Purchasing, Community Development and Housing, the Economic Development Agency, the Redevelopment Agency, Special Districts and the Administrative Office. Blakemore has a strong background in municipal finance, public law and real property transactions.

Curt Hagman, Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said Blakemore’s experience with the County has been marked by unquestioned integrity, hard work and legal brilliance.

“She is extremely knowledgeable and a skillful legal strategist,” Hagman said. “Michelle is an up-through-the-ranks success story, and I am proud to support her as our new County Counsel. My colleagues and I will be depending on her for guidance in navigating complex legal issues facing San Bernardino County and I know she will be a tremendous asset for us.”

“Michelle is a consummate legal professional, and her breadth of knowledge about the County will be extremely important as we work through complex legal challenges in the years to come,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said Blakemore is the perfect choice to lead the Office of County Counsel.

“Her appointment is an excellent example of how succession planning should be exercised, leading to a smoother transition for the department and the legal advisement for our County,” Gonzales said.  “As a Board we came together on this selection to promote a dedicated, hard-working member of our County family. I am extremely pleased with the process and our choosing Michelle to lead our legal team.”

Blakemore graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California, majoring in public affairs with a concentration in public policy. She earned her juris doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Blakemore began her career in Los Angeles as a public finance attorney specializing in utility, airport and healthcare financing and then on to Philadelphia, where she specialized in hospital financing. Before joining the County, Blakemore spent three years working for an Orange County law firm representing schools.

“With over two decades of serving our county as a legal professional, Ms. Blakemore has my trust and respect to lead us as our new County Counsel,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “We are privileged to have a team of a knowledgeable and experienced individuals providing us with sound legal advice.  I extend my congratulations to Ms. Blakemore and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Blakemore will lead a staff of about 100 employees, including 53 attorneys. Blakemore begins the job on Nov. 25 following the retirement of County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle.

Published October 17, 2017 | By County of San Bernardino | Leave a comment | Number of Views (66)

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