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Town of Apple Valley clerk receives leadership award

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. — La Vonda M-Pearson, Director of Government Services, was recently presented the “Value Based Leadership with Heart Award” by the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC), a state-wide professional association. 

“La Vonda finds key ways to remain positive. In our agencies we have times, cyclical times, when things become difficult, budget situations, leadership changes, or divisive community issues. In those times courageous leaders pick up without hesitation the leadership mantle,” said Patrice Olds, CCAC President, during the presentation. “La Vonda is attitude with heart and positivity.”

Compromised of her colleagues and peers, the CCAC provides professional development and training, best practices guidance, and member networking.

“La Vonda is a staple of our organization; but because she does so much of her work behind the scenes, the community doesn’t really know her or her work,” explained Mayor Scott Nassif. “She is one of our greatest assets and we couldn’t be prouder for her.

The Town Clerk’s Office is tasked with providing record of Town agendas, meetings, actions, as well as passport services. As the Town’s Emergency Preparedness lead, LaVonda has been at the forefront of the Town’s local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She recently coordinated a drive through testing event for residents in partnership with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. It was such a success, the County coordinated two additional testing events.

Earlier this month, Pearson helped write the Town’s resolution denouncing racial injustice and inequality. It was approved by the Town Council on June 9.

“This was an important moment for me, both personally and professionally. As a black woman, I’m proud to have played a role in this important discussion in Apple Valley,” said Pearson.

Pearson, one of the Town’s longest tenured employees, will celebrate 21 years on staff this year. During that time, she has taken on more assignments and roles as the Town staffing levels have been reduced in recent years.

“Many people don’t realize how much our staff does. Two years ago, three different people were responsible for functions she handles nearly single-handedly today with the small staff in her department still carrying out all those other duties as well,” said Town Manager Doug Robertson.

In May 2017, the Town employed 170 people; this past May that number had decreased to 118.

“La Vonda is a mentor and confidant,” said Robertson “While recently enduring a sharp cut in compensation due to budget cuts, she has maintained her positive attitude and continues to inspire others to do the same. At the same time, she was asked to pick up additional roles.”

In October, the Town’s water case began and Pearson has served as the Town’s representative at court on a daily basis.

“She has represented the Town well and provided valuable input to me and our attorneys on the case. She has done this all while managing her staff, making sure all responsibilities of the Clerk’s Office are completed. The Town of Apple Valley is significantly better because she is our Director of Government Services and Town Clerk,” added Robertson.

“Apple Valley is wonderful place to work. I’ve dedicated a great majority of my career to serving this community and I’m honored our Mayor, Council, staff, and my peers affirm my work,” added Pearson.

The Town Council recognized Pearson for her leadership award at their meeting on Tuesday.

(Town of Apple Valley news release)

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