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Simone Brooks, Assistant City Manager for the City of Hillsboro
Simone Brooks, Assistant City Manager for the City of Hillsboro
Hillsboro Selects Simone Brooks as Assistant City Manager Focusing on Community and Organizational Connectivity and Engagement (Photo) - 10/19/18

Following a national recruitment and a highly competitive application and interview process that featured 217 applicants from across the country — and as far away as Abu Dhabi and London — the City of Hillsboro has selected Simone Brooks to become Hillsboro’s Assistant City Manager focusing on Community and Organizational Connectivity and Engagement.

“After one of the most comprehensive recruitment and interview processes in the City’s history, and within an exceptional pool of applicants, Simone stood out for her blend of emotional intelligence, experience, passion for people, and humor necessary for success in this important role,” said City Manager Michael Brown.

As Assistant City Manager, Brooks will be responsible for leading the Parks & Recreation, Library, and Human Resources departments, as well as the City’s Community Services and Communications & Marketing teams. The position will assist in carrying out the City Council’s desire to have City services and infrastructure delivered in a creative, collaborative, and effective manner to Hillsboro's diverse community of residents and businesses.

Brooks’ leadership priorities will be both internally and externally focused, ensuring the health, well-being, and quality of life for all City employees and the community.

“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to build upon the great work already done by the City of Hillsboro to create a welcoming and livable city, and the opportunity to assist the Council, City employees, and community members, in all their diversity, in making this city a great place for all, ” said Brooks. “I look forward to helping build community both within the City walls and externally – demonstrating every day to communities that are disenfranchised and/or disengaged that we are ready and willing to be a part of their lives, and that we know they are part of the fabric of this community.”

For the past seven years, Brooks has led Portland-based Brooks Staffing, a minority-owned professional services and staffing firm provided staffing and other services to employers in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on creating employment opportunities for individuals of color. Prior to serving as President of Brooks Staffing, she worked at the company since 2006 in various capacities, including as Staff & Services Director and Customer & Contracts Manager.

Brooks’ extensive community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Portland Business Alliance, A Home For Everyone, All Hands Raised, and the Oregon State Board of Licensed Social Workers. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University.

“Simone has demonstrated the qualities and values at the core of our efforts to serve our community,” Brown said. “She has great compassion for people, care and concern for the community, and she recognizes the City’s essential role in delivering quality-of-life services. Her natural abilities to be a catalyst, convener, and collaborator, while balancing and respecting a variety of views, position her well to help City employees continue to exceed expectations in providing outstanding service to our community.” 
 

About Hillsboro, Oregon

Hillsboro is one of Oregon’s most diverse and dynamic cities, with a steadily growing population of 101,540 residents. Hillsboro is the largest city in Washington County and serves as the county seat. During the workday, more than 50,000 employees commute to Hillsboro to work at companies such as Intel, Nike, and Genentech.

Known as the “high-tech hub of Oregon” and the “tallest tree in the Silicon Forest,” Hillsboro has some of the best land, power, and water resources in the country. With its thriving economy, Hillsboro is the home of Oregon’s fourth-largest school district, two higher-education campuses, and 28 parks with more than 1,500 acres of designated green spaces.

Annual community events include the Oregon International Air Show, the Hillsboro Latino Cultural Festival, and one of the largest 4th of July parades in the Northwest. The Hillsboro Hops, the only professional baseball team in the Portland metro area, entertain fans during home games at the City’s baseball stadium, Ron Tonkin Field.

Michael Brown, Courtesy of City of Hillsboro
Michael Brown, Courtesy of City of Hillsboro
Hillsboro City Manager Michael Brown Announces He Will Resign in January 2019 (Photo) - 10/04/18

After more than seven years on the job, Hillsboro City Manager Michael Brown surprised the City Council and City of Hillsboro staff this week when he unexpectedly announced his decision to resign from his position, effective January 18, 2019.

“The time I’ve served at the City of Hillsboro has been, without question, the most personally and professionally rewarding time of my public service career,” Brown said. “I truly love working at the City of Hillsboro, and I will use the next three and a half months to continue making Hillsboro the Best City in the Universe.”

Reflecting on the Community's Progress

The lengthy list of accomplishments in Hillsboro during Brown's tenure, which began in August 2011, includes overseeing the launch of City-provided affordable high-speed internet service, the master planning for development of the South Hillsboro neighborhood and Orenco Woods Nature Park, and the construction of Ron Tonkin Field — home of the Hillsboro Hops professional baseball team. (See the expanded list of accomplishments below.) 

City Council members and employees expressed great appreciation, while recognizing the impact of Brown’s decision to depart.

“Michael has been more than a City Manager. He’s a leader. He’s an innovator. He’s a visionary,” said Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway. “(Michael’s) work over the past seven years has made Hillsboro a much stronger community, enhancing our livability, and improving our reputation and standing at the State and regional levels. (See the reaction of all seven City Council members below.)

“While Michael works mainly behind the scenes, the results of his work are seen and experienced each day by all of us who live or work in Hillsboro. Still, we cannot help but be excited for Michael and his family in their upcoming adventures.”

Taking a Travel Break

In announcing his decision, Brown shared that leaving the City of Hillsboro was not a retirement announcement, rather an opportunity to take a break from the duties of executive leadership.

“After 34 years of college and work experience, I’m excited to travel with my family and have some serious fun. The bucket list includes epic motorcycle rides, climbing a few mountains, hiking the Oregon Coast Trail, and touring parts of America, South America, Africa, and beyond. Also, I want to spend more time with my parents while they still grace this planet.”

Prior to joining the City of Hillsboro in August 2011, Brown worked for 14 years for Douglas County, Nevada, where he served in various roles, including as County Manager.

After growing up near Corvallis, Brown graduated from the University of Oregon before obtaining a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. His career path began with leadership roles in several local governments, including: Corvallis, Oregon; Lexington, Massachusetts; Olathe, Kansas; and Colchester, Vermont.

“Throughout my seven years here in Hillsboro, the City Council has been incredibly supportive of me and my family,” Brown said. “I will remain grateful forever for the privilege of serving our community and working with our talented City employees.”

Hiring a Replacement City Manager

While Brown will remain in his executive leadership role through January 18, Mayor Callaway said the City Council would begin the process immediately to hire Hillsboro’s next City Manager in a timely manner.

“Michael will remain with us for several more months, and we have scheduled meetings for later this month to outline our next steps in the process,” Callaway said.
 

Notable Accomplishments

Among the City of Hillsboro's most important accomplishments and developments during City Manager Michael Brown’s tenure (August 2011 to present):

COMMUNITY PLANNING:

  • Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan (Update of Hillsboro 2020 Vision and Action Plan)
  • South Hillsboro Master Plan
  • North Hillsboro Industrial Area Plan
  • Crescent Park Greenway Concept Plan
  • Cultural Arts Plan
  • Transportation System Plan update
  • Target Area Development Strategy
  • City Council Priorities
  • Strategic financial planning (The City of Hillsboro is in excellent financial condition)

PUBLIC FACILITIES:

  • Construction of Ron Tonkin Field (the home of the Hillsboro Hops)
  • Jones Farm Fire Station
  • Orenco Woods Nature Park
  • Brookwood Library 2nd floor expansion
  • Shute Park Library renovation
  • Hillsboro Community Senior Center remodeling
  • Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station
  • Cornell Creek Park
  • Hillsboro Public Works facility

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION:

  • Job Training Opportunity Program (JTOP)
  • Cultural Exploration Series
  • Creation of City’s Equity Team
  • Increase in cultural programming at Library
  • Mandatory employee diversity training
  • Hillsboro Diversity Conference
  • Civic Leadership Academy

SERVICES AND INITIATIVES:

  • City-provided High-Speed Affordable Internet Service (Launching in 2019)
  • HiHillsboro WiFi network in Downtown Hillsboro
  • Block 67 land purchase and development
  • Creation of community events: HillsDoer Day, OrenKoFest, Winter Village, Tanasbourne Party in the Park
  • More proactive Citywide communications program featuring increased outreach and visual communication
  • New City website
  • Community wayfinding program
  • Community Services Grant funding increase
  • Community Development Block Grant program
  • Transportation planning and funding
  • Streetlight purchase and conversion to LED lights
  • Renewal of the City’s Local Option Tax in 2012 and 2017
  • Creation of City’s Eureka Challenge Team, Affordable Housing Team, Homelessness Workgroup
  • Dedication to “Hillsboro Way” — exceptional customer service delivery

PRIVATE-SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

  • Prosperidad Economic Empowerment Center and Workforce Development Center
  • Cocinemos Food Entrepreneurs Program
  • 4th Main mixed-use project
  • Bag&Baggage’s The Vault Theatre and other support for arts organizations
  • Orenco Station mixed-use development
  • Affordable housing projects: Orchards at Orenco, Alma Gardens, Willow Creek projects
  • 30-year, $100 billion Intel SIP agreement
  • Tanasbourne and AmberGlen housing development
  • South Hillsboro housing development
  • Increase in hotels and implementation of Local Transient Lodging Tax

YOUTH INITIATIVES AND SUPPORT:

  • Increase in youth internships and fellowships
  • Expansion of Youth Advisory Council
  • Youth Invasion public service career event
  • Interviewniversity training
  • PCC Future Connect scholarships (via Enterprise Zone funding)
  • Support for and partnerships with Hillsboro School District (HSD) and higher-education institutions
  • Involvement in HSD’s College & Career Pathways program 
     

What the Hillsboro City Council Are Saying About Michael Brown

Mayor Steve Callaway:

“Michael has been more than a City Manager. He’s a leader. He’s an innovator. He’s a visionary. His work over the past seven years has made Hillsboro a much stronger community, enhancing our livability, and enhancing our reputation and standing at the State and regional levels. While Michael works mainly behind the scenes, the results of his work are seen and experienced each day by all of us who live or work in Hillsboro. Still, we cannot help but be excited for Michael and his family in their upcoming adventures."

Council President Darell Lumaco:

“Michael’s announcement came as a total shock. It is a tremendous loss for our city. Michael provided steady, visionary leadership through a period of rapid growth and change in Hillsboro. His unwavering commitment to make our city a better place to live and work was evident in everything he did. He leaves a legacy of compassionate care for our employees and a love for our city. He will be sorely missed, but I wish him the very best.”

Councilor Kyle Allen:

“Michael's time as Hillsboro City Manager was extraordinarily valuable to our city. He has the highest integrity, and his sense of humor and innovative approaches to solving problems have left Hillsboro with a sturdy foundation for our future. We were lucky to have captured Michael's talent for as long as we did. I wish Michael the best as he ventures into the next chapter of his life and goes on to serve our greater community in new and exciting ways.”

Councilor Olivia Alcaire:

“Since I started serving on the Council, I have learned a lot about ‘the City’ as an organization of passionate staff who run the gizmos and thingamabobs that make Hillsboro a ‘smooth-sailing ship,’ with Michael Brown clearly as ‘our captain,’ our City Manager, to guide us. Michael has helped all of us connected to the City understand purpose, impact, and ethics applied to all of our work that makes Hillsboro the best city for all of our citizens. Thank you, Michael!”

Councilor Anthony Martin

“I’ve learned a lot from Michael about governance and how to think boldly and push for changes that may not seem possible, but are if you put your mind to it. I really appreciate how he has guided the City and been able to implement the Council’s and the City’s directives and priorities. He’s elevated Hillsboro to a better place than when he arrived. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

Councilor Fred Nachtigal:

“I was surprised and am sorry that we are losing a talented City Manager as capable as Michael. He has led the City in exceptional fashion, helping us move forward and leading our staff by creating a great place to work. Michael has always been attentive to the Council’s direction while incorporating the many varying perspectives of the Council and the community. I look forward to riding motorcycles with him next summer – knowing that he’ll have plenty of time.”

Councilor Rick Van Beveren:

“Michael Brown is a consummate professional: competent, ethical, innovative, and widely admired by Councilors, staff, and his peers in city government. He inspired us all to imagine the future Hillsboro and to believe it was possible. Michael’s accomplishments during his seven-year tenure as City Manager are really too numerous to list, but perhaps his most important contribution to the City is the excellent staff he has assembled and supported. We appreciate all that he has done for the City of Hillsboro and its residents, and wish him well in future endeavors.”