Paul Perez – Assets and Liabilities
Sarah Creighton – Retire, Reinvigorate, & Repurpose: Designing Your Next Chapter
Sarah Creighton is the former Assistant Chief of Police with the San Diego Police Department until her first retirement in 2017. She began her career in 1984 as a patrol officer and worked a variety of patrol, investigative, and administrative assignments, including training and leadership development. As a captain she was selected to create the Police Department’s first wellness unit. The San Diego Police Department’s Wellness Unit is recognized as the most innovative and effective unit of its kind and serves as a model for other agencies throughout the nation. The Unit was the recipient of the 2016 Destination Zero Award, a national award for innovative officer wellness initiatives.
Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in human behavior. She coordinated the California POST Management Course for the Government Training Agency in San Diego until 2022, and now regularly moderates an officer wellness panel to educate police managers on employee care. She also volunteers for COPLINE, an international 24- hour crisis hotline for law enforcement. She has participated in numerous work groups with police wellness experts, including the University of Chicago NORC, in the development and analysis of an officer safety and wellness survey, and served as a technical advisor for the Police Executive Research Forum. She is a contributing author to several journal articles including the following: Bruised Badges: The Moral Risks of Police Work, and A Call for Officer Wellness and New Directions in Police Academy Training: A call to Action. She also co-authored a chapter in the book entitled POWER: Police Officer Wellness, Ethics, and Resilience providing practical recommendations and considerations for police executives on how to build a wellness program.
Sarah is now the Director of Law Enforcement Services with the Institutes of Health. She will be involved in outreach, coordination, education, and partnerships with law enforcement agencies as we continue our mission of providing innovation and advanced care and healing to those first responders injured in the line of duty.
Brian Avera – Is a Department Childcare in your future?
Lieutenant Brian Avera joined the San Diego Police Department in 2006 after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. While an officer, Brian earned a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University. In 2017, Brian was elected to serve as a director at the San Diego Police Officers Association. During his tenure, Brian served as the chairman of the SDPOA Foundation and Political Action Committee. In addition, he led the SDPOA Childcare Project for nearly five years. Today, the childcare center is up and running and will hopefully serve many generations of SDPD officers and their children for years to come. On two separate occasions, Brian served on the PORAC Executive Committee. During this time, he worked with members of Congress in the negotiation and eventual drafting of H.R.2722 – Providing Childcare for Police Officers Act of 2023.
At the beginning of 2024, Brian concluded his term at the SDPOA and PORAC. He currently serves as a field lieutenant at SDPD and as an adjunct professor at SDSU.
Jazzmine DeForest – Balancing Sworn and Non-sworn in your Association
Randy Perry – Legislative Update
Randy A. Perry has 27 years of experience and was a Manager and Chief Legislative Advocate for the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) for over 15 years. PORAC represents over 62,000 rank-and-file Peace Officers in California and Nevada.
Randy has written and lobbied legislation ranging from labor and workers’ compensation issues to local government funding and laws increasing penalties for crimes against the public. He has an extensive background with association grassroots programs and has worked or managed every aspect of issue and candidate campaigns. Randy has a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Alison Wilkinson – How to be an IA Rep
Alison B. Wilkinson has over twenty-five (25) years’ experience representing public safety employees and their labor organizations, Alison is committed to personalized service, effective advocacy, and aggressive action.
Over the course of her career, Alison has handled a multitude of cutting-edge civil and labor-related court actions. As both plaintiff and defense counsel, Alison has successfully litigated cases in federal and state courts involving claims brought under virtually every statute impacting labor relations for local agency public safety employees, including the Meyers-Milias Brown Act, the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as claims involving due process, civil rights, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and employee privacy. Alison also aggressively defends individual public safety employees in complex disciplinary cases, internal administrative hearings, criminal cases, and related court actions.
Alison enthusiastically shares her knowledge and expertise by teaching at various criminal justice academies, conferences and at POST-approved seminars. Alison regularly teaches on both the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Bill of Rights Act, as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Free Speech and Privacy Rights, due process, Handling Critical Incidents, and Collective Bargaining.
Before founding the Berry Wilkinson Law Group, Alison was a founding partner at Rains, Lucia & Wilkinson LLP, as well a partner with the San Francisco firm of Carroll, Burdick & McDonough.
The daughter of an elementary school teacher, Alison was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. When she is not defending and prosecuting the rights of public safety employees throughout the state, Alison resides in San Rafael, California with her husband and two children.
Mike Ranalli – Duty to Intercede: A Leadership Tool to Mitigate Risk
Tiffany Atalla – Member – A Proactive Approach to Wellness; Spouses’ classes – SOS – Communication, Spouse Wellness
Tiffany Atalla is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 17 years of professional experience. She is the Director of Clinical Development and Training at First Responder Wellness, and oversees this area for our family of companies, including Shift Wellness and The Counseling Team International. She is passionate about educating and helping First Responders and their families to improve their lives through wellness therapy and empirically based trauma treatment. Her genuine understanding for First Responder family life comes from her own life experience as she is married to a Fire Captain, and they have 2 children. She is actively involved with First Responder family wellness as Co-Founder of a Fire Family Support Services group and a leader for First Responder Spouse Retreats.
Devin O’day – A Proactive Approach to Wellness
Antonio Cueva – How an Association turned Public Opinion from Negative to Positive
Robert Bonsall – What you probably should know about Association Leadership
Robert Bonsall graduated from San Francisco State University (1980) B.A. magna cum laude McGeorge School of Law (1985) J.D. He is a member, California State Bar, United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Court for the Eastern and Northern Districts of California.
Bob has been a speaker for the Industrial Relations Association of Northern California, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, University of California at Davis, Sacramento County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section. He is also an instructor for the PORAC Association Leadership course.
Barry Donelan – What you probably should know about Association Leadership
Tim Talbot – Negotiate like a Pro – Collective Bargaining Tips
Timothy K. Talbot is a principal at Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC (“RLS”). He serves as RLS’s co-managing principal, responsible for all firm operations. In addition, he manages the firm’s Sacramento office and is a member of the Collective Bargaining Practice Group. Tim has practiced labor law for more than 25 years. He specializes in representing and advising labor organizations in all aspects of traditional labor relations, including contract negotiations, grievances, unfair labor practices, bargaining unit certifications and modifications, mediation, and arbitration. Tim has served as chief negotiator for hundreds of public and private sector collective bargaining agreements. In addition, Tim has extensive experience litigating public employee pension and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) matters. Tim also represents individual peace officers, firefighters, paramedics and other employees in disciplinary matters, internal affairs investigations, critical incidents, Department of Energy security clearance investigations and hearings, and professional licensure matters. Tim has successfully represented clients in hundreds of arbitrations, administrative hearings, state and federal court cases and appellate proceedings resulting in published opinions. Tim has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list.
Tim has an incredible breadth and depth of experience and a stellar reputation for his analytical mind dissecting complicated legal matters. Tim frequently teaches classes on various labor law issues including but not limited to: collective bargaining, the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of Rights Act, the Firefighters’ Procedural Bill of Rights Act, public employee pension issues, trends in labor relations and arbitrations and internal labor union governance issues. Tim has served as the featured presenter for many organizations including the Police Officers’ Research Association of California (PORAC) and Working Assembly of Government Employees (WAGE).
Before joining RLS, Tim was the principal shareholder of the Talbot Law Group where he successfully represented public and private sector labor organizations and employees throughout the country. Tim was a partner with the San Francisco based law firm of Carroll, Burdick and McDonough.
Tim graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Sacramento and earned his law degree with distinction from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Tim is admitted to practice in all California state courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Central and Northern Districts of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
John Coburn – Negotiate Like a Pro – Collective Bargaining Tips
Damian Stafford – Negotiate Like a Pro – Collective Bargaining Tips
Brandi Harper – Negotiate Like a Pro – Collective Bargaining Tips
Brandi was selected to the 2019 California Rising Stars list. She has also maintained the AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest possible rating for both ethical standards and legal ability, even after first achieving this rating in 2016. Brandi focuses her litigation practice on employment law matters, specifically discrimination and retaliation cases.
Brandi is both a PORAC Legal Defense Fund (LDF) panel attorney and California Correctional Supervisors’ Organization (CCSO) panel attorney and handles all matters of employment defense. She is on Castillo Harper’s Critical Incident Response Team and is often requested by police associations to handle their general counsel matters due to her outgoing personality. Brandi is an avid presenter and enjoys giving training to associations on civil litigation updates and general counsel matters. In fact, she very may well be the favorite at Castillo Harper’s annual Las Vegas POA Leadership training. Brandi is also an instructor for PORAC’s Collective Bargaining course.
Emma Ramponi – Returning to the Fight: An Officer’s Perspective on PTSD Recovery
Emma Ramponi started her law enforcement career when she was 20 years old and turned 21 while in the Police Academy. She has been a law enforcement officer with Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office since 2015. Emma was a K9 handler from 2017-2021 and then became a Property Crimes Detective. She been involved in many critical incidents including the ambush in 2020 where Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was killed. Emma realized that mental health and the overall healthiness for First Responders is essential and has now become a passion of hers. She joined her Department Peer Support Team and has been promoting mental health awareness for First Responders since.
Alexander Spencer – Returning to the Fight: An Officer’s Perspective on PTSD Recovery
Alexander Spencer was born and raised in Santa Cruz County and attended Chico State, obtaining his degree in Exercise Physiology. After college Alex attended the Sacramento PD Academy, graduating in December 2011. He was hired at Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in 2014. His first assignment was patrol and then assigned as a K9 handler. Alex was also on their SWAT team as a breacher. He remained a K9 handler on patrol from 2017 until 2023 when he became a Detective in Property Crimes. The events of June 6th, 2020 did change his life forever. Since returning to work, Alex joined the peer support team and made it his personal mission to promote mental health awareness and wellness for his department. Alex cares deeply for his profession and the men and women who have affirmed the calling for this career.