Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Tom Bakaly Named CEO of Beach Cities Health District

Bakaly, the current city manager of Hermosa Beach, will succeed Susan Burden as CEO on November 1, 2016 

Media Contact: Eric Garner, Beach Cities Health District – (541) 413-2880; eric.garner@bchd.org

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (August 23, 2016) – Beach Cities Health District (BCHD), one of the largest preventive health agencies in the U.S., today announced its Board of Directors unanimously selected Tom Bakaly as the organization’s next chief executive officer (CEO). Bakaly, the current city manager of Hermosa Beach, will succeed Susan Burden following her retirement on November 1, 2016.

"After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process that included hundreds of applicants, the Board is pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership of Beach Cities Health District," said Jane Diehl, BCHD Board president. "Tom has a proven track record of strong leadership both inside and outside of our community, and is uniquely qualified to make an immediate impact on the health and well-being of Beach Cities residents.”

Diehl added that Bakaly has long been a valuable community partner of the Health District and played a pivotal role in improving the health of Hermosa Beach residents during his tenure as city manager, including:

  • Helping the Beach Cities become the nation’s largest community to earn Blue Zones Community Certification in 2016
  • Serving as a Blue Zones Project ambassador to the U.S. Surgeon General during his June 2016 visit to the Beach Cities
  • Overseeing the City of Hermosa Beach’s adoption of comprehensive smoke-free policies in 2016
  • Brokering planning efforts between Hermosa Beach and CalTrans & Metro to conduct a street design and engineering study to explore implementing healthy “Living Streets” principles along Pacific Coast Highway
  • Helping guide Hermosa Beach’s 2012 adoption of the nation’s second strongest “Complete Streets” policy in support of healthy transportation

Additionally, Bakaly – who holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California – was responsible for managing the City of Hermosa Beach’s $40 million budget and 135 employees. Under his leadership, the city designed and implemented financial strategies aimed at creating transparency that recently resulted in the city’s first AA+ bond rating from Standard and Poor’s.

Prior to coming to Hermosa Beach, Bakaly worked as City Manager and Finance Manager/Director of Capital Programs for Park City, Utah, where he helped plan and execute the 2002 Winter Olympics; led the development of a large-scale community hospital; and managed more than 450 employees and a $45 million budget, in addition to a host of other civic projects.

“When I arrived in Hermosa Beach in 2012, one of the first community meetings I scheduled was with Beach Cities Health District CEO Susan Burden. I immediately connected with the organization’s values and developed an appreciation for the critical work and services they provide throughout our community,” said Bakaly. “Now four years later, I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization and its deeply talented staff – and I’m eager to help BCHD create a healthy beach community.”

Bakaly expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for his time working for the City of Hermosa Beach, adding that he feels indebted to his team of city employees. “Those men and women are among our community’s greatest assets,” said Bakaly.

Susan Burden – who will exit the CEO post on October 31, following 12 years at BCHD – expressed confidence in the Board's choice. "Tom is a remarkable leader and an even better person,” said Burden. "I've had the pleasure of working with Tom during the years, and I’m very happy with the board's decision. Great things are ahead for BCHD and our community."

For more information on Beach Cities Health District, visit bchd.org.

About Beach Cities Health District

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) is among the largest preventive health agencies in the nation and has served the communities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach since 1955. As a public agency, it offers an extensive range of dynamic health and wellness programs, with innovative services and facilities to promote health and prevent diseases in every lifespan. In 2010, BCHD began implementing the nationally acclaimed Blue Zones Project community health initiative, which aims to help residents live longer, better lives. Additionally, BCHD operates AdventurePlex, a health and fitness center where kids play their way to good health, and the Center for Health & Fitness, a comprehensive, medically based fitness center. Visit www.bchd.org or call (310) 374-3426 for more information.