By Steven Piper
John Keisler, who has worked as manager at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) since 2008, was recently promoted to business operations bureau manager for the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.
Keisler’s tour of duty at ACS began when he was selected for the position in the wake of negative publicity– a dog at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., had been inhumanely euthanized. “I was assigned to help reform operations, improve communication, and create relationships with the surrounding community,” Keisler said. Subsequently, he took the helm of the shelter and turned the center into what the animal care community largely regard as a shining example of government dollars at work.
During the transition period, Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department Director George Chapjian and Keisler will continue to ensure operations at ACS run smoothly. The bureau is still in the process of finding a new manager.
To his credit, and even though it was only his first year at the Village, Keisler innovated a new committee– Pets Always Worth Saving (PAWS), which linked the shelter with the local community and animal advocates. “We created a local animal advocate committee,” Keisler said. “PAWS is a group of local animal advocates and residents that help build better future for animals in Long Beach.” On a monthly basis, the committee meets with the bureau manager and ACS staff.
Additionally, during Keisler’s term at ACS, a spay and neuter program, low-cost pet clinics, and a wildlife watch program were implemented. “All of the programs were designed to improve the community in both Long Beach and Signal Hill,” Keisler said.
Prior to working at ACS, in 2006, Keisler worked as a performance management analyst in the Department of Financial Management, where he helped to implement the City’s performance management program. Projects with which Keisler was involved include: Port of Long Beach Information Management Business Plan and Intranet Development, the City’s Custodial Services Optimization and the Long Beach Challenge Community Outreach on Potential Tax Measures.
With bachelor degrees in philosophy and religion from St. Olaf College, Keisler was involved with Teach For America. For three years he taught at the elementary school level in Newark, New Jersey, where he received the “Best Practices Award for Innovative Practices.”
Subsequently, Keisler involved himself with local politics– working for two years with the League of California Cities, Orange County Division and the Orange County Council of Governments. At the same time, he earned a masters of public administration at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development.
As he ventures into his new position, Keisler will continue to serve on the International City/County Management Association Committee for Preparing the Next Generation and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California in South Los Angeles.