In the 1970s, when Denise Ovrom was a 21-year-old senior at USC’s policy school, she started her government career as an intern in Simi Valley, California, a newly-incorporated city. It was there that she met her future husband, Bud Ovrom, then an assistant to the city manager.
The two would go on to achieve a rarity in the realm of local government. When Denise was city manager of Temple City, California and Bud was city manager of Burbank, they were the only husband and wife city managers in the nation.
The duo have learned a lot over the course of their careers. Now retired, they’re sharing lessons with the next generation of public servants.
The Ovroms were this year’s City Managers in Residence, hosted by the USC City/County Management Fellowship and sponsored by HdL Companies. The program gives students of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy an opportunity to learn about the work of city managers. Ahead of the event, Denise and Bud offered some tips for aspiring city managers, along with others pursuing careers in local government: