Ali, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in finance, real estate, and law from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, previously was a tax bookkeeper for the Panda Restaurant Group, a member of the inside sales staff for the Zemarc Corporation, a product process specialist for Best Buy, and an associate with the Bank of America. He transitioned to public service when he joined the City of Artesia’s staff as an accounting technician in 2015. While working in Artesia’s finance department as an accounts payable clerk, Ali learned about the position at the California JPIA from the finance director, who encouraged him to apply; he joined the Authority’s staff in 2016.
Ali is responsible for processing accounts payable, reconciling invoices, and providing technical and clerical assistance to the finance staff—all in support of the California JPIA’s members.
“Every individual on our staff has the same goal: to help our members,” said Ali. “At the end of the day, regardless of role or department, that common goal ties us together.”
A typical day for Ali begins with integrating the Authority’s daily banking transactions, such as payments to vendors and claim payments. Other weekly tasks include processing staff benefit payments, reconciling staff credit cards, and running checks and deposits.
“As an accounting specialist, Habib fills a very important role for the California JPIA and its members,” said Finance Director Jason McBride. “His diligence and attention to details contribute to ensuring the appropriate use of members’ funds and financial transparency. He is a pleasure to work with.”
When asked why he likes working for the Authority, Ali said the first thing that comes to mind is the staff.
“Everyone on staff has been amazing to work with,” he said. “My second day on the job, I was working at the Risk Management Educational Forum, meeting all of the members and hearing about their admiration for the California JPIA. The atmosphere and culture at the Authority is the best I’ve been around.”
During his time on the California JPIA’s staff, Ali—who also serves in a leadership capacity as the events committee coordinator for the annual Risk Management Educational Forum—said he has learned to pivot at a moment’s notice: “You have to be ready to switch gears in an instant and adapt to change when you don’t expect it,” he said. “I would cite the past two years’ Risk Management Educational Forums as an example: 2020 was an unprecedented year during which we had to quickly change from an in-person to a virtual event. This year, we planned a successful in-person event within a short time frame. All of this was possible because of our teamwork.”
“Habib shines the most when it comes to helping staff and members,” said Deputy Executive Officer Alex Smith. “His friendliness and sincerity always leave an impression, and he’s well known for having a positive disposition and providing service with a smile.”
Congratulations, Habib, on your five-year anniversary!
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.