City of El Segundo logoAt the El Segundo City Council meeting on January 16, 2024, City Manager Darrell George proudly introduced the appointments of George Avery as fire chief and Paul Chung as chief financial officer.

Fire Chief George Avery grew up in the South Bay and has almost 30 years of fire service experience, most recently serving as fire chief for the City of Brea. Chief Avery’s journey in the fire service began with the San Bernardino City Fire Department, where he served for 26 years, working his way through the ranks to fire chief before joining the City of Brea. Over the course of his career as a firefighter, forest service team member, training captain, battalion chief, division chief, fire marshal and fire chief, Chief Avery has developed a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of how to manage the complexities that come with providing first-rate fire and emergency services. He prides himself on professional mentorship and community engagement.

“I am honored to serve the City of El Segundo and to lead a team that already serves the community with the highest level of professionalism. My passion is to work with our firefighters and staff members to ensure our community’s safety and make our residents, visitors and businesses feel secure, knowing they are well cared for,” shared Chief Avery.

“Not only does Chief Avery bring decades of fire safety experience, but his background in public administration and collaborative leadership style will be a wonderful addition to our executive team. I’m thrilled to welcome such a well-rounded and accomplished fire chief to El Segundo,” said City Manager Darrell George.

Newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Paul Chung began his public sector career as a lifeguard for the City of Cerritos. Since then, he has become a fiduciary expert in both the public and private sectors, having spent 20 years of his career in public finance with a focus in municipal finance. He most recently served as the finance director for the city of San Marino, earning the city’s first “Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for drafting San Marino’s first Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR). San Marino has also received five clean audits in the past five years.

“My leadership style – and approach to life in general – is guided by the belief that who we are today are the reflections of choices and actions taken yesterday, so live your daily life to the fullest, and that includes joining the City of El Segundo,” shared Chief Financial Officer Paul Chung. “I am looking forward to the collaboration and partnership with my finance team, executive team, and City Council to execute the various initiatives in making El Segundo a great place to live, work and visit.”

Chung has served in the public finance sector for four local southern California municipalities: Calabasas, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica and San Marino.  He holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration and a master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge. He is also an avid runner, completing over 25 marathons.

“Having just achieved a AAA credit rating, maintaining strong fiscal health and stability is of utmost importance to El Segundo,” said City Manager Darrell George. “Paul’s solid track record and extensive experience overseeing city investments, bond disclosures, financial forecasting and reporting, combined with his ability to present complex financial data in layman’s terms make him a perfect fit to continue growing the financial health and wealth of El Segundo.”

George shared his deep gratitude to Interim Fire Chief Robert Espinosa and Interim Chief Financial Officer David Cain for their stewardship during this time of leadership transition. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Chung and Avery started in their positions on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.