Burbank City Manager Justin Hess has been named 2022 City Manager of the Year by the California City Management Foundation, the city announced Wednesday.

Officials said the award is given to a city manager who goes beyond the call of duty to lead and serve the community. Hess was recognized for handling the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and for his mentorship, among other qualities.

“Justin has given back to the city management profession this year through mentoring others, and for his work as vice president of the City Management Foundation as well as serving as vice president on the Cal Cities City Managers Department Board,” CCMF Executive Director Ken Pulskamp said in a statement. “Justin has also performed remarkably in Burbank with the city’s response to COVID and economic development efforts. The city management profession and the residents of Burbank can be proud to have Justin doing such positive work.”

Hess, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and a master’s degree in policy planning and development at USC, has worked for Burbank for more than 20 years, beginning as an intern in city planning. Since then, he has held positions including assistant city manager, financial services director, management services director and community development director.

He’s been city manager since 2019.

“I am honored to receive such an outstanding recognition from the CCMF,” Hess said. “I am thankful to the Burbank City Council for their leadership and support in helping me achieve this highly regarded accomplishment. I also must give credit to the executive team and entire city staff for all their hard work and providing exceptional city services to our community.”

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