January Employee Spotlight: Orlando Hernandez

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Fontana California


January 8, 2019

Fontana Native Planning for Fontana's Future

Orlando Hernandez

Fontana, Calif.-  Planning Manager Orlando Hernandez started his career with the City of Fontana as an intern while he was attending college and was hired on as an Assistant Planner upon graduation. More than two decades and several promotions later, this Fontana native still enjoys giving back to his community by helping to guide growth and development in the City.   

"I've stayed because Fontana is a great place to be and I truly believe that management values their employees. If you work hard, they give you the opportunity to promote," explains Orlando Hernandez. 

From parks to houses to shopping centers, they all begin with a plan that is submitted to the City of Fontana Community Development Department. Once submitted, Orlando and his team of 15 staff members work with the community to successfully maneuver their projects through the development process. 

Orlando is the type of leader that everyone wants on their team. For 10 years, he was a beloved coach for his daughter's soccer team, and he applies that team mentality to the workplace. He is dedicated to developing his staff into skillful and experienced planners. "One accomplishment that I am proud of is mentoring and training staff so they can promote successfully in advancing their careers." Orlando takes his time creating an enjoyable environment for his staff and provides each team member with valuable feedback. 

That valuable feedback is what his employees say makes them strive to do their best. "Having leadership roles filled with people like Orlando is one of the many reasons why I wish I could work for Fontana forever," states a coworker.

Orlando and his team hosted the first City of Fontana Planning Academy in October 2018, where they invited residents (primarily high school students) to participate in a four-week interactive course to introduce them to a career in City Planning. Many staff members worked long days to provide the academy in the evening hours and they did it as a way to inspire the next generation of Fontana City Planners. 

For those thinking about a career in City Planning, Orlando has advice for you: "Work hard, be ethical, promote transparency, and strive to always develop and grow. The most surprising part about pursuing a career in planning was having to be effective in a wide range of areas," states Orlando. "For example having the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, as well as having good problem-solving skills."

Outside of work, Orlando can be found traveling and exploring new places. 

Orlando has been selected as the City of Fontana Employee Spotlight for the month of January based on nominations from his peers who describe him as a person who "knows how to make the workplace enjoyable and takes time to boost morale by providing feedback to each staff member." 

To learn more about the City of Fontana Planning Department, please visit www.fontana.org/planning.