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Miranda Lara

Intern & Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Coordinator

Miranda serves as our Legislative Intern and YAC Coordinator for Supervisor Hewitt.  She is responsible for developing Youth Advisory Council activities and coordinates events for the Riverside County Youth Commission.  This includes engaging high school students who want extracurricular opportunities such as community service and to expand their knowledge on county government.  Miranda collaborates with other Supervisorial Districts to focus on issues and concerns raised by high school students throughout the County of Riverside.

Miranda works in our Riverside office. She can be reached at

Thomas Kuhlmeier

WRCOG Fellow & Legislative Intern

Thomas Kulmeier’s skills and abilities were matched to Supervisor Hewitt’s office by the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) Fellows Program.  As a Legislative Fellow, Thomas does critical research that assists in policy development.  He works closely with Mario to develop strategic social media outreach campaigns in addition to performing essential day-to-day office tasks and attending events throughout the district.

Thomas works in our Riverside office.  He can be reached at

Paul Vallandigham

Board Assistant and Liaison to the Desert Communities

Paul serves as a Board Assistant and Liaison to the desert communities of Desert Hot Springs, Painted Hills, West Desert, West Garnet, Whitewater and Windy Point.  His primary duty is insuring the safe and timely transportation of Supervisor Hewitt to various meetings and events throughout Southern California.  Paul is also responsible for concerns in the following agencies/issues: AQMD; Behavioral Health; CVAG/CVCC; Fleet Services/Maintenance; Homeless-Desert; LAFCO; Military Affairs; RCA/RCHCA/Habitat(Desert); RCTC; RTA; Salton Sea; VALOR; Veteran Services and Waste Resources.  Paul has a long history of volunteering to serve others, reflected in his service in the United States Air Force as an Avionics Communications technician and as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (psychotherapist) in Orange County Adult Mental Health Outpatient Services, as well as PTA, high school band boosters and an assortment of other community and political activism organizations.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cal State University Fullerton and a Master of Social Work with Clinical Mental Health Emphasis degree from San Diego State University.  Paul currently represents the 5th District as a member of Riverside County’s Behavioral Health Commission.

Paul’s primary location is our Riverside office. He can be reached at 

Amber Smalley

Board Assistant & Pass Area Liaison

Amber is a Board Assistant and Pass Area liaison for Supervisor Hewitt, serving the communities of Calimesa, Banning, Beaumont, and Cherry Valley.  Amber’s institutional knowledge has contributed significantly to the success of our daily office operations.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Professional School Counseling and holds a Certificate of Clearance with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  Her passion for helping others has made her instrumental as the liaison for Education, Student of the Month initiatives, Housing Authority, Animal Services, and the Workforce Investment Board.  In addition, Amber develops and compiles the monthly newsletter that touches policy, community outreach, and future events.

Amber’s primary location is our Riverside office. She can be reached by email at 

Mario Garai

Moreno Valley Liaison & Bilingual

Mario serves as Supervisor Jeff Hewitt’s primary policy research assistant focusing on Riverside County homelessness, water, and pensions.  He is the liaison for the City of Moreno Valley and oversees the San Gorgonio Pass Municipal Advisory Council.  Mario received his Bachelor of Arts in History with a focus in US policy and International relations from UC Merced and is an appointed member of the Riverside County Historical Commission. He also manages Supervisor Hewitt’s social media outlets and outreach design.  His passion for education has led to duties overseeing Supervisor Hewitt’s Youth Advisory Council and the Western Riverside Council of Government (WRCOG) Legislative Fellow who provide essential assistance to our office while giving important work experience to the youth who serve in these roles.

Mario’s primary location is our Riverside office. He can be reached at 

Mickey Valdivia

Legislative Assistant & Land Use/Management Liaison

Mickey serves as a Legislative Assistant for Supervisor Hewitt and is the primary contact for all land use and transportation issues.  His responsibilities include the Beaumont Cherry Valley Parks & Recreation District, Flood Control, liaison for the communities of Banning, Beaumont, Cabazon,  Calimesa and related Chambers of Commerce and facilitating the West Desert Municipal Advisory Council.

Mickey’s primary location is our Beaumont office. He can be reached at 

Stephanie Garthwaite

Legislative Assistance & Health and Human Services Liaison

As the 5th District Legislative and Policy Advisor for Health and Human Services, Stephanie oversees public social services (CPS, APS, First 5, Foster Care, CalFresh/SNAP, CalWorks, Medi-Cal, IHSS, IHSS Public Authority, Office on Aging), child support, health/community clinics (Behavioral Health, Public Health, FQHC’s) and Correctional Health.  Stephanie is passionate about creating opportunities to improve systems and to connect community resources with the families we serve.  She has spent the majority of her professional career working as a public steward and has more than 16 years of experience working for the Department of Public Social Services (Children’s and Adult Services/IHSS) and the District Attorney’s Office.  She was also an advocate for Riverside County at the State level for nearly 8 years, overseeing legislation and community outreach with the California State Assembly and implementing new regulations and audit mandates as part of the California Department of Public Health.

Stephanie’s primary location is our Moreno Valley office.  She can be reached at 

Brenda Dennstedt

Legislative Assistant & Public Safety Liaison

Brenda serves as a Legislative Assistant and Public Safety Liaison for Supervisor Hewitt.  Her primary role is handling Public Safety issues throughout the Fifth District.  She is responsible for working with the following departments: Code Enforcement; Courts; Criminal Justice Planning; District Attorney; Fire/EMS; Probation; Public Defender; Sheriff/Coroner and Jails. Brenda is our primary liaison for the City of Menifee and the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Winning her first election to the position in 2003, Brenda serves on the Western Municipal Water District Board of Directors, representing WMWD on WRCOG, as well as SAWPA, LESJWA, and ACWA (water agencies).  Prior to being elected, Brenda served her community in public safety for a number of years.  

Brenda’s primary location is in our Perris office.   She can be reached at

Barry Busch

Legislative Assistant

As a life-long resident of southwestern Riverside County with strong ties to local officials, Barry provides a wealth of knowledge to Supervisor Hewitt.  He serves as the primary contact for: Code Enforcement; Environmental Health; Farm Bureau; March JPA; Waste Resources; RCTC; Transportation; WRCOG & Fleet Services and is our primary liaison for the City of Perris and the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce. In addition to currently overseeing the Nuview/Romoland Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), Barry has been a longtime member of the Perris Rotary Club and has served on the Nuview Elementary, Perris High School and Southern California Fair Boards.

Barry’s primary location is in our Perris office.  He can be reached at 

Katrina Cline

Deputy Chief of Staff/ Scheduler

Katrina’s primary role is to oversee the daily operations of our office, coordinating with County employees, business leaders and elected officials to efficiently schedule Supervisor Hewitt’s time and to guide & assist staff members in the smooth completion of assigned tasks, as well as overseeing the 5th District Community Improvement Designation (CID) Funds program.  Beginning her career with Riverside County in 2007, Katrina has demonstrated her leadership skills, gaining experience at the Economic Development Agency and Office of Foreign Trade before her talents were noticed by the Board of Supervisors in 2013.  Since then, her vast wealth of institutional knowledge and experience has served Board members, employees and countless residents well.  Katrina has previously served as a Commissioner for Banning Parks & Recreation, and on the Board of Directors for the Perris Valley Filipino-American Association, where she is still an active member.

Katrina’s primary location is in our Riverside office. She can be reached at

Boomer Shannon

Chief of Staff

Boomer serves as Chief of Staff for Supervisor Hewitt.  He is responsible for overseeing all administrative duties, legislative and policy issues, and is the primary spokesperson for the office.  In addition to managing office staff and the 5th District budget, he handles issues in the following areas of concern: Assessor-Clerk-Recorder; Auditor-Controller; BIA; Budget/Fiscal; Executive Office; Human Resources; County Counsel; Morongo/tribal issues; NACO; Oversight Boards; PASS; PIO; RCIT; Registrar of Voters; Treasurer and union matters.  Prior to working for Riverside County, Boomer utilized his wide-ranging knowledge and skills in the private sector and was a highly successful small business owner in the software development field.

Boomer’s primary location is our Riverside office.  You can reach him at