PRESS RELEASE: “Golden Hub of Innovation” Award Winners Announced

The ACC-OC congratulates all our winners from last night’s Fifth Annual “Golden Hub of Innovation” awards. We also thank our city and business leaders who were in attendance for the ceremony held Thursday, June 9 at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana.

All our nominees have displayed the highest levels of innovation and efficient use of taxpayer dollars last year.

“Orange County’s local governments have developed ideas that have changed the world,” said Heather Stratman, ACC-OC Chief Executive Officer. “Tonight’s event is about celebrating those cities, local governments and public-private partnerships that strive each year to improve their communities, save money and have a broader impact on society.”

Applicants submitted a wide variety of projects, including water efficiency initiatives, public safety measures, and community outreach efforts.

“We’re on the forefront of innovation because of the collaboration that exists between our cities.” continued Stratman. “The Golden Hub of Innovation celebrates and showcases these “best practices” so our local governments can share their ideas, and encourage everyone to ‘keep leaning in.’

The ACC-OC congratulates the following innovation champions:

View photos from the event at ACC-OC’s Facebook.


Anaheim Fire & SafetyFire Chief Randy Bruegman

Anaheim Fire Chief Randy R. Bruegman is the worthy recipient of Innovator of the Year for his leadership in developing and implementing the Community Care Response Unit. This public-private partnership responds to low level, non-urgent medical requests with an ambulance staffed by a certified Nurse Practitioner and an Anaheim Fire Captain/Paramedic. Partnering with Kaiser Permanente Orange County, CARE Ambulance Service, and Metro Cities Fire Authority, the program reduces total costs to the patient and the health care system while providing a positive patient experience, and better serving the residents and guests of Anaheim.



City of Costa Mesa “Costa Mesa Connected” (Large City)

The City launched Costa Mesa Connected to inform the public of important city activities, decisions and updates. Instead of issuing static press releases, Costa Mesa Connected enables the City to post dynamic media, like video and slideshows, to further engage its readers and the public. Costa Mesa Connected also allows the City to break through a crowded media environment to ensure its residents can be alerted of important city news.

County of Orange “OC Expediter” (Agency/Other Organization)

The County of Orange is recognized for its OC Expediter, an enterprise procurement application that has helped County Departments and Agencies use electronic workflows to increase efficiency, reduces staff processing time, and eliminate errors.



Orange County Sheriff’s Department “3Gs: Guide, Guard and Govern” (Agency/Other Organization)

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s innovation included a series of community presentations to provide parents with information about and strategies for addressing issues related to drugs and other social pressures. In the long term, this information provided to parents could lead to a reduction in addiction and drug abuse.


City of Anaheim/Anaheim Fire & Rescue “Community Care Response Unit” (Large City)

This public-private partnership is the first in California, responding to low level, non-urgent medical requests with an ambulance staffed by a certified Nurse Practitioner and an Anaheim Fire Captain/Paramedic. This is in place of a standard paramedic engine/truck and ambulance response staffed by 3 or 4 fire personnel. Partnering with Kaiser Permanente Orange County, CARE Ambulance Service, and Metro Cities Fire Authority, the program reduces total costs to the patient and the health care system while providing a positive patient experience, and better serving the residents and guests of Anaheim.



Anaheim Public Utilities “APU Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan” (Large City)

Anaheim Public Utilities’ Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan is a 15-year roadmap, focused on reducing GHG emissions from APU energy sources, contributing to a more sustainable environment for Anaheim residents. Their initiative includes switching to renewable power generation technologies, electrification of vehicle transportation, conserving energy through building energy efficiency programs, encouraging rooftop solar energy production and conserving water to reduce pumping loads.


City of Placentia “Electric Vehicle Fleet Project” (Small City)

The City of Placentia needed to reduce fleet operating and maintenance costs due to their aging and fuel-inefficient fleet. Their innovative solution was to acquire 10 new Chevy Spark electric vehicles, and install 12 electric charging stations at the Civic Center complex. Instead of solely relying on taxpayer funds, the city made use of California Environmental Protection Agency grants, Air Quality Management District grants and Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee Clean Transportation funding. The City will now save $30,000 per year in fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.



City of Fullerton “Fullerton-Brea Fire Department Recruitment” (Large City)

A Golden Hub Award has been given to the City of Fullerton for building upon its successful merger of the Fullerton and Brea Fire Departments command staff. Now, the fire departments have teamed up again to conduct joint recruitments for entry level firefighters and other suppression recruitments, including the promotions. This collaboration greatly reduced the time and costs to undertake these procedures, increasing the efficiency of the process.


City of Newport Beach “Version 2.0” (Small City)

Last year the City of Newport Beach made three improvements to the cities Permit Center that make it worthy of a Golden Hub award. These three changes bring three important improvements: (1) building plan check reviews by private companies to expedite the review process, (2) the iPermit online permitting service available for a variety of residential permits and for requesting Residential Building Reports, (3) and finally an increase of efficiency in both the plan review and inspection process with the new addition of Life Safety Services for the Community Development Team.


Orange County Sanitation District “OCSD’s Newport Beach Outreach Program” (Agency/Other Organization)

In 2013 the Orange County Sanitation District embarked on a comprehensive program to rehabilitate the sewer system in the City of Newport Beach. In undertaking the Newport Beach program, the OCSD engaged a community relations firm, Constructive Community Relations, to manage a proactive communications campaign to address the needs of the Newport Beach community. OCSD’s successful communication outreach effort prevented the creation of organized opposition, allowing the developments to continue with full backing from the public.



Mission Viejo, Santa Margarita Water District & Lake Mission Viejo “Multi-Agency Program Addressing Pension Reform & Investing in Water Conservation” (Small City)

The partnership of the City of Mission Viejo, Santa Margarita Water District & Lake Mission Viejo has produced an innovative solution very worthy of a Golden Hub award. Lake Mission Viejo will be the first recreational lake in California to be fed with advanced purified water. The city is partnering with Santa Margarita Water District to establish a new treatment plant to accomplish this, expected to open at the end of July. City staff estimate that the total savings over the next 25 years will be about $850,000. In return, Mission Viejo will secure enough recycled water to irrigate about 80 percent of its parks, medians and slopes for the next 25 years at a discount price.


City of Fullerton “City of Fullerton-Film LA Collaboration” (Large City)

Fullerton reviewed current practices and opportunities for growth and further efficiency in its film and photography program. Through extensive research with its Economic Development Commission, the City Council approved an 18-month pilot program with FilmLA, a nonprofit that coordinates and processes permits for on-location motion picture, television and commercial productions throughout Southern California. The city can now market itself as a unique filming location with distinct neighborhoods and amenities, while also encouraging strategic economic activity and mitigating community impact—all at no cost to the City of Fullerton.


Transportation Corridor Agency “The Toll Roads Rental Program” (Agency/Other Organization)
Finding a way to improve the toll payment process for rental car drivers was identified as a goal in Fiscal Year 2016. Through partnerships with all major rental car agencies, a solution was developed that enables tolls to be conveniently charged directly to rental car drivers through their rental agreement. This innovation also afforded the TCA the opportunity to listen to and better serve a unique customer group and to partner with the private sector to improve a process.


  • City of Yorba Linda “Park Development Partnership” (Honorable Mention)
  • Orange County Waste and Recycling “Bowerman Power Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project” (Honorable Mention)



City of Huntington Beach “The Big Board” (Large City)

To differentiate from the competition and reaffirm Huntington Beach as the West Coast capital of surfing, the City implemented a marketing campaign in June 2015, coinciding with the first day of summer and International Surfing Day. Members of the local community came together with Visit Huntington Beach and locally-based surfing brand Hurley to beak two Guinness World Records: “Largest Surfboard” and “Most People Riding a Surfboard At Once.” National and international media exposure was generated to elevate Huntington Beach’s profile as the iconic California surfing destination, and the Big Board is now a “must see” attraction when visiting southern California


University of California, Irvine “The Fifty for 50 Campus Challenge: A Celebration of Community Engagement at UCI” (Agency/Other Organization)

Leading into UCI’s 50th anniversary, Chancellor Gillman endeavored to create a new and exciting vision to maintain momentum through the next fifty years. His plan included better internal and external engagement, creating public spaces for the exchanging of ideas, engaging the community through volunteering and sharing resources, and creating pathways to engage students as volunteers, interns, and ultimately employees after they graduate. UCI successfully re-affirmed the campus value of community engagement, established a campus-wide goal to expand community service efforts, and incorporated these efforts into the campus celebration of UCI’s 50th anniversary.


County of Orange “Orange County Garden Friendly” (Agency/Other Organization)

In the spring of 2016, the OC Stormwater Program completed a three-season, county-wide program called OC Garden Friendly (OCGF), aimed at changing residents’ landscape and irrigation habits to encourage swapping water-hungry grass landscapes with drought-adapted plants and efficient irrigation. This OC Public Works initiative has become one of the most successful efforts developed by its OC Stormwater Program. Three years ago, according to corporate partner The Home Depot, sod grass was the top-selling plant product. Today it’s near the bottom. This innovative solution to a community issue makes the County of Orange worthy of its Golden Hub award.


Spreading Innovation Throughout Orange County:

Not only does the ACC-OC recognize the highest levels of innovation in Orange County, but the organization also makes public these innovative ideas in its Compendium of Ideas. The Compendium is available at the end of each year, and serves as a valuable tool for our local governments with a list of “best practices” that other cities can implement for their communities.

Awarded from the Best:

The Golden Hub of Innovation award applications are judged by a “who’s who” of Orange County policy, business and leadership. We thank our hardworking judging committee for choosing from among Orange County’s best innovations:

  • Jay Barbuto – Director, Center for Leadership, Mihaylo College of Business, CSUF
  • Carolyn Cavecche – President & CEO, Orange County Taxpayers Association
  • Lucy Dunn – President & CEO, Orange County Business Council
  • Sandy Jones – Director, Community & Government Relations, UC Irvine
  • Michael Ruane – Executive Vice President, National CORE
  • Tom Wood – Retired Anaheim City Manager

There are already many great innovations in progress this year, and we look forward to celebrating Orange County’s ingenuity once again at next year’s Golden Hub awards.

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