Strategic Planning, Governance, and Management Consulting
Julie has extensive experience working within a general-purpose local government, with special emphasis on strategic planning, city council relations, leadership development, and community engagement. Julie is a strategic thinker, capable of helping organizations adapt to fiscal and service challenges while focusing on interdepartmental coordination and community partnerships to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
Prior to affiliating with MRG, Julie was the Chief Operating Officer for Management Partners where, in collaboration with the executive team, she directed all aspects of operational policies, objectives, and initiatives that enabled the consulting agency to be well-positioned to provide value-added services to all local government clients. Previously, she served as City Manager for the City of Milpitas, California, where she led a staff of 400 employees to serve a diverse population of nearly 80,000. Key initiatives completed during her tenure included a successful ballot measure to increase Transient Occupancy Tax, a collaborative update of community development fees supported by the development community, an interagency partnership to site City’s first 100% affordable housing project, and numerous administrative process improvements.
Before serving as City Manager in Milpitas, Mares worked for nearly eleven years with the City of San José, the nation’s tenth largest city. As San José Deputy City Manager, she focused both on strategic partnerships with schools and businesses and on civic engagement and collaboration with community stakeholders to create and maintain safe and healthy neighborhoods. One example included spearheading a partnership with the local high school district to deploy a free WiFi network for underserved students. She also served as Director of Parks and Recreation for San José. In that role, she led the development of a new program creating a financially sustainable approach to the operational delivery of parks and recreation that resulted in the adoption of a City Council policy, a new regional training program, and a twenty percent improvement in the departmental cost recovery rate.
Julie began her public sector career working for the City of Tucson for nearly twelve years as Deputy Director of Budget and Research, Assistant to the City Manager, and Human Resources Administrator. As the Deputy Director leading the Research and Organizational Effectiveness Division, she collaborated with internal clients, providing a variety of management consulting services to strengthen and enhance organizational performance and effectiveness. She also served as a manager with United Airlines for eleven years in several leadership roles for airport operations and customer service management.
Mares holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in education. In addition, she is a graduate of the Southwest Leadership Program in Public Policy Management from the University of Arizona Eller College.