2023 Professional of the Year: Phil Nelson, City of Ventura

After serving 21 years in the United States Navy as the Civil Engineer Corps Officer, Phil Nelson’s career spans over 33 years in the public and private field of Public Works and Facilities Management. As Public Works Director of the City of Ventura, Phil led the Public Works Departments’ vision to build and preserve Ventura’s vital infrastructure and to protect the environment for the safety, enjoyment and prosperity of its community.  Phil provides the leadership needed to deal with the many public works challenges required to maintain deferred maintenance and older infrastructure in a tourist/beach community. Phil empowers a strong Public Works department with a very diverse and talented staff of employees who demonstrate pride in their work daily. He shares his broad public works knowledge and the big picture and trusts his employees to deliver excellent services to the community. He expects high quality work but promotes work/life balance. Phil has an impressive understanding of engineering techniques, maintenance and operations, and excelled at developing community relationships and earned respect from the City Council Members. Phil has unbridled energy, attention to detail, wonderful people skills and his business acumen is extraordinary.

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